MARCH 11th 2003

After a not so strong attendance last week, the NY Masters kicked back into gear with a super strong field this week! Joining us for the first time ever was 2 time World Championship candidate, GM Jan Ehlvest! Just a few years ago, Ehlvest made it to the final 16 in the World Championships, knocking off Super GM, Vassily Ivanchuk in the process. We had 5 GMs in total, as Pavel Blatny came directly from JFK airport to the Marshall Chess Club. The UMBC crowd came down also, as GM Wojtkiewicz and IM Charbonneau drove all the way from Maryland!

A new important rule has been established in the NY Masters. From now on, INCREMENT is preferred over TIME DELAY. Thus, if either participant wishes, the game can start with 25 minutes and 5 seconds are added to the clock after every move!

Participant List for 47th NY Masters:

1. GM Leonid Yudasin
2. GM Jan Ehlvest
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
5. GM Pavel Blatny
6. IM Greg Shahade
7. IM Pascal Charbonneau
8. IM Jay Bonin
9. IM Irina Krush
10. FM Ricardo D’Arruda
11. NM Evgeny Gershov
12. NM Evgeny Margulis
13. WIM Jenn Shahade
14. NM Noah Seigel
15. FM Ilye Figler
16. NM Rafal Furdzik
17. FM Boris Privman
18. NM Alex Lenderman
19. NM Sam Barsky
20 Qualifier – Jonathan Corbblah
21. Filler – Evan Rosenberg


1st - $350
2nd - $150
3rd - $ 70
U2400 - $ 90



1 Yudasin – D’Arruda 1-0
2 Margulis – Ehlvest SEE BELOW!
3 Stripunsky – J.Shahade 1/2-1/2
4 Seigel – Wojtkiewicz 0-1
5 Blatny – Furdzik 1-0
6 Privman – G.Shahade 0-1
7 Charbonneau – Lenderman 1-0
8 Barsky – Bonin 0-1
9 Krush – Corbblah 1-0
1/2 pt. bye for Gershov and Figler

As usual, there was some WILD action in the first round! Wojtkiewicz had no prayer of beating Noah Siegel, as he had rook and bishop versus Noah’s rook and 4 pawns! Noah, who is on Spring break from college, must have let his nerves get to him, as he allowed the grandmaster to pick off his pawns one by one and finally to achieve rook and bishop versus rook. Noah tried to claim a draw, but the chances of the rook and bishop are too great, thus his claim was denied and he ended up losing the game.

The new increment time setting was a great help for Jenn Shahade. She was down a pawn in a rook and pawn ending against Stripunsky, and also had not much time to boot. On the other hand, her position was very easy to draw as she had a much more active rook and king, and the extra 5 seconds she received after every move made things a lot simpler.

Now let’s see the strong Estonian GM, Jan Ehlvest, in action against Brooklyn based master Evgeny Margulis…

(1) Margulis,E (2369) - Ehlvest,J (2702) [E11]
47th New York Masters New York (1), 11.03.2003

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.cxd5 exd5 8.0-0 c6 9.Nc3 Bf5 10.Bg5 Nbd7 11.Nd2 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.e3 Bd6 14.a3 Qe7 15.Re1 Rfe8

16.f3 c5 17.Nb5 cxd4 18.exd4 Qxe1+ 19.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Bf8 21.Nf1 Bd3 22.Nc3 Rc8 23.Rd1 Bxf1 24.Bxf1

24...Bxa3! 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.bxa3 Kf8

After this exchange, black has the advantage, in large part due to the blockading knight on d5.

27.Rd3 Ke7 28.h4 Kd6 29.f4 Rc2 30.Bg2 b5

Ehlvest’s position is picture perfect. The knight is perfectly placed on d5, blockading white’s isolated pawn. Blacks king is MUCH more active than white’s king, which is still restricted on the first rank. The black rook is extremely active as well. For players like Ehlvest, positions like this are child’s play.

31.Bf3 a6 32.Bd1 Rc3 33.Rxc3 Nxc3 34.Bb3 f6

35.Kf2 Ne4+ 36.Ke3 Nxg3 37.Bc2 f5 38.Bb3 Ne4 39.Bf7 Nc3 40.Bg6 Nd5+ 41.Kf3 Ke6 42.Be8 Nb6 43.Bc6 Kd6 44.Bb7 a5 45.Ke2 Nd5 46.Kf3 a4 47.Bc8 b4!

The a-pawn will make it to a1, thus Margulis resigned.




1 G.Shahade (1) – Yudasin (1) SEE BELOW!
2 Ehlvest (1) – Charbonneau (1) 1-0
3 Wojtkiewicz (1) – Krush (1) 1-0
4 Bonin (1) – Blatny (1) 1-0

The “Bone” got off to a great start by knocking off Czech GM Pavel Blatny in round 2. Meanwhile Ehlvest stopped Canadian champ, Pascal Charbonneau in controversial fashion. Ehlvest had rook+bishop versus Pascal’s rook+pawn, but was able to create a mating net in the time scramble. Wojo shook off his first round scare with a win over IM Irina Krush. The live game would be a rematch between GM Yudasin and I. Last week Yudasin pressed too hard against me in the final round, thus enabling me to win and grab a share of second place. This week I had the white pieces again…

(2) Shahade,G (2510) - Yudasin,L (2706) [B14]
47th New York Masters New York (2), 11.03.2003

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qc2 Nc6

We have reached the same position as last week. Last week I gained some advantage pretty quickly out of the opening, does Yudasin have some improvements in store?

9.Bd3 Be7 10.a3 Bf6 11.0-0 h6 12.Be4 Nce7 13.Qe2 0-0 14.Bc2 Qc7 15.Qe4 Ng6

16.Bd2 Bd7 17.Bb3 Nxc3 18.bxc3 Rfe8 19.Bc2 Rac8 20.Rab1 b6 21.Rfe1 Red8 22.Bd3 Qd6


Yudasin was probably not happy to have allowed this maneuver. I can play it now, because after black responds with 23….e5, I have 24.Qg3, pinning the e pawn to the undefended queen on d6. When the queen was on c7, I didn’t have this luxury.

23...Nf8 24.Ba6 Rc6 25.Bb5 Rcc8 26.Ba6 Rc6

I saw no reason to take a draw by repeating the position just yet, and instead blundered a pawn away. But in general, why even bother playing chess if I am going to agree to a draw with so much play left in a position.

27.Ne5? Bxe5 28.Rxe5 Ng6 29.Ree1 e5!

Ugh, the rook on c6 defends the queen on d6, meaning that I can no longer pin the pawn with Qg3.

30.Qf3 exd4 31.cxd4 Qxd4 32.Be3 Qf6?

32...Qg4 was a stronger

33.Qxf6 Rxf6 34.Red1!

This is the reason that 32...Qf6 was inaccurate. Now black has serious issues untangling his pieces. White no longer stands worse, and perhaps stands better in this position. I only had about 2 minutes left on the clock, but things are not so terrible now that I had increment on my side!

34...Nf8 35.Rbc1 Re8 36.Rc7 Ba4 37.Rdc1 b5 38.Rxa7 Ng6 39.Bb7 Bb3 40.Bc6 Rb8 41.Rc5 Ba4 42.h3 Rc8 43.Be4 Rxc5 44.Bxc5 Bb3 45.h4 h5 46.g3 Re6

At this point I gave up any dreams of glory, as my clock was ticking down and I was fearful of black’s counterplay and whether or not I would be able to handle it with such little time remaining. For example, I saw that if I played 47.Bg2, black would play Re1+ 48.Kh2 Ne5, with annoying ideas like Ng4+.

47.Bxg6 Rxg6

Now the game should end in a draw.

48.Be3 Rd6 49.Ra8+ Kh7 50.Rc8 Rd1+ 51.Kh2 Bd5 52.Rc1 Rd3 53.Bc5 Bf3 54.Rb1 f6 55.Re1 Bd5 56.Rb1 Rc3 57.Be3 Rxa3 58.Rxb5

Yudasin has been trying hard to win, taking advantage of my relatively low clock time, however it is completely hopeless in this position, especially when 5 seconds are added to my time every move.

58...Bf3 59.Rf5 Bg4 60.Rc5 Kg6 61.Kg2 Ra1 62.Rc1 Ra2 63.Rc5 Bf5 64.Rc4 Bd3 65.Rc1 Be4+ 66.Kg1 Kf5 67.Kh2 Kg4 68.Rc7 Ra1 69.Rc1 Ra2 70.Rc7 g6 71.Rc4 Kf3 72.Rc3 Ra6 73.Bd4+ Kg4 74.Be3 Ba8 75.Rc4+ Kf3 76.Rc7 Be4 77.Ra7 Rd6 78.Ra1

Finally Yudasin said “Ok” and reached out his hand.


Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Ehlvest, Wojtkiewicz, Bonin
1.5 pts – Yudasin, Stripunsky, G.Shahade, Gershov


Key Pairings:

1 Wojtkiewicz (2) – Ehlvest (2) 1/2-1/2
2 Yudasin (1.5) – Bonin (2) SEE BELOW!
3 Stripunsky (1.5) – G.Shahade (1.5) 1-0
4 Blatny (1) – Gershov (1.5) 1-0

Once again, there was a quick draw agreed on first board. If you ask me, this practice often makes little or no sense for one of the participants. Last week, Yudasin had the white pieces against Stripunsky in round 3 and agreed to a quick draw. This means that Yudasin would have BLACK in the last round, whereas Stripunsky would have white, automatically giving Stripunsky a distinct advantage. As it turned out, Stripunsky won last week and Yudasin ended up losing the last game.

This week a similar situation occurred, as Wojtkiewicz gave away a draw to Ehlvest. This time it makes even less sense to me, as its almost a certaintly that Wojtkiewicz will have the black pieces against a very strong player in the final round. Meanwhile Ehlvest will have white pieces, and being the world class-player that he is, is almost sure to play for the victory. Why give your main competition such a huge advantage without even playing a move?

I was paired with Stripunsky, and had a difficult opening but managed to equalize. Things traded down to a bishop endgame in which I had an advantage, and was even winning at one moment, but in the time scramble I blew it bigtime, and allowed Stripunsky to queen a pawn. Stripunsky was now amongst the leaders with 2.5/3.

Now Bonin would be the only player with a chance to go 3/3, yet he would have the unenviable task of defeating Yudasin to do so. Meanwhile Yudasin needed a win to join Ehlvest, Wojtkiewicz and Stripunsky at 2.5/3.

(3) Yudasin,L (2706) - Bonin,J (2415) [B12]
47th New York Masters New York (3), 11.03.2003

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d6 3.f4 d5 4.e5 h5 5.Be2 g6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Nbd2 Nh6 8.c3 e6 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Nxf3 Nf5 12.Kf2 h4 13.Bd3 Nd7 14.Rd1 Be7 15.Bd2 a5 16.Qxb6 Nxb6

17.a4 c5 18.b3 Kf8 19.Be1 Kg7 20.Ke2 Nd7 21.Rac1 Nb8 22.Bxf5 gxf5 23.c4!

White is much more prepared to open up the position, as most of black’s pieces are still resting on their initial squares. It’s tough to play against a GM with none of your pieces developed!

23...dxc4 24.Rxc4 Nd7 25.dxc5 Nxc5 26.Bxh4!

A nice shot, winning a pawn. Black’s position is in dire straits.


Sacraficing the exchange, but it won’t bring Jay any relief

27.Nxh4 Nxb3 28.Rd7!

Winning. If black plays 28...Bxh4 29.Rxb7 Na1 30. Rb1 and the knight is trapped on a1.

28...b5 29.Rcc7 Bxh4 30.Rxf7+ Kg8 31.Rg7+ Kh8 32.Rh7+ Kg8 33.Rcg7+ Kf8 34.Rb7

34...Kg8 35.Rxh4 bxa4 36.Rh6 Nc5 37.Rbh7 a3 38.Rh8+ Kg7 39.R6h7+ Kg6 40.Rxa8


Leaders After Round 3

2.5 pts – Yudasin, Ehlvest, Wojtkiewicz, Stripunsky
2 pts – Blatny, Charbonneau, Bonin, Siegel



1 Ehlvest (2.5) – Stripunsky (2.5) SEE BELOW!
2 Yudasin (2.5) – Wojtkiewicz (2.5) 1/2-1/2
3 Siegel (2) – Blatny (2) 0-1
4 Bonin (2) – Charbonneau (2) 0-1
5 Privman (2) – Gershov (1.5) 1-0

4 GM’s were slugging it out for first place in the final round. Yudasin and Wojtkiewicz made things more tense when their game ended in a draw. Yudasin had a chance to simply win a piece for nothing, but shockingly missed it. Although he still had the edge, Wojo was able to recover from this near certain loss, and salvage a half point.

Blatny, Charbonneau and Privman also won their last round games, thus leaving, Yudasin, Wojtkiewicz, Blatny, Charbonneau and Privman with three points. It would all come down to the last round game. Either Ehlvest or Stripunsky would take clear first, or there would be a massive 7 way tie for first place!

(4) Ehlvest,J (2702) - Stripunsky,A (2648) [A25]
47th New York Masters New York (4), 11.03.2003

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Rb1 d6 6.b4 Nh6 7.b5 Nd4 8.e3 Ne6 9.Nge2 0-0 10.0-0 f5 11.f4 e4 12.d3 exd3 13.Qxd3 Nc5 14.Qc2 Re8

15.h3 a6 16.Nd4 axb5 17.cxb5 Kh8 18.Nb3 Nxb3 19.axb3 Bd7

Stripunsky decides to jettison the b7 pawn to complete his development.

20.Bxb7 Rb8 21.Bg2 Ng8 22.b4 Nf6 23.Bd2 d5 24.Rfc1 Re7 25.Rb3 Be8 26.Kh2 h5 27.Rd1 Bf7 28.Ra3 h4!?

Stripunsky, not willing to dawdle about any longer, sacrifices two pawns to go for Ehlvest’s king!

29.gxh4 d4!? 30.exd4 Nh5

Ehlvest is up 3 pawns on the board, but what ugly pawns they are!

31.Qd3 Rd7 32.d5 Qxh4 33.Rf1 Re8 34.Ra7 Nf6

Now it’s heating up! One is always scared when the queen is so close to one’s king, especially when the king lacks real pawn protection! The good news for white, is that it’s very difficult for black to bring the rest of his pieces over to the kingside.


Ehlvest ignores Stripunsky’s attacking pieces, and simply proceeds with events on the queenside.

35...cxb6 36.Rxd7 Nxd7 37.Nb5 Ra8 38.Bc3!

38...Nf6 39.Kg1 Ra2 40.d6 Nd7 41.Bxg7+ Kxg7 42.Nd4 Qf6 43.Rf2 Ra1+ 44.Kh2 Qh4 45.Qc3

At this point both players had just 2 minutes left, with the 5 second increment. White is threatening Qxa1 and Ne6+ followed by Qg7 mate! Things look dire, but black found the only saving grace in moving the king.

45...Kh7 46.Qxa1 Qxf2 47.Nf3!

Ehlvest’s knight is heading to g5. White is the one attacking all of the sudden. One could say black’s attack was always doomed to fail, as it was only backed up by the lone queen.

47...Qe3 48.Ng5+ Kg8 49.Nxf7 Qxf4+ 50.Kh1 Nf6!? 51.Qxf6

Ehlvest captured this knight very quickly, confident that there was no perpetual check.

51...Qc1+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kg1 Qc1+ 54.Bf1 Qe3+ 55.Kh1

Looks like Ehlvest was right, as black will run out of useful checks in one move!

55...Qf2 56.Qxg6+ 1-0

And GM Jan Ehlvest takes clear first and $350 in his first ever New York Masters! Word on the street is that he will be back next week too, so we should have some great action coming! Tying for 2nd place and picking up $55 with 3/4 were GM Yudasin, GM Wojtkiewicz, GM Blatny and IM Charbonneau. Also with 3/4 was Boris Privman, which gave him the U2400 prize of $90.

47th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 11 iii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Ehlvest, Jaan        g  2702 +10 + 5 = 3 + 7   3.5  ($350)
    2. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2706 +13 = 8 + 9 = 3   3.0  ($ 55)
    3. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2637 +11 +17 = 1 = 2   3.0  ($ 55)
    4. Blatny, Pavel        g  2564 +18 - 9 +14 +11   3.0  ($ 55)
    5. Charbonneau, Pascal  m  2444 +16 - 1 +18 + 9   3.0  ($ 55)
    6. Privman, Boris       f  2241 - 8 +13 +17 +14   3.0  ($ 90)
    7. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2648 =15 +12 + 8 - 1   2.5
    8. Shahade, Greg        m  2510 + 6 = 2 - 7 =12   2.0
    9. Bonin, Jay           m  2415 +20 + 4 - 2 - 5   2.0
   10. Margulis, Yevgeni       2369 - 1 -16 +21 +17   2.0
   11. Siegel, Noah            2317 - 3 +21 +16 - 4   2.0
   12. Figler, Ilye         f  2307 =   - 7 +15 = 8   2.0
   13. D'Arruda, Ricardo    f  2386 - 2 - 6 +19 =     1.5
   14. Gershov, Yevgeniy    f  2359 =   +15 - 4 - 6   1.5
   15. Shahade, Jennifer    m  2327 = 7 -14 -12 +18   1.5
   16. Lenderman, Alex         2206 - 5 +10 -11 =     1.5
   17. Krush, Irina         m  2402 +21 - 3 - 6 -10   1.0
   18. Furdzik, Rafal          2282 - 4 +20 - 5 -15   1.0
   19. Rosenberg, Evan         2046 --- --- -13 +21   1.0
   20. Barsky, Sam             2200 - 9 -18 --- ---   0.0
   21. Corbblah, Jonathan      1973 -17 -11 -10 -19   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $350 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 70 U2400 - $ 90