OCTOBER 8 2002

** Note that if you ever withdraw from the event and refuse to pay the $10 withdrawl fee after the fact, you will not be permitted to enter without paying the deposit up front in future events. **

The tournament was extremely strong this week as we had 7 GM’s competing. This is the 2nd time in 3 weeks that 7 GM’s have shown up to play, so the competition is remaining very strong and steady. Stripunsky was coming into this event super hot, with 5 NY Master victories in a row. Schmaltz has won the tournament every time he played, these are exactly the same headlines as I gave last week, as Stripunsky and Schmaltz shared joint first. Also we had the youngest player to ever play in the NY Masters, in Fabiano Caruana. Fabiano is just 10 years old but is rated around 2100! He qualified on Thursday night and just recently defeated his first GM in Alex Wojtkiewicz. You can be positive Fabiano will soon get the 2200 rating and be a regular participant on Tuesday evenings.

Participant List:

1. GM Igor Novikov
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Ildar Ibragimov
4. GM Roland Schmaltz
5. GM Alex Stripunsky
6. IM Hikaru Nakamura
7. GM Pavel Blatny
8. GM Maurice Ashley
9. IM Yuri Lapshun
10. IM Jay Bonin
11. FM Alan Stein
12. FM Danny Shevelev
13. NM Lev Milman
14. NM Rafal Furdzik
15. FM Norman Rogers – Round 1 bye
16. NM Doug Pader
17. FM Boris Privman
18. NM Peter Aravena
19. NM Sunil Weeramantry – Round 1 bye
20. NM Sam Barsky
21. Filler – Kasaun Henry
22. Qualifier – FM Fabiano Caruana


1st - $320
2nd - $140
3rd - $70
U2400 - $110

ROUND 1 – (Shevelev - Ibragimov shown LIVE on icc)

The only upset in the first round was Doug Pader holding Maurice Ashley to a draw, with the black pieces to boot. In the live game between Shevelev and Ibragimov, Ildar was given a serious scare. White could have obtained a winning position with 33. Rf7 , but played more passively and allowed black to sacrifice his queen for checkmate in time trouble.


Key Pairings

1 Stripunsky – Novikov
2 Nakamura – Yudasin
3 Ibragimov – Lapshun
4 Blatny – Schmaltz
5 Bonin - Ashley

BOARD 1 Stripunsky – Novikov

These two agreed to their customary draw.


BOARD 2 Nakamura – Yudasin

We definitely picked the right game to show in round 2. Black mishandled the opening in a 4.Qc2 Nimzo Indian and was forced into desperate measures quite early, needing to sacrifice a pawn. According to IM Jan Gustaffson (2560 FIDE), the best plan for black is instead of 12….Bb7 to play 12…..cd4 13.ed4 Nb8 with equal play. Nakamura fought off all of Yudasin’s chances for counterplay and looked well on his way to a clean victory over a strong GM. Nakamura let his guard down a bit too soon with 40. Nc3, allowing Yudasin to mix it up with the piece sac 40…Bf3. Hikaru was unable to weed through all the variations and Yudasins attack proved too powerful. Yudasin could have won by force with 47…..Qg1, as its forced mate or white has to give up his queen. He overlooked this shot and queens were traded off. It became B+N+1 pawn versus N+ 4 connected pawns. It seemed that Yudasin should win, but he blinked for a second and allowed Hikaru to sacrifice his knight for two pawns, forcing an immediate draw.


BOARD 3 Ibragimov – Lapshun

Lapshun has been playing really solid chess lately, as his rating is on the rise towards 2550! His fine form continued as he held Ibragimov to a draw.


BOARD 4 Blatny – Schmaltz

Incredibly no one had won on the top 3 boards, would the drawing continue? Blatny made sure it wouldn’t by opening with 1.f4, and playing g4 just a few moves later. However all his unorthodox attempts weren’t enough to break the trend, as after a hard fought game a fourth draw was agreed upon.


BOARD 5 Bonin – Ashley

Bonin was now in a spot where if he defeated Ashley he could be the lone 2-0 score! Meanwhile Ashley could get back in first place with a win. Usually it hurts to draw a game this early in the event, but due to the circumstances everyone had gotten away with it. Bonin is a very experienced game 30 player and Ashley is still adjusting to the time control, and it showed in this game as Bonin scored the win to move to clear first.


Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Bonin
1.5 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Ibragimov, Stripunsky, Schmaltz, Lapshun, Blatny, Rogers


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Bonin
2 Yudasin – Blatny
3 Nakamura – Ibragimov
4 Schmaltz – Lapshun
5 Stripunsky - Rogers

BOARD 1 Novikov – Bonin

Bonin is used to playing Novikov in round 1, but it probably feels a lot better to play him when you are already 2-0. However Novikovs domination of Bonin with the white pieces continued as despite having good chances, Bonin made some big mistakes in a queen and pawn endgame.


BOARD 2 Yudasin – Blatny

Yudasin has lost to Blatny once in the NY Masters, but has defeated him on every other occasion. However these results are a little biased because Yudasin has had the white pieces in every game against Pavel. This game was no different than the most recent ones, as Yudasin got a very good opening against one of Pavels pet lines, and convincingly won.


BOARD 3 Nakamura – Ibragimov

Nakamura seemed to misplay the opening against Ildar, and had to resort to some sacrifices to avoid an unpleasant position. The crowd consensus was that Ibragimov had the better of it, but things seemed to fizzle out and in a position where Ildar should have thought about holding on for a draw, he seemed a little too ambitious. Hikaru gained a powerful passed a- pawn and all of the sudden Ildar was completely on the defensive. With the time scramble on the horizon you knew Hikaru would be at his best, as he won a key pawn with a simple trick (Rxh6 when g pawn was pinned to K on h8 by Q on d4) and from then on it was smooth sailing.


BOARD 4 Schmaltz – Lapshun

Schmaltz has defeated Lapshun every time they have played, although it seems that each game things are a little more competitive. The first times Schmaltz would win easily, but in the last battle Lapshun was very close to drawing. This time it was another blowout, as Schmaltz had two pieces and a pawn for a rook in the endgame. However despite it’s easy appearance, somehow Schmaltz relaxed a bit too much. In the final position…. With white up a piece and a pawn ( W – Kg6 Ra7 Be6 Ph6 B – Kh8 Rf8) black uncorked the shot …Rf6! as when white captures the rook it is stalemate, and otherwise white loses the extra bishop.


BOARD 5 Rogers – Stripunsky

Rogers joined the leaders by beating Doug Pader in round 2. Rogers is 0-2 against Stripunsky in this event and that record continued, as Norman tried to attack, but Alex fought off his attempts and got too much counterplay.


Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, Nakamura


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Nakamura
2 Stripunsky - Yudasin

BOARD 1 Novikov – Nakamura

Novikov played one of his quiet lines against Nakamura’s Grunfeld defense. Novikov is not so ambitious with the white pieces, but just tries to get a playable position where he understands more than his opponent. It seemed that this was what happened, as Nakamura sacrificed a pawn, but misplayed the follow up and was saddled with a pawn down endgame. Novikov showed his technique as he wore him down with two queenside connected passers to win the game and guarantee himself at least a share of first place. While collecting his prize money Novikov was heard saying “That’s one in a row”. Perhaps he envisions a streak similar to Stripunsky’s current 5 tournament winning streak.


BOARD 2 Stripunsky – Yudasin

Stripunsky would have to defeat Yudasin to keep his torrid pace of winning the NY Masters week after week. It looked like this would happen as Stripunsky was up an exchange early on, but black had some compensation in the form of two bishops. Soon Stripunsky had to give back the exchange, and also had the problem of being down ten minutes to five minutes on the clock. However the position was balanced and Stripunsky did not falter. They agreed to a draw and thus an end comes to Stripunsky’s streak.


In other action, Schmaltz joined Stripunsky and Yudasin in 2nd place by beating Jay Bonin. Lapshun also joined the party with a victory over Rafal Furdzik. Winner of the $110 U2400 prize was Lev Milman, who had 2/3 and was registered for a last round bye, thus finishing with 2.5/4. Mention must be made of the 10 year old Caruana’s result, as he defeated Danny Shevelev in the last round to score 2/4. It was surely an impressive debut from the extremely talented youngster.

Note that Novikovs victory this week propelled him back to NUMBER 1 on the all time money leaders list. He has won $3,152, whereas Yudasin is way behind at only $3,147.

28th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 8 x 2002
                                    1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Novikov, Igor       g  2719 +11 = 4 +10 + 6   3.5  ($320)
    2. Yudasin, Leonid     g  2699 + 9 = 6 + 7 = 4   3.0  ($ 55)
    3. Schmaltz, Roland    g  2621 +12 = 7 = 5 +10   3.0  ($ 55)
    4. Stripunsky, Alex    g  2618 +20 = 1 +15 = 2   3.0  ($ 55)
    5. Lapshun, Yury       f  2506 +13 =14 = 3 +12   3.0  ($ 55)
    6. Nakamura, Hikaru    m  2571 +21 = 2 +14 - 1   2.5
    7. Blatny, Pavel       g  2562 +19 = 3 - 2 +15   2.5
    8. Ashley, Maurice     g  2518 =16 -10 +20 +17   2.5
    9. Milman, Lev            2312 - 2 +21 +19 =     2.5  ($110)
   10. Bonin, Jay          m  2413 +22 + 8 - 1 - 3   2.0
   11. Stein, Alan         f  2385 - 1 +17 -12 +19   2.0
   12. Furdzik, Rafal         2304 - 3 +22 +11 - 5   2.0
   13. Caruana, Fabiano    f  2060 - 5 -19 +22 +18   2.0
   14. Ibragimov, Ildar    g  2651 +18 = 5 - 6 ---   1.5
   15. Rogers, Norman      f  2279 =   +16 - 4 - 7   1.5
   16. Pader, Doug            2265 = 8 -15 =18 =20   1.5
   17. Weeramantry, Sunil  f  2207 =   -11 +21 - 8   1.5
   18. Shevelev, Danny     f  2351 -14 =20 =16 -13   1.0
   19. Privman, Boris      f  2261 - 7 +13 - 9 -11   1.0
   20. Aravena, Peter         2237 - 4 =18 - 8 =16   1.0
   21. Barsky, Sam            2200 - 6 - 9 -17 +22   1.0
   22. Henry, Kasaun          2079 -10 -12 -13 -21   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $320 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 70 U2400 - $110