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Round 3 of the Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2013 – Final Stage

FM Antoine Kassis – Solo

With 3 points out of 3, Antoine Kassis increased the gap between him and his nearest rivals for a clear one point. His opponent in the 3rd round was no other than the experienced Ahmad Najjar, one of the toughest player to crack.  Some imprecise moves made by Ahmad in the adopted Nimzo-Larsen attack enabled Tony to equalize too early. A somewhat weak light squares around Ahmad’s king provoked Tony to generate an attacking plan from nowhere. And his attack was non-stoppable, which was converted into an easy (to Tony) technical endgame. An important game between 2 x-champions.

Another important encounter occurred between the current champion Faisal Khairallah (Black) and the x-Champion Amr El Jawich. Faisal surprised his opponent with 3..Bb4, which had its effect, as Amr could , with precise move order, reach an advantageous variation of the Ruy Lopez. The opportunity smiled to Faisal when he could exchange Amr’s light squares bishop for Black’s a5-knight, obtaining the advantage of the bishop pair and central domination. But some impulsive moves in the center gave Amr the necessary time to generate some counter play and hold the balance. A repetition of moves announced the peace agreement.

Another exciting draw occurred on board 5 between Ibrahim Chahrour and AbdelAziz ElMahmoud. A transposition to the King’s Gambit declined produced an interesting middle game battle, offering chances for both sides. The real battle started in the endgame phase when Ibrahim sacrificed the exchange for couple of pawns, with dangerous threats of appearance of a new white queen on the board. AbdelAziz reacted well, and even generated a counter play against Black’s king. The pressure of the time trouble on both players produced imprecise play, where the advantage moved several times from one side to another; till a simplified endgame was reached and the draw was agreed.

The Bogo-Indian was the defense adopted by Tarek Moudallal (Black) against Bassel Charaf. A strategic middle game full of tactical possibilities was the results of the creativity and imagination of both players. A tactical melee produced a dangerous black d2-pawn, away just one square from queening. But Bassel defended well, reaching an endgame with equal chances. As it was the motto of this championship, one mistake finishes the game, Tarek made it, enabling Bassel to sacrifice the exchange, eliminating the dangerous d2-pawn and generating 2 connected passed pawns, forcing Tarek to stop the clocks.

A game of maneuvering is a suitable description for the encounter between the young Nadim Hammoud and the experienced Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani. Faced with the Pirc Defense, Nadim played very well the middle game phase, making pressure on the Black’s pawns, forcing Dr. Mahmoud to the defensive, with very limited chances for counter play. A mouse and cat play dominated the battle, where each side was trying to find a certain hold to break through to the opponent’s side. A gambling pawn sacrifice played by Maasarani enabled his opponent to cash it in. The story repeats itself: time trouble, high tension, miscalculation and a piece was dropped by Nadim, and the point.

A side line of the English opening was played by Maya Jalloul against Marwan Nassar, who transformed it to a Philidor middle game set up. Another maneuvering phase appeared on the board, where every side was trying the get profit from the central squares. Maya kept control of the situation for a while, but the counter play generated by Marwan on the queen side dazzled her, and forced her to seek salvation by exchanging her queen for 2 rooks, which was not enough.

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SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2 Hammoud Nadim 1944 0  -  1 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 12
3 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 0  -  1 Nassar Marwan 2091 1
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2173 ½  -  ½ FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 11
5 Bassel Charaf 2070 1  -  0 Moudallal Tarek 1968 10
6 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 ½  -  ½ CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 9
7 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 0  -  1 FM Kassis Antoine 2166 8


Rank after Round 3:

Rank Name IRtg Pts Wins Draws Loses Gam. Koya SB vict
1 FM Kassis Antoine 2166 3.0 3 0 0 3 2.0 4.00 3
2 FM El Jawich Amro 2173 2.0 1 2 0 3 1.0 2.75 1
3 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 2.0 2 0 1 3 1.0 2.00 2
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 2.0 1 2 0 3 0.5 1.25 1
5 Nassar Marwan 2091 2.0 2 0 1 3 0.0 0.50 2
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 1.5 0 3 0 3 1.5 2.50 0
7 Bassel Charaf 2070 1.5 1 1 1 3 0.5 1.75 1
FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 1.5 1 1 1 3 0.5 1.75 1
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 1.0 1 0 2 3 1.0 2.00 1
10 Moudallal Tarek 1968 1.0 1 0 2 3 0.0 0.50 1
11 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 0.5 0 1 2 3 0.5 1.00 0
12 Hammoud Nadim 1944 0.0 0 0 3 3 0.0 0.00 0

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