2007 Markowski Open Round 1 of 7 1/03/07
By Chuck Ensey and Rick Aeria
Board 1 'B' Vincent Broman - FM Richard Russell 0-1
Richard Russell at last month's Class Championships
Top board FIDE Master Richard Russell returns to better his first-place tie in the Markowski. Russell did not play in the finals in 2006. This year the field is even tougher with masters Duesterwald, Bruno, Baker, Smith, Corper, Richard and Hart.
Bd 2 FM-Elect Ron Bruno - 'B' Theron Pummer 1-0
Ron Bruno at the 2006 Championship
Defending champion Ron Bruno was already seeded into the finals but could not resist jumping into the fray and excitement of the qualifying event. Many contenders mumbled their "displeasure" as Bruno and his other masterly compatriot, Todd Smith who also qualified for the finals but could not resist the call to battle will act as the 'grim reapers' to the other hopefuls chances. Who can blame them? Last year Todd qualified and sat out of the Markowski by playing a friendly match with fellow master Carl Wagner. When the finals began, Todd was 'stone cold' and a few early reverses all but eliminated him from serious contention.
Their presence will make this year's Markowski one of the most interesting tournaments in memory as the contenders cannot be assured of quick and safe 'grandmaster' draws with each other to advance. These guys already have qualified and may want to pick off a dangerous rival or two in the preliminaries. Now will the third and final qualifier, Maxim Gusev join them like three rogue lions stalking across the African savannah. Delicious!
Bd 3 'B' Roberto Aiello - NM Bruce Baker 1/2-1/2 An exciting and well played endgame by both players! Robert Aiello emerged from the middlegame with a very level position. It was to Bruce's credit to take the fight to Robert and try to score the full point and try he did! Sacrificing a whole piece in a King and pawns versus Aiello's King and Knight and pawns endgame to conjure up winning chances in case Aiello faltered. But the newcomer played accurately and the exciting fight petered out to an honorable draw.
Bd 4 NM Todd Smith - 'B' Amando Malvar 1-0
Todd Smith vs Lenny Sussman at the 2006 Championship one year ago
Master Todd Smith has been one of the most active and successful players in 2006. In fact by late summer, Todd was dubbed "Invincible" for his string of tournament victories. We mentioned the reason for Todd's presence in a qualifying event he had already quailfied by winning the San Diego Open in August and applaud his trademark fighting spirit.
We should mention the absence of another master NM Carl Wagner who nearly won the club championship last year. Carl had to undergo a preventive surgical procedure and we wish him a speedy recovery and return to the club.
Bd 5 'B' William Wijaya - NM Robert Richard 0-1
It was great to see the return of Master Robert Richard who is taking a brief sabbatical from his book writing project. Sorry chess fans, it's not a chess book.
Bd 6 NM Adam Corper - 'B' Shaun Sweitzer 1-0
Adam Corper, no "stiff upper lip" here, he is as friendly a player as can be (except that he will crush you on the board if you give him any chance at all!)
Former 2005 Club Champion Adam Corper, fresh from his extended vacation in his native Britain arrived just in time to defeat Shaun Sweitzer. Adam has not been active in chess lately but expect a concerted effort from this "Son of Cyrus" to win back *his* title.
Bd 7 'B' Chuck Ensey - NM David Hart 0-1 I was paired with the 7th Master in this event! The club's most regal master, David Hart, comes fresh from his historic 18-0 triumph in the clubs annual blitz tournament held on December 27th, 2006. Historic in a sense that blitz/quickchess specialist IM Cyrus Lakdawala finished in second place behind Dave.
A word of appreciation to our indefatiguable club treasurer (yes, Chuck has replaced treasurer Louis Pace who has moved out of town), tournament director and Gambito tourney series organizer. Chuck is a true treasure for our chess community. What is amazing is that he balances his devoted involvement with chess with an even greater devotion to his lovely wife, Gloria!
Did I mention that Chuck's game has been getting steadily better and better?
Bd 8 Expert George Zeigler - 'B' Damani Fair 1-0
George Zeigler, a super strong Expert. If only he had a little more time to study, he would surely be a Master in no time, and he may get there anyway just through sheer determination and his unique style.
George Zeigler has an instructive strategic style combined with a devastating tactical finishing touch. We were all treated to sample of this style tonight in his game against a very capable Damani Fair.
Bd 9 'B' Fawsi Jose Murra - Expert John Funderburg 0-1
Fawsi Jose Murra at last year's Markowski Open and John Funderburg from last year too
The Thunderbird has a little bit of a scare as the patriarch of the Murra clan put up a tremendous fight and seemed to be holding his own until he blundered away a piece in time pressure and resigned immediately.
Bd 10 Expert Leonard Sussman - 'B' Jason Qu 1-0
The irrepressible Leonard Sussman!
Bd 11 no players
Bd 12 Expert Dimitry Kishinevsky - 'B' Robert Henderson 1-0
Bruce Baker watches Russell vs Kishinevsky last year
Late in the game the surprising Henderson won an exchange and it looked like a big upset in the making but then played a horrible lemon before a huge crowd of onlookers effectively going a piece down and a lost position.
Bd 13 'B' Erik Marquis - Expert Rick Aeria 0-1
Bd 14 Expert Jim Humphrey - 'B' Pouyan Azarshahri 1-0
Humphrey has a very solid and cautious positional style and methodically "de-fanged" Pouyan's imaginative Sicilian Kan formation. A workman-like performance!
Bd 15 'B' Fausto Robles - Expert Carey Milton 0-1
"Giant Killer" Carey Milton returned empty-handed from his recent excursion to the North American Open in Las Vegas. In September of 2006, Carey scored his greatest financial triumph in chess winning $1,200 in a runaway victory in Pechanga Casino.
Bd 16 Expert Brad Salz - 'B' John Falchi 1-0
Bd 17 'C' Rocio Murra - 'Expert' Ed Baluran 0-1
Bd 18 'A' Fawsi Murra Jr - 'C' Robert Samuel 1-0
Bd 19 'C' Daniel Bagliazo - 'B' Fred Borges 1/2-1/2 This board was re-paired as 2 players I thought were playing did not show up.
This was one of the highlights of the night! Scrappy Daniel Bagliazo went through great lengths to achieve and overwhelming position against octotenagarian Fred Borges, former Clairemont Chess Club Champion from the seventies. The crafty Fred Borges managed to inveigle Daniel into a stalemating trap. Daniel was still innocently unaware as Fred extended his hand to him,thinking it was Fred's resignation until Fred dutifully informed him that the position was a stalemate! Fred was grinning ear-to-ear over his devious swindle!
Bd 20 'A' Chris Borgan - 'C' David Hall 1-0
Bd 21 'C' Mayra Murra - 'A' Buddy Morris 0-1
Bd 22 'A' Robert Defore - 'C' Michael Ross 1-0
Bd 23 'C' William Murray - 'A' Thomas Fries 1-0 The one big upset of the night. Class C beats Class A!
Bd 24 'A' Mario Amodeo - 'C' Caley Anderson 1-0
Bd 25 'C' Karen Kaufman - 'A' Lennart Mathe 0-1
Bd 26 'A' Ramin Sinaee - 'C' Tom Kuhn 1-0 The Longest Game of the Night
Bd 27 'C' Eric Castro - 'A' Ronald Soto 0-1
Bd 28 'A' David Delgadillo - 'D' Morgan Fox 1-0
David Delgadillo at last year's Lasker Open
'El Mariachi' (a.k.a. David Delgadillo) is baaack! David has a reputation of playing beautiful games and his tactical vision has surprised and humbled many higher rated players!
Bd 29 'D' Jachin Tyrell - 'A' Esteban Escobedo 0-1
Esteban Escobedo has a very unique positional style: He can consistently create positions when he seemingly drains the life and dynamism out of the board like some psychic vampire. It is very weird, almost creepy, to play against Esteban, you almost feel like you are sleep-walking.
Bd 30 'A' Dayne Freitag - 'D' Mark Lawless 1-0
Bd 31 'D' Patrick Edwards - 'A' Ron Rezendes 0-1
It is good to see our club president in action and displaying his superior tactical prowess against Patrick Edwards. If they gave out titles in poker like they do in chess, Mr. Edwards would probably be a grandmaster.
Bd 32 'A' Gary Tuttle - 'E' James Aranda 1-0
Musician Gary Tuttle is a fine blend of a narrow but well-worked out opening repertoire coupled with good positional sense and a razor sharp tactical eye. Too bad, he only seems to play very rarely.
Bd 33 'E' Monica Ness - 'A' Santiago Rubio-Fernaz 0-1
Bd 34 'A' Jerry Soelberg - 'E' Hai Qu 1-0
Jerry Soelberg has the innate positional understanding to rival a master strength player, and has a carefully-built opening repertoire to make even Capablanca envious. Now if he tried harder and just spent a little time to avoid the cheap tactical tricks and swindles his rating would be near master level.
Bd 35 'E' Keith Wetterer - 'A' Pejman Sagart 0-1
"Perry" Sagart went up to 1800 rating recently.
Bd 36 'B' Richard Jensen - 'E' Maria Murra 1-0
Neo-Bohemian Richard Jensen is the modern 'Nimzowitsch' of our chess club with a good strategic/positional style and cautious tactical vision . He even consistently champions Nimzowitsch's Defence to the King Pawn ( 1. e4 Nc6 !) and actually has good successes with this opening.
Bd 37 'Unr' Christian Garcia - 'B' Joel Batchelor 0-1
Bd 38 'B' Anthony Harbone - 'B' Marty Lower 0-1 Anthony was left out of the pairings by my mistake, Marty agreed to join in to help me out of a jam, thanks Marty...
Byes: Marc Duesterwald, Alfredo DeLeon, Steven Perry, Luis Castaneda, Manuel Herrera, Ben Barquin(?)
Total Players so far: 80 If you aren't playing yet you can still join with a 1/2 point bye for round one.
See Pairings Page for TENTATIVE pairings for Round 2.