FEBUARY 25th 2003

Roland Schmaltz is heading back to Germany in a few days, but not before trying to capture one more NY Masters title! We had one newcomer in Evgeny Margulis, an 11 year Brooklyn resident who has not played in a tournament in quite some time. It’s nice to see him removing his rust at the NY Masters.

This week also had two qualifiers, as the blizzard made it impossible for David Zimbeck to play in last week’s event, and due to the extenuating circumstances, we let him play this week instead. Enough talk, let’s get to the games!

Participant List for 45th NY Masters:

1. GM Alex Stripunsky
2. GM Roland Schmaltz
3. IM Greg Shahade
4. IM Jay Bonin
5. FM Ricardo D’Arruda
6. NM Evgeny Margulis
7. FM Lew Eisen
8. NM Rafal Furdzik
9. NM Samson Benen
10. FM Boris Privman
11. NM Alex Lendermann
12. Qualifier – David Zimbeck
13. Qualifier – Alex Pelekhaty
14. Filler – FM Fabiano Caruana


1st - $350
2nd - $150
3rd - $60
U2400 - $70



1. Furdzik - Stripunsky SEE BELOW!
2. Schmaltz - Benen 1-0
3. Privman – G.Shahade 0-1
4. Bonin - Lendermann 1-0
5. Zimbeck – D’Arruda 0-1
6. Margulis - Caruana 1-0
7. Pelekhaty - Eisen 1-0

One of our qualifier’s provided this round’s only upset, as the great doctor, Lew Eisen, went down to talented younger, Alexander Pelekhaty. Pelekhaty attends the same school as Alex Lendermann, so we can imagine these two are studying and playing a lot together!

Now on to our featured game from Round 1...

(1) Furdzik,R (2282) - Stripunsky,A (2648) [B40]
45th New York Masters New York (1), 25.02.2003

Last time that the game Furdzik-Stripunsky was relayed, Furdzik won in fantastic, sacrificial fashion. Would the GM turn the tables this time?

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Qe2 Nc6 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 g6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.c3 e5 8.d3 Nge7 9.Nh4 0-0 10.f4 exf4 11.gxf4


Capturing on f4 and playing ….f5 is blacks typical response in such Closed Sicilian type of positions.

12.Be3 Kh8 13.Nd2 Be6 14.Ndf3 Bg8 15.Ng5 h6 16.Nh3 Kh7 17.Kh1 Qd7 18.Qc2 Be6 19.Nf2 Rac8 20.Rae1 b5 21.b3 a5 22.Nf3

It looks like whites play on the kingside isn’t going anywhere (especially since none of white’s pieces are on the kingside), meanwhile black has achieved a comfortable setup.

22...Nd4 23.Qd2 Nxf3 24.Bxf3 b4 25.Nd1 bxc3 26.Nxc3 d5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Nxd5 Bxd5 29.Qxa5 Bxf3+ 30.Rxf3 Qd5 31.Kg2


This is one of Stripunsky’s great strengths. He is never scared to mix up the game and has a good sense of when it is correct to do so and when it is correct to use safer means to get the point.

32.fxg5 f4 33.g6+ Kh8 34.Bg1 Rc6 35.Re4 Rxg6+ 36.Kf1


36...Qh5 would have led to an even faster victory, although white can no longer resist the black onslaught.

37.Bf2 Qh5 38.Ke2 Rg2 39.Qc7?!

Maybe something like 39.b4 is a better attempt.


40.Rxd4 cxd4 41.Qc6 Rxh2 42.Kf1 Rh1+ 43.Ke2 Re8+ 44.Kd2 Qa5+



Key Pairings

1 Stripunsky – Bonin 1-0
2 D’Arruda – Schmaltz SEE BELOW!
3 G.Shahade – Margulis 1-0
4 Furdzik – Pelekhaty 1/2-1/2

Our qualifier, Alex Pelekhaty, keeps on rolling! He had to be happy to draw strong master, Rafal Furdzik, with the black pieces. Stripunsky defeated Bonin, as he did about 25 times in a row before his loss to Jay from a month ago.

My encounter with Margulis was exciting. I learned very quickly that Margulis had an attacking style, as he sacrificed material to keep my king in the center. After fending off the initial storm, my threats were too great and I was able to move to 2-0.

Let’s see if Schmaltz could continue the form he showed in his 4-0 performance from last week…

(2) D'Arruda,R (2386) - Schmaltz,R (2628) [E15]
45th New York Masters New York (2), 25.02.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 d5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bc3 Bb7 10.Nbd2 Na6 11.Bb2 dxc4 12.Nxc4 c5 13.dxc5 Nxc5

Not the most action packed of chess positions, it seems as if Ricardo was in a peaceful mood today, however Roland is not going to share Ricardo’s peaceful demeanor.

14.Qxd8 Rfxd8

Now we have a situation similar to last week’s game, Benen – Schmaltz. A completely equal endgame has arisen, yet Schmaltz will do all he can to show why he has the best record of anyone in the NY Masters.

15.Rfd1 Rac8 16.Nfe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Nd5 18.Nd3 Na4!

A great attempt to make something happen in this otherwise dry position.

19.Rac1 Nxb2 20.Ncxb2 b5

Already we are beginning to notice that black is controlling the game. He has the only bishop on the board and is starting to gain space on the queenside. Can D’Arruda play accurately enough to avoid going down to the “GM” technique.

21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.a4 bxa4 23.Nxa4 Rc2 24.Rc1 Rxe2 25.Rc8+ Bf8 26.Ndc5 Rc2 27.Ra8 Nf6 28.Rxa7 g5 29.Nd7 Nxd7 30.Rxd7

Black has an advantage here. It seems like white has the passed pawn, but this “advantage” pales in comparison to blacks active rook, constant threats upon the f2-pawn and the eventual weakness of the b3 pawn. However the advantage is not large at all, so the result is still very much in the air.

30...h5 31.h3 Bb4 32.Rd1 f5 33.Kf1 Kf7 34.g4 fxg4 35.hxg4 h4 36.Rd3 e5 37.Rf3+ Ke6 38.Nb6 Bc5 39.Nc4 Bd4 40.Kg2 e4?!

Roland was not happy with this move, as he felt that it made his e-pawn weak later in the endgame.

41.Rf8 Ke7 42.Rf5 Ke6 43.Rf8 Kd7 44.Rf7+ Kc6 45.Kg1 Rc3 46.Kg2 Rc2 47.Kg1 Kc5 48.Rf5+ Kb4 49.Ne3

D’Arruda exhibited very nice poise under pressure in this game, and has finally achieved a solid, drawn position.

49...Bxe3 50.fxe3 Re2 51.Rxg5 h3 52.Re5 Rxe3 53.g5 Kc3 54.g6 Rg3+ 55.Kh2 Rxg6 56.Rxe4 Kxb3 57.Re3+ 1/2-1/2

Roland seemed to think that he had a very large advantage at some point during the endgame as his comment to me was “My endgame technique is non-existant”. However I think that one can be excused for not winning this position as there was never any clear knockout blow.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Stripunsky, G.Shahade
1.5 pts – Schmaltz, Pelekhaty


Key Pairings

1 G.Shahade – Stripunsky SEE BELOW!!
2 Schmaltz – Pelekhaty 1-0

Pelekhaty has had a fine result to this point, but the black pieces against Schmaltz is no picnic. Schmaltz took care of business, and waited to see the result of my game with Stripunsky.

(3) Shahade,G (2510) - Stripunsky,A (2648) [B43]
45th New York Masters New York (3), 25.02.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 b5 6.Bd3 Qb6 7.Nf3

Roland Schmaltz recommended this move to me, as I got a stupid position in our game the previous week with 7.Nb3. Also I lost like a child against Stripunsky 3 weeks ago with 7.Nb3, so I really didn’t want to repeat this line.

7...Qc7 8.0-0 Nc6 9.e5 Bb7 10.Bf4 Nge7


Oh goody free pawn. While analyzing the opening, Schmaltz also said Ne7 was impossible because of Bb5, thus allowing me to blame the entire loss on him. Bb5 wins a pawn but at a terrible cost. Black’s bishop on b7 becomes a monster, and my bishop gets shut out of the game on g3.

11...Ng6 12.Bxc6 Bxc6 13.Bg3 h5 14.h3 h4 15.Bh2 Qb7 16.Qd3 Rc8 17.Rfe1 Bxf3! 18.Qxf3 Qxf3!

Resisting the temptation to go pawn grabbing on b2.


19...Bb4 20.Re3 Bxc3 21.Rxc3 Rxc3! 22.bxc3

No this is not a misprint, that is my actual pawn structure. Don’t try this at home. The good news is that in return for the ugliest pawn structure in the history of chess, I also have a bishop that has ZERO squares to move to. All of this means that my pawn advantage is more than meaningless.

22...Ke7 23.Rb1 Rc8 24.Rb3 Rc5 25.f4 Ra5 26.a3 Ra4 27.Kg2 Nxf4+ 28.Bxf4 Rxf4 29.Rb4 Rf5 30.Re4 g5 31.Kf1 Rf3 32.Rc4 Rxh3 33.Kg2 g4 34.Rxg4 Rxc3 35.Rxh4 Rxa3 36.Rc4 a5 37.Rc5 Ra1 38.f4 a4 39.Ra5 a3 40.Ra8 a2 41.Kf2


Now it was dawning to me that there was no chance to defend. The king will either go to g4 via f7-g6-h5, or if I stop that maneuver, the king will come towards the queenside, as in the game.

42.Ra7 Kd8 43.Kg2 Kc8 44.c4 Kb8 45.Ra5 Kb7 46.Rb5+ Kc7 47.Ra5 Kc6 48.Ra7 Kc5 49.Ra4 Kd4 50.Ra7 Ke3 51.Ra4 Kxf4 0-1

Results after Round 3

3 pts – Stripunsky
2.5 pts – Schmaltz
2 pts – G.Shahade, Bonin, Benen, Privman


Key Pairings

1 Stripunsky (3) – Schmaltz (2.5) SEE BELOW!
2 Benen (2) – G.Shahade (2) 0-1
3 Privman (2) – Bonin (2) 1-0

This was a very lucky round for yours truly. I had a very equalish/slightly worse endgame with Benen, but was able to putz around and create enough tricks to end up winning in a long endgame.

Privman also had to be happy with his last round win over Jay Bonin, good for a 3/4 score. Privman received a major gift in round 3, as he had a knight and some pawns against Lewis Eisen’s queen and pawns, yet managed to win the game by forking the king and queen!

The key matchup of course was the battle for first place between the two Grandmasters. Let’s see what happened there…

(4) Stripunsky,A (2648) - Schmaltz,R (2628) [C41]
45th New York Masters New York (4), 25.02.2003

The matchup we have all been waiting for! The two GM’s finally meet in the final round. Schmaltz needs to win with the black pieces against a strong GM like Stripunsky, a very difficult task. I recall a few similar situations before where players needed to defeat Stripunsky with the black pieces. Yudasin got a worse position after 15 moves and thus agreed to a draw. Maurice Ashley was in the same spot but went down in flames to Stripunsky’s attack in that game. If anyone could take Stripunsky out, Schmaltz could do it….

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e5 5.Bc4 Be7

Yeah, everyone knows it’s a great idea to play the Philidor Defense when you are in a must-win situation! Actually the Philidor is known as one of the most passive openings in chess. Strange that Roland decided against playing the Sicilian in this must win-situation, especially since Roland stated that he was going all out for the win.

6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 a6 8.a4 b6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nd5 Bb7 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.Ra3 Nc5 13.Bd5 c6 14.Ba2 Qe7 15.Qe2 b5 16.a5 Rad8 17.h4 h6 18.g3 Bc8 19.Nh2 Rd4 20.Re3 Ra4 21.Bb1 Rd8

Schmaltz has done a fine job of confusifying the position. It turns out the Philidor has fangs after all! Black has a more active and aggressive setup, yet will it be enough for the win? Wait, look at this, Stripunsky has created Alekhine’s gun, with the Re3,Qe2, Re1 setup!! The only problem is that this technique is usually most effective on open files.

22.b3 Rad4 23.c3 R4d6 24.Ba3 Rd2 25.Qf3 Qa7 26.Bxc5 Qxc5 27.b4

Schmaltz has to be commended for his play as it seems that black is in control here. His rooks are much more active than white’s and he has the 2 bishops. Stripunsky has an unpleasant task of defense ahead of him.

27...Qe7 28.Nf1 R2d6 29.Rd3

Stripunsky is finally positioning his pieces in the center of the board. He is trying his best to eliminate the initiative of Schmaltz, but black still has the more active play, with a later ….c5 push coming.

29...Rxd3 30.Bxd3 h5 31.Be2 g6 32.Qe3 Qc7 33.Rd1 Rxd1 34.Bxd1 Kg7 35.Bb3 Be7 36.Qd2 c5 37.Ne3

At last Stripunsky has contained blacks initiative. The position is too simplified and white has no real weaknesses anymore. The d5 square is also mighty tempting for the knight.

37...cxb4 38.cxb4 Qd6 39.Nd5 Be6 40.Qc3 Bxd5 41.Bxd5 Qxb4 42.Qxe5+ Bf6 43.Qe8 Qe7 44.Qxe7 1/2-1/2

The draw was agreed and Stripunsky clinched first place. Roland did a great job of trying to stir up some winning chances with the black pieces, but Stripunsky was just too hard to break.

With this draw, Stripunsky locked up the $350 first prize. Schmaltz, Privman and I all tied for 2nd place, good for just about $100.

45th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 25 ii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2648 +10 + 6 + 3 = 2   3.5  ($350)
    2. Schmaltz, Roland     g  2628 + 8 = 5 +11 = 1   3.0  ($ 95)
    3. Shahade, Greg        m  2510 + 4 + 7 - 1 + 8   3.0  ($ 95)
    4. Privman, Boris       f  2241 - 3 +13 + 9 + 6   3.0  ($ 95)
    5. D'Arruda, Ricardo    f  2386 +14 = 2 - 6 +10   2.5
    6. Bonin, Jay           m  2415 +12 - 1 + 5 - 4   2.0
    7. Margulis, Yevgeni       2369 +13 - 3 - 8 +11   2.0
    8. Benen, Samson           2273 - 2 +14 + 7 - 3   2.0
    9. Eisen, Lewis         f  2314 -11 =12 - 4 +14   1.5
   10. Furdzik, Rafal          2282 - 1 =11 +12 - 5   1.5
   11. Pelekhaty, Alex         1969 + 9 =10 - 2 - 7   1.5
   12. Lenderman, Alex         2206 - 6 = 9 -10 =     1.0
   13. Caruana, Fabiano     f  2143 - 7 - 4 +14 ---   1.0
   14. Zimbeck, David          2160 - 5 - 8 -13 - 9   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $350 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 65 U2400 - $ 70