May 20th 2003

There were four GM’s competing for the top prize in this week’s event. Pavel Blatny had JUST landed in NY, from a vacation in Maui. He took no time to rest, and sprinted off to the Marshall Chess Club to make it in time for the first round. However he understood his limitations after such a long trip, and requested a final round half point bye. The other GM’s were in much better condition, as Grandmasters Jan Ehlvest, Leonid Yudasin and Alex Wojtkiewicz were going to duke it out this week!

We also had our first ever play from El Salvador, as master Salmir Acevedo joined the party along with another newcomer FM Roman Dubinsky! Congratulations to regular NY Masters qualifier, David Zimbeck, as he has gotten his rating to 2204 and thus no longer needs to qualify!

Participant List for 57th NY Masters:

1. GM Jan Ehlvest
2. GM Leonid Yudasin
3. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
4. GM Pavel Blatny
5. IM Jay Bonin
6. IM Justin Sarkar
7. FM Roman Dubinsky
8. NM Rafal Furdzik
9. FM Boris Privman
10. NM David Zimbeck
11. NM Salmir Acevedo
12. Qualifier – Ben Johnson


1st - $400
2nd - $120
3rd - $50
U2400 - $80



1 Dubinsky - Ehlvest LIVE GAME!!
2 Yudasin – Furdzik 1-0
3 Privman - Wojtkiewicz 0-1
4 Blatny - Zimbeck 1-0
5 Acevedo - Bonin 1/2-1/2
6 Sarkar – B. Johnson 1-0

The only minor upset was achieved my El Salvadorian, Salmir Acevedo, who held IM Jay Bonin to a draw. All the other higher ranked players took care of business and went to 1/1. Meanwhile Roman Dubinsky’s present in his first ever NY Masters was none other than superstrong Grandmaster Jan Ehlvest.

(1) Dubinsky,R (2354) - Ehlvest,J (2705) [B88]
57th New York Masters New York (1), 20.05.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Bb3 0-0 9.f4 Nc6 10.Be3 Qc7 11.Qf3 b5 12.f5 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 b4 14.Na4 e5 15.Bf2 Bb7 16.Rfe1 Rab8 17.g4

Dubinsky is going for it against Ehlvest, but you can be sure that Jan is ready to combat this attack on the wing with play in the center. (….d5)

17...h6 18.h4 d5!

Thematic blow……this center explosion should distract Dubinsky from having a free hand on the kingside.

19.exd5 e4 20.Qg2 Nxd5 21.Rad1 e3

22.Bxd5 exf2+ 23.Qxf2 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 Rfd8 25.Rde5 Bd6 26.R5e3 Qc4 27.Qe2 Qc6 28.b3 Rbc8 29.c4

Dubinsky has an extra pawn, but the knight on a4 is out of play, and white’s king seems to be very exposed here…..how will Ehlvest break through?

29...Bf4 30.Rd3 Re8 31.Qf2 Rxe1+ 32.Qxe1 Re8 33.Qf2 Qe4 34.Nc5 Qe5 35.Nd7 Qe4 36.Nc5 Qe5 37.Nd7 Qa1+ 38.Kg2 Qc1

Ehlvest’s pieces are slowly encircling the white king…..Dubinsky has a very unenviable position here…..


….but he is going on the counterattack!!

39...Be3 40.Qf1 Qc2+ 41.Kf3


Unbelievable!! Ehlvest simply leaves his e3 bishop en prise! Although honestly the game had become much more complicated ….somehow Ehlvest was unable to break through Dubinsky’s strange defensive plans.

42.Rxe3 Rd8 43.Rd3 Qxh4 44.fxg7 h5 45.gxh5 Qxh5+ 46.Kg3 Qg5+ 47.Kh2 Qh4+ 48.Rh3 Qd4 49.Nf6+ Kxg7 50.Rg3+ Kf8 51.Rg8+ Ke7 52.Rxd8 Kxd8 53.Nd5 Qh8+ 54.Kg1 Qg7+ 55.Qg2 Qa1+ 56.Kh2 Qh8+ 57.Qh3 Qe5+ 58.Qg3 Qb2+ 59.Kh3 Qh8+


Dubinsky ends Ehlvest’s hopes early this week, after forcing this queen trade. What a debut for FM Roman Dubinsky!!!



Key Pairings

1 Blatny – Yudasin LIVE GAME!!
2 Wojtkiewicz – Sarkar 1-0
3 Bonin – Dubinsky 1/2-1/2

We had some CRAAAAAAAZY action in round 2. Justin Sarkar had achieved a totally drawn position against Wojtkiewicz, and just when most normal players would have just given up and agreed to the draw, Wojo kept making strange moves to play for the win in a simply rook endgame…..AND IT WORKED!! Justin got confused in his time trouble, and after a few mistakes, Wojo’s passed pawn couldn’t be contained.

Dubinsky continued his impressive debut by holding Jay Bonin to a draw with the black pieces, to move to 1.5/2. Now let’s check out the action in the 2nd round GM vs GM battle….

(2) Blatny,P (2558) - Yudasin,L (2666) [A03]
57th New York Masters New York (2), 20.05.2003


Strangely this move feels like a pretty conservative move from Blatny, compared to some of the things we have seen in past weeks.

1...d5 2.b3 Nf6 3.Bb2 g6 4.e3 Bg7 5.Be2 c5 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Ne5 Bd7 9.Bf3 Rc8 10.a4 Be6 11.Qe2 Qc7 12.Nxc6 Qxc6 13.d3 Qd7 14.Na3 Rfd8 15.Rad1

15...Bg4 16.e4 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 dxe4 18.dxe4 Qc6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Nb5

Threatening Nxa7….

20...Qb6 21.e5

Trying to shut out the dark squared bishop…

21...Bg7 22.c4 a6 23.Na3 f6

and Yudasin tries to free the bishop again!

24.Nc2 fxe5 25.fxe5 Rf8

26.Qd5+ e6 27.Qd7

Blatny is giving up the b3 pawn for the e6 pawn! Will Yudasin take it?

27...Qxb3 28.Qxe6+ Kh8 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Rf1

This move allows Yudasin to take a draw. Although the knight on c2 is in take, white can force a perpetual as follows….


31.Rxf8+ Bxf8 32.Qf6+ Kg8 33.Qe6+ Kg7 34.Qf6+ 1/2-1/2

This draw left GM Alex Wojtkiewicz as the only player with 2/2.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Wojtkiewicz
1.5 pts – Yudasin, Blatny, Dubinsky


Key Pairings

1 Yudasin – Wojtkiewicz LIVE GAME!
2 Dubinsky – Blatny 0-1

Blatny moved to 2.5 out of 3, finally putting a stop to Dubinsky’s hot streak. In other action, Ehlvest was knocked out of the picture by Justin Sarkar, who atoned for his second round tragedy in fantastic style! Now would Yudasin be able to keep pace with Blatny, or would Wojo knock off Yudasin and take possession of clear first with 3/3?

(3) Yudasin,L (2666) - Wojtkiewicz,A (2617) [B50]
57th New York Masters New York (3), 20.05.2003


A HUGE 3rd round matchup here, as Yudasin has the white pieces, but is a half point back on Wojtkiewicz. Thus Yudasin will do whatever it takes to chalk up the W.

1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2 g6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 0-0 7.Bf1 Nc6 8.Na3 e5 9.d3 h6 10.Nc4 Re8 11.a4 Rb8 12.Bd2 d5 13.exd5 Nxd5

Now we have a typical position where white is bearing down upon the e5 pawn and black hopes to gain some pressure against white’s pawn on d3….

14.a5 b5 15.axb6 axb6 16.g3 b5 17.Ne3 Be6 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Be3 Qd6

Blacks plan of attack is f5-f4….


A great move! Now 20….f5 is weak because white has the strong counterblow 21.Ne4, exploiting the position of the undefended queen on d6.

20...Red8 21.Ne4 Bxe4 22.dxe4 Qxd1 23.Rexd1 Rxd1 24.Rxd1 c4

Wojo has gotten it down to an endgame, and the crowd thought the position was perhaps slightly better for white, but not really enough to win the game….however Yudasin plays a series of hyper-accurate moves, to put some major pressure on Wojtkiewicz.


With the idea of Bd7, attacking the b5 pawn from the other side of the board!

25...b4 26.Bf1!

All part of white’s plan! White was hoping to entice b4 because now the pawn on c4 is impossible to defend. One example variation is 26.Bf1 bc3 27.bc3 Rb3 28.Rd6 Na5 29.Rd8 (Idea of kicking the king away from the f7 pawn) Kh7 30.Bc4 Rc3 31. Bxf7.

What is Wojtkiewicz going to do??

26….Nd4 !?!

Whoa! Wojtkiewicz realizes that the time has come for desperation. Wojo hopes that his wave of pawns on the 4th rank will cause some serious problems for Yudasin.

27.cxd4 exd4 28.Bf4 Rc8 29.b3 c3 30.g4

An interesting idea that Yudasin seemed proud of. The idea is that after white plays e5, white can keep the bishop shut down by nestling the bishop on g3, after black kicks it away with …g5.

30...Ra8 31.e5 g5 32.Bg3 Ra3

32….Rc8 looked interesting, but white could play 33.Rc1 c2 34.f3 to respond to Rc3 with 35.Be1!, giving white the advantage, as black will win the b-f pawns, but white will capture the important c-pawn.

33.Rxd4 Rxb3 34.Rd8+ Bf8 35.e6!

The threat of Bd6 is too much to handle, and black’s pawns simply aren’t fast enough.

35...fxe6 36.Bd6 Rb1

36….c2 fails to 37.Rxf8 Kg7 38.Rc8 Rc3 39.Rxc3 bxc3 40.Ba3, stopping the c2 pawn just in the nick of time!

37.Rxf8+ Kg7 38.Rc8 1-0

An impressive technical achievement by Leonid Yudasin! This win propelled him into a tie for first place with Pavel Blatny, but alas, Pavel has already requested a last round bye! This means that a win for Yudasin in his final game, would give him clear first place!

Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Yudasin, Blatny (with .5 bye in final round)
2 pts – Wojtkiewicz, Bonin, Zimbeck, Sarkar


Key Pairings

1 Bonin – Yudasin LIVE GAME!!
2 Wojtkiewicz – Zimbeck 1-0
3 Privman – Sarkar 0-1
½ bye for Blatny

Wojtkiewicz and Sarkar won their respective games, thus all were rooting hard for Bonin, as if Jay could avoid losing to Yudasin, they would tie for first place!

(4) Bonin,J (2462) - Yudasin,L (2666) [A36]
57th New York Masters New York (4), 20.05.2003


Jay Bonin has the difficult task of beating Yudasin to tie for first place. Bonin seems content to use a conservative setup this game, perhaps in the hope that Yudasin will overreach in his attempts to defeat Jay and thus garner clear first place!

1...c5 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.e3 e5 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.a3 0-0 8.0-0 d6 9.Rb1 a5 10.d3 Rb8 11.Bd2 h6 12.Nd5 Bf5 13.Qc2 b5

When the c3 knight goes to d5, this is black’s thematic break. If the knight would have stayed at home on c3, black would have set up the …d5 break instead.

14.cxb5 Rxb5 15.Nxe7+ Nxe7 16.b4

This move forces the trade of most pawns and leads to a very equalish position.

16...axb4 17.axb4 Qd7 18.bxc5 Rxc5 19.Qb3 Rfc8 20.Rfc1 Rxc1+ 21.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 22.Nxc1 d5 23.Qb8+ Kh7 24.Qb3 Be6 25.Qa3 d4 26.exd4 exd4

The game looks to be headed towards a draw as neither side has any real winning chances, as both players still had plenty of time to work with (10 minutes)….but as we all know, anything usually can and will happen in the NY Masters….

27.Ne2 Bd5 28.Nf4 Bxg2 29.Kxg2 Qb7+ 30.Kg1 Nc6

Black has developed a serious threat of Ne5-f3! White has to go through minor contortions to defend…


The knight must head to e1, where it defends everything, stopping Yudasin’s attack in it’s tracks.

31...Ne5 32.Ne1 h5 33.Qb4 Qc6 34.Bf4 Ng4 35.Qc4 Qe8 36.Nf3

Oh my! Yudasin has maybe pressed too hard, as Bonin is now on the counterattack, due to the weak g5 square! For instance, black cannot play …Qe2 because of Ng5 followed by either Qxf7 or Nxf7.

36...Qd7 37.h3 Nh6 38.Be5

Bxh6 would have led to an EASY draw, but its clear that the Bone has changed his objective from drawing this game to winning it!!

38...f6 39.Qxd4?

Bonin’s dreams of glory cloud his judgement, as he overlooks Yudasin’s piece winning reply. Better was Bxd4.

39...Qf5! 40.Bf4 g5

and Yudasin picks up a piece! What a sad finish this had to have been for Bonin, who was in no real danger to lose at any point before this, and what a pleasant surprise to Yudasin, who was now well on his way to winning the $400 first prize all by himself.

41.Bxg5 fxg5 42.Qe4 Kg6 43.Qc6+ Bf6 44.d4 Nf7 45.h4 g4 46.Nd2 Kg7 47.Qc3 Qd5 48.Nb3 Nd6 49.Nc5 Nb5 50.Qe3 Nxd4 51.Ne4 Nf3+ 52.Kg2 Qd1


The end….and Yudasin is the champ!! This was a bad break for Wojtkiewicz, Blatny and Sarkar, who would have all tied for first had Yudasin not won this game, but instead they each got $60 in a 3 way tie for 2nd place. Splitting the Under 2400 prize with 2/4 were Roman Rubinsky and David Zimbeck, each receiving $40.

57th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 20 v 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2666 + 9 = 3 + 2 + 6   3.5  ($400)
    2. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2617 +10 + 4 - 1 + 8   3.0  ($ 60)
    3. Blatny, Pavel        g  2558 + 8 = 1 + 7 =     3.0  ($ 60)
    4. Sarkar, Justin       m  2426 +11 - 2 + 5 +10   3.0  ($ 60)
    5. Ehlvest, Jaan        g  2705 - 7 +12 - 4 +11   2.0
    6. Bonin, Jay           m  2462 =12 = 7 +10 - 1   2.0
    7. Dubinsky, Roman      f  2354 + 5 = 6 - 3 =     2.0  ($ 40)
    8. Zimbeck, David          2204 - 3 + 9 +12 - 2   2.0  ($ 40)
    9. Furdzik, Rafal          2287 - 1 - 8 -11 +12   1.0
   10. Privman, Boris       f  2283 - 2 +11 - 6 - 4   1.0
   11. Johnson, Ben            2130 - 4 -10 + 9 - 5   1.0
   12. Acevedo, Salmir         2200 = 6 - 5 - 8 - 9   0.5

PRIZES 1ST - $400 2ND - $120 3RD - $ 60 U2400 - $ 80