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Round 2 of the 38th Lebanese Individual Chess Championship

Round 2 of the 38th Lebanese Individual Chess Championship

Checkmate on the board

It seems that all the gladiators don’t have the word (Peace) in their dictionaries. Some of them took revenge from their loss of the previous round, while others continue to lose blood.

On table number one, the Dragon didn’t help Tarek Moudallal against Amr ElJawish, as the former adopted the accelerated variation. Although Black possessed the bishop pair, the course of the game showed that White gained the space advantage and the initiative on the queen side, while the attack on the White’s king adopted by Black was an illusion. With a clear 4 pawns down, Tarek didn’t resign till his king was mated by a king side pawn!!

On table number two, the battle between the two young gladiators Ibrahim Shahrour (White) and Mahdi Kaoury was level. Then at an advanced stage of the middle game, with equal materials for each side, Ibrahim pressurized his opponent’s position with some maneuvering of his pieces, resulting in imprecise moves from Mahdi. A winning queen ending for the white side was transformed into another clear winning position of pawn ending, letting Ibrahim to bag in the point.

Another quick win by Antoine Kassis (White) against Amir AbouElHusn occurred on table three. The moves (Ng8-h6), (Nh6-g8), (Be6-Bc8), (Bg7-Bf6-Bg7-Bf8) followed by pawns-moves (h6-g5-f6) can said one thing: Suicide. Antoine constructed an instructive attack, forcing Black to resign with one move far from getting mated.

A nuance in the opening phase of the game on table four between Faisal Khairallah (White) and Bassel Sharaf is worth noting. At move 10, instead of the Kotov’s move setup, Nf8, Bassel played 10..Ne4, trying to simplify the position. Faisal replied with 11.Bf4, and after 11..Nef6 12.f3 Nf8 13.Bg5 we are back to the Kotov setup against the Botvinnik variation of the Queen’s gambit declined – exchange variation. Interesting, and worth trying , was 11 Bxe4, and after 11..dxe4, now 12 Bf4 seems a very nice move, planning Nb5!, intending Nc7 or Bc7 (the Rubinstein’s trap – bye bye queen).

Anyway, both players showed us a tense middle game struggle, where every gladiator was trying to win, through attack and counter-attack. Faisal succeeded in sacrificing the exchange, making more difficult the task of Bassel to find the only moves to keep his head above the water. A strong white passed e-pawn was pressurizing on the black’ shoulders and a dazzling white knight jumps resulted in leaving the black queen en prise, which was snatched by Faisal, and the game point as well.

A somewhat wild game between Mohammad Mikati (White) and Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani occurred on table number 5. A strange move by the white king on d2 was the sign to let all the bells went loud. A dark squares strategy adopted by Dr. Maasarani showed the defect of White’ strategy. With the White’ s king in a mating net, Mikaki couldn’t do anything but to give up a rook, then to resign.

(Whom was attacking whom) was the motto of the game on table six between Ahmad Najjar (White) and Jammal Shamiyeh. An advanced outpost for the white knight, followed by dominating the queenside area, accentuated by the passivity of the black pieces, all these factors generated a passed pawn and opposite color bishops plus rook, leading to a zugzwang of the black pieces and 1-0 result.

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