Feb 082017

Elias Oussedik is currently doing post-graduate work in North Carolina. But this leaves him more than enough time to stay serious about chess, and he was given a chance to show what he can do during the fourth round of the PRO Chess League when he played for Montreal vs his current home base in Carolina.

Elias is one of the highest-rated players ever from Eastern Canada, but he is the lowest-rated member of the formidable Montreal ChessBrahs, a team which includes “free agents” GM Fabiano Caruana (USA), GM Li Chao (CHN), GM Robin van Kampen and GM Jorden van Foreest (both NED), and Raven Sturt (USA, but a McGill student), and Canadians: GM Eric Hansen, GM Alexandre Le Siege, IM Aman Hambleton, FM Lefong Hua, FM Michael Kleinman, and Elias. 

PRO Chess League

The PRO Chess League consists of 48 teams from around the world, with many of the world’s top-10 players, playing online rapid matches once a week. The format is a Rapid Schevenningen Match: so every player plays all four opponents on the opposing team, with a time control of G/15 + 2s.

Week 4 (Feb 2, 2017)
Montreal ChessBrahs crushed the Carolina Cobras: 12.5– 3.5
Toronto Dragons knocked out the New Jersey Knockouts: 13.5 – 2.5

The next round is Saturday, February 11, 2017, and features play between continents, including:

    • Montreal play the Norway Gnomes at 10:40 am EST.
    • Toronto plays the London Towers at 2:55 p.m. EST.

Lineups are still TBA, but the Montreal v Norway match might see the two top players in the PRO Chess League go head-to-head: Fabiano Caruana (Mtl.) against Magnus Carlsen (Nor.). Stay tuned for details.

For more info and links about the PRO Chess League, see these posts:


Elias Oussedik annotates his third win from week 4 of the PRO Chess Leauge. 


() – ()
 Round:  Result:
[Event "PRO League Atlantic 2017"]
[Site "chess.com INT"]
[Date "2017.02.01"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Oussedik, Elias"]
[Black "Balleisen, Aaron S"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2155"]
[BlackElo "2127"]
[Annotator "Elias Oussedik"]
[PlyCount "123"]
[EventDate "2017.02.01"]
[EventType "team-schev (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "4"]
[WhiteTeam "Montreal ChessBrahs"]
[BlackTeam "Carolina Cobras"]

{My long anticipated PROChess League debut!  I had been "benched" the past
couple of weeks in favour of FM Lefong Hua and FM Michael Kleinman. After
Lefong's rough performance in week one, scoring 0.5/4 against New York, I got
the chance to flex my chess muscles.   While we were missing our Li Chao on
board one, Eric Hansen was making his league debut. Our line up was: Eric
"ChessBrah" Hansen on board one, Aman Hambleton on board two, Michael "Killer"
Kleinman on board three, and Elias "Dr.O" Oussedik on board four.} 1. c4 {
I am currently living in North Carolina, and considering we were playing
against NC, I knew my opponents quite well. Aaron is a good player. A smart
kid - he recently got accepted to Princeton. I was just looking to play some
chess vs him. I hadn't prepared much for this game.  In general, for the
PROChess League, players don't prepare too much. Playing on the internet with
a fast time control, it is hard to predict what your opponent will play, and
most players have a classical and rapid/blitz repertoire, which makes
preparation almost pointless.} b6 {I was surprised by this move. I was playing
from my home in North Carolina and already on move one I was wondering what my
opponent was aiming for. But I remembered a recent game Aaron played vs Elshan
Moridiabadi the week before in Asheville, which Aaron drew quite comfortably
as Black.} 2. Nc3 Bb7 3. d4 e6 4. e4 $6 {Dubious, considering I am not sure
what I am doing. Before playing this move, I was in some sort of trance. I had
been performing quite well at 2/2 and I wasn't so afraid of losing this game
as I was already content that our team had already nearly won the match: teams
play 16 games per match, so >8.5+ wins, and our ChessBrah team was already
leading 7-1.} Bb4 {The critical move. If Aaron doesn't play this move, White
gets a big center with no problems.} 5. Bd3 (5. f3 {This is a line I briefly
considered, but I was curious to see what Aaron had prepared against Bd3. I
knew he would follow up with 5...f5, but I was in the mood for a sharp game.  
Playing on the internet, most games get quite sharp, and it's something I
enjoy. My online rating is usually always higher than my over the board (OTB)
ratings, where my peak ICC blitz rating is around 3000, while my peak FIDE and
CFC ratings are 2220 and 2370 respectively.  editor - by way of comparison,
top ICC blitz ratings are around 3700, and top Canadians on ICC blitz have
been around 3500.}) 5... f5 6. d5 {There are many different theoretical lines
here, I thought d5 kept it simple without overextending. Even 6.exf5 is a line.
My database shows Qh5+ to be the critical line that our teammate, Fabiano
Caruana, likes.} (6. Qh5+ g6 7. Qe2 Nf6 8. Bg5 fxe4 9. Bxe4 Bxe4 10. Bxf6 Qxf6
11. Qxe4 Nc6 12. Nf3 $14 {White should be slightly better here with his better
pawn structure and control of the center.}) 6... fxe4 7. Bxe4 Nf6 8. Bf3 O-O 9.
Nge2 {At this point I was happy with my position. I was ready to castle and
develop my pieces logically. I had been playing Daddy Yankee and Fonsi's new
hit single: "Despacito" on YouTubeRepeat all night; at this point, I turned
the music up as I was getting hyped! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQP7kiw5Fk} Na6 10. O-O Qe8 {A peculiar move, but a logical one.
Black is hoping to activate his queen to g6; however, I am not intimidated and
will develop my pieces logically.} 11. a3 Bxc3 $6 {I was surprised Aaron chose
to give up the bishop pair. In his game vs GM Elshan just a few weeks ago, in
a similar position, Aaron chose to play ...Bd6. It was the move I was
expecting .} (11... Bd6 12. b4 ({editor -} 12. Nb5 Be5 $1 13. Re1 c6 $14) 12...
Be5 13. Rb1 {I was prepared to play such a line. I think White is slightly
better as he has the more pleasant position and Black's knight on a6 is on the
rim and dim.}) 12. Nxc3 e5 $2 {I don't like this move. The position becomes
static. I get access to the e4 square and Black's bishop on b7 hits on granite.
However, the problem with Black's position is that he doesn't have many active
plans. An idea could be to play ...Qg6 and be saddled with a weak e6 pawn
after dxe6.} (12... Qg6 13. dxe6 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 dxe6 $14 {Black might have
compensation, but White's position is still beautiful.}) 13. Re1 {Simple chess.
At this point I thought I was going to win the game. During the games I don't
have time to see how my teamates are doing, so if I have a nice position, I
try to continue playing for the win.} d6 14. b4 $16 {Expanding on the center
and preventing the black knight from jumping to c5. I believe White is much
better here.} Qg6 15. Ne4 Rae8 16. Bb2 {Developing my pieces logically. Once I
get all my pieces developed logically I will strike in the center with c5.} Nb8
17. c5 $1 {The break! I invite the reader to stop here and think for him or
herself. What is my positional threat here as White?} Nxe4 18. Bxe4 Qf7 19. Qc2
g6 (19... Bxd5 $2 20. Bxh7+ Kh8 21. Bg6 $18) 20. c6 $1 $18 {My idea with 17.
c5! To close the position and play c6! After the game I went on twitch.tv/
chessbrah and watched the video replay of Miodrag Perunovic, the official
commentator of the ChessBrahs. He was commentating on my game and was
surprised that I decided to close the game with c6. Typically, the idea in
King's Indian type games is to play cxd6 and use the c-file. However, Black's
knight is quite dim on b8 after c6, the poor pony has no squares!} Bc8 21. b5 {
Preventing ...a6. White is strategically winning here - playing a piece up.}
Bf5 22. Rad1 Bxe4 23. Rxe4 Qf5 24. f4 {Although not immediately necessary, I
thought why not. I was down to two minutes here while my opponent had five
minutes. Opening up the long diagonal for my bishop is killer.} a6 25. a4 {
Instantly played. I must keep boxing in Black's knight.} Rf6 26. Rde1 {
Although I can most likely take on e5, I can take my time and milk my position.
I was playing almost instantly here. The time control is 15+2 increment, so I
was trying to gain time on the clock as I was down to two minutes.} Ref8 27. h3
{Creating luft for the king, a variation I had seen that I wanted to have no
part with was fxe5.} (27. fxe5 $4 Qf1+ 28. Rxf1 Rxf1#) 27... h5 28. fxe5 dxe5
29. Bxe5 {Time to cash in. The diagonal is open and Black's knight is still
miserable.} R6f7 30. Qd2 {Eyeing h6.} axb5 (30... Re8 31. Qe2 Rfe7 {I thought
I was getting pinned forever here, but little did I know I can easily get out
of it.}) 31. Ba1 $4 {Although still winning, axb5 is much cleaner. I was
seeing ghosts and thought I had blundered Re8 pinning my bishop which was why
I didn't take back on b5 with my pawn.} ({If} 31. axb5 Re7 32. Rf4 $1 {and the
pin, and Black's chances are gone.}) 31... bxa4 32. Qc3 Kh7 33. Re8 {At this
point I thought I had squandered my advantage, but I was fortunate that
Black's knight is indeed so poor that my winning chances are still alive.} Qf2+
34. Kh1 Rxe8 35. Rxe8 Qf1+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+ 37. Kh1 Qf1+ 38. Kh2 Qf4+ {For a split
second I was thinking perpetual. I didn't have a chat window open to ask my
teamates what they think. Most of the ChessBrah team go to the "ChessBrah
cave" in Montreal at an undisclosed location to play their games. Considering
I am the only one not there, it is difficult to communicate with my teamates
and ask them if the correct match strategy is to accept the perpetual or play
on with Qg3. Playing on seconds, I realized Black's knight on b8 is being
attacked while I am also threatening Rh8#.} 39. Qg3 Qxg3+ 40. Kxg3 g5 41. Rxb8
{And the rest is history. Both my opponent and I had ten seconds each with two
second increment, but with a piece for the good, the rest was trivial.} Rf5 42.
Rd8 b5 43. d6 cxd6 44. c7 Rc5 45. c8=Q Rxc8 46. Rxc8 Kg6 47. Rb8 Kf5 48. Rxb5+
Ke4 49. Rxg5 d5 50. Rxh5 d4 51. Bxd4 Kd3 52. Rh4 a3 53. Ba1 a2 54. Ra4 Kc2 55.
Rxa2+ Kb1 56. h4 Kc1 57. h5 Kb1 58. h6 Kc1 59. h7 Kb1 60. h8=Q Kc1 61. Qb2+ Kd1
62. Qd2# {This was a wonderful start to my PROChessLeague debut. I was on 3/3
alongside GM Eric Hansen. While I went on to blunder mate-in-two in a dead
winning position in my last game, I was happy with 3/4. Eric finished 4/4,
while IM Aman Hambleton and FM Michael Kleinman finished 2.5/4 and 3/4
respectively.  We are fortunate to have IM Miodrag Perunovic analyze in real
time all of the Chessbrah games on twitch.tv/chessbrah. I encourage all
viewers to tune in Saturday, Feb 11 at 10:40AM EST as we face the Carlsen-led
Norway Gnomes - only on chess.com!   GOOD CHESS - GOOD VIBES - CHESSBRAH} 1-0



GOTW: Dr.O defangs a Cobra
Source: Canadian Chess