Sunday, January 6, 2008

'06 Finals Rd 7

Report on the last round of the SDCC Championship, Reserve and Lasker Open on April 5, 2006



By Rick Aeria, Chuck Ensey and Andy Bell

One of the most exciting championships in the annals of the San Diego Chess Club has just concluded. After fourteen weeks of gruelling competition, a new champion is crowned. His name is Ron Bruno. Ron Bruno's gritty last round draw with fellow chessmaster Todd Smith wrapped up the championship title for the young man from El Cajon. The draw gave Ron a 5 1/2 - 1 1/2 score and undivided first place in a hotly contested championship.

Club Championship

Board 1  Smith- Bruno  1/2 - 1/2

Seven o'clock rolled around and the clocks were started but there was no Ron Bruno. After twenty anxious minutes and a frantic call to his home, Ron strides in like a modern day, Bobby Fischer and slides his black 'c'-pawn to the 'c5' square and punches his clock. Todd plays solidly and carefully and manages to eke out the smallest edge out of a Rook+Knight+Pawns vs. Rook+Bishop+Pawns endgame but it was not enough to win. 

Ron was late to the game and had to move quickly to make up for lost time. The clock played an important role in the final round! You can see in the picture above that Ron has only 45 minutes left, while Todd still has almost 90 minutes.  Ron had to blitz out some of his moves, but he managed to overcome the hole he put himself in and after 40 moves, things were about equal.

Todd finishes with an even score of  3 1/2 - 3 1/2 and will look forward to next year to resume his quest for the title.

Bd 2  Salz-Wagner 1-0 [Time Forfeit]

Dr. Carl Wagner was within an eye-lash of tying with Ron Bruno for the championship. In a winning position against Expert Brad Salz, the doctor over-steps the time limit and forfeits. The game began as a Benko Gambit, Wagner's pet defence against the queen pawn and soon the position got very unclear but Carl Wagner  kept making inroads and steadily improved his position. However, the chalice of victory was dashed from his lips as Brad Salz called "time" on the astonished doctor's clock. The last time Dr. Wagner tasted the fruits of victory in this championship series was seventeen years ago in 1989. For his mental health, it is my sincere desire that Carl not wait another seventeen years to win the SDCC Championship. By then, Carl may be competing with Ron's or Adam's yet unborn progeny.

Carl and Brad before the start of the game 

For the humble and apologetic expert Brad Salz, he was an unwilling hero in this unfolding tableau. Brad is also a man of his word as he did exceed three points! Brad Salz finishes with a very creditable 3 1/2 points or fifty percent in a strong field!

Bd 3  Corper-Aeria 1-0

Defending club champion Dr. Adam Corper, invoking his "Luke Skywalker" persona whipped out a "Yoda, the Jedi Master" doll to "jinx" me. I calmly grabbed the doll and was about to punt it across the room when I remembered where I was and refrained from committing a grave solecism. Maybe the jinx worked, as Adam easily outplayed me after two grievious tactical lapses on my part to finish 5-2 and a second place finish. Nosing out the tragic Dr. Wagner by half a point.

Bd 4  Kishinevsky-Garamendi 1-0

Alejandro Garamendi has played some great games, but this last one was not one of his best as he went down in flames when Dimitry got control of the Black squares with his Queen and Bishop.

Bd 5  Sainz-Sussman  1/2-1/2 

Bd 6  Borgan-Funderburg 1-0

Bd 7  Milton-Betancourt  0-1  The Best Game of the Week, now with annotations by Cyrus.

Reserve Championship

Bd 8 Sagart - Fawsi Murra Sr 1-0

Pejman Sagart is the new Reserve Champion with an impressive 6 out 7 score, and his only loss was to second place finisher Lennart Mathe. This last round game with Fawsi Senior was very close. Fawsi probably had the better position and maybe even winning chances, but he lost on time, just like Carl Wagner did in the Club Championship section! It was excruciating to watch the seconds tick away 10, 9, 8, 7... several spectators, including myself, Anthony Whitt, and especially Mayra and Rocio wanted to scream "MAKE A MOVE!!", but as a spectator you cannot interfere in any way with a game in progress, that would be a serious violation of the rules. Lennart Mathe, winning his game on the adjacent board was also distressed, because he would have won the championship for himself if Fawsi had beaten Pejman. I thought Fawsi was aware of the time because I saw him look at the clock a move earlier, but he became engrossed in the postition and didn't move quickly enough.  In my game with him, Fawsi had come very close to a time forfeit too, but he had made the control with just a second or two to spare, so I thought that maybe he was a player who just likes to use every last second and freak out his opponent by skating close to the edge. But the red light on the digital clock started flashing as he reached to make his 40th move, signalling that it was too late, he had lost on time.        

Bd 9 Mathe - Whitt 1-0

Lennart Mathe (5 1/2) won his last game to clinch Second Place, and almost more. Anthony Whitt (3 1/2) just broke even on his score in this event.

Bd 10 Marquis-Ensey 0-1

Chuck Ensey (5) was Third Place in this event, with a loss to Sagart and draws to Harbone and Fawsi Senior.  Erik Marquis (4) still ended with a respectable score.

Bd 11 Fair - Oakes 1-0

Kevin Oakes (3) now knows the Red pieces are unlucky when playing Damani Fair (4). He had a draw nearly in hand with Bishops of opposite color, but then played a little too carelessly and soon he was lost. The same thing happened to Anthony Whitt against Chuck Ensey, you can't relax just because there are BOOC!   

Bd 12 Rodriguez - Robles 0F-1F  I am not sure what happened to Julian Rodriguez (3), we didn't hear from him. Fausto Robles (4) got a nice boost to his rating in this event.

Bd 13 Lawless - Borges 0-1

Fred Borges (3 1/2) won with the Black pieces in this game vs Mark Lawless (1 1/2).

Bd 14 Harbone - Sweitzer 1-0

Anthony Harbone (2 1/2) won his last two games after suffering four losses in a row.  Shaun Sweitzer (2 1/2) didn't do as well as I thought he would, his game has been spotty lately. 


Mayra and Rocio make their first moves - it's a Sicilian Defense 

Bd 15 Mayra Murra - Rocio Murra 1-0

I hated to pair Mayra Murra (2 1/2) against Rocio Murra (1 1/2), but there was no way around it.  

See Lasker Open, Round 7 for results of this event 

See you next Wednesday night for the annual and traditional simultaneous exhibition by the new Club Champion Ron Bruno!

The following week we will start the Spring Swiss + a 6 player Master Round Robin  

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