April 22nd 2003

Our new sponsorship and the wildcard week paid dividends for the prize fund, as we had a fund of over $800, yet with only 18 players! Joel Benjamin, who claimed that the new increment rules add about 50 points to his strength, was back to look for his first ever NY Masters championship. Jan Ehlvest and Alex Wojtkiewicz were the other GM’s in the field. We had 2 new masters in Bostonian IM, William Paschall and NM Ernest Colding.

Our other new player was 14 year old Laura Ross. Laura got to play as the chessvideo.com wildcard player. Every 10 weeks a company sponsors one player under 18 years old, rated from 2000-2199 to play in the NY Masters, thus giving the chance for a talented aspiring young master, to play against masters and even grandmasters!

Participant List for 53rd NY Masters:

1. GM Jan Ehlvest
2. GM Joel Benjamin
3. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
4. IM Yuri Lapshun
5. IM Greg Shahade
6. IM William Paschall
7. IM Jay Bonin
8. IM Justin Sarkar
9. SM Gregory Braylovsky
10. FM Lev Milman
11. FM Lewis Eisen
12. NM Rafal Furdzik
13. FM Boris Privman
14. FM Igor Schneider
15. NM Geoffrey Gelman
16. NM Ernest Colding
17. Wildcard- Laura Ross
18. Filler – Larry Tamarkin

-- Notice there is no qualifier this week as Jonathan Corbblah, who scored 3.5/4 to win the Thursday Night Action, overslept the tournament today! --

1st - $450
2nd - $160
3rd - $80
U2400 - $130 (Due to new higher sponsorships, we have raised the U2400 prize to $7 per player)



1 Milman - Ehlvest 1-0
2 Benjamin - Eisen 1-0
3 Furdzik - Wojtkiewicz 0-1
4 Lapshun - Privman 1-0
5 I.Schneider – G.Shahade 0-1
6 Paschall – G.Gelman 1-0
7 Colding - Bonin 0-1
8 Sarkar – Ross WILDCARD GAME!!
9 Tamarkin - Braylovsky 0-1

We had a stunning upset in the first round of this week’s NY Masters. After about 15-20 minutes of my game, I looked over and saw Milman and Ehlvest discussing their game. Of course I automatically assume the GM has won in such situations, but you know what happens when you assume…. I later found out that Milman SMASHED Ehlvest with the Smith Morra gambit in the Sicilian!! On just move 21, the world-class Grandmaster had to lay down his king.

(Its 330 AM and Lev Milman, who should obviously be asleep, is instead pleading to me to include his game with Ehlvest in the report, so here we go, enjoy all you Smith Morra fans….)

(1) Milman,L - Ehlvest,J [B21]
New York Masters (1), 23.04.2003

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5 Ng4 10.Nd6+ Bxd6 11.exd6 b5 12.Bb3 0-0 13.h3 Nf6 14.Re1 a5 15.Bg5 a4 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Bc2 Nb4 18.Bb1 Nd5 19.Nh4 Qxd6 20.Qg4+ Kh8 21.Nf5 1-0

Now let’s take a look at the chessvideo.com wildcard game between wildcard Laura Ross and IM Justin Sarkar!


(1) Sarkar,J (2426) - Ross,L (2139) [B27]
53rd New York Masters New York (1), 22.04.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qa4 Nd5 7.Qb3 Nc7 8.Bc4 Ne6 9.Bxe6 dxe6 10.Bf4 Bg7 11.Nbd2 0-0 12.0-0-0 Qb6 13.Qxb6 axb6

After this queen trade, Laura already has a difficult position. The b pawns are quite weak in this endgame, and white controls the open d-file.

14.a3 b5 15.c3 h6 16.h4 b6 17.Nb3 Bb7 18.Rd7

Sarkar invades with the rook, and has a clearly better position.

18...Rab8 19.Rhd1 Rfc8 20.Nbd4? b4!

With this shot Laura gets the activity she needed! She dissolves her weak b-pawn and after ab4 Nb4, her knight and her c8 rook are now active pieces. Justin had to be regretting his last move at this point.

21.Rxb7 Rxb7 22.Nxc6 Rxc6 23.Rd8+ Kh7 24.axb4 Rc4 25.Nd4 Rbc7 26.Kd2 Rc8 27.Rd7 R4c7 28.Rxc7 Rxc7 29.Kd3 g5 30.hxg5 hxg5 31.Bh2 Rd7 32.Ke4 Kg6 33.b5 f5+

34.Kd3 Kf7 35.f4 Bh6 36.c4 gxf4 37.Kc3 Rd8 38.Bg1 Rg8 39.Nc6 Rg3+ 40.Kb4 Rxg2 41.Bxb6 Rxb2+ 42.Kc3 Rb1 43.Nd8+ Ke8 44.Nxe6

Ross has the extra exchange, but white has some dreams of using the connected passed pawns on the queenside. Would black be able to make use of the passed f-pawn first?

44...f3 45.Kc2 Rc1+ 46.Kd3 Rf1 47.Nd4 Rd1+ 48.Kc2 f2

And there we go, Laura gives up her rook, and the f-pawn is going to queen. The NY Masters 2nd wildcard player is off to a fabulous start, as IM Sarkar resigns very shortly

49.Kxd1 f1Q+ 50.Kc2 Qxc4+ 51.Kb2 Bc1+ 52.Kb1 Be3 0-1


Key Pairings

1 Bonin – Benjamin 0-1
2 Wojtkiewicz – Paschall 0-1
3 Braylovsky – Lapshun 0-1
4 G.Shahade – Milman ICC GAME!
5 Ross – Ehlvest 0-1

Another GM goes down in round two, as Paschall is off to a hot start in his first ever NY Masters. Paschall was viciously attacking GM Wojtkiewicz, and forced him to give up his queen for a rook and knight. From there on it was smooth sailing as Paschall chalked up the victory. Laura Ross had a tough pairing after her initial victory, as she was pitted with GM Ehlvest.

On the internet, we had 15 year old Lev Milman, fresh off his victory against GM Jan Ehlvest, against yours truly....Lev will try to make it 5-0 for the black pieces on the top 5 boards.

(2) Shahade,G (2495) - Milman,L (2400) [E83]
53rd New York Masters New York (2), 22.04.2003


Milman knows the Dragon too well…

1...Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Rb1 Bd7 9.b4 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.d5 Ne5 12.Nd4

This line is a bit of Novikov’s home cooking. White is already better, the b-pawn is a goner and black has almost no active play to compensate for it.

12...Ra3 13.Rb3 Rxb3 14.Qxb3 Nh5 15.Bxb5 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.0-0 Kh8 18.Bxd7 Qxd7 19.Ne6 Rg8 20.Bd4 Bf6

I was told after the game that the crowd on ICC felt that 21.Qc2 was immediately winning. I wanted to play the move during the game, but thought that 21….Ng7 might be annoying to deal with. Black has a nice shot in the following line….. 21.Qc2 Ng7 22.Nxg7 Nxf3+! 23. Rxf3 Bxd4+ and Bxg7. White still has the advantage there, but I felt there should be a less messy way to go about matters…

21.f4 Ng6 22.Bxf6+ Nxf6 23.Qc4 Qc8 24.Kh1 Qa8 25.a4 Qa7 26.Qd4 Qb7 27.b5 Qb6 28.Qxb6 cxb6 29.Nd4

Now it seemed like things should be easy. Black doesn’t get the c-file because Nc6 always clogs things up. Meanwhile black has a weak f-pawn and a weak pawn on the open e-file.

29...Ra8 30.g3 Ne4 31.Nxe4


Black missed a chance to muddle things with Rxa4, but it actually loses quite easily after 31….Rxa4 32.Nxf5 Rxe4 33.Rc1, with the threat of Rc1 mate. Of course I didn’t even see the possibility during the game…

32.Ra1 Nf8 33.Nc6 e6 34.a5

A crushing blow…. If black captures this pawn, the b-pawn will be unstoppable. If black ignores the pawn, white plays a6, and it’s impossible to fight against the protected passed a pawn.

34...exd5 35.a6 Ne6 36.Rd1 Nc7 37.Nd4 Nxa6 38.bxa6 Rxa6 39.Nf5 Ra5 40.Nxd6 Kg7 41.Rb1 d4 42.Nxe4 b5 43.Nd6 d3 44.Rd1 1-0

Leaders after Round 2
2 pts – Benjamin, Lapshun, G.Shahade, Paschall


Key Pairings

1 Benjamin – G.Shahade 1-0
2 Lapshun – Paschall ICC GAME!

Benjamin was the first 3/3 after nicely chopping me up in a Classical Schevenigen. Joel sacrificed a pawn and then a piece, and there was no chance to defend. The GM duo of Ehlvest and Wojtkiewicz fared quite poorly in this round as they both lost. Milman knocked off Wojo after winning some pawns in the opening and Eisen managed to muddle the issue after losing 2 pawns to Ehlvest.

Now Joel had to sit back and see who would join him at 3/3….

(3) Lapshun,Y (2566) - Paschall,W (2483) [A00]
53rd New York Masters New York (3), 22.04.2003

1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.Qc1 !!!

NEW WORLD RECORD!!! Fastest Qc1 ever in master level chess!!! After watching enough of Lapshun’s openings I’ve run out of ways to poke fun at his unorthodox moves.

3...Nd7 4.c4 e6 5.e3 Ngf6 6.a3 a5 7.c5 c6 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Nxe2 b6 10.d4 Be7

Lapshun's bishop on b2 isn’t looking so happy…

11.0-0 0-0 12.Nd2 Qc7 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.g3 f5 15.Nf4 Rf6 16.h3 Nh6 17.Nd3 a4?

A huge positional mistake…if black wanted to close up the position, he had to play ….b5 first.


And all the sudden white has all the play…..the c-pawn is very weak, and the knights will come to e5 and f4.

18...Qxb6 19.Rac1 Nb8 20.Nf3 Rf8 21.Nf4 Re8 22.Ne5

Lapshun’s position looks extremely pleasing. Most of white’s pieces are very well placed, whereas blacks pieces are randomly scattered about.

22...Ra6 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.Nfd3 Ra7 25.Rc2 Nf7 26.Rfc1 Nxe5 27.dxe5

Ooops….and now the bishop that looked so bad earlier in the game, will trade itself for a rook after Bd4 next move.

27...Bf8 28.Bd4 Qa6 29.Bxa7 Qxa7 30.Nc5 g6 31.Rc3 Bg7 32.f4 Bf8 33.h4 h6 34.Kf2 Re7 35.Qc2 Re8 36.Qd1 g5 37.hxg5 hxg5


Completely crushing, attacks the rook on e8, prepares either Qxg5 or Rh1. Paschall throws in the towel and Lapshun moves to 3-0. It looks like Lapshun’s break from the NY Master has paid off, as he has come back with force!


Leaders after Round 3
3 pts - Benjamin, Lapshun
2 pts – G.Shahade, Paschall, Sarkar, Milman, Eisen


Key Pairings

1 Lapshun(3) – Benjamin(3) 1/2 -1/2
2 G.Shahade(2) – Sarkar(2) 1-0
3 Paschall(2) – Milman(2) ICC GAME!
4 Eisen(2) – Bonin(1.5) 0-1

Lapshun and Benjamin agreed to a fast draw in the final round and thus received $300 apiece. Congratulations to Benjamin, who has finally won his first ever NY Masters. Perhaps with the new increment time controls he will play more often and thus win many more NY Master titles in the future! Lapshun had to be happy with his performance, as he hasn’t played in the NY Masters in quite a few weeks, and had a rough time of it in his last appearance.
There was some controversy in the last round as GM Wojtkiewicz simply didn’t show up for his final round game with Laura Ross without notifying anyone. As stated in earlier emails about this event, such behavior is unsportsmanlike and a fine of $50 will be enforced for such incidents. It was especially damaging to the event because it gave Laura 2.5/4, and thus a share of the class prize.
The rest of the leaders were playing to see who would come in 3rd place. This round we see the game of Lev Milman, who has beaten both Ehlvest and Wojtkiewicz in this event! Paschall also beat Wojtkiewicz in round 2, thus we have a game chock full of GM beaters…

(4) Paschall,W (2483) - Milman,L (2400) [A36]
53rd New York Masters New York (4), 22.04.2003

1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.a3 Nf6 6.Rb1 a5 7.Nh3 0-0 8.Nf4 d6 9.d3 Ne8 10.h4

Paschall is going for the attack!

10...h5 11.Bd2 Nc7 12.0-0 Rb8 13.Qb3 Bd7 14.Qb6 Ne6 15.Qxd8 Rfxd8

Ok….attack over.

16.Nfd5 Ned4 17.Bg5 f6 18.Be3 Kf7 19.Nb6 Bg4 20.f3 Bf5 21.Bf2 Nb3 22.Rbd1 Bh6 23.e3 Ne5 24.e4 Be6 25.Rfe1 Nd2!

Oops, all the sudden white is in huge trouble!! Nxf3 is the threat and there is no effective way to deal with it. Out of desperation, Paschall sacrifices the exchange.

26.Rxd2 Bxd2 27.Rd1 Bh6 28.Ncd5 Nd7 29.Be1 Nxb6 30.Nxb6 a4 31.Kf2 Bg7 32.Bc3 f5 33.Bf1 fxe4 34.dxe4 Bxc3 35.bxc3 Bd7 36.Ke3 Bc6 37.Bh3 e6 38.Kf4 Ke7

Milman drifted bigtime with his technique. All of the sudden white has serious compensation for the exchange in the form of a VERY active king and a constricting knight on b6.

39.Kg5 Rf8 40.Bg2 Kd8 41.Rb1 Kc7 42.f4 Rg8 43.Rb2 Rbe8 44.Bf3 Ref8 45.Bg2 Rf7 46.Bh3 Re7 47.Kf6 Ree8 48.Bxe6 Rgf8+ 49.Kg7 Bxe4 50.Nd5+ Bxd5 51.cxd5 Rb8 52.c4 b5 53.cxb5 Kb6 54.Kxg6 Rh8 55.f5 c4 56.f6 Kc5 57.f7 c3

58.Rb1 Kc4 59.Kg7 Kd3 60.Bf5+ Kd2 61.b6 Rhf8 62.b7 c2 63.Rb2 Rxf7+ 64.Kxf7 Rxb7+

SACRAFICING BOTH ROOKS!!! However it’s worth it as now black will make a queen to replace them.

65.Rxb7 c1Q 66.g4 hxg4 67.Bxg4


Black wins the a-pawn and seems to be on the verge of victory..

68.Ra7 Qb3 69.Be6 a3 70.h5 a2 71.h6 Qb2 72.h7 a1Q 73.Rxa1 Qxa1 74.Kg8

Oh how white would like to trade his bishop and pawn for blacks remaining pawn, to reach a theoretical draw. It’s hard to imagine white can draw this position, as with the extra bishop, there are none of the usual stalemate tricks..

74...Qg1+ 75.Kf8 Qh2 76.Kg8 Qg3+ 77.Kf8 Qh4 78.Kg7 Qg5+ 79.Kf8 Qh6+ 80.Kg8 Qg6+ 81.Kh8 Ke3 82.Bf7


A huge blunder by Milman that throws the win away (Although both players are simply playing on the 5 second increment at this point.)


Now strangely, black can make no progress….the king just goes back and forth between g8 and f8, and black never has any time to bring the king into the game.

83...Qg5+ 84.Kf8 Qh6+ 85.Kg8 Qg5+ 86.Kf8 Qe5 87.Kg8 Qg3+ 88.Kf8 Qh2 89.Kg8 Qg2+ 90.Kf8 Qh3 91.Kg8 Qg4+ 92.Kf8 Qh4 93.Kg8 Qg5+ 1/2-1/2

Resourceful defenses by both players, especially Paschall, who was lost for most of the game.

Congratulations again to Benjamin and Lapshun for winning the first tournament of the 4th season of the NY Masters. Splitting the U2400 prize were FM Boris Privman and wildcard player Laura Ross! Laura is primed to be over the 2200 mark very soon.

Stay tuned as next week we should have quite a strong event. Roland Schmaltz will be back to play, and we may get some players from the International tournament that’s being held at the Marshall chess club in the following two weeks!

53rd New York Masters Action USA (USA), 22 iv 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Benjamin, Joel       g  2669 +10 + 5 + 3 = 2   3.5  ($305)
    2. Lapshun, Yury        m  2566 + 7 +13 + 4 = 1   3.5  ($305)
    3. Shahade, Greg        m  2495 +11 + 6 - 1 + 9   3.0  ($ 80)
    4. Paschall, William    m  2483 +16 +15 - 2 = 6   2.5 
    5. Bonin, Jay           m  2462 +12 - 1 = 7 +10   2.5
    6. Milman, Lev          f  2400 +14 - 3 +15 = 4   2.5
    7. Privman, Boris       f  2283 - 2 +18 = 5 +13   2.5  ($ 65)
    8. Ross, Laura         wf  2139 + 9 -14 =13 +15   2.5  ($ 65)
    9. Sarkar, Justin       m  2426 - 8 +11 +16 - 3   2.0
   10. Eisen, Lewis         f  2305 - 1 +12 +14 - 5   2.0
   11. Schneider, Igor      f  2222 - 3 - 9 +18 +17   2.0
   12. Colding, Ernest         2200 - 5 -10 +17 +16   2.0
   13. Braylovsky, Greg        2406 +18 - 2 = 8 - 7   1.5
   14. Ehlvest, Jaan        g  2705 - 6 + 8 -10 ---   1.0
   15. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2637 +17 - 4 - 6 - 8   1.0
   16. Gelman, Geoffrey        2206 - 4 +17 - 9 -12   1.0
   17. Furdzik, Rafal          2287 -15 -16 -12 -11   0.0
   18. Tamarkin, Larry         2100 -13 - 7 -11 ---   0.0

PRIZES 1ST - $450 2ND - $160 3RD - $ 80 U2400 - $130