GM Naroditsky vs. GM Holt
Opening: C03: French: Tarrasch
Player(s): Naroditsky, Holt
Three-time U.S. Champion GM Joel Benjamin brings you a new show every Friday at 15:00 Server Time. Joel is regarded by many as one of the best commentators and analysts' we have in the game today -- so if you want to get ahead of the game, get ready to tune-in!
Congratulations to the St. Louis Arch Bishops, 2014 US Chess League Champions. St. Louis executed the top-heavy team strategy to perfection. Their power on the top boards, led by season MVP Wesley So with Le Quang Liem and Varuzhan Akobian was unprecedented.
Sometimes the top two boards could only balance out the bottom two (the average of the four players could not exceed 2400), but in the playoff blitz tiebreak, there was no way anyone was going to get past the Arch Bishops. The Dallas Destiny, who finished with the best record in the regular season, tied 2-2 in the final match but could not compete with St. Louis in the blitz playoff. The runner-ups boast some impressive young talent, including Jeffery Xiong on board two and Conrad Holt, who usually held down the top spot. It is Holt's intriguing battle with another special young talent, Daniel Naroditsky of San Francisco, that is the subject of this week's feature game. The attack and defense of the first part of the game is entertainment enough, but the endgame they eventually reached proved to be more complex and surprising than anyone even realized at the time.