June 10th 2003

Tonight was the first week of live radio coverage of the NY Masters! I’m currently listening to the replay, that will start every Tuesday as soon as the original broadcast is over. This is great, because after playing in the event, you get a chance to hear what the live commentators are saying, not something you often get a chance to do in chess. Once again, to hear live coverage go to chess.fm! (Do not put the www before chess.fm, or else you will not be directed to the website)

We had an exciting lineup tonight of four GM’s, including the crowd favorite, 15 year old Grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura. Hikaru has just recently surpassed Varuzhyn Akobian as the top rated player in the nation under 21 years old. Other GM’s in attendance were all time NY Masters money leader, GM Leonid Yudasin, Polish GM Alex Wojtkiewicz and Czech GM Pavel Blatny. Pavel is always on a tight schedule, and had to take a last round bye, as he has a plane flight at 6 am!

Participant List for 60th NY Masters:

1. GM Leonid Yudasin
2. GM Hikaru Nakamura
3. GM Alex Wojtkiewicz
4. GM Pavel Blatny
5. IM Jay Bonin
6. IM Justin Sarkar
7. IM Mikhail Zlotnikov
8. NM Gregory Braylovsky
9. FM Boris Privman
10. FM John McCarthy
11. NM Joan Santana
12. Qualifier – David Grasso
13. Filler – Evan Rosenberg


1st - $350
2nd - $120
3rd - $50
U2400 - $80



1 Braylovsky – Yudasin LIVE GAME!!
2 Nakamura - Privman 1-0
3 J.McCarthy - Wojtkiewicz 0-1
4 Blatny – J.Santana 1-0
5 Rosenberg - Bonin 0-1
6 Sarkar - Grasso 1-0
½ bye for Zlotnikov

In round one we had no upsets. McCarthy looked like he had great chances to checkmate Wojo, but when you looked at the hanging position of his clock, it looked a lot less likely. In the end McCarthy couldn’t handle the time pressure and fell apart. Let’s see if Braylovsky could pull off the only upset of round 1 against the king of the NY Masters, GM Leonid Yudasin.

(1) Braylovsky,G (2395) - Yudasin,L (2692) [B43]
60th New York Masters New York (1), 10.06.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 b5 6.Be2 Bb7 7.a3 d6 8.0-0 Nf6 9.f3 Be7 10.Be3 Nbd7 11.Qe1 Rc8 12.Rd1 0-0 13.g4 Ne5 14.g5 Nfd7 15.Qg3 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Rxc4 17.h4

Braylovsky sure isn’t pulling any punches against Yudasin. He’s going for Yudasin’s throat, whereas black will probably play on the queenside.

17...g6 18.h5 b4 19.axb4 Rxb4 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Kg2 Re8 22.Rh1 Bf8

Whoa! Braylovsky’s attack is looking pretty formidable. Black is going to reposition the bishop to g7 to defend the key h8 square, but white surely has a great deal of pressure, but can he break through?


A short tactic to capture the d6 pawn.

23...Bg7 24.Qxd6 Rxb2

Now there were some WILD possibilities for white. One move I liked was 25.Qa3 because if 25….Rb6 26. Na4 wins the rook. It looked like black’s only defense was 25.Qa3 Bd4! 26. Qb2 Be3….now if 27. Qxb7 black can play Qxg5+. However white had the shocking blow of 27.Rxd7! and if 27….Qxd7 28. Nd5 wins instantly. Black however can counterattack with 25.Qa3 Bd4 26.Qb2 Be3 27. Rxd7 Qg5! 28. Kf1 and the calm move 28….Bc6, with ideas of Bb5+ if whites knight on c3 moves. The game would have become very complicated in these variations. Instead of this Braylovsky seems to stumble…..

25.Nde2 Bc8 26.Qa3 Rb8 27.Bf4 Rb6 28.Qa4 Qe7 29.Be3 Rb4 30.Qa3 Ne5 31.Na2 Nc4!

Now things have completely turned around, and with this shot, black is seemingly winning. White cannot defend the bishop on e3, because if Qc1 black has Bb2. White must take the rook and then after Nxe3+ and Nxd1, the pawn on g5 will fall

32.Qxb4 Nxe3+ 33.Kf2 Nxd1+ 34.Rxd1 Qxg5

Now Yudasin is simply up a pawn with a completely winning position.

35.Qa4 Rf8 36.Nb4 Qc5+ 37.Kg2 Qc4

38.Rd3 Bb7 39.Qb3 Qc7 40.Qa4 a5 41.Rd7 Qc4 42.Ng3 Bc8

This move attacks the rook on d7 and the knight on b4 simultaneously. Braylovsky called it a day. A nice effort by Braylovsky who had some very interesting chances early in the game, but was unable to find a suitable continuation in just 30 minutes.



Key Pairings

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

Yudasin and Wojtkiewicz jumped to early 2/2 scores by dispatching GM Blatny and IM Sarkar. Our live game showcased GM Nakamura, who was going to face off against IM Jay Bonin. Jay beat Nakamura in their first ever NY Masters battle on the white side of a Grunfeld, but since then Nakamura has defeated Jay on each occasion. Let’s see if the whiz kid could move to 2/2 thus allowing an always exciting matchup of Nakamura – Yudasin….

(2) Bonin,J (2440) - Nakamura,H (2648) [A00]
60th New York Masters New York (2), 10.06.2003

1.Nc3 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.e4 a6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 g6 6.d4

Jay is suddenly in an open Sicilian, not a normal occurance for him. Yudasin tricked Jay into the Open Sicilian a few weeks ago and made very short order of him.

6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bg7 8.Be3 Nge7 9.a4 d6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Nb3 b6 12.Qe2 Bb7 13.Rad1 Qc7 14.f4 Nb4 15.Qf2

Posing the question to the b6 pawn. Will Nakamura play something aggressive or defend passively with 15…Nc8?


Activity for Nakamura as always!

16.axb5 axb5 17.Bb6 Qb8 18.Nxb5

If 18…Bxb2 19.Rb1 we have an amazing assortment of pieces scattered across the b-file.

18...Ba6 19.c4 Bxb5 20.cxb5 Rc8 21.Rd2 Ra2 22.Rfd1 Bf8

A VERY surprising move from Nakamura, but perhaps there was nothing better. This move discourages any captures on d6.

23.Nc1 Ra1 24.Ne2 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Rc2 26.Ba7

Planning a short tactic to exchange queens and trade down to an endgame.

26...Qxb5 27.Nd4 Rxf2 28.Nxb5 Rxb2 29.Nxd6 Nec6 30.Bc5 e5 31.Bf1 exf4 32.gxf4 Rc2 33.Be3

Jay had a chance to play for a draw with 33. Bxb4, but why give up your two bishop advantage when you don’t have to? Although this seems like a drawn position, white should always have an advantage because of the two bishops. Nakamura is not content with a draw against Jay Bonin and lunges out with desperate attempts to mix up the game and win. Sometimes this strategy reaps benefits, but sometimes it backfires……can Jay take advantage?

33...g5 34.Ne8!?

Immediately trying to take advantage of the weak black king.

34...gxf4 35.Nf6+ Kh8 36.Bxf4 Bc5+ 37.Kh1 Rf2 38.Nh5 Nc2


An immediate Be5+ was also possible, as Nxe5 allows Rd8 mate! Black would have to suffer after 39….Kg8. Instead Jay gives Hikaru a little more hope.

39...N6d4 40.Be5+ Kg8 41.Nf6+ Kf8 42.Nd7+ Ke7 43.Nxc5 Nxb5 44.Rd7+ Ke8 45.Rb7 f6 46.Bg3 Rf1+ 47.Kg2 Ne3+ 48.Kh3 Nd4 49.Rxh7

Once again things are looking very difficult for Nakamura. His attempts to win have led to a very difficult position, as he’s down a pawn and white's king is very safe on h3.

49...Kf8 50.Rd7 Nf3 51.Bd6+ Kg8 52.Ne6 Rg1 53.Bg3 Ra1 54.Rd3 Ng1+ 55.Kh4 Ng2+ 56.Kg4 Ra4 57.Kf5 Ra7 58.Kxf6

Just take a look at black’s knights on g2 and g1! They are completely useless, meanwhile white’s pieces have the black king in a mating net. Jay Bonin is about to pull off a great upset!


Hikaru is tricky till the end. Jay can’t take the knight because of 59….Rf7+, skewering the rook.

59.Rd8+ Kh7 60.Ng5+ Nxg5 61.Kxg5 Ne3 62.Be5

Game, set and match. There is only one way to stop checkmate in one, and it ain’t pretty (ok ….Ra8 ALSO stops mate in one). Jay has only 2 minutes left but this is plenty, especially with a five second increment.

62...Rg7+ 63.Bxg7 Kxg7 64.Rd7+ Kf8 65.h4 Nc4 66.h5 Ne5 67.Ra7 Nc6 68.Rc7 Nd4 69.Kf6 Kg8 70.h6 Nb5 71.Rd7 Nc3 72.h7+ 1-0

A nice game by the Bone. He played quite well in an open Sicilian, it makes you think that maybe he is on the wrong track and should be playing main line openings more often, as he played quite well and confidently in the complications.

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Yudasin, Wojtkiewicz, Bonin

Round 3

Key Pairings

1 Wojtkiewicz – Yudasin 1/2 -1/2
2 Blatny – Bonin LIVE GAME!

Wojtkiewicz gave Yudasin a quick draw with the white pieces, to move to 2.5/3. It’s funny that Wojo does such things, as he is a very strong player and should not lose with the white pieces anyway. Meanwhile when Yudasin or Ehlvest get the white pieces against Wojo, they tend to play for the win, so he’s putting himself at an automatic disadvantage in which he never gets to play with white against the strong players.

(3) Blatny,P (2563) - Bonin,J (2440) [A01]
60th New York Masters New York (3), 10.06.2003

1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 c5 3.e3 a6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 e5 6.d3 Be6 7.Nd2 Qd7 8.h3

I think this opening is called “The Hippo”. Man, it’s so hard to pay attention to writing this report while listening to the replay broadcast at the same time!

8…f6 9.Ne2 Nh6 10.e4 d4 11.Nc4 Bxc4 12.bxc4 b5

Bonin seems to have taken advantage of Blatny’s strange opening, and has a space advantage all over the board.

13.cxb5 axb5 14.h4 c4

Jay continues to invade Blatny’s territory. Jay is playing with great confidence tonight!

15.Bh3 Qd6 16.0-0 g5!?

A startling blow by Bonin, breaking apart Blatny’s kingside, however forfeiting the right to his own king safety should he ever want to castle kingside.

17.hxg5 fxg5 18.Bc1 Qg6 19.c3 Qh5 20.Be6 Nd8 21.Bf5 Nxf5 22.exf5 Ra6!!

Oh my! The rook is swinging to h6 and it’s going to be all over! Bonin is going to move to 3/3….??


A great practical decision by Blatny and the only real move. Blatny will win a bunch of pawns for the piece, and these pawns are always more important in the endgame.

23...Qxd1 24.Rxd1 exd4 25.dxc4 dxc3 26.cxb5 Rd6 27.Bxg5 Nb7 28.Re1+ Kf7 29.Rac1 Rd3 30.Re6 Nd6 31.b6 Rg8 32.Bh4 Rg4 33.Kg2 Rb4

Blatny has three pawns for the piece, but its going to be very difficult to hold on to that b6 pawn. After black wins the b pawn and white wins the c-pawn, I see a draw arising pretty soon after.

34.Bf6 Nxf5 35.Rc6


Oh no! A terrible blunder which loses instantly for Bonin. Better was something simple like ….Rd6, trading the c3 pawn for the b6 pawn. It should be a draw , but black would still have some slight wining chances. Now Bonin is toast.


Oops. White has the TRIPLE threat of Bxb4, Rxc5 and Rf6 check, winning the knight on f5. Black has no chance to defend.

36…Rc4 37.b7

And now the fourth threat rears it’s head, as one of the pawns, that white sacrificed the knight for, becomes a queen.


Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Yudasin, Wojtkiewicz
2 pts – Nakamura, Bonin, Sarkar, Blatny (last round ½ bye)


Key Pairings

1 Yudasin – Nakamura LIVE GAME!
2 Bonin – Wojtkiewicz 0-1
3 Zlotnikov - Sarkar 0-1

We were going to have an exciting matchup on board 1, as Hikaru Nakamura would need a win against Yudasin, with the black pieces! Nakamura would only have a chance for second place, as Wojtkiewicz knocked off Bonin to move to 3.5/4 and guarantee himself at least a split of first place. Sarkar finished off with a nice result by beating IM Mikhail Zlotnikov and finishing with 3/4.

Here comes the matchup we’ve all been waiting for, GM Yudasin vs. young GM and blitz master, Hikaru Nakamura. Has he erased the memory of his 2nd round loss to Bonin from his head, or is he still rattled?

(4) Yudasin,L (2692) - Nakamura,H (2648) [B50]
60th New York Masters New York (4), 10.06.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 e6 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Re1 a6 6.Bb3 Nc6 7.c3 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nde7 11.Be3 Nxd4 12.Qxd4

An interesting decision by Yudasin. It almost seems as if Yudasin is playing for a draw, although I’ve never seen him do such with the white pieces against any lower rated opponent. Yudasin needs a win to tie for first with Wojtkiewicz and guarantee himself $235. If Yudasin should draw he would tie with Justin Sarkar for 2nd place and receive a lot less….

12...Qxd4 13.Bxd4 b5 14.Nd2 Nc6 15.Be3 Bb7 16.Ne4 Na5 17.Bc2 Nc4 18.Bc1 Rc8 19.Bd3 h6 20.Bf1 Be7 21.a3 0-0 22.Ng3 Nb6 23.Bd3 Rfd8 24.Bc2 a5 25.Nf1 Rd7 26.Ne3 Rcd8 27.h3 Bc6 28.Bd1

It seems to me that black has the initiative. All of Yudasin’s pieces are backed up and Hikaru has his pieces very centrally and harmoniously placed.


Im not sure if this was black’s best move, this leaves some holes on f5 for the white knight and allows the annoying 29.Bg4.

29.Bg4 Rb7 30.Nf5 Bf6 31.Ng3 Na4 32.Nh5

Now we see the annoying knight pestering black’s bishop. Hikaru doesn’t want to destroy his pawn structure and makes a good practical decision to sacrifice a pawn. However this shows the negatives of 28…..e5, as before that Hikaru just had a more comfortable position with not much counterplay for Yudasin.

32...Be7 33.Rxe5 g6 34.Ng3 h5 35.Be2 Bf6 36.Bg5 Bxe5 37.Bxd8 f6 38.Bxa5 Nxb2 39.Rb1 Na4 40.c4 h4 41.Nf1 Bc3!?

Now if 42.Bxc3 Nxc3 43.Rb2 Nxe2 44.Rxe2 bxc4 and black regains his lost pawn. However Yudasin finds a nice calm move that keeps control of everything.

42.Bb4! bxc4 43.Bxc4+ Kg7 44.Ne3 Be4 45.Rb3 Bd4 46.Bd5 Bxd5 47.Nxd5 Rd7 48.Ne3 Rc7 49.Rb1 Nb2 50.Kf1 f5 51.Bd6 Rc6 52.Bb4 f4 53.Ng4 Rc2

Nakamura is fighting for his life, and has gained some activity, but unfortunately there is no way to defend his h4 pawn after……


With a 2 pawn deficit on the horizon, Nakamura is in serious trouble.

54…Kf7 55.Bxh4 Nc4 56.Rd1 Bc5 57.Bg5 Bd6 58.Rd4 Ke6 59.Bxf4 Bxa3 60.Ne3 Rc1+ 61.Ke2 Nb6 62.Rd1 Rc8 63.h4 Bc5 64.Rc1 Nd7 65.g3 Ra8 66.Rc2 Kf7 67.Ng4 Re8+ 68.Kf3 Re6 69.Rd2 Ke8 70.Rd5 Be7 71.h5 gxh5 72.Rxh5

72...Ra6 73.Rh8+ Bf8 74.Bh6 Kf7 75.Bxf8 Nxf8 76.Rh5 Ra3+ 77.Kg2 Ra4 78.Kh3 Ne6 79.Rf5+ Kg7 80.f3 Ra2 81.Ne5 Ra7 82.g4 Nd4 83.Rf4 Ne6 84.Rc4 Ra5 85.Nc6 Ra3 86.Kg3 Ng5

Yudasin is completely winning, but both players only had about two or three minutes left. The good news for Yudasin is that he gets an extra 5 seconds each move, so it should be no problem to finish this one off. This game breaks all records for NY Masters game length, and It’s really late, so the next 50 moves or so will go without comment.

87.Rf4 Ra1 88.Rf5 Ne6 89.Ra5 Rg1+ 90.Kf2 Rc1 91.Ne5 Kf6 92.Nd3 Rc3 93.Rf5+ Kg7 94.Ne5 Rc7 95.Nd3 Rc3 96.Ke3 Ra3 97.g5 Ra4 98.f4 Ra3 99.Rd5 99...Kf7 100.Ke4

There we have it! Our first official 100 move game online and on the radio!! Hikaru and Leonid made sure the chess.fm broadcasters didn’t get to sleep early tonight!

100…Ra7 101.Nc5 Nf8 102.f5 Ke7 103.Ke5 Ra1 104.Rd4 Ra5 105.Rd5 Ra1 106.Ne4 Re1 107.Kf4 Rf1+ 108.Ke3 Re1+ 109.Kf3 Rf1+ 110.Ke2 Ra1 111.Re5+ Kf7 112.Nd6+ Kg8 113.Kf3 Nh7 114.Re8+ Kg7 115.Re7+ Kg8 116.g6 Nf6 117.Rf7 Nd5 118.Ne4 Ra3+ 119.Kf2 Ra2+ 120.Ke1 Ra4 121.Nf6+

Rook+2 vs Rook, should be absolutely no problem for Yudasin….

121…Nxf6 122.Rxf6 Ra7 123.Kf2 Kg7 124.Rb6 Kh6 125.Rb8 Kg7 126.Kf3 Kh6 127.Rh8+ Kg5 128.Rf8 Kh6 129.Kf4 Ra4+ 130.Ke5 Ra5+ 131.Ke6 Ra6+ 132.Kf7 Ra7+ 133.Kg8 Rg7+ 134.Kh8 Ra7 135.g7

WOW! 135 moves from these guys and eventually Yudasin guarantees the win. If 135 (It feels weird writing 135 before a move number!!)….Rxg7 136. Rf6 picks up the Rook on g7. If he was going to play this long Nakamura should at least try 135….Rb7 so that if Yudasin decides to get cocky and play 136. g8=R?? Rh7 is checkmate!


A strange game, Yudasin did absolutely nothing in the opening and simply made a lot of waiting moves, whereas Nakamura not only didn’t find a useful plan, but instead created weaknesses for Yudasin to latch onto. For his victory, Yudasin received $235 for splitting first place with GM Wojtkiewicz. IM Jay Bonin had the toughest pairings of all, as he had to play 3 GM’s in 4 games! Jay is giving them really tough games lately, but is still unable to catch lightning in a bottle, and beat a few of them in a row to win one of these events! It was another exciting event and the internet coverage was fantastic once again! The crowd that observed on ICC has basically doubled from previous weeks, as we had nearly 200 people watching on the NY Masters relay board, and another 100 or so watching on the chess.fm relay board.

Thanks everyone for staying tuned, and hope that you all watch online or listen to chess.fm next week!

60th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 10 vi 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2692 + 8 + 4 = 2 + 5   3.5  ($240)
    2. Wojtkiewicz, Alek    g  2619 + 9 + 3 = 1 + 6   3.5  ($240)
    3. Sarkar, Justin       m  2396 +10 - 2 + 7 +11   3.0  ($ 80)
    4. Blatny, Pavel        g  2563 +12 - 1 + 6 =     2.5  ($ 50)
    5. Nakamura, Hikaru     g  2648 + 7 - 6 +11 - 1   2.0
    6. Bonin, Jay           m  2440 +13 + 5 - 4 - 2   2.0
    7. Privman, Boris       f  2340 - 5 +12 - 3 +10   2.0
    8. Braylovsky, Greg        2395 - 1 =11 =10 = 9   1.5
    9. Mc Carthy, John      f  2258 - 2 -10 +12 = 8   1.5
   10. Grasso, David           2138 - 3 + 9 = 8 - 7   1.5
   11. Zlotnikov, Mikhail   m  2385 =   = 8 - 5 - 3   1.0
   12. Santana, Joan           2200 - 4 - 7 - 9 =13   0.5
   13. Rosenberg, Evan         2155 - 6 --- --- =12   0.5

PRIZES 1ST - $360 2ND - $120 3RD - $ 50 U2400 - $ 80