Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Pre-tourney favorite falls as juniors go at it in California

Sixteen-year-old Patrick Wolff of Belmont, Mass., won the 1984 United States Junior Championship by scoring 81/2-21/2 in the annual invitational tournament, which was held this year at Happy Valley School in Ojai, Calif. It was a round-robin event featuring the 12 top-rated juniors who would not be 20 years old by Sept. 1.

John Litvinchuk, a 17-year-old national master from Brooklyn, N.Y., tallied 8 points for second place, while Dennis Younglove of St. Louis placed third with 7 . Last year's co-champion, international master Maxim Dlugy of Kew Gardens, N.Y. , disappointed his fans by scoring only 61/2 points to tie for fourth place with US Junior Open champion Doug Eckert of Crestwood, Mo., and 14-year-old Stuart Rachels of Birmingham, Ala. Rachels was the youngest player in the field.

About these ads

The victory must have been particularly satisfying for Wolff, who finished at the bottom in his first Junior Championship last year. Winning the championship also qualifies him to represent the United States at the World Junior Championship in Finland next month, and it entitles him to be seeded into the 1985 US Championships (as Dlugy was in this year's event, now being played in Berkeley, Calif.)

Litvinchuk, who placed second, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to this summer's US Open Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, and Younglove's third place nets him a $200 chess scholarship to help defray his expenses in national tournaments.

In today's featured game we see Wolff crushing pre-tournament favorite Dlugy in a fierce Velimirovic Attack. The outcome must have done much to demoralize Dlugy, while commensurately shoring up the confidence of the more youthful Wolff.

Sicillian Defense Wolff Dlugy 1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4.NxP N-B3 5. N-QB3 P-Q3 6. B-QB4 P-K3 '. B-K3 B-K2 8.Q-K2 O-O 9. O-O-O NxN 10. BxN Q-R4 11. KR-N1 (a) B-Q2 12. P-KN4 KR-B1 13. P-N5 N-K1 14. P-B4 QR-N1 15. B-N3 P-N4 16. R-Q3 (b) P-N3 (c) 17. P-B5 P-N5 (d) 18. PxKP PxP (e) 19. N-Q5 Q-Q1 (f) 20. Q-N4 BxP ch (g) 21. QxB QxQ ch 22. RxQ PxN 23. BxP ch K-B1 24. R-B3 ch K-K2 25. R-B7 ch K-Q1 26. RxRP B-B3 27. RxNP BxB 28. PxB Resigns

A. This rather simple preparation for 12. P-KN4 is the most aggressive and probably the best plan for White. An immediate 11. P-KN4 allows 11. ... P-K4 and Black, who threatens the KNP, obtains adequate counterplay.

B. The rook's activity on the third rank poses all sorts of problems for Black. Now if 16. ... P-N5, White can try 17. Q-R5, with a fierce attack. Black cannot then play 17. ... P-N3; 18. QxRP ch, KxQ; 19. R-R3 ch, K-N1; 20. R-R8 mate, and if 17. ... P-KR3, then 18. BxP, NxB; 19. QxP, threatening 20. R-R3, and White seems to be winning.

C. Stops the intrusion of the White queen at KR5.

About these ads

D. Too little and too late because of White's clever next moves.

E. Black's best chance to resist was 18. ... BxP; 19. N-Q5, B-B1, although White would still enjoy considerable positional advantage.

F. Attempting to bolster the weak kingside. 19. ... PxN; 20. BxP ch, K-B1; 21 . R-B3 ch loses quickly.

G. Otherwise Black's K-pawn will soon fall and with it the Black king. But now the ensuing endgame is completely hopeless. The rest of the game is easy to understand - actually Black could have resigned at this point.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.