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Round 5 of the Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2013 – Final Stage

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What a player needs to beat the current champion? A deep preparation? A high level of tactical and technical skills? Nerves of steel? Karpovian face? Energy for 4 hours play? Put all of those needs together in one set, embody them with a bunch of luck and gambling style, and here we go: You have the right recipe for the ultimate goal. And that what happened in the highly awaited Ibrahim Chahrour – Faisal Khairallal encounter. I was expecting some more calm approach from both gladiators, but none of it was on their schedule. The English attack of the Open Sicilian is always welcomed for a win-or-lose situation. In a typical middle game of opposite side castling, Faisal profited from some imprecise moves by Ibrahim, to realize the typical d5-central break-through, but missing the correct continuation allowed Ibrahim to defend well, and even to cash in a pawn. When both kings are in danger, the extra materials don’t count, but the open venues towards the opponent’s king do. A volatile attack and counter-attack issued, where Ibrahim has to defend accurately, reaching the desire rook endgame with that extra pawn. Even though, a tie would be the normal result if it was supplemented by precise play for Black and some extra minutes. But none of them occurred. In a delicate rook end-game a final mistake by Faisal forced him to shake hands with Ibrahim, seeding him the game point.

A solid variation of the Pirc defense was adopted by AbdelAziz ElMahmoud (Black) against the leader Antoine Kassis. The 2 x-champions played very cautiously, where any risky attempt may be fatal for either of them. An early share of the game point was the normal conclusion.

On board 1, the English Opening was adopted by Maya Jalloul against the solid Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani, who relied on the symmetrical variation. A game of pieces maneuvering has started taking shape, where Sr. Mahmoud tried to generate some play on the queen side, to be faced with a well calculated defense from his opponent. In a somewhat symmetrical disposition of pieces, the time trouble showed his teeth, and accentuated by dark squares weaknesses around her king, forced Maya to blunder her queen, and the game.

Another open Sicilian appeared on the board 2 between Amr ElJawich and Nadim Hammoud. While Amr castled long, Nadim preferred to keep his majesty in the center for a while. Threats and counter-threats resulted from the tactical middle game. Tactical exchanges of all minor pieces lead to a promised heavy pieces endgame for Amr. Again, time pressure intervened, forcing Amr to repeat moves, and share the point. A valuable half point earned by Nadim against an x-champion and a higher rated player.

Another English Opening appeared on Board 3 between Bassel Charaf and Marwan Nassar. Bassel tried to generate a certain initiative on the queen side, while Marwan’s pieces were trying to make an appointment with Bassel’s king. And this didn’t take too long, when a knight fork on the e3-square double-attacked the white king and queen, forcing Bassel to resign.

The From Gambit adopted by Tarek Moudallal on board 5, as Black, was declined by his opponent, Ahmad Najjar. The space advantage issued from the static position in the middle game gave Ahmad the necessary advantage. Although the endgame could give Tarek some saving chances, but the advantage of the bishop over knight in open center, accentuated by queen side pawn majority in the endgame phase were enough asset for the x-champion to collect the point.

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

Click here to download the games of Round 5.

Standing after Round 5:

Rank SNo. Name IRtg Pts Wins Draws Loses Koya SB vict
1 8 FM Kassis Antoine 2166 4.0 3 2 0 2.5 11.25 3
2 6 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 3.5 3 1 1 2.0 7.50 3
3 12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 3.5 3 1 1 1.5 7.50 3
4 1 Nassar Marwan 2091 3.5 3 1 1 0.5 5.50 3
5 7 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 3.0 3 0 2 1.0 6.50 3
6 4 FM El Jawich Amro 2173 3.0 1 4 0 1.0 5.75 1
7 11 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 2.5 1 3 1 0.5 4.25 1
8 9 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 2.0 0 4 1 1.5 6.25 0
9 5 Bassel Charaf 2070 2.0 1 2 2 0.5 3.25 1
10 2 Hammoud Nadim 1944 1.5 1 1 3 0.5 2.00 1
11 10 Moudallal Tarek 1968 1.0 1 0 4 0.0 0.50 1
12 3 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 0.5 0 1 4 0.5 1.25 0



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