FEBUARY 11th 2003

Before mentioning tonight’s NY Masters event, I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the NY Masters first international Round Robin event. It is being played at a slow time control with one game per week. After 2 rounds, NM’s Igor Schneider and Peter Bierkens are in clear first with 2/2. To follow this tournament and download all of the games go to

Tonight we had a very STRONG NY Masters. We had 5 GMs present this evening...

GM 1 – Leonid Yudasin – He is back after a month break, and is ready to show why he is the all time leading money-winner in NY Masters history

GM 2 – Giorgi Kacheishvili – He has returned to play in the NY Masters just recently and has only managed to come out on top once thus far. However his great understanding and feel for chess will surely give him a great shot this week. Let’s not forget that his FIDE rating is just a few points away from 2600!

GM 3 – Alex Stripunsky – Holder of the longest streak of consecutive NY Masters victories. Stripunsky won the title 5 consecutive weeks from September 3 to October 1. Perhaps he plans to start a new streak tonight?

GM 4 – Roland Schmaltz – It’s almost a joke that he is number 4 rated, considering he has the highest winning percentage of anyone in the NY Masters, by 7 percentage points. Roland’s lightning fast speed and great instincts always give him a great chance to win.

GM 5 – Pavel Blatny – Pavel has had a mixed history in the NY Masters. In his first ever event he finished with only 1/4, but rebounded some time later to score a very impressive 4/4, with wins over GM’s Yudasin and Najer. His uncompromising style and unorthodox openings always make his games fun to watch!

I have profiled all of the GM’s but have not even mentioned last week’s champions! IM’s Irina Krush and Pascal Charbonneau, have returned this week to defend their title, although it’s clear that it will not be an easy task. We had two other IM’s in the field, in IM Boris Kreiman and Jay Bonin, and you can be sure that they hoped to make some noise too. Let’s get to the action, and there was plenty of it this week, as we had quite a few action packed games!

Participant List for 42nd NY Masters:

1. GM Leonid Yudasin
2. GM Giorgi Kacheishvili
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. GM Roland Schmaltz
5. IM Boris Kreiman
6. GM Pavel Blatny
7. IM Pascal Charbonneau
8. IM Jay Bonin
9. IM Irina Krush
10. FM Ricardo D’Arruda
11. FM Lewis Eisen
12. NM Rafal Furdzik
13. FM Samson Benen
14. FM Boris Privman
15. Qualifier – David Zimbeck
16. Filler – Fedor Kharapatin


1st - $300
2nd - $150
3rd - $60
U2400 - $80



1. Krush – Yudasin SEE BELOW!
2. Kacheishvili – D’Arruda 1/2-1/2
3. Eisen – Stripunsky 0-1
4. Schmaltz – Furdzik 1-0
5. Benen – Kreiman 0-1
6. Blatny – Privman 1-0
7. Zimbeck – Charbonneau 0-1
8. Bonin – Kharapatin 1-0

Unlike last week, the first round almost held to form. I say almost, because D’Arruda managed to draw Kacheishvili with the black pieces, not an easy task by any means. Kacheishvili is off to his second consecutive slow start, as he lost to Irina Krush last week in the first round. Note that I was not present during this week’s NY Masters, so I cannot give much detail on the other games, although I could make stuff up?

For instance Charbonneau was down a queen against Zimbeck out of the opening, but managed to trick him in a knight fork later on to regain the queen. In a mad time scramble Charbonneau found a fantastic underpromotion to a bishop, thus avoiding all stalemate tricks and scoring the victory.

(1) Krush,Irina (2402) - Yudasin,Leonid (2706) [E32]
43rd New York Masters New York (1), 11.02.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Ba6 8.e3 d6 9.Ne2 Nbd7 10.Qc2 c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Nc3 Qb6 13.0-0-0 Rab8 14.Rd2 Rfd8 15.Be2 Ne5 16.Bxf6 gxf6

Action packed chess here going on here! White is castled queenside yet the pawn shelter around blacks kingside is very weak. Which attack will succeed?

17.Ne4 f5 18.Nf6+ Kg7 19.Nh5+ Kf8 20.f4 Nc6 21.Qc3

White’s pieces are beginning to creep through...

21...e5 22.Rhd1 Ke7 23.Ng3

Irina’s forces are attacking from every angle!! Yudasin has to keep defending and defending!

23...Bc8 24.Bd3

And now the bishop joins the party!


Strong GM’s always have a feel for when it is right to bail out into a worse yet tenable endgame. Yudasin is exhibiting this skill here, as the white pieces are attacking too dangerously, to allow queens to stay on the board.

25.Qxb3 Rxb3 26.Bxf5 exf4 27.exf4 Rxg3

The point! Black has lost a pawn, but after 28.Bxc8 Re3, black will have an awesome square on d4 for the knight. Yudasin was hoping that this would be a big enough of a factor to compensate for lack of a pawn.

28.Bxc8 Re3 29.Bb7 Nd4 30.Rd3 Re2 31.Bd5 Rb8 32.b4 Rf2 33.b5 Rxf4 34.Re3+ Kf6 35.Rde1 Rf2 36.Re7

Black’s pieces had become too active, and thus Irina allows Yudasin to achieve a draw. A fun matchup and an unenviable first round pairing for top seed Yudasin.

36...Nb3+ 37.Kb1

Not 37.Kd1 because of Rd2 checkmate!

37...Nd2+ 38.Kc1 Nb3+ 1/2-1/2


Key Pairings

1 Stripunsky – Blatny 0-1
2 Charbonneau – Schmaltz SEE BELOW!
3 Kreiman – Bonin 1-0

Already in round 2, we had some all star matchups. GM vs GM on board 1, last weeks champ vs highest lifetime NY Masters % on board 2 and two hopeful IM’s on board 3. Blatny beat Stripunsky with the black pieces, and impressive feat, and Kreiman knocked off Jay Bonin. Yudasin and Kacheishvili got back towards the top of the bracket by knocking off D’Arruda and Krush respectively. Kacheishvili lost to Krush in last week’s event, but with this win he eliminated any chance for Irina to repeat as champion.

Now let’s see the showdown between Charlatan and Hawkeye (ICC Handles)

(2) Charbonneau,Pascal (2444) - Schmaltz,Roland (2628) [B42]
43rd New York Masters New York (2), 11.02.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Qb6 6.Nb3 Qc7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.f4 d6 9.Qf3 b5 10.g4 Bb7 11.g5 Nfd7 12.Be3 Nc6 13.0-0 g6 14.Rad1

White has taken a lot of space on the kingside, but what often happens in these structures, is that the white king gets very airy much later in the game. You never know when it might happen, but the pawns so recklessly advanced mean that black will always have counterplay, even if things should go awry. I once had the very same structure against John Fedorowicz, and despite winning a piece, my king was too weak for me to win. (Also my moves were too weak, as I was winning, but the black counterplay was always there)

14...b4 15.Na4 Bg7 16.c3 0-0 17.Rc1 bxc3 18.Nxc3 Rfe8 19.Rfd1 Qd8 20.Qf2 Rc8 21.Bf1 Bf8 22.h4 Na5


A fine move by the Canadian champ! This simple retreat makes black’s knight on a5 look quite foolish. Where is it planning to go??

23...Rc7 24.Rc2 Qa8 25.b4

Go home horsey!

25...Nc6 26.a3 Ne7 27.Nc4 Rec8


GM Schmaltz thought that knight was pinned, but he was wrong! If 28.Nxd6 Rxc3 29.Nxc8! Rxc2 30. Ne7 CHECK, winning an exchange and the game.


Things are looking VERRRY ugly for Mr. Schmaltz

29.Nxb7 Qxb7 30.Na4 Rbc8 31.Rcd2 Qc6 32.Nb2 Nb8 33.Nc4 Qa4

A very cagey move! Schmaltz sacrifices the exchange to confuse the issue a bit. White has the knight fork on b6, but sometimes it is easier to win with an extra pawn, than it is with an exchange.

34.Nb6 Qxa3 35.Nxc8 Rxc8 36.Rd8 Rxd8 37.Rxd8 Nbc6 38.Ra8 Qxb4 39.Qc2 Qb7 40.Rxa6 Nb4 41.Qb1 Nec6 42.Rb6 Qd7 43.Bb5

It seems like white is finally crashing through…


And here we go! As stated earlier, the black queen is eying g4! Oh how desperately Pascal would love to move his pawns backwards……the black counterplay has begun!

44.f5 gxf5 45.exf5 Qd5 46.Bxc6 Nxc6 47.Qb5 Qf3 48.Qxc6 Qxe3+ 49.Kg2 e4

And now blacks counterplay is too strong! White’s extra exchange is meaningless, with his king wide open, without the protection of any pawns!! White is now just looking for the best way to draw.

50.g6 Qe2+ 51.Kg3 Qf3+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kg2 Qg4+ 54.Kh2 Qxh4+ 55.Kg2 Qg4+ 56.Kh2 Qe2+

Roland is fishing for some winning chances….

57.Kh1 Qf1+ 58.Kh2 Qf2+ 59.Kh1 Qf3+ 60.Kh2

But he couldn’t find any!


An exciting fighting game by both players! Charbonneau got the early advantage, but Schmaltz showed great resilience and caused too many problems for Pascal to handle in action chess.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Kreiman, Blatny
1.5 pts – Yudasin, Kacheishvili, Schmaltz, Charbonneau


Key Pairings

1 Blatny – Kreiman SEE BELOW!
2 Schmaltz – Yudasin 1/2-1/2
3 Kacheishvili – Charbonneau 1-0

Apart from the slugfest on board 1, there were four other strong players vying to get back into the thick of things. Schmaltz and Yudasin was the heavyweight matchup in this round, and Schmaltz has owned Yudasin in the past. Schmaltz has defeated Yudasin 3 times and only drawn once. Yudasin would do better this time as they fought to a draw. Kacheishvili regained his terrific form with the white pieces, as he ended Charbonneau’s dream of a repeat championship. Now for the battle of the undefeateds…..

(3) Blatny,Pavel (2564) - Kreiman,Boris (2581) [A00]
43rd New York Masters New York (3), 11.02.2003


Blatny was in the mood for a more peaceful struggle as he eschews his favorites 1.f4 and 1.b3

1...d5 2.Bg2 g6 3.c4 d4 4.d3 Bg7 5.b4 Nf6 6.Nd2 0-0 7.Ngf3 Nfd7 8.Bb2 e5 9.h4

Blatny is not feeling so peaceful after all! He lunges at Kreiman's kingside!

9...c5 10.h5 cxb4 11.hxg6 hxg6 12.a3 b3 13.Nxb3 Nc6 14.Qc2 a5 15.Nh4 a4 16.Nd2 Nc5 17.Bd5 Ne7 18.Bg2 f5

Some players would be worried about getting mated as black, but Kreiman is confident that his king is safe and simply proceeds with central counterplay. To all my students that I tell to castle early in the game, please ignore this game.

19.Nhf3 Bf6 20.Kf1 Kg7 21.Re1 Nc6 22.Kg1 Be6 23.Qc1 Qd7 24.Qb1 Rfe8 25.Bc1 Bf7 26.Nf1 Qd8 27.Bh6+ Kg8 28.Nh4 e4

Kreiman is counterthrusting in the center of the board! It seemed like Blatny was on the attack a few moves ago, but now it has completely turned around and Boris Kreiman is dreaming about the perfect 3-0 score. Look at how white’s pieces are completely bottled up!

29.Rd1 Qe7 30.Nh2 e3

Kreiman keeps pushing and pushing. Maybe the king was safer in the center after all? Can Blatny defend this?

31.f4!? Bxh4 32.gxh4 Qxh4 33.Nf3!?

It seems like Blatny is completely lost, as Qf2+ and Qxe2 is coming, however he had a nice trick up his sleeve.....

33...Qf2+ 34.Kh2 Qxe2 35.Rhe1 Qf2 36.Rf1 Qe2

The point! It turns out the black queen is trapped between e2 and f2. White can now simply force a draw by shuttling the rook back and forth. Given the situation on the board, and blacks powerful e3 pawn, a draw should be on the horizon.


WHOAAA, Pavel seems a little too optimistic today!!

37...Kh7 38.Bg5

Overlooking a fantastic shot with 38.Ng5 Kh6 39.Bf3, trapping the queen on e2. However after 39...Qxf1, black seems to have ample compensation for the queen, with that monstrous protected passed pawn on e3. After 38.Bg5, white’s position seems simply lost to me. Blatny has made it so that now after Re1, black replies Qf2 check!

38...Kg7 39.Qb6

This lone queen cannot cause enough trouble to counteract all of black’s trumps.

39...Nxd3 40.Qxb7 Rac8 41.Rxd3 Qxd3 42.Qd7 e2 43.Rh1 Qxc4

Kreiman has clarified the issue and the win seems well on the way. Whites piece’s are around the black king, but there is really no way to pose any serious danger.

44.Qd6 Qe6 45.Qc5 Kg8 46.Ne1 d3 47.Qc3 Qe3+ 48.Bf3 Nd4 49.Bf6

Ooooh free queen? Ok, not really, if 49...Rxc3 50.Rh8 mate!


A very clever deflection, forcing the trade of queens, at which point the pawns on d3 and e2 look MIGHTY strong.

50.Rxg1 Rxc3 51.Bxd4 Rxa3 52.Rh1 Bc4 53.Rh8+ Kf7 54.Rh7+ Ke6 55.Be3 Ra2 56.Rc7 Kd6 57.Rxc4 Rxe3 58.Rd4+ Kc5 59.Rd8 d2 60.Rc8+ Kb4 61.Rb8+ Ka3 62.Kf2 dxe1Q+ 63.Kxe1 Ra1+ 64.Kf2 e1=Q+

Looks like black has the advantage...Blatny resigned. However once again I have to congratulate both contestants on a hard fought and exciting struggle! Blatny probably should have conceded to the draw, but his bravery was well appreciated by all of the fans watching at the Marshall and on the ICC. Now it seemed that IM Boris Kreiman, whom I didn’t even profile at the start of this report, had great chances to be the winner of this tournament!


Leaders after Round 3

3 pts - Kreiman
2.5 pts – Kacheishvili
2 pts – Yudasin, Schmaltz, Blatny, Bonin


Key Pairings

1 Kreiman – Kacheishvili SEE BELOW!
2 Yudasin – Blatny 1-0
3 Bonin – Schmaltz 0-1

The key game in this round was on board 1 as the best anyone else could hope for was a tie for 2nd place. Yudasin and Schmaltz, both great champions of the NY Masters, were able to move to 3 pts, with victories in Round 4. Boris Privman scored the U 2400 prize with a victory over Rafal Furdzik.

Now it’s time to see the action on the top board. This was a HUGE game, as if Kacheishvili were to win, he would win clear first place, whereas if Kreiman could draw or win, clear first would go to him. I’m going to provide a spoiler and tell you that this game was a real barn burner, so buckle your seat belts, get out your Fritz engine and get ready for the ride of your life!!!!

(4) Kreiman,Boris (2581) - Kacheishvili,Giorgi (2681) [D38]
43rd New York Masters New York (4), 11.02.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3


A puzzling decision. Sometimes a quick draw makes some sense, at least monetarily, however in this case it makes absolutely no sense to me. Kacheishvili received $70 for the draw, meanwhile would have gained $300 for a win! It would seem like it’s worth it to risk $70 for a chance at over 4 times as much money. I would play for the win here without even a second’s hesitation and I’m a weaker player than Kacheishvili! Boris must have been delighted, as this draw guaranteed him clear first place. An impressive show by Boris, to finish in first place on top of 5 GM’s.

There WILL be a tournament next week, despite the Amateur Team East. Good luck to everyone whom is playing in Parsippany, and I will see you all next week, except this time I will be present and playing!

43rd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 11 ii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Kreiman, Boris       m  2581 +10 + 9 + 7 = 3   3.5  ($300)
    2. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2706 =11 +12 = 4 + 7   3.0  ($ 70)
    3. Kacheishvili, Giorgi g  2681 =12 +11 + 8 = 1   3.0  ($ 70)
    4. Schmaltz, Roland     g  2628 +14 = 8 = 2 + 9   3.0  ($ 70)
    5. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2648 +13 - 7 =10 +11   2.5
    6. Privman, Boris       f  2241 - 7 =13 +12 +14   2.5  ($ 80)
    7. Blatny, Pavel        g  2564 + 6 + 5 - 1 - 2   2.0
    8. Charbonneau, Pascal  m  2444 +15 = 4 - 3 =10   2.0
    9. Bonin, Jay           m  2415 +16 - 1 +15 - 4   2.0
   10. Benen, Samson           2273 - 1 +16 = 5 = 8   2.0
   11. Krush, Irina         m  2402 = 2 - 3 +13 - 5   1.5
   12. D'Arruda, Ricardo    f  2386 = 3 - 2 - 6 +15   1.5
   13. Eisen, Lewis         f  2314 - 5 = 6 -11 +16   1.5
   14. Furdzik, Rafal          2282 - 4 -15 +16 - 6   1.0
   15. Zimbeck, David          2160 - 8 +14 - 9 -12   1.0
   16. Khrapatin, Fedor        1800 - 9 -10 -14 -13   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $300 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 60 U2400 - $ 80