1/26/05, Markowski Open, Round 4, Reported by Chuck Ensey
Baker Cooks Zeigler, Wagner Wallops Milton
Lenny & Todd Draw, so do Bruno & Fries
Shomari Mosi & Adam Corper Are Tied For Second After Rd 4
After 4 rounds, we now have only two players with perfect scores: Bruce Baker (4) and Carl Wagner (4). Bruce defeated George Zeigler (3) with a strong attack against the Kan Variation of the Sicilian when George seemed to neglect his Kingside development in a bid to contest a few squares on the Queenside. When Bruce deftly opened up the game, Black's King was caught in the center and it was all over in a quick 21 moves. Bruce is well known for his deadly attacks against the King.
Carl Wagner got into a heavy piece ending (see picture above) with Carey Milton (3) where both players were tripled on adjacent files, but Carl was already up two pawns and he made them count.
Todd Smith (3) could not find a way to crack the safety first minded style of Leonard Sussman (3) and had to agree to a draw.
NM Todd Smith Couldn't Make Much Progress In This Fairly Equal Position
Ron Bruno (3) and Thomas Fries (3) also split the point and join a huge group of players with three points. Round 5 should narrow the field of contenders from pretenders as we move closer to the goal of selecting the top 16 qualifiers.
Adam Corper (3 1/2) put the brakes on Dayne Freitag's (2 1/2) soaring status with a convincing win, which was not too surprising since Adam is rated 240 points higher than Dayne, but Dayne had been winning everything lately, including a sweeping victory in the Class Championships in December
On Board 6, I could tell right away that a classic showdown was brewing. Shomari Mosi (3 1/2) and Rick Aeria (2 1/2) were two of the most focused players of the night, rarely budging from their seats as they battled in what turned out to be The Longest Game Of The Night. It was back and forth all night, but Shomari seemed to have the edge for much of the later part of the game. I was confident that Club Champion Rick would be able to neutralize the advantages of the young phenom and simplify into a drawn ending. And that is almost what happened, but with only a few minutes on his clock versus Shomari's 30 minutes, Rick uncharacteristically blundered by grabbing a Knight on b5 with his Bishop, but the Bishop had been defending against the push of a passed pawn on a3 that was close to Queening, and when the Bishop took, it moved off the a2-g8 diagonal, allowing the Rook pawn to advance to a2 uncontested and unstoppable. It was one of those sad moments when hours of concentration can be spoiled by one moment of weakness. But Shomari must be credited with pressuring Rick all night, and maybe he would have won anyway, it was a difficult ending for Rick to defend.
Shomari Mosi and Rick Aeria are intent early on and the tension continued for hours
On Board 7, Chuck Ensey (2 1/2) got a very favorable position against NM Robert Richard (2 1/2) but agreed to a draw when offered one by Bob on move 35, early in the endgame. Against any other player I would have continued on, but not against the very dangerous master, so I decided to take the bird in the hand rather than wrestle with the tiger in the bush, and I don't regret it. Fritz says I had an advantage of about +1.4 or so, but it was all positional and I have seen too many positional advantages disappear through inaccurate moves when playing a stronger opponent, so I didn't even think about it very long, I just gladly shook his hand.
Pejamn Sagart, with White, held out for a long time against TD David Saponara, but drew a big laugh from the late night crowd when he asked Dave jokingly if he wanted a draw - with a bare King against two Knights (that might be a draw), plus a Bishop and three or four pawns!
On the next six boards, higher rated players won their games, with only one exception. Winning, as predicted by rating differentials, were Dimitry Kishinevsky (3) over Alex Garcia-Betancourt (2), Peter Bisgaard (3) over Ramin Sinaee (2), Thomas Nelson (3) over Shaun Sweitzer (2) and David Saponara (3) over Pejman Sagart (2).
The one upset pictured above was Gary Tuttle (3), with a very well played win over Ed Baluran (2). Gary was able to use a Queen to beat a Rook and a Bishop, finally forking them with a nice maneuver. Earlier it looked like Ed was easily going to Queen a pawn, but his King was exposed and the Gary's Queen was able to check and pick off the pawn.
The Bud Man was up to his usual tricks, that's Ron Bruno & Tom Fries in the background
Another upset was recorded when Buddy Morris (3), always a dangerous tactician, upset Expert Aaron Wooten (2).
James Mahooti (3) cooled off the red hot Patrick Edwards (2) as Cyrus Lakdawala (by the Rene Gonzalez painting) pays a visit to watch the action on Wednesday night, January 26th, 2005
Tim McGuiness (3) had an outstanding game against Thirunathan Sutharsan (2) and was able to win against the higher rated (1944) "T" Sutharsan. Tim won the Class A Section in December, which hasn't been rated yet for some reason (all the other sections were) so his rating (1815) is a bit too low, he is probably much closer to 1900 since he won that section and the trophy.
Mario Amodeo (2 1/2) bounced back from his loss last week to Shomari (obviously that wasn't a fluke) by winning over the unrated, but likely Class A or better Franco Alejandrino (2).
Orozco and Soto studied their positions as their opponents stepped away
Jesus Orozco (2) was agreeable to a draw with Esteban Escobedo (2). Another strong Mexican player, Ron Soto (1 1/2) lost to the always dangerous deep thinker Damani Fair (2 1/2) (of the famous Red Pieces).
On Board 19, Sunny Chu (2 1/2) upset James Malowney (1 1/2). Sunny may be underrated as we haven't seen him play for a few years.
The next five boards had the higher rated player winning: Ron Rezendes (2) over Khris Juroshek (1 1/2), Joel Batchelor (2) over Parvis Soltan (1), Marc Adlam (2) over Keith Wilson (1), Robert Draper (2) over Alina Markowski (1) and Fred Borges (2) over Helmut Keil (1).
On Board 25, Erik Marquis (1 1/2) was able to get a draw with the higher rated Fred Gerlach (1 1/2). Then the higher rated players took over again as Tom Webb (2) whipped Robert Samuel (1), Robert Henderson (2) harassed Reno Tyrell (1), Stefan Boyland (2) booby trapped newcomer Michael Melcher (1), Julian Rodriguez (2) rolled Brad Ross (1) and then Chris "Resistance is Futile" Borgan (1 1/2) assimilated James Coulston (1).
Chris Borgan survived an attack on the Rook file from James Coulston
Finally there were a couple of upsets as Karen Kaufman (1 1/2) made Bill Murray (1/2) cough up a point and Eric Addis (1 1/2) added to Roger Wathen's (1/2) woes. But Roger told me he really enjoyed his trophy from the Class Championships and thought it was a really nice looking one (see main page for picture of Roger with his trophy). Todd White (1) got his first win with an upset of Thomas Kuhn (0).
Jason Clevenger (1 1/2) cleaved Keith Wetterer (1/2) in two while Marc De Yoe (1) defanged Noel Phelan (0). Monica Ness (0) got a very tough house player in the form of Phil Skiba (3) and wasn't able to overcome the odds. Finally, Chris McLaren (2) rejoined us and got a draw with house player Carl Newell (1 1/2).
Phil Skiba said he nearly lost to the fast learning Monica Ness
Taking a bye tonight was Ignacio Sainz (2 1/2), and we had two no shows: David Hall (1) and Roberto Mercado (1) who were double forfeited and won't be paired next week unless we hear from them as to why they didn't call in. Mike Smith (1) has apparently withdrawn, but we are hoping he will reappear, although, again he will not be paired unless we hear from him.