MARCH 4th 2003

Last week’s champ, Alex Stripunsky, might have thought things would be easier this week as Roland Schmaltz had headed back to Germany. Just as Schmaltz leaves, Yudasin finally comes back to cement his place as the biggest NY Masters money winner!

Participant List for 46th NY Masters:

1. GM Leonid Yudasin
2. GM Alex Stripunsky
3. IM Greg Shahade
4. IM Jay Bonin
5. NM Evgeny Margulis
6. IM Justin Sarkar
7. NM Rafal Furdzik
8. FM Boris Privman
9. NM Alex Lendermann
10. Qualifier – Jonathan Corbblah
11. Filler – Robert Hess


1st - $310
2nd - $120
3rd - $60
U2400 - $50



1. Yudasin – Sarkar 1-0
2. Furdzik – Stripunsky 0-1
3. G.Shahade – Privman 0-1
4. Lenderman – Bonin SEE BELOW!
5. Margulis – Corbblah 1-0

There was one upset this round and unfortunately for me, it involved me. I had a clear advantage against Privman and tried to finish things off, however Privman played quite a few fine defensive moves in a row. Just when I could have been content to draw, I pushed really hard to win the game, however Privman’s accurate defense continued and my side pawns were no match for his powerful central pawns in the endgame.

We decided to show off the talented youth in Round 1, in 12 year old Alex Lenderman. How would he fare against the veteran, Jay Bonin?

(1) Lenderman,A (2206) - Bonin,J (2415) [B12]
46th New York Masters New York (1), 04.03.2003

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Nc3 a6 5.h3 Bh5 6.a4 Nd7 7.Be2


This line seems so funny to me. Jay plays …Bh5 in response to h3, and then captures on f3 as soon as the bishop moves to e2. His idea is that the bishop on f3, is on a very bad spot and white will have to lose time placing the bishop on a more active post.

8.Bxf3 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.0-0 a5 11.Be3 Bc5 12.Bxc5 Nxc5 13.Qe2 Nf6 14.Rfd1 Qe7 15.Qe3 0-0 16.Rd2 Rfd8 17.Rad1 b6 18.b3 h6 19.Ne2 Rxd2 20.Rxd2

Bonin’s idea seems to have reared it’s head. The bishop on f3 looks really unhappy.

20...Rd8 21.Ng3 Rxd2 22.Qxd2 Qd7 23.Qxd7 Nfxd7 24.Be2 g6 25.Bc4 Nf6 26.f3 Ne8 27.Nf1 Nd6

The bishop looked active for a moment, but its about to be doomed to passivity once again. This is why you don’t want to have all your pawns on the same color as your bishop, as it has almost no activity in it’s future. However despite this, white’s position is by no means lost, just that black’s position is much more pleasant to play.

28.Ne3 Kg7 29.Be2 b5 30.axb5 cxb5 31.b4?!

Seems like a panicky move...was it really necessary to give up this pawn?

31...axb4 32.Bd1 Na4 33.Be2 Nc3 34.Bd3 Nb7 35.Nd5 Nxd5 36.exd5 Nd6 37.Kf2 f5 38.Ke3 Kf6 39.g4 Kg5 40.gxf5 gxf5 41.f4+ Kf6 42.h4 Nc4+ 43.Kf2 exf4 44.d6 Nxd6 45.Kf3 Ke5

Bonin has one of the ugliest pawn structures ever assembled, but it usually helps when 3 of the pawns are extra ones. Black should win this with no difficulties.

46.Be2 Nc4 47.Bd3 Ne3 48.Ke2 Kd4 49.Bxb5 Nxc2 50.Kf3 Ke5 51.Bc4 b3!

The final blow! White cannot capture the pawn because of …Nd4, winning the bishop

52.Bd3 Ne1+ 0-1

Young player can often have a lot of difficulty with Bonin’s technical, solid style. Jay gets a slightly better position and then slowly improves it, and it takes a lot of experience before you can handle such pressure.


Key Pairings

1 Bonin – Yudasin SEE BELOW!!
2 Stripunsky – Margulis 1-0
3 Privman – Sarkar 1-0

Stripunsky and Privman both moved to 2-0 with their wins, and also impressive was qualifier Jonathan Corbblah, who knocked off Rafal Furdzik (2300). Let’s see if Bonin could use his technical mastery against someone with a little more experience than Lenderman...

(2) Bonin,J (2415) - Yudasin,L (2706) [B83]
46th New York Masters New York (2), 04.03.2003

1.Nc3! c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.e4 d6

The stupidest transposition into a Sicilian that I’ve ever seen!

6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Be3 0-0 9.Nb3 a6 10.a4 b6 11.f4 Bb7 12.Bf3 Rb8 13.Qd2 Qc7 14.Rad1 Na5 15.Nxa5 bxa5 16.Ba7 Rbc8 17.Qe3 Nd7 18.Rf2 Ba8 19.Rfd2 Nc5 20.Bxc5 Qxc5 21.Qxc5 Rxc5 22.Nb1 g5

Yudasin has pressure on the queenside, and now he’s opening up a front on the kingside! He’s playing on both sides of the board.

23.fxg5 Rxg5 24.Na3 f5 25.Re1 fxe4 26.Bxe4 Bxe4 27.Rxe4 d5 28.Re1 Re5!

A nice trick! If 29.Rxe5 Bc5+ leads to an eventual back rank made. Now black’s central pawns, active rooks, and strong bishop, compared to white’s offsides knight, are going to make it very difficult for Jay to defend.

29.Rdd1 Bc5+ 30.Kh1 Rxe1+ 31.Rxe1 Rf2 32.g3 Kf7

Things have crystallized and now black is simply winning. The rook on the 7th completely dominates the white position. Impressive performance by 2 time World Championship Candidate, Leonid Yudasin.

33.Re5 Bd4 34.Rh5 Kg6 35.Rh4 Bxb2 0-1

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Yudasin, Stripunsky, Privman

Round 3

Key Pairings

1 Yudasin (2) – Stripunsky (2) 1/2 - 1/2
2 Bonin (1) – Privman (2) 1-0

Yudasin and Stripunsky agreed to a quick draw, and thus we were not able to watch the two GMs square off. The GM’s reasoning must be that they will win their last game and then split first with each other, but such safety-first strategies can often backfire. Privman was going for the big 3/3, and it would have been his first ever time with such a score. The Bone was not going to allow this, and slowly tore him apart to move to 2/3.

For the first time we decided to air a game that wasn’t involving the leaders. After Jonathan Corbblah’s upset victory in round 2, we decided to give him a chance to shine in a live broadcast.

(3) Sarkar,J (2349) - Corbblah,J (1973) [A04]
46th New York Masters New York (3), 04.03.2003

1.Nf3 g5?!

Stronger was 1...d5, 1...d6, 1...e6, 1...c5, 1...c6, 1...b6, 1...b5, 1...a6, 1...a5, 1...f6, 1...f5, 1...g6, 1...h6, 1...h5, 1...Nf6, 1...Nc6, 1...Nh6 or 1...Na6, however 1...e5 was a mistake because of 2.Nxe5.

2.Nxg5 e5 3.d4 h6 4.Nh3 e4 5.Nf4 Bg7 6.Nh5 Bf6

No comment, but remind me to always play 1.Nf3 against Mr. Corbblah

7.c4 c6 8.Nc3 Na6 9.Bf4 d6 10.Nxe4!?

Justin goes for a piece sacrifice, albeit an unnecessary one. White could have won by more prosaic means, but Justin wanted to really punish Corbblah for his opening choice.


Picking up the knight on h5.

11.Qd2 Qxh5 12.Nxd6+ Kf8 13.e3 Bd8 14.c5 Nf6 15.Bc4 Rh7 16.0-0 Nc7 17.Be2 Bg4 18.f3 Bc8 19.g4 Rg7 20.Bg3 Qh3

I think the queen is misplaced on h3.

21.Rf2 Nh5 22.Bf1

The good news is that it’s not going to be misplaced for much longer...

22...Qg2+ 23.Kxg2 1-0

Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Yudasin, Stripunsky
2 pts – G.Shahade, Bonin, Privman


Key Pairings

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

Stripunsky guaranteed himself a share of first place by knocking off Jay Bonin, whom he has an incredible score against. Now Yudasin had to beat me to join Stripunsky and thus justify his fast draw with the white pieces in round 3.

(4) Shahade,G (2510) - Yudasin,L (2706) [B14]
46th New York Masters New York (4), 04.03.2003

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Bd3 Nf6 10.0-0 Be7 11.a3 0-0 12.Be3 g6 13.Rad1 Bd7 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Qe2 Re8 16.Bc4 Qc7 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.d5

The thematic break in isolated pawn positions. This was the point of 16.Bc4. I was now quite sure I had a sizable advantage, yet Yudasin disagreed after the game, saying that I was only slightly better.

18...exd5 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.Rxd5 Qc7 21.Qf3 Bf8 22.Bf4 Qe7 23.Bg5 Qc7 24.Ba2 Bg7 25.b4 Nd4 26.Qd1?

What’s funny about this move is that I played Qd1, and almost let go of the piece and then hesitated (Something just didn’t feel right?) and put the queen back on f3. Yudasin smiled and laughed and said something, probably out and out telling me about Ne2 and Nc3, but I was concentrating so didn’t really understand what he said.


Now I was very upset. There is nothing I hate more than having a good position and then losing to a stronger player, as it makes me feel as though I cannot ever get any better if I can’t even play a position like this. Fortunately the gods were smiling down upon me as a had a VERY LUCKY defense.

27.Kh1 Nc3 28.Rd7!

After he forked me I had noticed I could go Rd7, but was sure it wouldn’t work. Since everything else loses the exchange, why not analyze a little deeper? I was no longer sure whether I was totally lost, but I was sure I was lost in any other variation, so I held my breath and played Rd7, although I really didn’t like that my survival was now hanging by a thread….

28...Nxd1 29.Bxf7+ Kf8 30.Rxc7 Rxc7 31.Bxe8 Nc3?

A huge mistake by Yudasin. Yudasin had to play 31….Nf2 32. Rf2 Ke8, with a draw on the horizon. He thought that now my bishop on e8 is trapped, and it almost is if not for….


The only move and a very strong one. Now black has no way to trap the bishop on e8! Now I was thinking about winning the game….

32...a6 33.Bf4 Rc4 34.Bd6+ Kg8 35.Bd7 Re4 36.Be6+ Kh8 37.Rxe4 Nxe4 38.Be7

I liked this move during the game. Black will regain the pawn on f2, but the two bishops and the threat of Bc8 will be too much to handle.

38...Nxf2+ 39.Kg1 Bd4 40.Bc8 Ng4+ 41.Kf1 Ne3+ 42.Ke2 Nf5 43.Bc5 b6 44.Bxd4+ Nxd4+ 45.Kd3 Nb5 46.Bxa6 Nxa3 47.Kc3

Now I was sure I had a winning position. I had 3 minutes to his 5, but Im threatening 48.Bd3, which would win the game instantly, as it would completely trap the knight on a3. Black must give up the b-pawn…

47...b5 48.Kb3 Nc4 49.Bxb5 Nb6 50.Bc6 Kg7 51.Kc3 Kf6 52.Kd4 Ke7 53.Kc5 Nc8 54.b5 Kd8 55.b6 Ne7 56.Be4 Kd7 57.Kd4 Kd6 58.b7 Kc7 59.Ke5 Ng8 60.h3 Nh6 61.Kf6 Ng8+ 62.Kf7 Nh6+ 63.Kg7


And it turns out that Yudasin should have played in Round 3 after all. If he had 3/3 and played against me he wouldn’t have had to worry about going for a win at all costs, and eventually throwing the game away.

This win secured me clear 2nd place and strangely enough, Yudasin got clear 3rd with just 2.5/4! This might be the first time that 1st,2nd and 3rd place were all clearly decided. Things were not so peachy with the U2400 prize, as it was split 3 ways amongst Boris Privman, Evgeny Marglus and Justin Sarkar.

GM Alex Stripunsky, wins the event for the 2nd consecutive week. This may be the first time that the event winner did not have a game shown online! Alex has almost caught his friend Igor Novikov, for 2nd place in the all time money list. At the going pace, he will pass Igor quite soon!

46th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 4 iii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2648 + 8 + 5 = 3 + 4   3.5  ($310)
    2. Shahade, Greg        m  2510 - 7 +11 + 5 + 3   3.0  ($120)
    3. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2706 + 6 + 4 = 1 - 2   2.5  ($ 60)
    4. Bonin, Jay           m  2415 +11 - 3 + 7 - 1   2.0
    5. Margulis, Yevgeni       2369 +10 - 1 - 2 + 7   2.0  ($ 20)
    6. Sarkar, Justin       m  2349 - 3 - 7 +10 + 8   2.0  ($ 20)
    7. Privman, Boris       f  2241 + 2 + 6 - 4 - 5   2.0  ($ 20)
    8. Furdzik, Rafal          2282 - 1 -10 +11 - 6   1.0
    9. Hess, Robert            2104 --- --- --- +10   1.0
   10. Corbblah, Jonathan      1973 - 5 + 8 - 6 - 9   1.0
   11. Lenderman, Alex         2206 - 4 - 2 - 8 =     0.5

PRIZES 1ST - $310 2ND - $120 3RD - $ 60 U2400 - $ 60