JUNE 4 2002

It was a delight to see the attendance record of the Tuesday Night Masters shattered. The previous high was 18 players and tonight we had 22! Tonight’s field included just two new players. First we had David Pruess, who is staying in New York for the summer. David is a young master and has been over 2400 in the past, so we should be hearing a lot from him in weeks to come. Our other new player was David Koenig, a Columbia grad, who is rated about 2300. He played with me in a lot of the scholastic events when we were both young, so it was nice to see him back in action. Once again please visit our website at, we are updating it with new features every day! Below was our field for the 12th Tuesday Masters

1. GM Igor Novikov
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. IM Greg Shahade
5. IM Vivek Rao
6. FM Ricardo Darruda
7. IM Justin Sarkar
8. IM Irina Krush
9. NM David Pruess
10. IM Jay Bonin
11. FM Alan Stein
12. FM Noah Siegel
13. FM Lew Eisen
14. NM Lev Milman
15. NM Woody McClelland
16. FM Ron Young (entered in round 2)
17. FM Boris Privman
18. NM David Koenig
19. FM Ilye Figler (1/2 bye in round 1)
20. NM Oliver Chernin
21. NM Rafal Furdzik
22. Qualifier – Alex Lenderman


Alan Stein was the unlucky victim of the cutoff, as he got paired all the way up to Igor Novikov. The good news was that he had the white pieces, however Novikov got a lot of pressure and ground him down. Yudasin beat the young Noah Seigel on board 2. Eisen tried to attack Stripunsky on board 3, but to no avail, as the third and final GM made it through the first round unscathed. Last time I played Milman I followed my father and played the English opening, an opening you will almost never see me play. Since I won that game I decided to go with the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and repeated the English. I got a pretty comfortable opening and won some pawns and then the game. The first upset of the round happened on board 5. Vivek Rao had the black pieces against McClelland’s favorite Closed Sicilian. Woody had a very powerful attack, but both players had 5 seconds on their clock with the time delay. Near the end Woody made a move Qh6, threatening Qh7 mate and Qf8 mate. The only fault with this move was that black had the strong response Nf5xh6. Fortunately for Woody, in the time scramble Vivek was unable to see this move and allowed mate. The other upset of the first round was Furdzik beating the newcomer David Pruess in a strange endgame.

Leaders after Round 1

1 pt – Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, G.Shahade, R.Darruda, Sarkar, Krush, Bonin, McClelland, Furdzik


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Krush
2 Sarkar – Yudasin
3 Stripunsky – Bonin
4 McClelland – G.Shahade
5 Furdzik – D’Arruda

On board 1 Krush sacked the exchange against Novikov, but failed to muster enough compensation as Novikov brought home the victory. Yudasin survived a serious scare against Sarkar. Yudasin sacrificed the exchange and Sarkar probably had a good position, but Yudasin’s strength and experience carried the day as he eventually got the upper hand. Stripunsky sacrificed a piece to force mate against Jay Bonin. My game with McClelland was a tough one. I allowed white to get the d4 break in the Closed Sicilian, which is something you are not supposed to allow. Woody had a VERY pleasant game throughout, but as is the case with game 30, his time got low, and he never found a way to breakthrough. After this, the momentum shifted and I quickly got a crushing endgame advantage. The game Furdzik vs D’Arruda was a crowd pleaser. Furdzik won a piece at some point early in the game yet couldn’t quite finish D’Arruda off. Eventually he blundered and there became a mad time scramble. Furdzik had literally seconds left when he claimed a draw due to 3 move repetition. Despite the fact that Furdzik wasn’t keeping score, there were enough witnesses to attest that it was indeed a 3 move rep. Also in this round there was a battle of youth, as the two youngest players in the event squared off against one another. In this battle, young lost to younger, as Milman tried way too hard to beat Lenderman and only ended up beating himself.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, G.Shahade
1.5 pts – D’Arruda, Furdzik


Key Pairings

1 – G.Shahade – Novikov
2 – Yudasin – Stripunsky
3 – D’Arruda – Rao
4 – Krush – Furdzik

Novikovs Najdorf Sicilian is a VERY tough nut to crack. For this game I decided to switch from my usual 6.Be3, and instead try an obscure line of the Poisoned Pawn, that my good friend Elisabeth Paehtz told me was interesting. Of course my shoddy opening preparation showed itself as I didn’t even play the correct moves out of the opening, but a very complicated position arose. For the fans following at home……

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cd4
4. Nd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. Bg5 e6
7. f4 Qb6
8. Qd2 Qxb2
9. Rb1 Qa3
10. Be2 Be7
11. 00 Nbd7
12. e5 de5
13. fe5 Ne5
14. Bf6 gf6
15. Ne4 f5
16. Rb3 Qa4
17. Nb5?!

This was a novelty, Qc3 was the normal and better move.

17….. Qxe4

During the game I was actually most scared of 00, but I suppose Novikov just wanted to take my piece, yet this allowed me some serious attacking chances. However after 00 I still have two knights in take and I’m still down some pawns without any clear way to attack.

18. Nc7 Kf8
19. Qh6 Kg8
20. Ne8!? Qd4+ only move
21. Re3 Ng6?!

Novikov was trying to find a way to win but didn’t quite hit upon it…the best move was 21…..Ng4! and if 22.Bg4 Novikov was looking at 22…..Bd7 but after 23.Rd1 Qg4 24.Rd7, white should be fine. However 22….f4!! should be winning for black. If 23.Qf4 Qf4 24.Rf4 Bc5 is -+

22. Rd1 Bf8
23. Qg5 h6
24. Nf6 Kg7
25. Nh5 Kh7
26. Nf6 Kg7
27. Nh5
½ - ½

On board 2 it was nice to see the Grandmasters duking it out. Yudasin showed why he was once one of the top players in the world, squeezing Stripunsky with the white pieces. Rao was WAYYY down on the clock as is his usual habit, however the time delay was his saving grace, as he was able to beat D’Arruda anyway. The big upset of the round was Furdzik’s victory over Irina Krush. This meant that Furdzik had 2.5/3 and was right in the running going into the final round.

Leaders after Round 3

3 pts – Yudasin
2.5 pts – Novikov, G.Shahade, Furdzik
2 pts – Stripunsky, Rao, Sarkar, Bonin, Eisen


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Yudasin
2 Furdzik – G.Shahade
3 Stripunsky – Sarkar
4 Rao – Bonin
5 Privman – Eisen

It was a shame to see a quick draw on board 1, as Novikov was content with ¾ and a probable huge tie for 3rd place. This meant that Yudasin was guaranteed at least a tie for first, and was surely rooting for a peaceful draw on board 2. The game Furdzik – G.Shahade was a real heartbreaker. Furdzik had a clear advantage out of the opening and I was just moving around aimlessly waiting for him to find something to do. Fortunately for me it wasn’t so elementary and things fizzled down to a drawn endgame. Also fortunately for me it was one of those drawn endgames that required no effort from me, but Furdzik had to be a little careful. With both of our clocks under 2 minutes, he dropped a pawn and with it the game. This meant that first place was a tie between Yudasin and I.

In the battles to finish third, Stripunsky used the English opening to defeat Sarkar. Sarkar has had a rough time of it against the GMs so far in these events, however surely after some more experience he will come around. Rao was down a huge amount of time on the clock as is usual, and this time wasn’t able to recover, giving the veteran Bonin another money finish. It took him a long time to win some prizes in these events, but lately he’s been performing much better as everyone knew he would, coming in the money 3 of the last 4 events. On board 5 Lewis Eisen was aiming to get onto the money list. Privman is a very solid player and very difficult to beat with the black pieces, however in this game he lapsed and allowed Eisen a very strong opening. Lew thrives on these types of positions and got the win to finish ¾.

There was a funny finish in the game Stein – D’Arruda. Stein was EXTREMELY low on time and made a random check, when D’Arruda called his flag. As Stein told me after the game “When he called my flag I did a quick millisecond calculation to see if it was checkmate on the board, and the answer was yes”. A special mention should go out to 12 year old qualifier Alex Lenderman, who finished 2/4 with a last round victory over Woody McClelland. It’s only a matter of time before Lenderman doesn’t have to go through the process of qualifying for this event. Below is the crosstable….Once again don’t forget that next week the entry fee becomes $30, and there also will be a class prize for U2400.

12th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 4 vi 2002
-------------------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4 Total -------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Yudasin, Leonid g 2660 +12 +10 + 4 = 3 3.5 ($270) 2. Shahade, Greg m 2534 +15 +18 = 3 + 8 3.5 ($270) 3. Novikov, Igor g 2688 + 7 +11 = 2 = 1 3.0 ($ 25) 4. Stripunsky, Alex g 2640 + 6 + 5 - 1 +10 3.0 ($ 25) 5. Bonin, Jay R m 2383 +13 - 4 +18 + 9 3.0 ($ 25) 6. Eisen, Lewis 2288 - 4 +22 +20 +16 3.0 ($ 25) 7. Stein, Alan f 2389 - 3 =16 +13 +14 2.5 8. Furdzik, Rafal 2230 +17 =14 +11 - 2 2.5 9. Rao, Vivek m 2511 -18 +21 +14 - 5 2.0 10. Sarkar, Justin m 2410 +20 - 1 +19 - 4 2.0 11. Krush, Irina m 2437 +22 - 3 - 8 +20 2.0 12. Siegel, Noah 2333 - 1 -20 +22 +19 2.0 13. Lenderman, Alex 2095 - 5 +15 - 7 +18 2.0 14. D'Arruda, Ricardo f 2427 +16 = 8 - 9 - 7 1.5 15. Milman, Lev 2330 - 2 -13 +17 = 1.5 16. Privman, Boris f 2255 -14 = 7 +21 - 6 1.5 17. Pruess, David 2388 - 8 -19 -15 +21 1.0 18. McClelland, Woody 2275 + 9 - 2 - 5 -13 1.0 19. Young, Ronald M f 2280 --- +17 -10 -12 1.0 20. Koenig, David E 2250 -10 +12 - 6 -11 1.0 21. Figler, Ilye f 2269 = - 9 -16 -17 0.5 22. Chernin, Oliver 2221 -11 - 6 -12 = 0.5 1st - $360 2nd - $180 3rd - $90