Sunday, January 6, 2008

'06 Finals Rd 1

SDCC Finals, Reserve & Lasker Open - February 22, 2006 As reported by Rick Aeria, Chuck Ensey



Position after 53. Ra1 by Todd, position repeats after 53...Qd7 54. Bc5 Qc6 55. Bd4



Chuck's Preamble

The 16 Club Championship qualifiers are now finalized. Two qualifiers chose not to compete for various personal reasons, FM Richard Russell and NM Robert Richard. Replacing them are Alejandro Garamendi and Carey Milton, the two players who came closest to qualifying on their own merits. They are both fine players and deserve a shot at the club title. Alejandro scored 5 points in the Markowski and certainly earned his way in. Carey scored 4 1/2 and had the best tie breaks of all the other players who scored 4 1/2 points (Crisologo, Soto, Gusev, Orihuela and Gimeno). Carey has beaten just about every master at the club at one time or another, so he richly deserves his chance for glory.


Board 1 Bruce Baker (2242) - Leonard Sussman (2097) 0-1  see game now

Top seed and favorite Bruce Baker was summarily upended by 'Pinball Wizard' Lenny Sussman.

Board 2 Ignacio Sainz (2085) - Ronald Bruno (2228) 0-1 it's finally here!

Ron Bruno, fresh from playing board 1 for the SDCC team at the USAT-W scores against Mexican ace, Sainz. He slowly and skillfully built up an advantage as Black and finally broke through with a passed pawn late in the game.  

Board 3 Carl Wagner (2219) - Alejandro Garamendi (2079) 1-0  click here for this game

Carl Wagner shows his superiority by downing Bolivian star Garamendi. The game has been corrected from an earlier misreading. Alejandro was doing fine until move 29 when a poisoned pawn cost him a piece. 

Board 4 Alex Garcia-Betancourt (2077) - David Hart (2206) 1/2-1/2  see game here

'Debutant' Alex Garcia-Betancourt draws with seasoned master David Hart. This was a surprising game. Alex was cruising along with a great position, but then he missed a much better move (15. Ng5!), that allowed David to fight back with a really cool Queen sac that brought things to a dead even position. Hart, visibly annoyed at himself, agreed to the draw (in a just slightly worse position) rather than slog it out in a game that had few winning chances for him. Bobby Fischer would not have approved, but Bobby was well known for fighting on in hopelessly drawn positions.  Hmmm, maybe David needs to talk to Todd about taking the draw when that's all there is!!  

Board 5 Todd Smith (2200) - John Funderburg (2034) 0-1   game is here now

This was the last game to finish for the night. The early consensus was - 'draw' in a blocked position with bishops of opposite colors. Todd could not seem to reconcile himself to that result and tacked around as his position gradually worsened. A painful loss for Todd and an exhilarating victory for 'debutant' Funderburg the Thunderbird! This game wasn't over until 12:30 AM (yawn!), while all the other games had finished an hour earlier...

Board 6 Carey Milton (2029) - Adam Corper (2196) 1/2-1/2  game is here

Carey Milton fresh from a hot second half at the USAT-W holds the defending champion to a draw. Carey was rather lucky here, Adam was clearly winning with two extra pawns when he went to sleep and forgot that Carey is always looking for a tactic to save himself. Adam's Bishop was pinned on the back rank and he let his Queen wander too far away and Carey simply attacked the pinned piece with his Bishop. Then there was nothing for Adam to do but take a draw by perpetual check... 

Board 7 Dimitry Kishinevsky (2116) - Brad Salz (2019) 1-0  see it here  Special Bonus! This game is Newly annotated by IM Cyrus Lakdawala! It wins the newly instituted $10 Best Game Prize for this round.

Dimitry was not too pleased with his win over Brad. Saying that it did not go as smoothly as he would haved liked it.

Board 8 Chris Borgan (1889) - Rick Aeria (2100) 0-1  check out this one

Chris dropped a pawn early but then buckled down and made a real fight of it. I was impressed by Chris' discipline to concentrate and look for any resource to extricate himself - which he nearly did.

For the Reserve Championship, the initial set up is a little trickier, sometimes people don't even realize they have qualified and may not show up. We are in the process of contacting everyone, but we did announce that if you didn't want to be put in the Championship to please let us know that you are unable to play. Robert Henderson informed us he will be unable to participate. Monica Ness also qualified with a strong performance, but she doesn't feel she is quite yet ready for the big stage, so Mark Lawless has been selected as her replacement, thanks to his standings in the Markowski. Here are the tentative parings, assuming everyone is willing and able: NOTE: In a last minute switch, Robert Draper decided not to play in the Reserve Championship, stating that he wanted to "play up". Hmmm, not good enough for you are we??? So we put him the Lasker Open Section where he was crushed by Fawsi Murra Jr. His spot was taken by the next player in line from the Markowski standings, Kevin Oakes, who did quite well, thank you very much, beating Marty Lower. The pairings were almost the same as expected last week, except that everyone's color was reversed, which threw a few people off. So much for preparing for an opening! I don't think B players prepare much anyway, but Damani Fair said he had booked up to play against Bob Draper, and then we (or Bob actually) threw this curve at him! The pairings for next week are now on a new Round 2 page, and these pairings you should be able to count on. Remember however, this is a Swiss, NOT a round robin, so there will be no "make-up" games, if you can't play you can take a bye IF you let us know in advance. We really hope no one takes a bye, though, then we have to find suitable house players which isn't always easy.   

Board 9  Julian Rodriguez (1649) - Fred Borges (1758) 1/2 - 1/2 Sorry, I reported this as a win for Fred at first, but Julian held the crafty crime dog (McBorges) to a draw.

Board 10 Shaun Sweitzer (1736) - Lennart Mathe (1643) 0-1  Lennart may be under-rated by at least a hundred points, this rating is based just on the Markowski Open

Board 11 Anthony Harbone (1632) - Chuck Ensey (1726) 1/2 - 1/2 Anthony was winning easily when he got a little rattled at a small comeback I was attempting. He placed a Rook en prise, but his hand was still on it. Unfortunately, he moved the Rook back to another square where it was also take-able for free and then removed his hand, confused because he thought he was putting it back where it started, but it was one square off! I considered just taking the Rook, but I couldn't bear to win the game this way, so I offerred a draw which he accepted. Am I a softie with no killer instinct? No, I think I did the right thing, it's only a game...   

Board 12 Anthony Whitt (1722) - Eric Marquis (1603) 1-0 A long tough battle. Tony nursed a one pawn advantage to victory, but there were a lot of twists and turns along the way. I'm sure Fritz could find a draw in there somewhere.

Board 13 Fausto Robles (1579) - Pejman Sagart (1695) 0-1  The tactical wizard Pejman worked his magic quickly in this game, one of the first to finsih.

Board 14 Marty Lower (1694) - Kevin Oakes (1459) 0-1 A nice upset from the new club member Kevin, who has just a handful of rated games under his belt.

Board 16 Mark Lawless (1310) - Mayra Murra (1668) 0-1 I didn't see much of this one...but Mayra is GOOD.

Board 17 Damani Fair (1649) - Rocio Murra (1440) 1/2 -1/2 This was one of the longest games played.  

The rest of the club is playing in the Lasker Open, 2 sections with the Open Section for Experts and Class A (or those who want to play up) and the Reserve Section for Class B & C and below. This is a 7 round event for all sections. Winners in the first Round of the Lasker Open included Robert Feldstein, Maksim Gusev, Fawsi Murra Jr, Ben Barquin, Ed Baluran, Ramin Sinaee, Ron Soto, Mario Amodeo, Joel Batchelor and Khris Juroshek. In the Reserve Section, Fawsi Murra Sr, Helmut Keil, Robert Samuel, David Hall, Morgan Fox, Karen Kaufman, Jacquelyn Egger and Keith Wetterer all came out with wins. 

I only got a few pictures this week, Anthony Harbone kept me too busy to stray too far from my game, which I was very lucky to draw after a bonehead move in the opening got me in BIG trouble. He had a Rook and 4 pawns for 2 Knights, not an even trade by any stretch of the imagination.             

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