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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 The Journey So Far: Update
 NM Carissa Yip
  December 2016

It’s almost 2017! Another year has come and gone, and it has been an eventful one.

I’ve been very fortunate to have had so many opportunities this year. Playing in the US Women’s Championship for the first time, I got off to a great start at 2-0 but then lost my way in the middle to finish with 4.5/11. My second to last game was against GM Irina Krush. I was lost in the beginning, but with just one mistake by GM Krush, I was able to equalize. With luck on my side, she made some inaccuracies and I was able to defeat her.  

NM Carissa Yip (2318)
GM Irina Krush (2533)
U.S. Women’s Championship (10)
Sicilian, Kan [B43]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O d6 8. f4 Nbd7 9. Kh1 Be7 10. Qe2 White plays for the e5 break O-O 11. Bd2 Nc5 12. Rae1
12. Rac1 is more precise
12... Nxd3 13. cxd3 b5 14. Rc1 Qd7 15. g4
This is an attack that shouldn't work because Black has the two bishops and can counter by way of the a8-h1 diagonal. But I wanted to put the pressure on my opponent so she might make a mistake - higher rated players tend not to like being attacked by lower rated ones. 
15... Bb7 16. g5 Ne8 17. f5 b4 18. Nd1 e5 19. Nf3 d5 20. Nf2 
The knight going to g4 to support the f6 pawn break and attacking the e5 pawn f6
21. gxf6?
21. g6 and now White actually has a legitimate attack with a pawn structure that looks like a King’s Indian Defence.
21... Nxf6  
21... gxf6 was the only move I looked at for Black, because I thought Black would want to keep the pawn on e5. I had calculated the following lines:
a) 22. Rg1 Kh8 23. Bh6 Rg8 (23... Rf7 24. Nxe5 fxe5 25. Qg4) 24. Nxe5 fxe5 25. Rxg8+ Kxg8 26. Qg4+ Kh8 27. Rg1
b) 22. Rg1 Ng7 23. Bh6 Rf7 24. Ng4 and Black has no good way to stop Nxe5, leaving White with a devastating attack.
22. Nxe5?
Greedy. I thought I should be able to defend in the coming moves.
22... Qb5 23. Neg4 dxe4 24. Nxf6+ Bxf6 25. Nxe4 Rfe8 26. Rce1 Rad8 27. Rf3 Rxd3??
Losing all the advantage. Now, the position is equal.
28. Qxd3 Qxd3?
Another mistake, but it's not over yet.
28... Rxe4 29. Qxb5 Rxe1+ 30. Kg2 Bxf3+ 31. Kxf3 axb5 32. Bxe1 Bxb2 33. Bxb4 would have been an equal position.
29. Rxd3 Rxe4??
And here Black is much worse. Her last chance was 29... Bh4 30. Kg1 Bxe1 31. Nd6 Re2 32. Bxe1 Rxe1+ 33. Kf2 Re7.
30. Kg1 Rg4+ 31. Rg3 Rd4 32. Bg5
Forcing the exchange of bishops 32. Re8+ Kf7 33. Rb8 Rxd2 34. Rxb7+ Ke8 35. Rg2 Rd1+ 36. Kf2 Bxb2 37. Rxb4 Bf6 38. Ra4 is also good.
32... Bxg5 33. Rxg5 Kf7 34. Kf2 Bd5 35. b3 a5 36. Ke3 Re4+ 37. Kd2 Rd4+ 38. Ke3 Re4+ 39. Kd2
Repeating moves to get more time on the clock
39... Rd4+ 40. Kc1 Kf6 41. Reg1 Rh4 42. Rxg7 Rxh2 43. Kb1 a4 44. Rd7 Be4+ 45. Ka1 axb3 46. axb3 h5
46... Bc2 47. Rg3
47. Rf1 Rh1 48. Rd6+ Kg7 49. f6+ Kf7 50. Rd7+ Kg6 51. Rg7+ Kh6 52. Rxh1 Bxh1 53. Rg5

At the end of the tournament, I was approached by Kasparov Chess Foundation and selected to join its Young Stars Team USA program.
In June I joined the training and evaluation camp organized by world chess legend, Garry Kasparov. I was the youngest and lowest rated student in a gathering of the best juniors in the country. The camp included GM Jeffery Xiong, GM Sam Sevian, GM Kayden Troff, and IM John Burke. I was the only one without any title and the only girl in the group.
The entire camp was three days. We were supposed to annotate and analyze six of our games to share with the “class.” It was an eyeopening experience for me. I met some of the best juniors in the country and was awed by them and the level of their games. On the last day of the camp, we were given a set of puzzles to test our chess abilities. I had never seen such difficult puzzles. Each puzzle took me around half an hour to solve. Kasparov provided us with individual hints and guidance on each puzzle if needed. After the test, Kasparov met with each student along with their parents individually. He provided his assessment, and suggested next steps. 
I was nervous, waiting for the final judgement. Finally, it was my turn. I passed! I was invited to winter session and given some instructions on how to prepare.
After an exciting spring and summer, the school started, I had very little time to study chess. The workload was heavy, perhaps 3 or 4 times heavier than it was last year. I tried to play some tournaments in the hope of improving my rating before the December training session for Kasparov. One of the tournaments I played in was the Boylston Chess Club (BCC) championship, which I ended up winning, becoming the youngest and first female BCC Champion in the club’s history. 
It didn’t come as a surprise to me that I was the top seed in the field. Most strong players don’t play regularly in MA, and it isn’t easy to find many high quality games in the New England area. The frequency of quick time controls doesn’t help. For example, I have only played GM Alexander Ivanov twice this year, once in Greater Boston tournament, and again in BCF Fall FIDE Festival. 
GM Alexander Ivanov (2554)
NM Carissa Yip (2296)
Greater Boston Open (3)
Sicilian, Dragon – Yugoslav Attack [B76]

 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 e5 13. Bc5 Be6 14. Ne4 Re8 15. h4 h6 16. g4 Qc7 17. g5 h5 18. Bc4 Red8 19. Qe1

This is a new move, it's usually Qf2.
19... Kh8 20. Rh2 Nf4 21. Bxe6 Nxe6 22. Rhd2 Rxd2 23. Qxd2
23. Rxd2?! Nxc5 24. Nxc5 Qa5
23... Rd8 24. Bd6 Qb6 25. c3 Nf4 26. b3 a5
26... Nd5 27. Bc5 Qc7 28. c4 was the trick Ivanov had prepared for me.
27. c4 Ne6 28. c5Qa7 29. Qb2 Qa6 30. Bxe5?!


30... Rxd1+ 31. Kxd1 Qf1+ 32. Kc2 Qe2+ 33. Kc1 Qe1+ 34. Kc2 Qe2+ 35. Kc1



NM Carissa Yip (2303)
GM Alexander Ivanov (2554)
BCF Fall FIDE Festival (5)
11.12.2016 Pirc [B07]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Bc4 

I saw a line in the Modern like this, but it's different in the Pirc as the e4 pawn is being attacked by the knight on f6.
4... b5
And this shows the crucial difference between the Pirc and the Modern, since White's bishop has to go back to protect the e4 pawn
5. Bd3 
I think Black is fine now
5... e5 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. Bg5 Bb7 8. O-O Be7 9. a4
I want to provoke Black to play b4 so that I can then play c3 and open up the c file.
9... a6 10. Ne2
Heading to g3 and then f5 
10... h6 11. Be3 O-O 12. axb5 cxb5 13. Ng3 Re8
13... d5 was an option for Black that I was considering: 14. exd5 (14. dxe5 dxe4 15. exf6 Nxf6 16. Nxe4 Nxe4; 14. Nxe5 dxe4 15. Be2 Nd5=) Nxd5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nxe3 17. fxe3 Bg5 18. e4 Qd4+µ
14. d5 
Closing the center. Now that the center is closed, I want to get my knight to a5 and dominate the queenside, or I could try to play f4 and open up the kingside.
14... Ng4 15. Bd2 Nc5 16. Ba5 Qd7 17. Nd2 
Starting my maneuver
17... Nxd3 18. cxd3 
This only solidifies my center
18... g6 19. h3 Nf6 20. Nb3 h5 21. Bc3 h4 22. Ne2 Nh5 23. Na5 Bg5 24. Bd2 Bd8 
This was better than exchanging: after 24... Bxd2 25. Qxd2, I can get my queen to g5 to collect the h4 pawn. 
25. Ra3 Rc8 26. b4 Ba8 27. Be3 
To stop Black from playing Bb6 
27... f5 28. f4? 

A big mistake. I wanted to open up my opponent's kingside, but there were some tactics I missed and I ended up losing a pawn.
28... exf4 29. Nxf4 Nxf4 30. Bxf4
I had missed 30. Rxf4 Bxd5 in my earlier calculations, so I could only take back the knight with my bishop and lose the e4 pawn.
30... fxe4 31. dxe4 Rxe4 32. Qd3
32. Nc6 was my only hope. I had to exchange off the potentially powerful bishop Bxc6: 33. dxc6 Qxc6 34. Rxa6 Bb6+ 35. Kh1 Rce8 36. Qd3=
32... Bb6+ 33. Kh2 Qf5
Attacking the f4 bishop and the d5 pawn at the same time. There is no good discovered attack, and now it's all over.
34. Bh6 Qxd5 35. Qb1 Qh5 36. Bf4 Re2 37. Ra2 Be4


Now the second Kasparov training camp came, and I was nervous. However, it was not as bad as the first time because I already knew what to expect. This time GM Ruifeng Li and IM Awonder Liang were there also. Awonder is super-talented with a rating over 2600. And he’s only a few months older than me!

To my surprise, I passed the assessment! Kasparov suggested I focus on tournaments as to improve my FIDE rating. I would go back in six months for another evaluation.

Unfortunately, there are not many FIDE rated tournaments in the New England area. I hope that that will soon change.

With the year winding down, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the chess community. I really appreciate that the Boylston Chess Club has started to organize some FIDE rated tournaments. It was not easy as they don’t have many eligible directors. However, they have been trying very hard to meet the need of the chess community. I would also like to thank MACA for providing some financial support for me to play in the North American Junior U20 tournament where I got second place and was awarded my WFM title. And, last but not least, I thank all my chess fans. They have been with me during my highs and lows of my chess journey.