3/15/06, Round 4, Club & Reserve Championship + Lasker Open
THE IDES OF MARCH IS A TIME FOR BLOODLETTING
'ET TU, BRU - NO?'
By Rick Aeria and Chuck Ensey
Ron Bruno commemorates the 'Ides' of his Roman ancestors by assassinating a Germanic Caesar - on the chessboard, of course! White won every game in the top section, except on Bd 6, where it was a draw
Board 1 Bruno - Wagner 1-0
After 22. Bh3 the position is still roughly equal, with an edge to White, even though Black's pawns are more advanced, Black's pieces are tangled up on the back rank and White has the Bishop pair
For everyone it was the Ides of March, but for Dr. Carl Wagner it was 'Gotterdammerung' (German trans. - 'Twilight of the gods') as runaway locomotive Ron Bruno reduced Wagner's favorite Najdorf variation to the Sicilian to ashes. At a perfect 4-0, Italian Stallion looks unstoppable.
Bd 2 Hart - Funderburg 1-0
David Hart overcame John Funderburg's Semi-Slav Defence to stay half-a-point behind the tournament leader. After a stellar start, the Thunderbird has stalled. Can he gather himself for a fast and furious finish? With all the hoopla over Ron, it seems that Hart is the forgotten man in the tournament. Just half a point behind frontrunner Bruno, Hart is quietly gathering points, like a squirrel gathering nuts, and winning the 'must-win' games to stay in contention.
Bd 3 Aeria - Baker 1-0
The Longest Game of The Night is often played out in an empty hall. There were 3 spectators at the end of this one - Wagner, Sinaee and Ensey stayed until the bitter end...
London System versus King's Indian. Forgetting my preparation, I try to wing it with 10. b4, 11. b5 and then compound my confusion with the artificial looking 16. Qb3, 17. Qa3. Naturally, Bruce Baker secures a clear advantage. I see an opportunity to sacrifice a pawn to initiate play in the center but Bruce's 23. Qe6! squelches counterplay and he pockets an important central pawn. Bruce keeps up the pressure and in despair I trade queens to go into a bleak endgame (for me). Now Bruce keeps pushing me back but at the cost of using up a lot of his allotted time. Then in the middle of the fifth hour, Bruce plays the hasty 50. ... b3 throwing away his advantage but it is still good for a draw. Pressed by clock and a bad cold, Bruce blunders with 54. ... Kd6? and loses the King and Pawn endgame. After the time-honored ritual of the "Ceremony of the Empty Hand", I adjourn to Bennigan's for a beer and late-night vittles with some of the cowpokes Khris Juroshek, Chris Borgan, Dimitry Kishinevsky, Chuck Ensey, Tony Whitt, Alex Betancourt, Andy Bell and Ramin Sinaee.
Bd 4 Corper - Sussman 1-0
A rough night for the Najdorf Variation. This time it was Leonard Sussman falling to Dr. Adam Corper. Upon further review, Lenny lost this game - not Najdorf! Lenny had his chances late in the game to put away Harry Potter...I mean, Adam Corper. Can you figure out where? For the answers see Cyrus Annotates Game
Bd 5 Kishinevsky - Borgan 1/2- 1/2
Chris Borgan is the lone 'A'-Player in the finals but he is certainly holding his own against the field with a 2-2 score.
No kisses and hearts for this draw, it went 74 moves, down to King vs King
Bd 6 Smith - Betancourt 1-0
Todd Smith snapped back to his winning ways by beating Alex Betancourt.
Bd 7 Garamendi - Sainz 1-0 This game won the Best Game Prize this week, which means we get to look at Cyrus Lakdawala's thoughts on the game. See them here. He thinks this might be the best game so far in all the rounds!
If this was a soccer match, we would say "Bolivia 1 - Mexico 0". Alejandro Garamendi, the stronger of the two Bolivians playing in the final showed his positional prowess and disposed of the very tough Ignacio Sainz. This looked more like a heavyweight boxing match to me with tactical blows right and left.(Chuck)
Bd 8 Salz - Milton 1-0
Brad Salz probably shocked himself as he won against what can only be surmised as an out-of-form Carey Milton. Here Brad is about to play 32. Rxb5 which was followed by ...Nc4 33. Qd4 Nxb2 34. Qxb2 d5 and Black has a pawn for the exchange, but his Bishop is kind of bad and White has 2 passed pawns on the Queenside that eventually won the game for Brad.
News Flash! Bruce Baker & Dimitry Kishinevsky have withdrawn! We are sad to see this, but these two players are disappointed with their play and want to take some time off from chess to recharge their energies. Good luck next year guys, you are still tops in our minds!
See the new pairings based on the withdrawals. The withdrawals of these players points out one reason why it is not a good idea to have a 7 week round robin. With a round robin, no one can withdraw without really wrecking the whole event; it is much less flexible. Not that these withdrawals have no effect, they do in fact make it easier for the lower scoring participants to get back to a better score because now they are facing lesser opponents, but it doesn't really affect the top half of the field because they were not likely to face the withdrawn players if they hadn't done so already. In a round robin the effects are greater because pairings are made not by who is leading but by a random draw and everyone plays everyone else. Of course with 16 players, you would have to have 15 rounds, so that isn't feasible either unless we broke the field in half and then had another round robin after weeding out the bottom half. We tried this a few years ago and it was unsatisfactory in my view, although some players did enjoy it, and I have to admit, it was kind of cool, even though it took almost half a year to find the eventual champion. But logistically it was a nightmare for the directors, it was just too hard to enforce with mandatory games, make-up games and other problems, not to mention going on much longer. The 7 round Swiss we have now is just more efficient and flexible; it allows for byes, missed games and withdrawals. We would have much preferred that no one withdraw, but it is not a event-wrecker and it can be viewed as part of the natural weeding out process.
Bd 9 Ensey - Whitt 1-0
White just played 22. Qd5. White has more space and the Bishop pair, so advantage to Chuck. It looks like both players are sleeping, but that's just intense concentration! Both guys played like typical Class B players, frequently missing the best moves, but Tony made the last mistake, a real howler at the end. He took it well though, "that's just chess, these things happen" and he'll be back next week to try to right the ship...
Chuck Ensey did not repeat his grandmaster performance this week. There were rumors that Chuck was actually pleading for a draw against young rising star Tony Whitt who brashly declined all peace overtures for fear of being sent to "Brokeback Mountain". In his haste to avoid the branding iron, Whitt commited an error which allowed our workhorse club secretary/tournament director to win and secure the tournament lead in the Reserve Championship.
Bd 10 Oakes - Sagart 0-1 Kevin made a speculative sac that just didn't work out for him, and Perry won easily
Bd 11 Mathe - Marquis 1-0
Bd 12 Mayra Murra - Robles 0-1
Bd 13 Rodriguez - Fair 1/2 - 1/2
Bd 14 Sweitzer - Fawsi Murra Sr 0-1
Bd 15 Borges - Harbone 1-0 I didn't see much of the above games. Remember, turn them in if they are good ones!
Rocio Murra before the start of Round 3. Dave Saponara had just congratulated the Murra clan for playing as a family - Father, Mother, Son and 2 Daughters! Rocio got a win in Round 4.
Bd 16 Rocio Murra - Lawless 1-0
Bd 17 Sinaee - Baluran 1/2- 1/2 Ed Baluran (3 1/2) is still in first place by 1/2 a point, despite drawing this last game with Ramin.
Bd 18 Gusev - Fawsi Murra Jr 1/2 -1/2 Four players are now tied for second place: Ramin Sinaee, Fawsi Murra Jr, Andrew Bell and David Saponara, all with 3 points out of four. Four players have 2 1/2 points: Maksim Gusev, Mario Amodeo, Kwame Hooker and Jerry Soelberg, and five have a break-even score of 2 points: Ron Soto, Ben Barquin, Ron Rezendes, Tom Fries and David Delgadillo.
Bd 19 Barquin - Bell 0-1
20 Soto - Saponara 0-1 Bd 21 Rezendes - Hooker 1/2 - 1/2 Kwame Hooker has been doing extemely well
Bd 22 Fragante - Amodeo 0-1 Bd 23 Soelberg - Newell 1-0 Bd 24 Batchelor - Fries 0-1 Bd 25 Juroshek - Freitag 1/2 - 1/2 Bd 26 Draper - Edwards 1-0 John Falchi was a not able to play, but has notified us that he has not withdrawn and will be there next week, he just forgot to call in sick. ALWAYS call and lets us know if you can't make it, otherwise some is sitting and waiting for you to show up and it's like waitng for Godot...
Laker Reserve Section
Bd 28 Hall - Egger 1-0 David Hall finally stopped the winning streak of Jacquelyn Egger at 3, she's now in second place along with Karen Kaufman, and the two women are paired next week! See pairings page for all the tentative pairings. Karen crushed Morgan Fox in Round 4, he was not quick enough to jump over the fence!
Bd 29 Kaufman - Fox 1-0 Bd 30 Tyrell - Samuel 1/2 - 1/2 Bd 31 Diaz - Soltan 1-0 Bd 32 Kuhn - Burke 1-0 Bd 33 Ness - Maria Murra 1-0 Bd 34 Colon Full point bye, sorry Justin, that we couldn't find a house player for you!