July 15th 2003

We looked set to have another exciting NY Masters, as last week’s young champion, Hikaru Nakamura, was back to defend his title. Gunning for him, would be GM Leonid Yudasin and GM Alex Stripunsky. We also had a gaggle of strong IM’s as Eli Vovsha, Jay Bonin, Dean Ippolito, Altin Cela and myself were all competing as well.

Participant List for 64th NY Masters:

1. GM Leonid Yudasin
2. GM Hikaru Nakamura
3. GM Alex Stripunsky
4. IM Greg Shahade
5. IM Altin Cela
6. IM Eli Vovsha
7. IM Jay Bonin
8. IM Dean Ippolito
9. NM Dmitro Kedyk
10. FM Boris Privman
11. FM Erez Klein
12. FM Sunil Weeramantry
13. NM Richard Shtivelband
14. NM Fabrice Fiol
15. Qualifier – Adam Maltese
16. Filler – Laura Ross


1st - $430
2nd - $150
3rd - $50
U2400 - $100



1 Yudasin – Cela 1/2-1/2
2 Kedyk - Nakamura LIVE GAME!
3 Stripunsky – Privman 0-1
4 E. Klein – G.Shahade 1-0
5 Vovsha – Shtivelband 1-0
6 Fiol – Bonin 0-1
7 Ippolito – Maltese 0-1
˝ pt bye for Weeramantry

It might look like the above results are a mistake but once again it was shown how difficult the NY Masters can be. Yudasin was faced with very stiff resistance from Cela, as the Albanian IM sacrificed an exchange for great compensation. Yudasin tried to use his material advantage, but the position was just too murky and he had to agree to a draw. Things were not so rosy for some of the other top seeds, as Stripunsky declined a draw in a worse position against Boris Privman, and went on to lose a long endgame. Meanwhile I felt that I had a clear advantage against Erez Klein, but he had his pieces around my king, and in the end they made their voices heard, as I was brutally checkmated.

However, the upsets didn’t end here! This week’s qualifier, 16 year old Adam Maltese, knocked off IM Dean Ippolito! The only players to hold up their end of the bargain were IM’s Eli Vovsha and Jay Bonin.

Hikaru Nakamura didn’t want to join the club of Grandmasters that didn’t win the first round, yet he would have a very stiff test in the first round. He was faced with the blazing hot 15 year old youngster, Dmytro Kedyk. Kedyk has literally defeated about 75-80% of GM’s he has faced recently! He played in a Thursday Night Action two weeks ago and defeated Ibragimov, Stripunsky and Blatny, in succession to win the event. Last week in this event he beat Stripunsky in the first round, and 3 weeks ago he knocked off GM Yudasin! His rating of 2360 is very misleading, as it’s clear his rating is soon rising towards the 2500 level.

Nakamura is no slouch either, as he was the clear winner in last week’s NY Masters, with an interesting endgame victory over Wojtkiewicz, and some very resourceful defense to hold off the attack of GM Pavel Blatny. Would Nakamura end the string of upsets, or would all the GM’s go into the second round with their heads hanging down??

(1) Kedyk,D (2361) - Nakamura,H (2656) [B99]
64th New York Masters New York (1), 15.07.2003


Already Kedyk had the advantage, as Weeramantry and Nakamura got stuck in traffic and thus Nakamura came to the game with 10 minutes off his clock.

1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.h4 g5

A typical blow in these types of positions, to gain control of the e5 square. However in this particular case, it doesn’t seem to be the most accurate path….

13.hxg5 hxg5 14.Rxh8+ Bxh8 15.f5 Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Qc5 17.Qd1 Ke7 18.Qd2 Nf6 19.Na4!

19...Qe5 20.Nb6 Rb8 21.Nc4

All of the sudden Nakamura’s position is looking very perilous. His pieces are undeveloped, and his king is stuck in the center…..meanwhile his queen is wandering around the board


An attempt to bail out into an endgame, however Kedyk takes the fire out of this plan and emerges with an extra pawn.

22.Qe3 Qf4 23.Qxf4 gxf4 24.Rxe4 d5 25.f6+ Kxf6 26.Rxf4+ Kg5 27.Rxf7 dxc4 28.Bxc4

Kedyk now has a very strong endgame advantage, with an extra pawn and an active rook, compared to black’s rook and bishop that are still undeveloped!

28...b5 29.Bb3 Rb6 30.Rc7 Bb7 31.Bxe6 Rxe6 32.Rxb7 Kxg4 33.Rf7!

The normal reaction in such positions, to cut the king off from the pawns as much as possible. This position is now technically lost, however Nakamura fights on bravely

33...Kg5 34.b3 Kg6 35.Rf2 b4 36.Kb2 a5 37.c3 Re8 38.a4 bxc3+ 39.Kxc3 Rc8+ 40.Kd4 Rb8 41.Rf3 Kg5 42.Kc4 Rb4+ 43.Kc3 Rb8 44.Rf7 Rc8+ 45.Kb2 Kg6 46.Rb7 Kf6 47.Rb5 Ra8 48.Kc3 Ke6 49.Kc4 Kd6 50.Rb6+ Kc7 51.Kb5 Ra7 52.Ra6 Rb7+ 53.Kc4 Rb4+ 54.Kc3 Rh4 55.Rxa5

Winning the second pawn ….now Nakamura makes a valiant attempt at counterplay and has the white king running all around the board…

55...Kb6 56.Rg5 Ka6 57.Kb2 Rf4 58.Ka3 Rh4 59.a5 Rf4 60.b4 Rf1 61.Rg6+ Kb5 62.Rb6+ Kc4 63.a6 Ra1+ 64.Kb2 Ra4 65.b5 Rb4+ 66.Kc2 Ra4 67.Kd2 Kd4 68.Ke2 Ke4 69.Kf2 Ra2+ 70.Kg3 Ra3+ 71.Kg4 Ra1 72.Kg5 Ke5 73.Kg6 Rg1+ 74.Kf7 Rh1 75.Rb7 Kf5 76.Ke7 Ke5 77.Kd7 Kd5 78.Kc7 Kc5 79.Kb8 Rh8+ 80.Ka7!

The white king concludes his nice stroll, forced by the mate threats. The king traveled from a3 to g6 and back to a7! Now that the king is home, all hope is lost for Nakamura, and another upset is inevitable.

80...Rh6 81.b6 Kb5 82.Rg7 1-0

Perhaps the most amazing first round in NY Masters history! The only higher rated players to survive were IM Eli Vovsha and IM Jay Bonin. Would any of the GMs be able to recover and catch up to the rest of the pack? Surely Yudasin has the best chance, as he managed to at least draw his first round battle.

Round 2

Key Pairings

1 Privman – Vovsha 0-1
2 Bonin – E.Klein 1-0
3 Maltese – Kedyk LIVE GAME!

IM’s Eli Vovsha and Jay Bonin continued their run with key second round victories. Meanwhile we had a very funny situation for Dmytro Kedyk. Kedyk starts the tournament playing the 2nd seed in GM Hikaru Nakamura, he WINS the game and then gets paired down to the lowest rated player in the tournament! That doesn’t happen every day….

Adam Maltese hit the NY chess scene like a storm when he was 9 years old, as he won clear first in the New York Open – Under 1800 section for a cool $10,000. Since then he seemed to quit chess, only to resurface recently at the age of 16. He has shown steady improvement since his return and is on a great path towards the master title, as evidenced by his first round victory over IM Dean Ippolito. Would he be able to continue his magic against the rapidly improving, Dmitro Kedyk??

(2) Maltese,A (2001) - Kedyk,D (2361) [D00]
64th New York Masters New York (2), 15.07.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 Bg4 6.Be2 Bxf3 7.Bxf3 c6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Rc1

A peculiar looking move…

9...Nbd7 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 Qb6 13.Be3 f5 14.d5 c5 15.d6

A wild tactical flurry by Maltese. If …..fe4 white plays 16. dxe7 followed by 17.Qxd7. However black is not forced to capture the bishop, and the old adage “All that glitters isn’t gold”, makes itself apparent as Kedyk acquires a huge pawn center.

15...exd6 16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.Qxb7 fxe4 18.Qxd7 Rad8 19.Qg4 Qxb2 20.Qxe4 Qxa2 21.Bg5 Rde8 22.Qc6 Qe6 23.Qa6 Bd4 24.c3 Bxf2+ !

25.Kh1 c4 26.Rcd1 Bc5 27.Bh6 Rxf1+ 28.Rxf1 g5!!

A very nice blow by Kedyk, taking advantage of white’s weak back rank, because if white takes the pawn on g5…

29.Bxg5 Qf5!

This move settles the issue and wins a piece.

30.Qxc4 Qxg5 31.h4 Qe5 32.Qf7 Qe7 33.Qh5 Rg8 34.g4 Qe4+ 0-1

Leaders after Round 2

2 pts – Vovsha, Bonin, Kedyk
1.5 pts - Yudasin


Key Pairings

1 Vovsha – Bonin LIVE GAME!!
2 Kedyk – Yudasin 0-1

Yudasin ended the fiery hot streak of Kedyk, winning in the black side of a Caro-Kann. Meanwhile the other two undefeated players would be going at it head to head on board 1. What a great chance for both of these players to start 3/3, as usually when you are 2450 and 2/2, you are paired with someone over 2600. Let’s get to the action…

(3) Vovsha,E (2462) - Bonin,J (2440) [C13]
64th New York Masters New York (3), 15.07.2003

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Ne4 6.Nxe4 Bxg5 7.Nxg5 Qxg5 8.c3 b6 9.h4 Qe7 10.h5 h6 11.Qg4

11...Qg5 12.Qxg5 hxg5 13.g4 f6 14.Nh3 Bd7 15.f4 Nc6 16.exf6 gxf6 17.fxg5 fxg5 18.Nxg5 Ke7

White has won a pawn but is willing to return it in exchange for the advantage of the dominant knight versus the bad French bishop.

19.Bb5 Rag8 20.Nf3 Rxg4 21.Bxc6 Bxc6 22.Ne5

Wow look at that knight!

22...Re4+ 23.Kd2 Be8 24.h6 c5 25.Rae1 cxd4 26.Rxe4 dxc3+ 27.Kxc3 dxe4 28.Kd4 Kf6 29.Kxe4 Kg5 30.h7 Bh5 31.Rg1+ Kh6 32.Ng4+ Kg5

Vovsha had the dominating position, but let it all slip away, as Bonin has this strange move, allowing a discovery, yet also allowing no useful discovery.

33.Ne5+ Kh6 34.Ng4+ 1/2-1/2

With this draw, Vovsha and Bonin gave Yudasin the chance to catch up with them, as they are now all tied for 1st place.

Leaders after Round 3

2.5 pts – Yudasin, Vovsha, Bonin
2 pts – Stripunsky, Nakamura, G.Shahade, Kedyk


Key Pairings

1 Yudasin – Vovsha LIVE GAME!
2 Bonin – Stripunsky 0-1
3 Nakamura – G.Shahade 1-0
4 Weeramantry – Kedyk 1/2-1/2

Bonin defeated Stripunsky in the last NY Masters, but wasn’t able to do it when it REALLY counted, as a win here by Jay would have given him a guaranteed share of first place. Instead Jay’s 1.Nc3 was unable to sufficiently confuse Stripunsky, and Bonin was ground down in a fine technical effort. Jay did have the amusing pawn structure , with pawns on d3,d4,e4,f4 and f3 early in the middlegame.

Now it all came down to the last game between Yudasin and Vovsha. Yudasin is the champion of the NY Masters, and as is often the case, for Vovsha to get first place, he would have to get through Yudasin.

(4) Yudasin,L (2692) - Vovsha,E (2462) [B01]
64th New York Masters New York (4), 15.07.2003

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 c6 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.0-0 e6 9.d4 Bd6 10.Ne2 0-0 11.c3 Nbd7 12.Nf4 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Qd1

Yudasin has the two bishops advantage in a semi open position. For most players this wouldn’t seem to be a big deal, but in the hands of a maestro like Yudasin, such an edge can be extremely difficult to defend against.

15...Rad8 16.Qc2 Ng6 17.Ne2 Rfe8 18.Nd4 Be5 19.Nf5 Nd5 20.a3 Nde7 21.Ne3 Qb5 22.Rd1 Bc7 23.Bf1 Qe5 24.Nc4 Qf6 25.Be3 a6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Rd1 Nf5 28.Rxd8+ Bxd8 29.Bc1

Yudasin calmly retreats. He is clearly in no rush to crush Vovsha off the board, he just plans to consolidate and then slowly use his two bishops to irritate black.

29...Bc7 30.Qe4 Nd6 31.Nxd6 Qxd6 32.Be3 Ne7 33.c4 Qd7 34.h4 h6 35.Kh2 Ng6 36.Bh3

The light squared bishop takes a very active post…

36...Qd8 37.Kg2 Nf8 38.Bd4 Bd6 39.Bc3 Qe7?

40.Qxe7 Bxe7 41.Bc8!

Oh my! Now we see why the bishop was so well placed on h3, as it’s ready to snap off all the queenside pawns. Vovsha is doomed to lose a pawn…

41...b6 42.Bxa6 Ne6 43.b4 Kf8 44.Bc8 Nc7 45.a4 Ke8 46.Bxg7 Bxb4 47.Bxh6 Kd8 48.Bf5

With the loss of a second pawn, any real hope Vovsha might have had can be flushed down the toilet.

48...Ke7 49.h5 Bc3 50.Be3 c5 51.g4 Ne8 52.f4 1-0

A smooth, clean cut win by Grandmaster Leonid Yudasin. With this victory and his $430 first prize, Yudasin has won a total of over $7200 in NY Masters events thus far! Funnily, the GM’s that were defeated early in the event, all came back to lead the tournament, as Stripunsky and Nakamura each tied for 2nd place and received $100 apiece for wining their final three games. Dmytro Kedyk wrapped up the Under 2400 prize, as Altin Cela was unable to finish off FM Boris Privman in a winning position.

Congratulations again to this week’s champion, Leonid Yudasin!!

64th New York Masters Action USA (USA), 15 vii 2003
                                     1   2   3   4   Total
    1. Yudasin, Leonid      g  2692 = 8 +10 + 6 + 4   3.5  ($430)
    2. Nakamura, Hikaru     g  2656 - 6 +13 +11 + 7   3.0  ($100)
    3. Stripunsky, Alex     g  2651 -11 + 8 +12 + 5   3.0  ($100)
    4. Vovsha, Eli          m  2462 + 9 +11 = 5 - 1   2.5
    5. Bonin, Jay           m  2440 +16 +12 = 4 - 3   2.5
    6. Kedyk, Dmytro           2361 + 2 +14 - 1 =10   2.5  ($100)
    7. Shahade, Greg        m  2489 -12 +16 + 9 - 2   2.0
    8. Cela, Altin          m  2393 = 1 - 3 +14 =11   2.0
    9. Shtivelband, Rich       2237 - 4 +15 - 7 +14   2.0
   10. Weeramantry, Sunil   f  2215 =   - 1 +15 = 6   2.0
   11. Privman, Boris       f  2340 + 3 - 4 - 2 = 8   1.5
   12. Klein, Erez          f  2285 + 7 - 5 - 3 ---   1.0
   13. Ross, Laura         wf  2144 --- - 2 +16 ---   1.0
   14. Maltese, Adam           2001 +15 - 6 - 8 - 9   1.0
   15. Ippolito, Dean       m  2435 -14 - 9 -10 =16   0.5
   16. Fiol, Fabrice           2207 - 5 - 7 -13 =15   0.5

PRIZES 1ST - $430 2ND - $150 3RD - $ 50 U2400 - $100