Gambito #406 1/31/09
19 players, including 4 Masters (Lakdawala, Graves, Baker and Zaydenberg). We used a McMahon pairing system where M/E=2, A=1, B/C=0. Bruce Baker continued his hot streak, earning a draw with Cyrus in Rd 3 and defeating Zaydenberg in Rd 4. Varun Krishnan held Bruce to a draw in Rd 1, despite being a pawn down in a Rook and Pawn ending and playing his last 40 moves or so on time delay only. Very impressive as Bruce was trying everything to win, using all of his time and all the tricky tactics he could think of.
Class B player Datris Robinson has become more comfortable at the club after playing for a about a month now, and today he broke through with a win over Class A Fausto Robles in the last round and held another strong Class A player, Kyron Griffith to a draw in Rd 3. Also Mike Friedel won the Class C for the 4th time in a row. Robinson is #4 on the Top Prize winner list for 2008 and Friedel is #7, which I mention because it goes to show that the Gambito is very friendly for lower rated players. You can win lots of money, pick up lots of tips from higher rated players and have a chance for lots of upsets too. With the McMahon pairings, you most play players rated close to you, you don't get crushed by much higher rated players. Those guys play each other. For instance Cyrus, the #1 rated player, played the #4, #2, #3 and #5 in that order, unlike a regular Swiss where he would be playing the top of the bottom half in the first round etc.
It was also good to see Andy Bell playing today, he hasn't played in quite a while - and the rust showed, he even let me, Chuck Ensey, beat him with a lucky move near the end of the game when he gave me his Rook by mistake (time pressure was a factor). Fritz found a nice saving move for Andy, but it was tough to find (Ne8+!), By the way Andy, I renewed your USCF membership, so you owe me!
Here are the prize winners:
First Place: Cyrus Lakdawala (5 1/2), $100 U2400: Bruce Baker (5), $50
Second Place: Peter Graves (4 1/2), $20
U2200 (tie): Varun Krishnan (3 1/2) and Leonard Sussman (3 1/2), $25
U2000/U1800 (tie): Datris Robinson (3 1/2) and Roberto Aiello (3 1/2), $45 each
U1600: Mike Friedel (2 1/2), $30
Total Prizes $340
Next week is a Special 5 Round Super Gambito, it starts at 10 AM instead of 10:30 to squeeze that extra round in, so remember to get there early. $2,000 in prizes, entry is $50 if you sign up in advance (you can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org), or $60 at the door on event day. Special rate of only $25 for players rated U1400 or anyone who has never played in a Gambito Open...I will add a blog page soon with all the details...