April 15th 2003

**** Next week starts the new 20 week season of the NY Masters. For all of you whom have already donated, thank you for your support. If you plan to donate, please let me know the exact amount by this Sunday. I plan to announce the official sponsorship figures by Monday, thus if I don’t know what you are going to give me, then I can’t add your sponsorship to the mix. ****

The lineup was STACKED this week. We have our regular 2 ex-World Championship Candidates in Jan Ehlvest and Leonid Yudasin, but we also had 4 other GM’s in attendance! Joining the fray were bullet king, GM Roland Schmaltz, 15 year old sensation GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Alex Wojtkiewicz and GM Pavel Blatny. This might go down as the strongest NY Masters thus far! With all these strong players in attendance you knew there would be a lot of exciting chess! In total we had 6 GM’s, 4 IM’s and 1 WIM! Let’s get to the action….

Participant List for 52nd NY Masters:

1. GM Jan Ehlvest
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Roland Schmaltz
4. GM Hikaru Nakamura
5. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
6. GM Pavel Blatny
7. IM Greg Shahade
8. IM Jay Bonin
9. IM Dean Ippolito
10. IM Justin Sarkar
11. WIM Jenn Shahade
12. FM Lewis Eisen
13. NM Rafal Furdzik
14. FM Boris Privman
15. FM Michael Shahade
16. NM Yaacov Norowitz
17. NM Alex Lenderman
18. FM Sunil Weeramantry
19. Qualifier – Marc Arnold
20 Filler – Larry Tamarkin


1st - $370
2nd - $140
3rd - $60
U2400 - $90



1 Sarkar – Ehvlest 1/2 -1/2
2 Yudasin – J.Shahade 1-0
3 Eisen – Schmaltz 0-1
4 Nakamura – Furdzik 1-0
5 Privman – Wojtkiewicz 0-1
6 Blatny – M.Shahade ICC GAME!
7 Norowitz – G.Shahade 0-1
8 Bonin – Lenderman 1-0
9 Arnold – Ippolito 0-1

There were quite a few scares to the top players in the first round, but only one real upset. IM Justin Sarkar had a winning position against Jan Ehlvest, but was only able to draw due to time constraints. A draw against Ehlvest is quite an accomplishment however, as until last week, Jan had won the only 4 NY Masters he had played in.

Lewis Eisen probably had good winning chances against GM Roland Schmaltz, but lost a pawn in time trouble and with it the game. 10 year old expert Marc Arnold qualified for the NY Masters for the first time, and put up a great fight against IM Dean Ippolito. Marc had a better position, but Dean’s experience and savvy propelled the IM to victory.

Chessplayers these days are used to seeing Shahade play, whether it be Jenn Shahade or I, but it’s rare these days that people get a chance to see the one who started it all, my father Michael Shahade.

(1) Blatny,P (2558) - Shahade,M (2268) [A00]
52nd New York Masters New York (1), 15.04.2003

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 c6 3.b3 Nf6 4.Bb2 Bf5 5.d3 e6 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Nd2 Nc5 8.Qb1!?

It’s hard to play the move Qb1 any earlier than this. Pavel really loves to play these unorthodox yet harmless looking openings.

8...a5 9.a3 h5 10.h3

Does anyone know what this opening is called, the Hippo perhaps? A lot of 8 year old 600 rated players are playing this opening these days.

10...b5 11.Ne2 Bd6?! 12.Nd4 Qc7 13.Nxf5 exf5 14.Bxf6 gxf6

Fortunately my father never got around to teaching me his ideas of pawn structure. It’s a shame, Blatny has done nothing all game and yet already has a much better position. Sometimes playing against GM’s makes the weaker opponent panic, and play moves that they would never play against a non-GM.

It’s rare that one sees tripled pawns, but my dad isn’t satisfied yet….

15.h4 Bxg3!?!

If my dad is going to go out, he’s going to go out punching!! Will this piece sacrifice work against GM Blatny?

16.fxg3 Qxg3+ 17.Kf1 Rg8 18.Bf3 0-0-0 19.Qe1 Ne4 20.dxe4 dxe4 21.Qxg3 Rxg3 22.Kf2 Rgg8 23.Rad1 exf3

The attack has been stymied, but most impressive is black’s QUADRUPLED PAWNS!!!! You don’t see that every day folks. Black has 3 pawns for the piece, but when they are QUADRUPLED, they become pretty worthless. Blatny makes a few more simple technical moves and the 4 time Pennsylvania state champion has to call it quits.

24.Nxf3 Kc7 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Rg1 1-0


Key Pairings

1 G.Shahade – Yudasin 0-1
2 Schmaltz – Blatny 1-0
3 Ippolito – Nakamura ICC GAME!
4 Wojtkiewicz – Bonin 1-0

All the favorites came through again in round 2. In the battle of GM’s, Blatny had a decent position out of the opening, but simply hung a pawn and then the exchange. I sacrificed a lot of material against Yudasin, but incorrectly followed it up. Alex Wojtkiewicz moved to 2-0 with a win against IM Jay Bonin. This meant that Yudasin, Schmaltz and Wojtkiewicz were at 2 points and the result of the next game would reveal the fourth undefeated player.

(2) Ippolito,D (2439) - Nakamura,H (2632) [D76]
52nd New York Masters New York (2), 15.04.2003


This is Nakamura’s first NY Masters event since gaining his GM title in January. He was surely looking to show that he is already a serious GM. Ippolito lost a key game to Nakamura in a past NY Masters, and thus was hoping to even the score…

1...Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Nc3 Nb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Qc2 e6 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Bg5 Qc8 13.Rfd1 Nc6 14.Rac1 Re8 15.b3 Bf5 16.Qd2 Bg4 17.Qf4 f6!?

A bold move, and Dean throws down the gauntlet, and submits the bishop to a pin.

18.Bxf6 Rf8 19.Ne4 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 h6

This move contains the idea ….g5, kicking the queen away and winning the pinned bishop on f6.

21.Rxc6 !

Ippolito reacts energetically, and gains a huge attack for the sacrificed material. Nakamura is going to have to be VERY careful now..

21...bxc6 22.Qe5 Rxf6 23.Nxf6+ Kf7 24.Bxc6 Bxf6 25.Qf4 Rb8 26.a4 g5


White is threatening to play a5 and then invade with the rook on the 7th rank. Nakamura has no choice anymore.

27...Qe6 28.Rd7+!

Forcing an endgame where white has a queen and 6 pawns versus a rook, bishop, knight and 4 pawns. You would think this would be better for black, but the black pieces are quite uncoordinated and have no targets to attack.

28...Nxd7 29.Bd5 Qxd5 30.Qxd5+ Ke7 31.Qe4+ Kd8

I preferred Qg6, with the simple idea of Qxh6. The b3 pawn is taboo as if Nakamura tries …Rxb3, Dean picks off the rook with Qg8+.

32.b4 Be7 33.b5 Bc5 34.h4 Rb6 35.hxg5 hxg5 36.Qa8+ Ke7 37.Qg8 Rf6 38.e3 Ne5 39.Qd5 Nf3+ 40.Kg2 Bd6 41.Qb7 g4

It looks like the white king is in a mating net, but its actually not so simple at all, as the king always has an escape route via f1-e2-d3.


Dean concentrates on making a new queen, while letting Nakamura have his fun around the white king. Dean is quite sure that Nakamura cannot mate.

42… Rh6 43.b6 axb6 44.axb6

a6 was also an interesting idea, as it’s going to be mighty difficult to stop a7 followed by a8=Q.

44...Rh2+ 45.Kf1 Rh1+ 46.Ke2 Re1+ 47.Kd3 Rd1+ 48.Ke4??

A huge blunder by Ippolito. Kc2 leaves white as the only one with winning chances, although Nakamura probably had enough to hold a draw.


Locking the king on e4. There is no reasonable way to stop ….Ng5 checkmate.

49.Qd5 Ng5+ 0-1

Nakamura just barely moves to 2-0, thus we have 4 GM’s at the top of the leaderboard. The other two GM’s were nicked already, as Ehlvest drew in round 1, and Blatny was beaten by Schmaltz in round 2. Now all 4 GM’s will face off!

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Yudasin, Schmaltz, Nakamura, Wojtkiewicz
1.5 pts - Ehlvest


Key Pairings

1 Yudasin – Wojtkiewicz 1/2-1/2
2 Nakamura – Schmaltz ICC GAME!
3 Blatny – Ehlvest 0-1

Yudasin tried to move to 3/3 against Polish GM, Alex Wojtkiewicz, but today Alex was too solid and was able to hold the draw. Jan Ehlvest joined Yudasin and Wojtkiewicz with 2.5/3 after dispatching Blatny with the black pieces.

On the live internet relay, we had a long awaited NY Masters matchup. Nakamura and Schmaltz have yet to cross paths in this tournament, but have both had incredible success in the past. They are both known for their incredible prowess at speed chess, as both have been rated number 1 in the world on the ICC at bullet chess (1 minute chess). To finally get to see them play in a sanctioned action chess tournament was a thrill for many spectators! Which one of them would move to an undefeated 3/3?

(3) Nakamura,H (2632) - Schmaltz,R (2642) [E12]
52nd New York Masters New York (3), 15.04.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Be7 9.e4 0-0 10.Bd3 c5

11.Bf4 Qc8 12.Qd2 Ba6 13.0-0 Rd8 14.Rfd1 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Qa6

Nakamura does not like to trade queens, but Schmaltz felt that 16.Qxa6 Nxa6 17.d5 would have given white the advantage.

16.Qe3 cxd4 17.cxd4 Nd7 18.h4 Qa4 19.h5 Bf8 20.h6 g6 21.e5

21...b5 22.Bg5 Re8 23.d5 exd5 24.Rxd5 Nb6 25.Rd4 Qc2 26.Rc1 Qf5 27.g4

We’ve got some wild action here! Schmaltz has a lot of dark squared weaknesses, but how can Nakamura take advantage?

27...Qe6 28.Nd2 Rac8 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.Ne4 Qxg4+ 31.Kh2 Qe6 32.Qf4 Nc4 33.Bf6

Again, all of white’s pieces are positioned near the black king, but it’s almost impossible to make anything happen. Schmaltz felt that he should simply capture the pawn on a3 in this position, although that looks pretty risky to me.

33...Nb6 34.Bd8 Rc4 35.Bxb6 Qxb6 36.Nf6+ Kh8 37.Rxc4 bxc4 38.Nd7

38...Bxh6 39.Qxh6

Nakamura offered a draw, which Schmaltz immediately and confidently declined.


Now Schmaltz sheepishly returned the draw offer, as he realized that even if he wins the knight on d7, white can play Qf8 checkmate, thus perpetual check is the only option.

40.Kh3 1/2-1/2

With this draw it meant there would be a 5 way tie for first place going into the last round, as there was a big logjam at 2.5/3. The last round would decide it all….

Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Ehlvest, Yudasin, Schmaltz, Nakamura, Wojtkiewicz
2 pts – G.Shahade, Bonin

Key Pairings

1 Ehlvest – Nakamura ICC GAME!
2 Schmaltz – Yudasin 0-1
3 Wojtkiewicz – G.Shahade 1-0

Schmaltz had 3 wins against Yudasin in past NY Masters, with 0 losses and a few quick draws thrown in, thus Yudasin could not have been too confident with the black pieces against Schmaltz in the final round. However things turned out well for Leonid when Schmaltz blundered material to a simple zwischenzug tactic. Schmaltz could not hold out, and thus Leonid scored his first victory over the German blitz sensation. It has been two weeks of firsts for Yudasin as he beat Ehlvest last week after 3 losses, and Schmaltz this week.

Meanwhile it was up to me to stop Wojtkiewicz from getting 3.5/4. I have always had trouble playing Wojtkiewicz with the black pieces, but today was the exception. I punished an inaccuracy in the opening and was able to win an exchange. Wojo had some compensation as I had some serious trouble developing my pieces, but it should not have been enough if I had actually paid attention to what was going on. Instead I made a bunch of weird randomlike moves and eventually blundered terribly in the endame, giving Wojtkiewicz the win and a share of first place with Yudasin.

Now Wojtkiewicz and Yudasin were in the winner’s circle, and it was up to Ehlvest and Nakamura to see who would join them in 1st place. This was also the first time these two have faced off in the NY Masters…

(4) Ehlvest,J (2705) - Nakamura,H (2632) [D15]
52nd New York Masters New York (4), 15.04.2003

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.h4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4 8.g3 b5 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.Qb1!!

WOW! In two of our broadcast games, we see the move Qb1 in the first 10 moves. It makes sense here as white plans to pressure the queenside with a4, and the queen on b1 helps support the move e4 and is nicely placed on the b1-h7 diagonal.

10...Nd7 11.0-0 Qb6 12.Nd2 Qc7 13.a4 Nb6 14.Ne4 Nd5 15.Nc5 e6 16.Bxd5 Bxc5 17.Bxe6

Complete pandemonium in the final round of the NY Masters. Both bishops are in take, thus Ehlvest tries to get whatever he can for the bishop before it’s captured. Nakamura doesn’t want to trade, and calmly moves away.

17...Bd6 18.Bh3 0-0 19.e4 h6 20.Bd2 c5 21.d5 f5

Ehlvest has been concentrating on the center and the queenside, but now Nakamura makes a bold move to play on the kingside, with …f4 ideas.

22.axb5 axb5 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 24.Qxb5 f4

Nakamura has managed to achieve …f4, Ehlvest had better be very careful now, as his kingside is about to get ripped apart by the young GM.

25.Qxc4 Kh8 26.Be6 Bb7 27.Rb1 fxg3 28.fxg3 Bxg3 29.Rf1 Qe7 30.Rxf8+ Qxf8 31.Qf1 Qxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Bxh4

Ehlvest diffused the attack and has reached a balanced position. However Ehlvest was not satisfied for a draw, as someone had to win this game to finish with any serious money. It’s always fun to watch GM’s play out extremely equal positions, and also interesting that despite the fact that it should be a simple draw, that is not always the result one sees…

33.Be3 Be7 34.Kf2 Ba6 35.Bd7 Bc4 36.Bc6 Bd6 37.Kf3 g5 38.Kg4 Kg7 39.Kf5 Kf7 40.Bd7 Ke7!

with the tricky threat of …Kxd7.

41.Kg6?? Kxd7 0-1

An unbelievable oversight from such a strong GM!!! Ehlvest decided to simply not look at Nakamura’s move, as time can’t be a big excuse with the five second increment. If any of my students rated over 1000 lost a piece like this it would be amazing, and to see it happen to such a storied GM is always exciting for the crowd. With this gift, Nakamura joined Yudasin and Wojtkiewicz in first place with 3.5/4. An exciting end to one of the strongest NY Masters to date!

Next week marks the first week of the 4th season of the NY Masters. I will let everyone know how much money we will get in sponsorship on Monday the 21st. Thanks to everyone for your support and hope to see you all next week!

52nd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 15 iv 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2666 +11 + 9 = 3 + 5   3.5  ($190)
    2. Nakamura, Hikaru     g  2632 +17 +10 = 5 + 4   3.5  ($190)
    3. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2617 + 7 + 6 = 1 + 9   3.5  ($190)
    4. Ehlvest, Jaan        g  2705 =13 +12 + 8 - 2   2.5
    5. Schmaltz, Roland     g  2642 +16 + 8 = 2 - 1   2.5
    6. Bonin, Jay           m  2462 +14 - 3 +17 =10   2.5
    7. Privman, Boris       f  2283 - 3 +18 =10 +14   2.5  ($ 90)
    8. Blatny, Pavel        g  2558 +19 - 5 - 4 +17   2.0
    9. Shahade, Greg        m  2495 +20 - 1 +13 - 3   2.0
   10. Ippolito, Dean       m  2439 +15 - 2 = 7 = 6   2.0
   11. Shahade, Jennifer   wm  2375 - 1 =13 +15 =12   2.0
   12. Weeramantry, Sunil   f  2217 =   - 4 +16 =11   2.0 
   13. Sarkar, Justin       m  2426 = 4 =11 - 9 =16   1.5
   14. Lenderman, Alex         2212 - 6 =16 +20 - 7   1.5
   15. Arnold, Marc Tyler      2049 -10 +19 -11 =     1.5
   16. Eisen, Lewis         f  2305 - 5 =14 -12 =13   1.0
   17. Furdzik, Rafal          2287 - 2 +20 - 6 - 8   1.0
   18. Tamarkin, Lawrence      2068 --- - 7 --- +20   1.0
   19. Shahade, Michael     f  2268 - 8 -15 --- ---   0.0
   20. Norowitz, Yaacov        2233 - 9 -17 -14 -18   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $370 2ND - $140 3RD - $ 60 U2400 - $ 90