NOVEMBER 12 2002

Hello, for those of you that have just gotten this email for the first time, it is a weekly email report that is sent out about the NY Masters. The NY Masters is a weekly event in NYC. It is open only to 2200+ players and is funded by sponsorship so that the prizes stay high to attract the strongest players.

The news just broke yesterday that the sponsorship has risen to $300 per event. This basically means that in any tournament with 14 paying players, first prize will be $400, as opposed to needing 17 players for such a prize. The weather was wet and dreary and I hoped that it would not deter anyone from coming, however everyone showed their love as we had our typical attendance of 20 players. However the big question was, where was Yuri and Rafal?! Yuri and Rafal, our usual regulars were replaced by two newcomers in Daniel Shapiro and Mr. Sena.

Let me warn everyone now, that in the next two weeks this report may come a little bit slower than usual, maybe even on Wednesday or Thursday. This delay is happening because John Fernandez is going away to the Curacao International and thus I am too stupid to figure out how to make all the diagrams appear in the text, so I will have to have John do it from Curacao. Best of luck to John and also to Rafal Furdzik, who will be playing in Curacao as well.

Participant List:

1. GM Igor Novikov
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. GM Maurice Ashley
5. IM Ron Burnett (Round 4 Bye)
6. IM Greg Shahade
7. IM Jay Bonin
8. FM Alan Stein
9. NM Gregory Braylovsky
10. IM Justin Sarkar (Round 1 bye)
11. FM Ricardo D’Arruda
12. NM Lev Milman (Round 4 bye)
13. FM Dan Shapiro
14. FM Norman Rogers
15. NM Doug Pader
16. FM Boris Privman
17. NM Juan Sena
18. Qualifier – Jonathan Corbblah
19. Filler – Robert Hess


1st - $400
2nd - $150
3rd - $80
U2400 - $90



1. Novikov – Braylovsky 1-0
2. D’ Arruda - Yudasin 0-1
3. Stripunsky – Milman 1-0
4. Shapiro – Ashley SEE BELOW!
5. Burnett – Pader 1/2 – 1/2
6. Privman – G.Shahade 0-1
7. Bonin – Sena 1-0
8. Corbblah – Stein 0-1

Alan Stein had a really tough time against Jonathan Corbblah (famous as the only qualifier to win money in the NY Masters) as Corbblah misplayed a good position. Stripunsky got a little bit of revenge against Lev Milman, as Stripunsky was Milman’s first ever GM scalp.

(1) Shapiro,D (2301) - Ashley,M (2518) [A60]
33rd New York Masters New York (1), 12.11.2002

This was Danny’s first NY Masters, and he got to start it out in the spotlight on the live game.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 b5 6.Bg2 d6 7.e4 Nbd7 8.f4 Bb7 9.Nh3 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.Nc3 b4 12.Nb5 Qb6 13.Nxd6+ Qxd6 14.e5 Qb6 15.exf6 Bxf6 16.Re1+ Kf8 17.f5 Kg7 18.Qd2

18. ... Rhe8

White’s attack may look menacing, but it is not so easy to get all his pieces to join the attack. Black defends very calmly and aims to counterattack.

19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.Bg5?!

20. ... Bxb2

Black accepts the sacrifice and now has the incredible passed b and c pawns, if only black lives to use them.

21.Rab1 Bg7 22.Qh4 c4+ 23.Kh1 c3 24.Rec1 a5 25.fxg6 hxg6 26.Be7 Qd4 27.Qxd4 Bxd4 28.d6 Bxg2+ 29.Kxg2 Bc5 30.Rc2

It looks like black has survived the middle game completely intact. Maurice’s only worry was the bishop on e7 and he deals with this problem quite straightforwardly.

30. ... Rxe7

Despite the extra exchange, white will have too much trouble stopping the storming queenside pawns.

31.dxe7 Bxe7 32.Nf4 Nf6 33.a3 g5 34.Nd3 Nd5 35.Kf3 f5 36.axb4 axb4 37.Re2 Ra3 38.Nc1 g4+ 39.Kg2 Bg5 40.Kf2 Bxc1 41.Rxc1

41. ... b3

You could see that this was going to happen about 20 moves earlier. Black’s pawns are going to march home. After his practice on ESPN, Maurice was all set to announce “It’s a girl!”.

42.Rd1 Ra5 43.Re8+ Kf7 44.Rb8 b2 45.Rf1 Ra1 46.Ke2 Rxf1 0-1



1 Ashley – Novikov 0-1
2 Yudasin – Bonin 1-0
3 G.Shahade – Stripunsky SEE BELOW!
4 Stein – Burnett 0-1

(2) Shahade,G (2493) - Stripunsky,A (2618) [B49]
33rd New York Masters New York (2), 12.11.2002

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3 b5 9.f4

I was technically outplayed by Stripunsky a few months ago with 9.Nxc6 on two separate occasions. This time I decided to mix it up. Strangely enough one of the few games in this variation is a game from another NY Masters regular from 1982!

9. ... b4 10.Na4 Nxe4 11.Bf3 d5 12.f5

Now let’s take it back 20 years….

D'Arruda, Ricardo - Mavrich, Rolando [B49]
Argentina Championship Semifinal, 1982

12. f5 Bd6?! 13. Bxe4! dxe4 14. fxe6 0-0 15. Rxf7 Rxf7 16. exf7 Kh8 17. Nb6 Rb8 18. Nd5 Qd7 19. Nxc6 Qxc6 20. Ne7 Bxh2 21. Kh1 1-0

Back to the present day…

12. ... exf5

Stronger than Bd6, although white still has some initiative for the pawn.


If 13. ... Bxf5 14.Qxd5 and white is threatening just about all of blacks pieces. Black cannot hold on to the extra piece.

13. ... Be6!

This solid move makes it difficult for white to break through


I teach my students always to play Kh1 or Kb1 in the Sicilian, so I have to set a good example. Some spectators thought this was too slow, but the king really is much better on h1, and I didn’t see any fantastic plan for black in the meantime.

14. ... Qe5

Oh yeah, I didn’t consider this move, now black has some active play of his own along the b8-h2 diagonal.

15.Bg4 h5 16.Bh3 g5

Wait a second, I sacraficed a pawn, I thought I was supposed to be attacking you?!

17.Nd4 Bd6 18.Nf3 Qg7 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Nd4 Qe5 21.Nf3 Qg7 22.Nd4

I had resigned myself to a draw here but secretly knew that Alex would attempt to play on.

22. ... Nd8?

This was the only reasonable move I could find for black that declines the repetition. I assumed that if it was played I would easily find a crushing blow, as black’s king is stuck in the center and he is moving his pieces backwards! After racking my brains for 3-4 minutes I (unconfidently) uncorked…..


This was my “I give up I don’t see a forced win move now probably black is better variation”. The best move, and probably the winning one was 23.Nxe6!. I rejected this move because after 23. ... Qe5 I could find no decent continuation. However...

[23. Ne6! Qe5 24. Nf4! gxf4 (Black should play something else instead, although white has a clear advantage now.) 25. Bd4! +-]

23. ... bxc3 24.bxc3 Rb8 25.c4 g4?!

We were in a time scramble and I was always hoping black would play this move, as now I could always respond to ...Qd5 with Bf4. We both had about 4 minutes at this moment and the position is complicated, a situation I usually like to be in.

26.cxd5 Qe5 27.Bf4 Qxd5 28.Bxd6 Qxd6 29.Qd3 Qd5

30.Nc3! +-

This blow decides the game.

30. ... Nxc3 31.Qg6+ Kd7 32.Qg7+ Kd6 33.Qxh8 Nc6 34.Nf5+ exf5 35.Qxc3 Rb4 36.Rad1 Rd4 37.Rxd4 Qxd4 38.Qa3+ Ke6 39.Qxa6 Qc3 40.Qe2+ Ne5 41.a4 f4 42.Qa2+ Kf5 43.a5 Qd3 44.Qb1 1-0

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, G.Shahade
1.5 pts – Burnett, Rogers


Key Pairings

1 Novikov – Yudasin 1/2 -1/2
2 Burnett – G.Shahade SEE BELOW
3 Rogers – Stripunsky 0-1

This game was chosen to be relayed as we predicted a quick draw from Novikov and Yudasin. Our theory was correct as Yudasin was upstairs watching my game pretty quickly after the round began.

(3) Burnett,R (2497) - Shahade,G (2493) [A36]
33rd New York Masters New York (3), 12.11.2002

1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Ne2 e6 6.0-0 Nge7 7.Nbc3 0-0 8.d3 d6 9.Rb1 Nd4 10.Nxd4 cxd4 11.Ne2 e5 12.f4 f5

Looks equal to me

13.Qd2 Rb8 14.b3 b6 15.Ba3 Bb7 16.Qb4 Nc8 17.exf5 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 gxf5 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Rf2 Rf7 21.Qb5

I didn’t see this move coming and it really annoyed me. I didn’t play 21. ... a6 because of 22.Qd5, although this was probably the best play for black.

21. ... Ne7 22.Rbf1

Due to some inaccurate play by black and some nice technique by white, white has amassed a small advantage.

22. ... f4 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.gxf4 e4 25.Ng3 exd3 26.Rd1 Rbf8?

Much stronger was Qb7, denying the white queen of the d5 square. If I had played this black would have much better chances to hold.

27.Qd5! Kh8 28.f5 Qg5 29.Rxd3 h5 30.f6!

A nice conversion into a better endgame. It was extremely difficult for to defend given my time trouble, although an extra 5 minutes probably wouldn’t have changed the result.

30. ... Qxd5+ 31.cxd5 Rxf6 32.Rxf6 Bxf6 33.Nxh5 Be5 34.Ng3 Rd8 35.Kf3 Bxg3 36.hxg3 Rxd5 37.Ke4 Ra5 38.a4 b5 39.Rxd4 bxa4 40.Rxa4 Rb5 41.b4 a6 42.Kd4 Kg7 43.Kc4 Rb6 44.Ra5 Kg6


It seemed difficult for white to make progress but Burnett does the right thing. The king belongs on a5, and from there black can put up no resistance.

45. ... Kf6 46.Ka4 Ke7 47.Rg5 Kf6 48.Rc5 Re6 49.Ka5 Rd6 50.Rc8 Rd3 51.Kxa6 Ra3+ 52.Kb6 Rxg3 53.Re8 Kf7 54.Re2 Rg4 55.b5 Rg6+ 56.Kb7 Rg1 57.b6 1-0

Leaders After Round 3

2.5 pts – Novikov, Yudasin, Burnett
2 pts – Stripunsky, G.Shahade, Bonin


Key Pairings

1 Stripunsky (2) – Novikov (2.5) 1/2 - 1/2
2 Yudasin (2.5) – G.Shahade (2) SEE BELOW
3 Ashley (1.5) – Bonin (2) 1-0
4 Burnett (2.5) – ½ point bye (ends with 3/4)

(4) Yudasin,L (2699) - Shahade,G (2493) [B50]
33rd New York Masters New York (4), 12.11.2002

Due to Burnett’s half point bye and Stripunsky and Novikov’s penchant for quick draws with each other, I was the live game again, even after a loss. Now I had to play the role of spoiler, as Yudasin knew pretty early on that a win would get him $400. You will be spared from all of my games in the next 2 weeks as I have to take over the administration duties while John Fernandez enjoys his luxurious vacation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3

Good idea Leonid, crush me out of the opening 2 weeks in a row with 3.Bc4, and then switch to 3.c3. Despite studying 3.Bc4 for 50 hours in the past week, I was happy to see this move.

3. ... Nf6 4.Be2 Bg4 5.0-0 e6 6.Re1 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 d5 9.exd5

9. e5 is a more typical move and then as Yudasin put it “It’s a normal chess position”.

9. ... Nxd5 10.h3 Bh5 11.Bb5+ Nc6


Usually a sign of really wanting to win too much is weakening pawn moves. Unless white has a concrete way to take advantage of black’s uncastled king, this move is a mistake.

12. ... Bg6 13.Ne5 Rc8 14.Nc3 0-0 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Bc4 Qd8

Already black has the more comfortable position.

17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Be3

18. ... Nxd4?

18. ... Bf6 was stronger, and black would have been better. Somehow I thought I would have the advantage anyway. I should know better than trying to grind down someone like Yudasin in a marginally better endgame.

19.Bxd4 Rxc4 20.Bxa7

White offered a draw but a win gets me $210 and a draw gets me $0. The math made my decision easy as after some quick calculations I realized that I should aim to win, although I secretly knew that it probably wasn’t going to happen in this position.

20. ... Qa5 21.Be3 Bf6 22.Re2 Rd8 23.Qe1 Qc7 24.Rd1 Rxd1 25.Qxd1 Bd4!

I have all kinds of tricks, maybe he will blunder something now? 26. b3 turns out bad after 26. ... Bxe3 27.bxc4 Qg3!.


Simple defense, and now white has no worries.

26. ... Bxe3 27.Qxe3 Qc6 28.a3 Rc1+ 29.Re1 Rc2 30.Re2 Rc1+ 31.Re1 Rc2 1/2-1/2

With this draw Yudasin, Novikov and Burnett gained a three way tie for first place. Burnett left shortly after the 3rd round and will definitely be happy to see that his 3-1 earned him a nice payday. Meanwhile with this win, Yudasin was the first NY Masters participant to reach to $4,000 mark.

33rd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 12 xi 2002
                                    1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Novikov, Igor       g  2719 + 8 + 5 = 2 = 4   3.0  ($210)
    2. Yudasin, Leonid     g  2699 +11 +10 = 1 = 6   3.0  ($210)
    3. Burnett, Ronald     m  2497 =16 + 7 + 6 =     3.0  ($210)
    4. Stripunsky, Alex    g  2618 +12 - 6 +14 = 1   2.5
    5. Ashley, Maurice     g  2518 +13 - 1 = 8 +10   2.5
    6. Shahade, Greg       m  2493 +17 + 4 - 3 = 2   2.5
    7. Stein, Alan         f  2385 +18 - 3 =13 +11   2.5  ($ 30)
    8. Braylovsky, Greg       2384 - 1 +16 = 5 +14   2.5  ($ 30)
    9. Sarkar, Justin      m  2370 =   -14 +17 +13   2.5  ($ 30)
   10. Bonin, Jay          m  2413 +15 - 2 +12 - 5   2.0 
   11. D'Arruda, Ricardo   f  2353 - 2 =17 +16 - 7   1.5
   12. Milman, Lev            2312 - 4 +18 -10 =     1.5
   13. Shapiro, Dan        f  2301 - 5 +15 = 7 - 9   1.5
   14. Rogers, Norman      f  2279 =   + 9 - 4 - 8   1.5 
   15. Sena, Juan             2207 -10 -13 +18 =     1.5
   16. Pader, Doug            2265 = 3 - 8 -11 =17   1.0
   17. Privman, Boris      f  2261 - 6 =11 - 9 =16   1.0
   18. Corbblah, Jonathan     2017 - 7 -12 -15 +19   1.0
   19. Hess, Robert           2019 --- --- --- -18   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $400 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 80 U2400 - $ 90