1/11/06, Markowski Open, Round 2, Reported by Chuck Ensey
Near Full House (82 Players) in Rd 2 of the Markoswki
A lot of new players joined in the fun at the annual Markowski Open, which is named for Alina Markowski, one of the most famous San Diego Chess Club members. (see previous year's reports for more on Alina). Unfortunately, Alina is no longer able to attend our club, but we wish her well and miss her feisty spirit. I believe she is still playing in North County at the Poway club, but the long drive down to Balboa Park and the late night just got to be too much for her, even though she had a ride from Bob Richard.
Players joining in Round 2 included Ron Bruno, Ruffo Orihuela, Richard Russell, Richard Gimeno, Raoul Crisologo, Alejandro Garamendi, Chris Borgan, Andew Bell, Jerry Soelberg, Khris Juroshek, Tom Webb, Erik Marquis, Helmut Keil, David Hall and James Coulston.
Club Champion Adam Corper hams it up with his fellow co-worker Max during Round 2
14 of the top finishers will earn a berth in the Club Championship. Right now we have 13 players with two wins: Bruce Baker, Robert Richard, David Hart, Adam Corper, Dimitry Kishinevsky, Leonard Sussman, Alex Garcia-Betancourt, John Funderburg, Brad Salz, Maksim Gusev, Ed Baluran, Nikolay Arutyunov and David Delgadillo. Other Experts or Masters that now have 1 1/2 points and are likely to contend for a spot are Ignacio Sainz, Jesus Orozco, Rick Aeria, Ron Bruno, Ruffo Orihuela, Richard Gimeno and Alejandro Garamendi. Plus several Class A players may make it in, as happened last year. Top choices here would be Ben Barquin, Ramin Sinaee and Esteban Escobedo.
Esteban got off to a great start. In Round 1 he played one of the lowest rated players, the unrated Felix Oster and easily won that round, but in Round two he faced a sterner test against the #1 rated (2352) Richard Russell, a former Club Champion, who has come back to play after a long layoff from competitive chess. The result was a draw, so the rust is showing a bit for NM Russell, and/or Esteban is red hot. It looked for a while that Esteban might even win the game with a few extra pawns, including a passer on the seventh, but with Bishops of Opposite Colors, Richard was able to draw. Esteban is fresh from big victories in the North American Open in Las Vegas (6 out of 7 points in the U1800 Section) and a tie for first place at the January Super Gambito with IM Enrico Sevillano and IM Cyrus Lakdawala! Heady company there! I think I can guess who the Player of the Month for January will be...
So were there any other upsets in Round 2 you ask?? The rating differentials are still around two hundred points or more, but yes, there were a few... Nikolay Arutyunov, although he is only provisionally rated, so maybe that doesn't count, but he did upet Fawsi Murra Jr. And David Delgadillo knocked off Carey Milton [game]. Carey is always hot and cold, so that is not a huge surprise. How about Ramin Sinaee holding Ignacio Sainz to a draw... not bad Ramin! I wish I could have held Ruffo to a draw! I had a chance, but I dropped a whole piece at the start of the endgame and so I immediately resigned.
Bob Samuel already has an attack going against Andy Bell early in the game
The biggest upset was the old warrior Robert Samuel (who drew with Ben Barquin last week!) and beat Andrew Bell this week. Bob not only beat him, he crushed him! In the final position, poor Andy had only a minute on his clock, but there was no saving move anyway. Bob was threatening to checkmate, win a Queen or to Queen a pawn (or all three at once!), and it was completely hopeless. I was amazed at the position.
Also the unrated Fausto Robles won against Kevin Oakes, but you can't really count that as an upset because we just don't know an unrated players real strength. Next week should be even more interesting as the rating differentials start to narrow a bit more, and the games get tougher. Not that the games weren't tough this week - I was surprised at how long many of the games lasted. The Longest Game of the Night was won by Dimitry Kishinevsky, who had to squeak by Buddy Morris with a Rook and Rook pawn versus a Bishop and Rook pawn on the same file. Anthony Whitt (1) also played a very long game against Alex Burke (0), a game that went back and forth several times, but was eventually decided by Alex's time trouble. Maksim Gusev (2) also had trouble with the time control (40 in 100 minutes), but barely made it and then went on to win a very close game against Gary Tuttle (1).
David Hart (2) also had a few anxious moments against Ron Rezendes (1) when he had to make 15 moves or so in about 5 minutes, but somehow he found a way out of his difficulties. I think Ron said he blundered away a great position, but it is never easy to actually gain a full point from a master.
Tom Webb (1/2) also gave Raoul Crisologo (1 1/2) a scare and pressed him the whole game, but faltered at the end. And Khris Juroshek (1/2) made Rick Aeria (1 1/2) work for the point. And last years' Reserve Champion, Joel Batchelor (1) had a really tough time of it against Morgan Fox (0), who barely missed a draw. I think it was the second longest game.
Black resigned here because of mate in 3: after Nxh7, Rxh7+ Kxh7 Rh3#
Robert Henderson (1) had a spectacular Queen and Rook sac that lead to mate against Eric Addis (0).
Karen Kaufman looks intense as Mayra Murra smiles at her game with Damani Fair. That's Mayra's father sitting next to her, playing Pejman Sagart
Damani Fair (1) said he had a really tough game against one of the Murra sisters, Mayra Murra (0).
Fawsi Murra Jr watches his sister Rocio Murra record moves against the Chess Balladeer
Rocio Murra (1), the other sister in this big chess family (the mother plays too!), lost to Ed Baluran (2), but she gave him a good long battle. Jason Qu did not show up tonight, so I drafted Nikolay Arutyunov's uncle Natig Salmanov (0) to play Anthony Harbone (1). Natig gave him a good long fight and nearly pulled it out, but Tony finally prevailed.
Round 3 January 18th, it is not too late to join this 7 round event if you haven't signed up already, you can even get two 1/2 points byes to start with, or save them for later. No byes in the last round though!
Finally I would like to say that I was very sad to hear about the passing of a great chess legend, Igor Ivanov. There is an article in the lastest Chess Life that goes over his accomplishments and mentions how kind he was to many complete strangers, which is to me the mark of a really great man. Many people have great stories to tell about Igor. He loved to drink on occasion, even while playing chess tournaments, I guess that was part of the old Russian traditions, but he was never mean, just tipsy. Even when drunk he could wipe most people off the board, including strong Masters. Here is a photo taken by Rick Aeria.