The 2012 season started well with a 3-1 win over the LA Vibe.
Los Angeles vs Arizona
- IM Andranik Matikozyan (LA) vs IM Mackenzie Molner (ARZ) 0-1
- IM Levon Altounian (ARZ) vs IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA) 1/2-1/2
- FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (LA) vs IM Mark Ginsburg (ARZ) 0-1
- WFM Amanda Mateer (ARZ) vs Nicky Korba (LA) 1/2-1/2
On board 1, Molner’s queen was too active and Matikoyzian blundered in a difficult game.
Board 1. Matikozyan-LA – Molner-ARZ [B86]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Bb3 0-0 9.Qf3 Nbd7 10.Qg3 Nh5 11.Qh3 Nhf6 12.f4 More prudent is to go for the repetition but white is feeling aggressive. Nc5 13.Qf3 Qc7 14.Bd2 b5 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Bb7 17.exf6 Bxf3 18.fxe7 Qxe7 19.Rxf3 Rac8 20.Raf1 Qd7 21.Be3 b4 22.Nce2 Nxb3 23.cxb3 f6 This is very pleasant for black.
24.Rg3 Rf7 25.a3 a5 26.a4 Kh8 27.Nb5 e5 28.Bb6 Qd2 29.Kf2 f5 30.Re3 Qd5 31.g3 f4 32.gxf4 exf4 33.Rf3 Rc2 34.Nbd4 Rxb2 35.Rc1 h6 36.Rc5? White had a terrible game but this blunder finishes it right away. Qxd4+ 0-1
On board 2, Altounian played the 4 knights and the game was always close to a draw when Amanov played well.
Board 2. Altounian-ARZ – ZAmanov-LA [C47]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.exd5 cxd5 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5 c6 11.Qf3 h6! 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Qxf6 gxf6 14.Ne2 Bd6 Black has a solid defensive formation even though he has doubled f-pawns.
15.Nd4 c5 16.Nf5 Bxf5 17.Bxf5 Be5 18.Rab1 Rab8 19.b3 Rfe8 20.Rbd1 Rbd8 21.Rfe1 Bc3 22.Re3 d4 23.Rxe8+ Rxe8 24.Kf1 Kf8 25.g3 Re5 26.Bd3 Ke8 27.Bc4 Re7 28.a4 Re5 29.Kg2 Ke7 30.Rd3 Re1 31.Rf3 Rc1 32.Bd3 c4 33.bxc4 Ra1 34.Rf5 Rxa4 35.Rb5 Rb4 36.Ra5 Rb7 37.Ra6 Rc7 38.Be4 Bb4 39.Bd5 Bc5 40.Kf3 Bb6 41.Kg4 Kf8 42.f4 Kg7 43.Kf5 Rc8 44.h4 Rc7 45.h5 Rc8 46.Ra1 Re8 47.Be4 Rc8 48.Bd5 Re8 49.Be4 Rc8 1/2-1/2
On board 3, Kavutskiy blundered a few pawns and Ginsburg wrapped up with 3 connectors on the 6th rank, a rarity in tournament play.
Board 3. Kavutskiy-LA – Ginsburg-ARZ [E18]
31.Qe2 Qe6 32.Rb1 Qf6 33.Qd2 Rf5 34.Rb7 d5 35.Rc2 c3 36.Qd4 Qxd4 37.exd4 Rf3 38.Rb5 Rd3 39.Kf1 Rxd4 40.Rxa5 Rd3 41.Ke2 g6 42.Ra7 d4 43.Re7 f5 44.Rd7 Rc4 45.Ra7 Rf3 46.Rc1 d3+ 47.Kf1 e3 48.Rb1 Rxf2+ 49.Kg1 Rb2 That’s quite an array of passed pawns! 0-1
On board 4, Korba had a good game but simplified too soon then offered a draw. Mateer was glad to accept.
Board 4 Mateer-ARZ – Korba-LA [A44]
White could have gone for Bh3 to get rid of that bad piece.
h5 15.h3 Rf7 16.Nc1 Bf8 17.Nd3 Nf6 18.Qe2 Rh7 19.Kf2 Rh6 20.Rh1 Bd7 21.Rag1 Kf7 22.Ke1 Bg7 23.Bf1 Rah8 24.Qg2 R8h7 25.Be2 Qf8 26.Nf2 Qh8 27.a3 hxg4? No reason to rush into this simplification. 28.hxg4 Rh2 29.Qf1 Bf8 30.Rxh2 Rxh2 31.Rh1 Rxh1 32.Qxh1 Qxh1+ 1/2-1/2