Sunday, January 6, 2008

Gambito #378

GAMBITO  #378  July Special Super Gambito   7/05/08


 This was one of the bi-annual 5 round Gambito Opens with double the entry fee and tons of cash prizes. The advertised $2,000 prize fund was reduced to $1,500 because we had 30 players today instead of the hoped for 40, but still, it was a resounding success (Boom! for the 4th of July) and a great deal of fun for all involved.

Commentary by Rick Aeria in green.

If there is one thing Chuck Ensey, chess organizer and Gambito Founder, loves more than chess - it's his country, the United States of America!

So to combine his two great passions, Chuck unfurled a special Super Gambito extravaganza on the weekend of our country's birthday.  It was a five-round competition with a lucrative prize fund.  Chuck may have been a little disappointed with the 30-player turnout but for a holiday weekend in scenic San Diego, that is rather good!

The event was conducted in two sections, the "Open" and the "Reserve" for those players under 1800.

In the Open section, International Master, Cyrus Lakdawala, took control of a field that included three other masters and five experts despite giving up an early draw to Expert Eric Montany in round two.  There were really no big upsets.  I was gratified that my piece sacrifice against NM Bruce Baker generated enough pressure to earn a draw through perpetual check.  Even better, I was rewarded with two handshakes by Bruce for "playing like a man". I may never wash my hand again.

 NM Bruce Baker , though many years past his prime, has been playing uncompromising, enterprising chess and earned his second place tie.  Bruce suffered only one defeat to Cyrus and was not a happy camper for a few minutes.  We leave him alone until he gets over his loss and then Bruce becomes his affable, winsome self again.

NM Peter "Mission Impossible" Graves had some very tough pairings.  A quick loss to Lakdawala after an opening blunder and then another loss to NM Baker placed the Escondido resident out of contention.  Only his comeback win against Eric Montany, after being two pawns down rescued the master who tied for the 2nd Under-2400 prize with Romeo Ignacio.

NM Romeo Ignacio also had a tough schedule.  Romeo is not a feared theoretician but has a very, very good feel for the position and can outplay just about anyone from even inferior positions. This time, he was helped by the fact that Cy was feeling fatigued, unacustomed to working overtime and got a grandmaster draw in the last round.

Expert Leonard Sussman, who was a master in New York during the Fischer era in the 1970's, continues to impress and earned his share of second place with a rather fortunate win over another "money player" Carey Milton when Milton blundered a piece away.  Sussman does not use a computer and rarely reads about or studies chess.  A sheer natural talent like Romeo Ignacio, Leonard puts to lie the belief that one has to be young and technologically "booked-up" to be successful at chess. What "Sussy" has is an alert tactical vision and lightning decision making.

I was happy to see young Daniel Grazian share the Under-2000 prize with Jeff Turner.  Daniel, a protege of NM Bruce Baker, plays with a lot of emotion and intensity - like his mentor, and no doubt is destined for great things in chess.

Fitness buff, Jeff Turner, turned in a respectable performance for the Under-2000 prize.  Turner has a very positional-style and a rock-hard opening repetoire.  His abs? rock-hard? I don't know.

Expert Carey Milton finished out of the money.  I played against Carey in round four and this was a reprise of our recent Wednesday night encounter which was a Sveshnikov Sicilian.  This time, I varied first and Carey outplayed me but could not find the breakthrough.  I proposed a draw which Carey refused and then later Carey proposed a draw in mutual time-trouble which I accepted.  In a quick analysis after the game, Carey flipped out a rook sacrifice which should have won him the game. Carey did get a bit of luck when he mated James Mahooti in a drawish endgame.

The Reserve Section  (Under-1800) was won by relative newcomer Ray Viernes.  Ray also has a natural style with a healthy dollop of aggression.

The Under-1600 Prize was won by our club Treasurer, Tom Kuhn, who makes a respectable side-income in the Gambitos.  I think Tom is currently the fifth or sixth highest money winner. When it comes to chess styles, I have been extolling the virtues of natural players like Romeo Ignacio, Leonard Sussman and Ray Viernes - with Tom Kuhn, his style is anything but natural! Unnatural would imply something synthetic, but Tom Kuhn is a really nice guy with a colorful T-Shirt wardrobe.  It is really hard to describe Tom's chess style...unnatural is not too accurate, maybe strained is the word.

(to be continued..)


Here are the winners:

Open Section

First Place: Cyrus Lakdawala (4) $225

2nd Place/U2400/U2200 tie: Bruce Baker (3 1/2), Rick Aeria (3 1/2), Leonard Sussman (3 1/2), $120 each

2nd U2400: Peter Graves (3) and Romeo Ignacio (3), $37 each         2nd U2200: Eric Montany (3) $50 

U2000: Daniel Grazian (2 1/2) and Jeff Turner (2 1/2), $82 each

Reserve Section

First Place: Ray Viernes (4 1/2) $150

U1600: Tom Kuhn (4) $115

2nd/3rd Place: Anthony Harbone (3), Jessica Lauser (3), Nestor Dagamat (3), Pejman Sagart (3), $40 each 

2nd U1600: Gene Fernando (2 1/2), $40   

U1400: Aaron Householder (2), $115 [Aaron is 7 yrs old. When I was 7, my parents were happy if I came home from school with both shoes.  baker]

Reserve Section Best Game Prize ($15) - Jessica Lauser for win over Scott Householder. Game will be posted later tonight. "Chessica" is new to the club, she just moved here from the SF Bay area to attend San Diego State. She certainly doesn't play "lousy" chess, she has a very good feel for the game. She turned in 3 games, all of which were fine wins. She is legally blind and uses the Mon Roi annotating system, but trust me, she sees just fine over the chess board!    

Open Section Best Games Prize ($15) - Romeo Ignacio for win over Richard Jensen.


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