OCTOBER 29 2002

We had 4 GMs this week and 18 players in the next to last NY Masters of the season. We had a new player this week, as Eric Cooke is back in New York after a long absence. He has been playing chess in Hungary in the First Saturday Events, so it will be interesting to see where his chess is after such adventures. Also back was qualifier Alex Lenderman, who rained havoc on the tournament two weeks ago, by beating two masters in his first two rounds. One more good result from Lenderman and we could have a new master on our hands!

Participant List:

1. GM Igor Novikov
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. GM Maurice Ashley
5. FM Yuri Lapshun
6. IM Greg Shahade
7. IM Jay Bonin
8. FM Alan Stein
9. IM Justin Sarkar (Round 1 Bye)
10. NM Eric Cooke
11. NM Lev Milman
12. FM Rafal Furdzik
13. NM Doug Pader
14. FM Norman Rogers (Round 1 Bye)
15. FM Boris Privman
16. NM Manthan Chokshi
17. NM Sam Barsky
18. Qualifier – Alex Lenderman


1st - $320
2nd - $160
3rd - $80
U2400 - $90


In Round 1 we had a few upsets. Alan Stein is clearly improving his chess, as he managed to draw with the qualifier Alex Lenderman. Two weeks ago Stein was defeated by Lenderman, albeit after achieving a totally won position and botching it in serious time trouble. Meanwhile I was unable to defeat Manthan Chokshi. I had quite a bad position out of the opening and was probably lost somewhere in the time scramble, but usually play in such situations is less than perfect, and thus a bishops of opposite ending was reached and a draw was agreed. Leonid Yudasin versus Lev Milman was the live internet game, last time Milman played in the NY Masters he defeated his first ever GM, not to mention he also had the black pieces. Would he be able to do it again this week?

(1) Yudasin,L (2699) - Milman,L (2312) [B27]
31st New York Masters New York (1), 29.10.2002

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 d5 6.e5 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nc3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Nc6 10.Be3 Rd8 11.Na4 Na5 12.Qb5 b6 13.Rc1 Nc4 14.Qxd7+ Kxd7 15.b3 Nxe3

Blacks lack of development and exposed king position is going to be very costly. White has all the advantages in this position, as the c-file is firmly in Yudasin’s hands and the black king will be harassed to an unbelievable degree. It doesn’t look like Milman’s second GM scalp is coming just yet…

16.Bb5+! Ke6 17.Rc6+ Kf5

There is an adage that young players don’t know the fundamentals of the endgame, yet it seems that Milman is too well versed in such theories. Notice how he remembers the advice “In the endgame your king is well placed in the center”. Unfortunately this position could be classified more as a late middlegame.

18.fxe3 f6 19.Bd3+ Kg5 20.h4+ Kh6 21.f4 Bf8 22.Kf2 Kg7 23.Rc7 Nh6 24.Rxa7 Rb8 25.Kf3 Nf7 26.Rc1 Nd8

I’m sure every single move for the next 15 moves, Lev considered resigns as one of his options. However it’s always tempting to convince yourself to play one more move.

27.Rd7 Kf7 28.Rxd5 Bh6 29.Rd7 Re8 30.Bc4+ Kg7 31.Bb5 Ne6 32.Ra7 Ra8 33.Rxa8 Rxa8 34.Rc6 Nd8 35.Rxb6 g5

Unfortunately for Lev, Yudasin is quite adept at endgames with 3 extra pawns.

36.exf6+ exf6 37.hxg5 fxg5 38.fxg5 Bxg5 39.Ra6 Rb8 40.Bd3 Rb7 41.e4 Rf7+ 42.Ke2 h5 43.e5 Be7 44.Rg6+ Kf8 45.Bc4 Rg7 46.Rxg7 1-0


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Ashley 1-0
2 Lapshun – Yudasin GAME BELOW
3 Stripunsky – Bonin 1-0

We looked like we would have some surprises in the 2nd round as Jay Bonin seemed versed to finally end the curse of Stripunsky. Bonin has lost to Stripunsky many times in a row, but this week had a position which seemed to be quite winning. In the end Stripunsky swindled him to win a pawn in an endgame, but Bonin swindled Stripunsky back in the time scramble to achieve a drawn position. However at this moment Stripunsky looked to his left and noticed that Bonin’s flag had fallen.

Lenderman continued his torrid pace by knocking off IM Justin Sarkar. Sarkar seemed to have a winning position, with an extra exchange, but Lenderman is very tricky and fast, and pulled out the victory.

(2) Lapshun,Y (2506) - Yudasin,L (2699) [A46]
31st New York Masters New York (2), 29.10.2002

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 c5 4.c3 h6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Nbd2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nc6 8.e3 b6 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Qd8 11.a3 Be7 12.Rc1 0-0 13.b4 Rc8 14.Qa4 a6 15.Qb3 b5 16.Rfd1 Qb6 17.Qb2 Rc7 18.Rc2 Rfc8 19.Rdc1 Bf8 20.Bd3 d6 21.h3 Ne7 22.Rxc7

We showed the Lapshun battle because of his penchant for strange wild positions, however this game has been a real snorer so far. It looks like massive trades on the c file will occur and then a draw will be reached.

22. ... Rxc7 23.Rc2 Nd5 24.Nb3 Nf6 25.Nfd2 e5 26.Qc1 Rxc2 27.Qxc2 Be7 28.dxe5 dxe5 29.Ne4 Nxe4 30.Bxe4 g6 31.Na5 Bxe4 32.Qxe4 Qd6 33.g3 Kg7 34.Kg2 Bf6 35.Nb7 Qc7 36.Qd5 Be7 37.Nc5 Bxc5 38.bxc5 Kf6 39.f4 exf4 40.gxf4 Ke7 41.Qe4+ Kd7 42.Qd5+ Ke7 43.Qe4+ Kd7 44.Qd5+ 1/2-1/2

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Novikov, Stripunsky
1.5 pts – Yudasin, Lapshun, G.Shahade, Stein, Lenderman



1 Stripunsky – Novikov 1/2 - 1/2
2 Yudasin – G.Shahade GAME BELOW!
3 Stein – Lapshun 1-0
4 Ashley – Lenderman 1-0

(3) Yudasin,L (2699) - Shahade,G (2493) [B50]
31st New York Masters New York (3), 29.10.2002

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 e6 4.Qe2 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bb3 Be7 7.0-0

White has a clear plan of playing d4 in this position. One always wonders whether you should simply allow white to play d4, and react in the center afterwards, or make some kind of drastic measure to stop it. After white plays d4, black has some problems in that the c8-bishop is quite weak. If black tries to respond as follows... 7. ...0-0 8.d4 cd4 9.cd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4…after a move like 11.Nc3, white will have an EXTREMELY strong bishop to be placed on the b1-h7 diagonal to aid in an attack against the black king. Meanwhile black’s counterpart on c8 is severely weakened because of the pawns on d5 and e6, being on the same color as the bishop.

Because of this, Yudasin suggested 7. ... e5 as an improvement, thus achieving a Closed Ruy Lopez type of position, except with the moves a6 and b5 played on the queenside. The exclusion of these moves may even favour black and thus the position is in Yudasins word “A chess position”. Unfortunately I was too embarrassed to play e5 after playing e6 a few moves before, however it makes enough sense since white has wasted some tempi with the light squared bishop.

7. ... 0-0 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 e5

After this move white gets a pretty nice advantage, however as stated above, I didn’t like the positions after ….d5

10.d5 Nb8 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Na6

Not the best place for the knight. 13. ... Nd7 would have been more prudent.

14.Qe2 Nd7 15.g3 Ndc5 16.Bc4 Rc8 17.a3 Bg5 18.b4?

An oversight by Yudasin. White should have prepared this move with something like 18.Rb1, and white remains with a comfortable advantage

18. ... Nb3! 19.Bxb3 Rxc3 20.Bc4

Despite white’s previous oversight, white still has the advantage, in large part due to the inactive knight on a6. If 20. ... Bc1 21.Rac1 Rc1 22. Rc1 Qc7, white simply plays 23.Rc2 to escape the pin, and has an advantage, once again due to the terrible knight on a6.
If 20. ... Qc7 21. Bg5 black has two choices...
21. ... Qxc4 allows simply 22.Qxc4 Rxc4 23. Be7 Re8 24.Bxd6 Rxe4 and after 25.Rfd1 or even 25.b5 Nb8 26. Rac1, white is clearly better.
21. ... Rxc4 allows 22.Rac1 Rfc8 23.Rxc4 Qxc4 24. Rc1!, winning instantly.

21. ... Qb6?

Haha, I am threatening to take on g3, what will Yudasin ever do?


He can simply ignore me. After 21. ... Rxg3 22. Kh2 my rook is trapped and I am lost. After 21.Bb2 all hope is lost. It’s quite sad because I really felt confident after Yudasin overlooked …Nb3, however I had to bear down and work very hard at that moment to save the game, instead of basking in my glory.

21. ... Bd2 22.Rad1 Rc8 23.Bxc3 Bxc3 24.Rc1 1-0

Leaders After Round 3

2.5 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Stripunsky, Stein
2 pts – Ashley, Bonin, Milman (1/2 pt bye)


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Stein 1/2-1/2
2 Yudasin – Stripunsky 1/2-1/2
3 Bonin – Ashley SEE GAME!

Alan Stein must have been pretty surprised to have Novikov offer him a draw on move five. Alan told me after the game that he considered not accepting, but then said “but how much am I really going to learn from just one game?” This mass drawing gave Bonin and Ashley the chance for a backdoor victory, as the winner of that game would split first place.

Meanwhile on the lower boards, I won a pawn out of the opening and expected a simple win against Lenderman. Probably I shouldn’t have allowed him to checkmate me. This win by Lenderman, which was achieved by a typical KID rook sacrifice, means he goes down in the recordbooks. His qualifier score of 2.5/4 ties the all time high qualifier score of Jonathan Corbblah. After this performance it’s even possible that Lenderman has already achieved the 2200 rating!

(4) Bonin,J (2413) - Ashley,M (2518) [A41]
31st New York Masters New York (4), 29.10.2002

This is a huge game for both Jay and Maurice. Jay would love to tie for first for the second time in his NY Masters career. Meanwhile Maurice has yet to win money in this event, could he get the monkey off his back? You know Maurice had to be reeling going into this game, as his beloved New York Giants were THRASHED by the Super Bowl favorites, the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s see if he could recover from such emotional torment….

1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.e4 Nf6 4.h3 Bh5 5.Nc3 e6 6.g4 Bg6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.h4 h5 9.g5 Nfd7 10.Bh3 0-0 11.Be3 a6 12.Nd2

White has a powerful idea of pushing the f pawn. If white could get in f5, black would be in serious trouble. Thus Maurice stops this plan with 12. ... e5

12. ... e5 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.0-0-0 c6 15.Nf1 b5 16.Ng3 a5


Reminiscent of the game Morphy versus the Duke of Brunswick and the Count of Isouard.

17. ... Nxd7 18.Rd1 a4 19.Rxd7 Qa5!

Amazing that Maurice can get away with this move, however it much superior to passive moves like Qe8, which hold on to the e7 bishop. White’s advantage is actually not so clear if he should take the third piece.


20.Rxe7 a3 21.Nd1 axb2+ 22.Nxb2 Qxa2 and things are not so easy...
With the move Nd1, white should have a winning position. It’s just a matter of solidifying the position and stopping blacks counterplay.

20. ... Rfe8 21.Bf5 a3 22.b3 Rad8 23.Bd2 Qb6 24.Bc3 Rxd7 25.Bxd7 Rd8 26.Bf5 Qc5 27.Ba1 Qd6 28.Ne3 Bf8 29.Bc3 Qc5 30.Bd2 Qd4 31.c3 Qd6 32.Nef1 Qc5 33.b4 Qd6 34.Bh3

34. ... c5

Counterplay not stopped, whites pieces have somehow gone astray and black gets a big attack.

35.bxc5 Qxc5 36.Nxh5 b4 37.Nhg3 bxc3 38.Be3 Qb4 39.h5 Rd2?!

The ?! may be a bit unfair as this move practically wins on the spot. However 39. ... c2 was basically checkmate in two moves.

40.Qxd2 cxd2+ 41.Bxd2 Qb2+ 42.Kd1 Qxa2 43.hxg6 Qb3+ 44.Ke2 a2 45.gxf7+ Kxf7 46.g6+ Ke8 47.Ne3 a1=Q

Some commentators watching the game online, called this position the battle of the famous “Bonin Knights” versus the “Ashley queens”. However this really isn’t a battle anymore, Jay finished the game out of inertia and because Maurice was under 2 minutes on the clock.

48.Ngf5 Qaa2 49.Nd5 Qc4+ 50.Ke3 Qa3+ 51.Bc3 Qaxc3+ 52.Nxc3 Qxc3+ 53.Ke2 Qxh3 0-1

31st New York Masters Action USA (USA), 29 x 2002
                                    1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Novikov, Igor       g  2719 +13 + 4 = 3 = 5   3.0  ($130)
    2. Yudasin, Leonid     g  2699 + 7 = 6 +11 = 3   3.0  ($130)
    3. Stripunsky, Alex    g  2618 +16 + 9 = 1 = 2   3.0  ($130)
    4. Ashley, Maurice     g  2518 +10 - 1 + 8 + 9   3.0  ($130)
    5. Stein, Alan         f  2385 = 8 +17 + 6 = 1   3.0  ($130)
    6. Lapshun, Yury       f  2506 +15 = 2 - 5 +14   2.5
    7. Milman, Lev            2312 - 2 +15 +16 =     2.5
    8. Lenderman, Alex        2094 = 5 +12 - 4 +11   2.5
    9. Bonin, Jay          m  2413 +18 - 3 +10 - 4   2.0
   10. Pader, Doug            2265 - 4 +13 - 9 +16   2.0
   11. Shahade, Greg       m  2493 =17 +14 - 2 - 8   1.5
   12. Sarkar, Justin      m  2370 =   - 8 -14 +18   1.5
   13. Cooke, Eric            2318 - 1 -10 +17 =15   1.5
   14. Rogers, Norman      f  2279 =   -11 +12 - 6   1.5
   15. Privman, Boris      f  2261 - 6 - 7 +18 =13   1.5
   16. Furdzik, Rafal         2304 - 3 +18 - 7 -10   1.0
   17. Chokshi, Manthan       2256 =11 - 5 -13 =     1.0
   18. Barsky, Sam            2200 - 9 -16 -15 -12   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $320 2ND - $160 3RD - $ 80 U2400 - $ 90