JUNE 18 2002

It was a great day for the NY Masters as the attendance records were smashed and we had our first ever 4-0 score. We had an incredible 28 players (29 if you count Ron Young’s 2 filler games) and there was also 6 GM’s, so of course this led to a recordbreaking prize fund. We also had a lot of first timers, the most prominent being Czech GM Pavel Blatny. We also had Miguel Munoz, who won the 2002 Ecuadorian Championship and is only 19 years old on top of that. The other 2 new players were French NM Charles Wolrich and NM Geoffrey Gelman. Below was the field

1. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
2. GM Igor Novikov
3. GM Leonid Yudasin
4. GM Alex Stripunsky
5. GM Pavel Blatny
6. GM Roland Schmaltz
7. IM Greg Shahade
8. FM Yuri Lapshun
9. FM Ricardo D’Arruda
10. IM Justin Sarkar
11. IM Irina Krush
12. FM Miguel Munoz
13. SM Gregory Braylovsky
14. NM Evgeny Gershov
15. FM David Pruess
16. IM Jay Bonin
17. FM Alan Stein
18. NM Noah Siegel
19. FM Lew Eisen
20. FM Boris Privman
21. NM Peter Aravena
22. FM David Koenig
23. NM Charles Wolrich
24. NM Yefim Treger
25. NM Doug Pader
26. NM Rafal Furdzik
27. NM Geoffrey Gelman
28. Qualifier - Ben Johnson


1st - $430
2nd - $220
3rd - $100
U2400 - $140


There were a few upsets in the first round. Eisen has had very good scores with GM Blatny in the past, and I’m sure Pavel wanted to end this streak, however despite his desires he still became the only GM not to win as he had to concede a draw to Eisen. The biggest upset was one that pains me to write about. I had a clear advantage against Peter Aravena, with a good knight against a bad French bishop. Eventually he tricked me a little bit and traded down into an endgame where he had a pawn for the exchange. Following my inertia and my advantage on the clock I think I tried a little too hard to win, and ended up hanging all my pawns one after another. Aravena had an impressive result last week and was already off to a great start this one. The other upset had Furdzik holding the newcomer Munoz to a draw. Other than these games all the results were as expected (at least according to the ratings).


Key Pairings

1 Sarkar – Wojtkiewicz
2 Novikov – D’Arruda
3 Gershov – Yudasin
4 Stripunsky – Krush
5 Schmaltz – Braylovsky
6 Lapshun – Aravena

BOARD 1 Sarkar – Wojtkiewicz

Sarkar has had a rough time against the GM’s in this event and hoped to change things against Polish GM Wojtkiewicz. He appeared to be on the right track, as they repeated moves a few times, however Alex accepted what seemed like a worse position in an attempt to win. In the end his experience and savvy prevailed and he got his 2-0 score.

BOARD 2 Novikov – D’Arruda

Novikov had an extra pawn in the ending against D’Arruda. Normally this would leave the outcome of the game in doubt, but usually against Novikov its safe to resign.

BOARD 3 Gershov - Yudasin

Yudasin won. Forgive me for my lack of detail but I was mired on the lower boards, far away from the top board action, after my first round loss so didn’t get great looks at all the games.

BOARD 4 Stripunsky - Krush

Oh poor Irina, every time she plays a GM she gets the black pieces. I think its something like ten blacks and zero whites against GM’s in the NY Masters for her thus far. Also I will keep mentioning this every single week until she gets white against one of them. One thing that we have learned is that she has to work on her play with the black pieces against the GM’s because she has not fared so well, and lost to Stripunsky again this week.

BOARD 5 Schmaltz - Braylovsky

There was controversy on this board, as Roland had a rook and 2 pawns against a rook and 1 pawn of Braylovsky’s. Braylovsky tried to claim a draw, but probably a master could be expected to beat some C players in this position, so the claim was declined. Being very low on time he eventually blundered and Roland scored the win.

BOARD 6 Lapshun – Aravena

Where has Peter Aravena been all this time? He is well on his way to a 2400 rating as he took down another high rated player in Yuri Lapshun. Yuri used a lot of time and also lost a lot of pawns, not a good combination.

There were some more surprise results this round. On board 7 Blatny got knocked off by the Ecuadorian Champ, Miguel Munoz. Also David Koenig held Greg Shahade to a draw in a strange game where both sides were winning at some point. Lew Eisen defeated Rafal Furdzik to move up to 1.5/2. Also newcomer Charles Wolrich knocked off Jay Bonin.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Wojtkiewicz, Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, Schmaltz, Aravena
1.5 pts – Eisen, Munoz,


Key Pairings

1 Wojtkiewicz – Stripunsky
2 Aravena – Novikov
3 Yudasin – Schmaltz
4 Eisen – Munoz

BOARD 1 Wojtkiewicz – Stripunsky

We saw a few GM vs GM battles today and this was the first of them. “Wojo” is very dangerous with the white pieces and Stripunsky found that out tonight. Wojo eventually got a powerful protected passed pawn on e6 and had an extra pawn. It was more than enough to give Wojtkiewicz the win and move him into undefeated land with a 3/3 score.

BOARD 2 Aravena – Novikov

Novikov got the “best” pairing, as instead of playing a GM he got paired with a 2280 player. However Aravena has shown that he is not someone to take lightly, as he has already beaten Krush, Lapshun, D’Arruda and myself in the 2 weeks he has played. However Novikov is simply too solid and strong, and he won a pawn pretty early and converted it quite handily.

BOARD 3 Yudasin – Schmaltz

Last time these guys played Schmaltz beat him with the black pieces, would we see a repeat performance? Yudasin looked to have an advantage early in the game, but never anything too serious. Unfortunately he did have a serious disadvantage on the clock, and this led to his position slowly deteriorating until there was nothing left. Schmaltz’s impressive run in the NY Masters continues, would anyone be able to stop him this time?

BOARD 4 Eisen – Munoz

I took one look at this game before going to get a bite of eat after my game was finished. I concluded that Eisen was completely lost as he was going to lose a piece. What I failed to notice was that he had an extra piece on the board. Munoz actually had a slight advantage, however he misplayed it quite a bit. Eisen eventually got the upper hand and was winning, but in the time scramble was unable to convert and the game ended in a draw. I should probably copy the above paragraph and instead of typing this all the time just paste it as it’s a very familiar story.

In other action, GM Blatny continued to have a very rough welcome to the NY Masters. He was extremely lucky to survive a pawn down king and pawn ending against Doug Pader.

Leaders after Round 3

3 pts – Wojtkiewicz, Novikov, Schmaltz
2 pts – Stripunsky, Yudasin, Krush, Munoz, Eisen, Aravena


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Wojtkiewicz
2 Schmaltz – Stripunsky
3 Munoz – Yudasin
4 D’Arruda – Eisen
5 Aravena – Krush

BOARD 1 Novikov – Wojtkiewicz

As could be expected, these two took a draw right away. They preferred to settle with an impressive 3.5/4 score and hope that Stripunsky could knock off Schmaltz. Despite their dreams of first place not coming true, they still both received $160.

BOARD 2 Schmaltz – Stripunsky

The hopes of Wojtkiewicz and Novikov rested upon Stripunsky shoulders as he had to stop the blazing hot German GM Roland Schmaltz. Maybe Roland wanted to send a message on behalf of his soccer team, which is facing the USA on Friday by coming to the USA and dominating the NY Masters, because he beat Stripunsky and became the first ever player to go 4-0 in the NY Masters. The game was actually very complex, and at one point Roland blundered and could have lost a piece. Much to Wojo and Novikov’s displeasure, Stripunsky overlooked the way to trap Roland’ knight on f8. What is really amazing is that Roland has played in this event only 3 times and is still number 3 on the all time money winners list, having won the event on all three occasions.

BOARD 3 Munoz – Yudasin

Yudasin and Munoz turned out to be out of the running with 2/3, but Yudasin still wanted to make sure that he never gets less than 3 points, which he has at least scored every time he has played(He got 3.5 on two occasions). He succeeded and chalked up the victory.

BOARD 4 D’Arruda – Eisen

Eisen had to win this game to assure himself of at least a tie for the U2400 prize. He got no real chances out of the opening and eventually D’Arruda got a slight edge and then won a pawn. However Lew swindled him into giving up an exchange and achieved a completely winning position. Lew was very unhappy when the final position of rook versus knight was reached, as he was winning in one move on many occasions throughout the game. Lew has really picked it up the past few weeks, he had a slow start in the NY Masters, but has achieved a plus score for a few weeks running now and has scored against some GMs.

BOARD 5 Aravena – Krush

The young artist Aravena beat Krush out of the opening last week, would history repeat itself? Surpsingly enough it did. Aravena got a winning position very quickly out of the opening and the attack was just too strong as he got the win and secured clear first U2400, good for $140. If Aravena keeps up these performances he won’t be under 2400 for long.

In other action I was held to a draw by Charles Wolrich. Blatny continued to struggle and became the second GM to play in the NY Masters and go winless. He was beaten by Alan Stein in the last round. Blatny (4 time Czech Champion and clear winner of the 1995 NY Open) is a very imaginative GM with many prestigious titles to his name and will surely avenge this result very soon. Standings for the race to go to Bermuda will be posted in a few weeks. Thanks to everyone for making this event as successful as it has been!

14th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 18 vi 2002
                                   1   2   3   4   Total
     1. Schmaltz, Roland  g  2586 +21 +19 + 4 +11   4.0  ($430)
     2. Wojtkiewicz, Alex g  2663 +23 + 8 +11 = 3   3.5  ($160)
     3. Novikov, Igor     g  2692 +24 + 7 + 5 = 2   3.5  ($160)
     4. Yudasin, Leonid   g  2665 +15 +20 - 1 +14   3.0
     5. Aravena, Peter       2251 +12 + 6 - 3 +13   3.0  ($140)
     6. Lapshun, Yury     f  2459 +25 - 5 =20 +21   2.5
     7. D'Arruda, Ricardo f  2387 +17 - 3 +23 = 9   2.5
     8. Sarkar, Justin    m  2402 +18 - 2 =21 +20   2.5
     9. Eisen, Lewis      f  2288 =22 +26 =14 = 7   2.5
    10. Pader, Douglas       2200 -13 +28 =22 +19   2.5
    11. Stripunsky, Alex  g  2640 +28 +13 - 2 - 1   2.0
    12. Shahade, Greg     m  2534 - 5 =25 +26 =17   2.0
    13. Krush, Irina      m  2437 +10 -11 +15 - 5   2.0
    14. Munoz, Miguel     f  2370 =26 +22 = 9 - 4   2.0
    15. Stein, Alan       f  2389 - 4 +29 -13 +22   2.0
    16. Young, Ron        f  2280 --- --- +27 +23   2.0
    17. Wolrich, Charles     2242 - 7 +24 =19 =12   2.0
    18. Treger, Effim        2216 - 8 -23 +29 +24   2.0
    19. Braylovsky, Greg     2402 +27 - 1 =17 -10   1.5
    20. Gershov, Evgeny      2377 +29 - 4 = 6 - 8   1.5
    21. Privman, Boris    f  2253 - 1 +27 = 8 - 6   1.5
    22. Blatny, Pavel     g  2603 = 9 -14 =10 -15   1.0
    23. Pruess, David     f  2403 - 2 +18 - 7 -16   1.0
    24. Bonin, Jay        m  2383 - 3 -17 +25 -18   1.0
    25. Koenig, David     f  2250 - 6 =12 -24 =26   1.0
    26. Furdzik, Rafal       2229 =14 - 9 -12 =25   1.0
    27. Gelman, Geoff        2200 -19 -21 -16 +29   1.0
    28. Siegel, Noah         2333 -11 -10 --- ---   0.0
    29. Johnson, Ben         2179 -20 -15 -18 -27   0.0

   1ST - $430
   2ND - $220
   3RD - $100
 U2400 - $140

Thanks to our sponsors 
Mike Shahade 
National Scholastic Chess Foundation, Inc. 
Bermuda Chess Association 
Nigel Freeman 
John Fernandez 
Steven Shutt 
Alanna Kellon 
Stu Weintraub 
Bob Boritz 
David Lerner CEO - The Totius Group 
Elizabeth Vicary 
Judy Gilbert 
Carrie Gilbert 
Angus Love 
Postman Joe 
Jeff Brewton