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Round 5 of the 38th Lebanese Individual Championship

12 kings castled, but…

What distinguished this round from its previous ones is that the kings on all boards were put in safe place at the early stage of the corresponding games. This allowed the tension to dominate in the applied plans. Still, 6 kings were laid down.

On table 1 (I am using the word [table] instead of [board] as it is a round robin tournament, not a Swiss system one), Amro ElJawish, playing Black against Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani, played very aggressively, by pushing his king pawns in order to gain space. Although at a certain moment he could apply several exchanges on the center, as Maasarani’s king was already safe on the other side of the board, he tried to win by a direct attack, a strategy that boomeranged on him.

Another solid game occurred on table 2 between Bassel Sharaf (White) and Famal Shamiyeh. Both players reached an ending with a spatial advantage for Bassel. Jamal tried to make something with his knight in order to complicate his opponent static advantage, but a passed pawn is a passed pawn, an Bassel converted it into a win.

After an early exchange of queens on table 3 between Amir AbouElHusn (White) and Ahmad Najjar, we expected a long battle ahead of us, not to be the first game to finish!! Several mistaken moves by Amir on the queenside allowed Ahmad to take profit by grabbing materials, and the game point.

Mohammad Mikati, playing Black on table 4 against Mahdi Kaouri, tried his luck by a series of sacrifices against Kaouri’s well protected king. This type of strategy required from the player a lot of calculation, and a principle strategy must be applied: Don’t forget to secure your king, which wasn’t. Kaouri counter-attack was a successful one. We are all waiting Mikati to open his account.

One bishop is a half bishop, 2 bishops are three. That motto crossed my mind during my observation of the game Tarek moudallal (White) and Faisal Khairallah on table 5. After another exchange of queens, Tarek tried to make something on the kingside against Faisal’s king, with the help of his b2-bishop. The strategy of (No weaknesses setup, supported by a Steinitz/Nimzowitsch approach) enabled Faisal’s queen to incarnate, and bag in the point.

The most exciting game of the round was played on table 6 between the young Ibrahim Chahrour (White) and Antoine Kassis. As expected from an open Sicilian defense, both players castled on opposite side. Ibrahim sacrificed a pawn in order to open lines against Antoine’s king. The later sacrificed the exchange, obtaining the advantage of the three (sic!) bishops. Antoine was so merceful that he just grabbed a lot of materials and the game point, instead of mating his opponent’s king.

Click here to download the games.

Standing after Round 5:

Rank SNo.   Name Rtg Pts
1 10 FM Khairallah Faisal 2281 5
2 9 CM Kassis Antoine 2217 5
3 1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2271 4
4 3   Maasarani Mahmoud 2108 3
5 8 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1941
  12 FM El Jawich Amro 2170
7 2   Shamieh Jamal 2056 2
8 4   Bassel Charaf 2059 2
9 6   Kaouri Mahdi 2069 2
10 7   Moudallal Tarek 1962 1
11 5   AbouElHusn  Amir 0 1
12 11   Mikati Mohammad 2002 0

 

Some statistics on the players’ Elo deviations after round 5:

  Name IRtg W n We W-We K Rtg+/- Ra Rp
FM Najjar, Ahmad 2271 3.0 4 2.90 0.10 15 2 2098 2119
  Shamieh, Jamal 2056 2.0 5 2.08 -0.08 15 -1 2122 2050
  Maasarani, Mahmoud 2108 3.0 5 2.17 0.83 15 12 2156 2228
  Bassel, Charaf 2059 2.0 5 1.82 0.18 15 3 2165 2093
  AbouElHusn , Amir 0 1.0 5     0   2142 1902
  Kaouri, Mahdi 2069 2.0 5 2.44 -0.44 30 -13 2081 2009
  Moudallal, Tarek 1962 1.0 5 1.43 -0.43 15 -6 2136 1896
FM Chahrour, Ibrahim 1941 1.5 4 1.18 0.32 15 5 2105 1884
CM Kassis, Antoine 2217 4.0 4 3.05 0.95 15 14 2008 2606
FM Khairallah, Faisal 2281 4.0 4 3.15 0.85 15 13 2050 2640
  Mikati, Mohammad 2002 0.0 4 1.61 -1.61 30 -48 2073 1058
FM El Jawich, Amro 2170 2.5 5 3.17 -0.67 15 -10 2068 2068

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