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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Exhibition Chess Match in Saint Louis - Ponomariov, Robson win first games

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The first-ever international match at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, being held from May 17-25, features GM Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine against GM Hikaru Nakamura of Saint Louis. The Chess Club’s Resident GM Ben Finegold is also taking on 16-year-old GM Ray Robson, of Florida. Each match consists of six games played with a classical time control and four rapid games.

After the drawing of the colors (determined by colored pens in a wooden box), the four grandmasters answered questions at a "virtual press conference" which fielded online questions from around the world. Nakamura revealed that in the past he had played more on the Internet than classical chess. He said good things happen when a person studies “instead of playing stupid blitz games.” Players would not hold back on any “novelties” during match play, and with research and computer engines, a player has to use a novelty when given the chance. Ponomariov said he would play his normal openings “and not hold back.”

Robson pointed out he did not have much time to prepare for Finegold, as the teen was a late replacement last week for legendary GM Viktor Korchnoi. Robson also said he has not often played under a match setup and said he remembered playing Finegold only once. Showing the wit for which he is known, Finegold pointed out the ages of the other three people at the table did not add up to that of Korchnoi, his original opponent. 
Here are the first two games. Enjoy. You can access the official website here

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