FEBUARY 4th 2003

Week 42 marked the first “wildcard” week of the NY Masters. In the “wildcard” week, one player under 18 years old, rated 2000-2200 is eligible to play in the event. This player is in turn sponsored by a company, which matches his or her $30 entry fee. Thus the presence of this player increases the prize fund by $60. Also in the first round, the wildcard’s game will be shown on ICC. This week the “” wildcard player was Maxsim Grinman, 17 years old and rated 2130. There will be a wildcard in every 10th event, thus meaning every event that ends in 2, such as the 42nd, 52nd, 62nd and I think you can all see the pattern.

We had one new player this week, in Canadian National Champion, IM Pascal Charbonneau. He has been promising to join the fray for a while now, and has scheduled his classes this semester to make it a more likely occurance.

Also this week we had the entire Shahade family in the tournament, for the first time in many months. The omens were not good when all three of us were given the black pieces in the first round.

There is one new rule change that will be taking effect in future events. Once the pairings are printed they are absolutely final. I believe we have made one mistake in all 42 weeks of the tournament, yet the numerous complaints slow down the tournament and leave everyone getting home much later then they’d like. From now on we will not check to see if there is a mistake and the pairing will simply stand as is, unless there is something so blatantly obvious such as a result being entered incorrectly from the previous round. We admit we might end up making a mistake but I think its best to live with this possibility to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly and on time, as about 90% of pairing change requests have been bogus thus far.

Participant List for 42nd NY Masters:

1. GM Giorgi Kacheishvili
2. GM Alex Stripunsky
3. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
4. IM Boris Kreiman
5. IM Greg Shahade
6. IM Eli Vovsha
7. IM Pascal Charbonneau
8. IM Jay Bonin
9. NM Lev Milman
10. IM Irina Krush
11. FM Evgeny Gershov
12. WIM Jenn Shahade
13. NM Rafal Furdzik
14. FM Michael Shahade
15. FM Boris Privman
16 NM Alex Lendermann
17. NM Peter Aravena
18. Wildcard – Maxsim Grinman
19. Qualifier – Pablo Pena
20. Filler – Larry Tamarkin


1st - $400
2nd - $200
3rd - $70
U2400 - $100



1. Krush – Kacheishvili 1-0
2. Stripunsky – J.Shahade 1-0
3. Furdzik – Wojtkiewicz 0-1
4. Kreiman – M.Shahade 1-0
5. Privman – G.Shahade 0-1
6. Vovsha - Lendermann 1/2-1/2
7. Aravena – Charbonneau 0-1
9. Pena – Milman 0-1
½ point bye for – Gershov

For the second consecutive week, one of the top seeds was knocked off immediately out of the gate. Irina Krush was up a knight for two pawns in an endgame against GM Kacheishvili, and scored her first ever victory over a GM in the NY Masters. 14 year old Alex Lenderman held last week’s co-champ, IM Eli Vovsha, to a draw. The rest of the favorites all advanced unscathed, although I admit that I was definitely on the lucky side in my encounter with Boris Privman. Below is the first NY Masters wildcard game, brought to you by!

(1) Bonin,J (2415) - Grinman,M (2134) [D00]
42nd New York Masters New York (1), 04.02.2003

1.d4 d5 2.Bg5 f6 3.Bh4 Nh6 4.f3 Nf5 5.Bf2 Nc6 6.c3 e5 7.e4

Cool! After 7 moves the pawns are in a pretty central box formation. Part of Jay’s home analysis??

7...dxe4 8.fxe4 Nd6 9.Nd2 exd4 10.cxd4 Nf7 11.Ngf3 Bg4 12.Bb5 Bd7 13.0-0 Be7 14.Nb3 0-0 15.Rc1 Re8 16.Bc4 Bd6

The wildcard’s chances are looking rather grim here. Jay Bonin has a strong, unopposed center and a VERY annoying bishop on c4, which is aiming right at Maxsim’s king. Maybe Max will find a way to mix it up???

17.e5 Bf8 18.Bh4 Bg4 19.exf6

Guess not! Max resigned because 19...gf6 allows 20.Bxf7 Kxf7 21. Ng5 followed up by Qxg4. On top of all of these variations, Max had only seconds remaining on his clock.



Key Pairings

1 Charbonneau – Stripunsky SEE BELOW
2 Wojtkiewicz – Bonin 1-0
3 Milman – Kreiman 1-0
4 G.Shahade – Krush 0-1

There were some exciting games in the Round 2 this week. One non-exciting game was my encounter with Irina Krush. I sacrificed a pawn in the opening, based on an offhand comment that GM John Fedorowicz made about 4-5 years ago. Too bad he didn’t make any more offhand comments telling me exactly what to do the next 5-10 moves. Irina snatched the pawn and converted it easily.

Kreiman fell right into Lev Milman’s home preparation, as Lev gained a queen and 3 pawns for 3 minor pieces. Kreiman had some attacking chances and created a lot of trouble, but Lev pulled it out and moved to 2-0 (I believe this was Lev’s first ever 2-0 start!!). Lev is going to have to continue to start out like this, as the 15 year old’s new rating is over 2400 thus making him uneligible for the U2400 prize.

Bonin fought hard to hold Wojtkiewicz to a draw, but in the end the GM technique prevailed and Wojo moved to 2-0.

Wildcard, Max Grinman, recovered from his round 1 loss to knock off Rafal Furdzik in very nice attacking style.

(2) Charbonneau,P (2444) - Stripunsky,A (2648) [B42]
42nd New York Masters New York (2), 04.02.2003

The fans on ICC were excited to see this one. Pascal Charbonneau has risen to chess stardom after his fantastic victory last year at the Canadian Championship. On the internet he very well known, especially as he is currently doing an internet radio show with fellow NY Master player, IM Irina Krush. We used his FIDE rating to pair him for this event and one would say that he is quite underrated at 2444 USCF. Pascal I think you are at least 2450 strength!

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.Nc3 d6 8.f4 Nd7 9.Be3 Qc7 10.0-0 Ngf6 11.Qf3 b5 12.a3 Bb7 13.Qh3 h5 14.Kh1 Nc5 15.f5 e5 16.Nxc5 dxc5 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Bxd5

Stripunsky has happily gobbled up Pascals pawn sacrifice. Where is white’s compensation you might ask?? Well the main compensation is that black will have a very difficult time castling due to the weak pawn on h5. In the meantime white will hope to create some concrete threats.

19.Rad1 Rd8 20.Rd2 Bf6 21.Rfd1 Bb7 22.c4 b4 23.axb4 cxb4 24.c5 h4 25.Bf2 Qc6 26.Be2 Rxd2 27.Rxd2 0-0 28.Rd6 Qe4


Pascal has created the concrete threat of capturing blacks queen. Unfortunately for GM Stripunsky, the queen has nowhere to go! If 29...Qf4, white simply plays 30.Be3 and its curtains. The rest is just a matter of technique, and this has to be seen as an impressive debut for the 19 year old Canadian.

29...Qc6 30.Rxc6 Bxc6 31.Bxh4 Rd8 32.Bxf6 gxf6 33.Qe3 a5 34.h3 Rd4 35.Be2 a4 36.Bf3 Bb5 37.c6 Rc4 38.Qb6 a3 39.bxa3 bxa3 40.Qa5 e4 41.Bxe4 Rxe4 42.c7 Rc4 43.Qa8+ Kg7 44.c8R Ra4 45.Rg8+ Kh6 46.Qf8+ Kh5 1-0

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Wojtkiewicz, Charbonneau, Milman, Krush


Key Pairings

1 Krush – Wojtkiewicz
2 Milman - Charbonneau

This was a big round for Lev Milman! If he could knock off IM Charbonneau, he would be guaranteed 3.5/4, as he had already applied for a last round bye (Lev lives in Long Island and has school the next morning, so his regular byes are probably healthy moves on his part). However, Pascal showed that he wanted to make a smashing debut, by taking care of business with the black pieces! He forced all kinds of weaknesses, and tore Lev apart in the R+B vs R+B endgame, thus propelling him to a perfect 3-0 score! You could be sure Irina Krush would love to join him at 3-0, as this couple would have a lot to be happy about! Irina would have to get through veteran GM Alex Wojtkiewicz first.

(3) Krush,I (2402) - Wojtkiewicz,A (2637) [E91]
42nd New York Masters New York (3), 04.02.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.Be2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.h3 exd5 9.exd5 Bf5 10.0-0 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Ng5 Bf5 13.Bd3 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Nd7 15.Nf3 a6 16.Rb1 b5 17.b3 Rb8 18.Bf4 Qc7

Looks kind of equal

19.Rfe1 Nf6 20.Ng5 Qd7 21.Ne4 Nxe4 22.Qxe4 Bc3 23.Rec1 Rfe8 24.Qd3 b4 25.a4 Qe7 26.Bd2 Bd4 27.Re1 Qf6 28.Be3 Be5

Still looks equal, although it was clear that Alex was not satisfied with drawing this game...he was going to press for the win!

29.Re2 Bc3 30.Bd2 Qd4 31.Qxd4 cxd4 32.Kf1 d3 33.Rxe8+ Rxe8 34.Rd1 Re2 35.Bf4

Uh oh......Alex has pressed too hard, one of the d-pawns will fall, and the passed c+d pawns will become monstrous. Irina is well on her way to beating both Wojtkiewicz and Kacheishvili in the same event! A very impressive feat!

35...Rb2 36.Rxd3 Rxb3 37.Bxd6 Rb1+ 38.Ke2 Re1+ 39.Kf3 b3

Black will make a queen, but at what cost??

40.Rxc3 b2 41.Rb3 b1Q 42.Rxb1 Rxb1 43.c5 Rd1 44.c6 Rxd5 45.c7 Rd3+ 46.Ke4 Rc3 47.Kd4

And the show is over, as white’s next move will be Bc5. If 47...Rc6 48.Kd5 followed by Bc5 next move.

Postgame dialogue

Wojtkiewicz – You were playing for a draw the whole game!
Krush – I was just playing solidly.


Leaders after Round 3

3 pts – Charbonneau, Krush

2 pts – Kacheishvili, Wojtkiewicz, Stripunsky, G.Shahade, Bonin, J.Shahade


Key Pairings

1 Charbonneau – Krush 1/2-1/2
2 Kacheishvili – Bonin 0-1
3 G.Shahade – Stripunsky SEE BELOW!
4 Wojtkiewicz – J.Shahade 1/2-1/2

No one was surprised by the quick draw on board 1 between Charbonneau and Krush. Hopefully they will be buying each other expensive presents with the combined $600 they won. Bonin pulled off another last round victory at the expense of GM Giorgi Kacheishvili. Giorgi was completely winning, but it was Bonin’s turn for some luck, as somehow Giorgi’s misplayed his attack and Jay got to queen a pawn with check in the middlegame.

Wojtkiewicz was not in the mood for a fight and offered Jenn Shahade a speedy draw, which she happily accepted. With her nice 3rd round bishop endgame win over IM Boris Kreiman, Jenn finished with 2.5/4, good enough to clearly win the U2400 prize.

Let’s see how the game between Stripunsky and I went.....although everyone who knows me please close your eyes.

(4) Shahade,G (2510) - Stripunsky,A (2648) [B43]
42nd New York Masters New York (4), 04.02.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 b5 6.Bd3 Qb6 7.Nb3 Qc7 8.f4 Bb7 9.Qf3?

Stupid Move


The point of this move is that my e-pawn is pinned! Wonder how that happened?

10.Qe2 b4 11.Nd1 fxe4 12.Bxe4 Bxe4 13.Qxe4 Nc6 14.Qe2 Nf6 15.0-0 Bd6 16.Ne3??


A bolt from the blue!!! The spectators showered the board with gold!!! Ok ok, I just hung a pawn for nothing, I admit it.


Maybe Stripunsky could have believed that I planned to sacrifice this pawn, if I didn’t spend 5 minutes thinking about what to do next.

17...Bxc1 18.Nxf6+ gxf6 19.Qh5+ Ke7

Despite the black king being in the center, white has absolutely no chance to take advantage of this.

20.Raxc1 Qe5 21.Qh4 Rag8 22.Kh1 Rg5 23.Rce1 Rh5

A nice technical move, trading down into an easily won endgame.

24.Rxe5 Rxh4 25.Rc5 Re4 26.Kg1 f5 27.Rd1 Rg8 28.Rd2 Rgg4 29.h3 Rgf4 30.c3 Re1+

I really want to resign, but I know how much the people on ICC love watching people get crushed. It just becomes comment after comment that go something like this…

Player A kibitzes – White is dead!!
Player B kibitzes – Why doesn’t he resign, this is completely over!!
Player C kibitzes – Shahade is getting killed!!!
Player D kibitzes – Did anyone watch American Idol tonight??

Being that it’s clear how much they enjoy this, It’s probably best to wait as long as possible to resign.

31.Kh2 Rff1 32.Kg3 Re3+ 33.Kh2 f4 34.h4 Ne5


With this win, Stripunsky joined Jay Bonin in joint 3rd place, but the real winners tonight were Pascal Charbonneau and Irina Krush.

Pascal comes to NY and wins the entire tournament on his first try! Irina has been thirsting to have a great score in this event and finally it has happened! She even won the event while getting paired up in the very first round, thus having to defeat GM Wojtkiewicz, GM Kacheishvili and IM G.Shahade.

The wildcard put forth a very respectable performance, as he defeated FM Mike Shahade in the final round. Grinman had Queen and knight versus lone king and my dad remembered the best advice I ever gave to him in chess. A few years ago I was playing a tournament game that got down to sudden death. My opponent had Q+N versus king and he ended up stalemating me. I told my dad that in this situation you have to do whatever you can to avoid capturing the knight, this is the only drawing strategy. Unfortunately Grinman was very adept at not stalemating my dad, and eventually checkmated him.

Hope all of you tune in again next week for another exciting night of chess at the NY Masters!

42nd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 4 ii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Charbonneau, Pascal  m  2444 +15 + 3 + 6 = 2   3.5  ($300)
    2. Krush, Irina         m  2402 + 8 +10 + 5 = 1   3.5  ($300)
    3. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2648 + 7 - 1 +16 +10   3.0  ($ 35)
    4. Bonin, Jay           m  2415 +13 - 5 +12 + 8   3.0  ($ 35)
    5. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2637 +11 + 4 - 2 = 7   2.5
    6. Milman, Lev             2414 +20 + 9 - 1 =     2.5
    7. Shahade, Jennifer   wm  2327 - 3 +15 + 9 = 5   2.5  ($100)
    8. Kacheishvili, Giorgi g  2681 - 2 +17 +14 - 4   2.0
    9. Kreiman, Boris       m  2581 +16 - 6 - 7 +14   2.0
   10. Shahade, Greg        m  2510 +12 - 2 +13 - 3   2.0
   11. Furdzik, Rafal          2282 - 5 -13 +19 +17   2.0
   12. Privman, Boris       f  2241 -10 +20 - 4 +19   2.0
   13. Grinman, Maksim         2134 - 4 +11 -10 +16   2.0
   14. Gershov, Yevgeniy    f  2359 =   +19 - 8 - 9   1.5
   15. Aravena, Peter          2204 - 1 - 7 =17 +20   1.5
   16. Shahade, Michael     f  2268 - 9 +18 - 3 -13   1.0
   17. Lenderman, Alex         2206 =19 - 8 =15 -11   1.0
   18. Tamarkin, Larry         2130 --- -16 +20 ---   1.0
   19. Vovsha, Eli          m  2484 =17 -14 -11 -12   0.5
   20. Pena, Pablo             2024 - 6 -12 -18 -15   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $400 2ND - $200 3RD - $ 70 U2400 - $100