COMMENTARY BY GREG SHAHADE
23rd NY MASTER ACTION
SEPTEMBER 3 2002
We had a drop in attendance this week as only 18 players showed up. Perhaps this is due to the start of the school year, however as was shown in the first 12 weeks of the event, such a field is surely enough for a great tournament with pretty good prizes to boot. We had one new player this week in Miro Reverby, who is originally from New York, but is now living in Providence.
1. GM Igor Novikov
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. GM Michael Rohde
5. SM Eli Vovsha
6. IM Dean Ippolito
7. FM Yuri Lapshun
8. IM Jay Bonin
9. SM Gregory Braylovsky
10. IM Jayson Gonzales
11. FM Lewis Eisen
12. NM Samson Benen
13. NM Miro Reverby
14. FM Ylon Schwartz
15. NM Rafal Furdzik
16. FM Boris Privman
17. NM Doug Pader
18. Qualifier – Ben Johnson
1st - $350
2nd - $150
3rd - $70
U2400 - $150
ROUND 1 (J.Gonzales vs Novikov broadcast live on ICC)
Again we saw almost no upsets in the first round. The only lower rated player who managed to draw was Boris Privman against Yuri Lapshun. That game was a wild time scramble involving a relatively equalish endgame. Samson Benen had Stripunsky in some serious trouble, but Stripunsky squeezed his way out. The new player Reverby also had some big chances against Rohde, as Michael was very low on time in a complicated position. However when Reverby allowed mate in one, Rohde was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
In the ICC broadcast game, Novikov seemed very well prepared in his Semi Slav, but Gonzales mixed it up with an interesting exchange sacrifice. The move 25.Nxf7 would have led to complications that are very hard to calculate. Instead Jayson made some inaccuracies and allowed Igor a relatively painless win.
1 Novikov - Ippolito
2 Vovsha – Yudasin (ICC Game)
3 Stripunsky - Bonin
4 Braylovsky - Rohde
BOARD 1 Novikov – Ippolito
Novikov won a pawn early on in this game and traded down to a rook ending, simply having an extra passed d pawn on the board. The position was lost and Novikov’s technique is sparkling, thus Dean was not able to hold.
BOARD 2 Vovsha – Yudasin
This game was broadcast live on ICC, as in their last encounter, Vovsha really had Yudasin on the ropes but had to agree to a draw based on lack of time. Vovsha seemed to really be in Yudasin’s head, as Yudasin opened with the Caro-Kann defense for the first time that I’ve ever seen. The game looked complicated for a long time, Vovsha kept trying to trade queens while Yudasin kept ducking away. Eventually Vovsha placed the king on f2 where it soon become entangled in a deadly crossfire. With pins on the f-file and whites knight on g3 pinned by a bishop on h4, white had a hopeless position and Yudasin was able to win material and the game to move to 2-0.
BOARD 3 Stripunsky – Bonin
Stripunsky is Bonin’s nemesis as Jay claims to have lost to Alex almost as many times as the Oakland A’s have won in consecutive games. This game Jay decided to play the “Trouve Gambit” as he said he had tried everything else to no avail. For those of you unfamiliar with the theory in this variation it goes 1.e4 d5 2.ed5 c6. Not surprisingly Stripunsky declined this dangerous sacrifice by playing 3.c4 Stripunsky got an annoying advantage and although Jay hung in there for a long time, Alex eventually was able to bring it home.
BOARD 4 Braylovsky – Rohde
If Rohde won this game it would have all four of the GM’s at 2-0, not a really exciting turn of events, as everyone wants to see an upset every now and then. Braylovsky didn’t want to disappoint as he combined his passed pawn and serious time troubles by Rohde to make things very difficult for the GM. At the end he sacrificed a piece for a back rank mate and it was all over, Braylovsky would be moving to 2-0.
Leaders after Round 2
2 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, Braylovsky
1 Stripunsky – Novikov
2 Yudasin – Braylovsky (Live on ICC)
BOARD 1 Stripunsky – Novikov
These guys are good friends and both from the Ukraine and thus always agree to a quick draw. It seems as though their friendship is still in good standing as the early draw was again agreed.
BOARD 2 Yudasin – Braylovsky
Braylovsky was having a great result so far, but to keep it up against a monster like Yudasin is no easy feat. Yudasin played his 3.Bb5 anti Sicilian, but it seemed as if Braylovsky was calling the tune for the early stage of the game. However eventually Yudasin pushed Gregory back and began showing him a serious initiative, which Gregory instantly succumbed to as he hung an exchange to a discovered check. After this Braylovsky quickly lost and Yudasin moved to 3-0, and clear first place.
In other action, Eisen drew against Rohde in a mutual time scramble where both sides were surely winning at some point or another. Bonin played a nice game against Vovsha as he knight forked his rooks, and although his knight could be captured by Eli’s queen, this would allow instant checkmate. Lapshun got back into the mix when Furdzik hung a mate against him, and Dean Ippolito finally broke through Doug Pader’s defenses (They had drawn the last 3 times they played, as he ground him down in a long game to move to 2-1.
Leaders after Round 3
3 pts - Yudasin
2.5 pts – Novikov, Stripunsky
2 pts – Ippolito, Bonin, Lapshun, Braylovsky
1 Novikov – Yudasin
2 Ippolito – Stripunsky (Live on ICC)
3 Lapshun – Bonin
BOARD 1 Novikov – Yudasin
Novikov needed a win to win the tournament, however it seemed this would not be the case. I talked to him before the game and he had just finished traveling back to New York from Illionis and was thus very tired. So we opted to put the second board game on TV. However our decision looked quite foolish as after the opening Novikov clearly wasn’t ready to agree to a draw so quickly. Novikov got a small advantage in the endgame and pressed as hard as he could. He broke through and got his rook on the 7th rank in a R,N+6 pawns vs R,N and 6 pawn ending, but Yudasin found a nice trick which maintained the equilibrium. Novikov’s only chance to win now would be to go for a very risky piece sacrifice, but instead he sufficed himself with the otherwise forced repetition and ¾. Yudasin, the all time leading NY Master moneywinner, meanwhile had 3.5/4 and was now guaranteed at worst a 2 way tie for first place, thus extending his lead in the all time money list over Igor Novikov.
BOARD 2 Ippolito – Stripunsky
Because there was a draw on board one, Stripunsky now needed a win to join Yudasin in first place. Dean opened with d4 and Alex boldly played 1…..b5!? Dean went all out on Alex’s uncastled king, playing the moves Bg6+ and Nf7 very early in the game. He was able to trade down to an endgame up an exchange for a pawn, but the crowd wondered would it be enough to win? In the end it turned out it would not only not be enough to win, but after some serious inaccuracies by Dean, Alex brought his rook from a8 to h8 which led to a forced mate on the kingside, as blacks knights on g4 and e2, combined with a bishop on e4 were too much for whites lone king to handle. With this win Stripunsky and Yudasin became co-winners of the tournament and each received $250.
BOARD 3 Lapshun – Bonin
This was a very eagerly awaited game, as the two leaders for the trip to the Bermuda Open squared off with one another. Lapshun had a half point lead going into this game, but Bonin had a chance to reverse it with a win here. Lapshun played 1.b4 and the game was quite unclear. At one point Bonin was down 3 pawns but the extra pawns were very weak and ripe for the picking. Lapshun sacrificed an exchange and got down to an exchange down endgame with 2 very strong central passed pawns as compensation. In the end this compensation was too much for the Bone, as Lapshun’s armada of pawns on f6,e5 and d6 could not be contained by blacks lone rook. With this victory Lapshun moved 1.5 points ahead of Bonin in the race to Bermuda and also tied Novikov for 3rd with 3/4.
In other games, Braylovsky had a relatively quick draw with Gonzales to get 2.5/4. The game Schwartz vs Eisen involved the other two 1.5/3 players who had a chance to catch Gregory for the Under 2400 prize. Schwartz had a totally winning position, but made several big mistakes and eventually lost to Eisen. Schwartz was understandably not happy about this, but this is the normal life for a G/30 player. Thus Braylovsky and Eisen ended up splitting the U2400 prize for $45 bucks a piece.
23rd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 3 ix 2002
1 2 3 4 Total
1. Yudasin, Leonid g 2696 + 7 +12 + 6 = 3 3.5 ($250)
2. Stripunsky, Alex g 2629 +18 + 9 = 3 + 8 3.5 ($250)
3. Novikov, Igor g 2724 +10 + 8 = 2 = 1 3.0 ($ 35)
4. Lapshun, Yury f 2438 =13 =10 +16 + 9 3.0 ($ 35)
5. Rohde, Michael g 2518 +14 - 6 = 7 +13 2.5
6. Braylovsky, Greg 2388 +17 + 5 - 1 =10 2.5 ($ 45)
7. Eisen, Lew f 2335 - 1 +13 = 5 +15 2.5 ($ 45)
8. Ippolito, Dean m 2460 +16 - 3 +11 - 2 2.0
9. Bonin, Jay m 2391 +11 - 2 +12 - 4 2.0
10. Gonzales, Jayson m 2381 - 3 = 4 +17 = 6 2.0
11. Pader, Doug 2241 - 9 +15 - 8 +17 2.0
12. Vovsha, Eli 2484 +15 - 1 - 9 =14 1.5
13. Privman, Boris f 2252 = 4 - 7 +14 - 5 1.5
14. Reverby, Miro 2302 - 5 =17 -13 =12 1.0
15. Schwartz, Ylon f 2294 -12 -11 +18 - 7 1.0
16. Furdzik, Rafal 2287 - 8 +18 - 4 --- 1.0
17. Johnson, Ben 2181 - 6 =14 -10 -11 0.5
18. Benen, Samson 2309 - 2 -16 -15 --- 0.0
1ST - $350
2ND - $150
3RD - $ 70
U2400 - $ 90