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Round 9 of the Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2013 – Final Stage

Surprises in a White Round

In a round where tension dominated on all boards, the white color emerged victorious over the black one, a rare occurrence in a championship event. This was not the only feature that distinguished the 9th round, but also the results of certain encounters.

In a balanced middle game position, Bassel Charaf, playing White on board 1, permits a liquidation of pieces, initiated by his opponent Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani, transporting the game to knight end game phase, where the pawn structure and the position of the corresponding knights are the critical factors. In a very slight advantageous position for White. Dr. Maaasarni, with a knight sacrifice, executed another clearing combination, but miscalculated and emerged with a lost position, and the game.

The most awaited encounter occurred on board 2 between the 2 promising talents of the country, Ibrahim Chahrour (White) and Amr ElJawich. The adopting of the Open Sicilian is a great signal for the fighting spirit of both gladiators. A very small inaccuracy by Ibrahim in the opening allowed Amr to get a small advantage in the issuing middle game, a phase where the king security is the most important factor. Amr got a lot of opportunities to tackle away his king, conserving his minimal advantage. But Amr was blacked out, executing several consecutive weak moves. Ibrahim was up to the task, and his tactical vision enabled him to collect the point, and kept the leading of the event.

Another record of the shortest game was broken yesterday on board 3 between Ahmad Najjar White) and Maya Jalloul. On move 10, Maya thought that exf5 was played, on which she was preparing 11..Nxf5, and played: 10…Nf5, blundering  a piece. Felt angry from herself, she didn’t find a solution other than stopping the clock.

The Grand Prix Attack appeared on board 4 between Antoine Kassis and Nadim Hammoud. Nadim played well in the opening phase. In order to secure his king, he castled long, a somewhat risky strategy against the Tony, who tried to find the entry point to Nadim’s king. An imprecise move from his part enabled Nadim to exchange queens, reaching a somewhat tenable endgame. Tony keeps pressurizing Nadim’s center, who, in inferior position and due to time pressure, dropped a piece. Tony collected the game point, keeping him far from the leader with just half a point in the after-round standing.

On board 5, as was expected,The English opening was the opening battle between AbdelAziz and Marwan Nassar. It seems that both players were well prepared, as the middle game was played in a nearly perfect way. While AbdelAziz was managing excellently his time, Marwan was under time pressure, which forced him to play 34..Qc4, a move that threatened the f1-rook, to get in return a shocking reply 35Be2 !! netting AbdelAziz a piece and the game.

The most disputed game of the championship was the least with which I can describe the board 6 game between Tarek Moudallal (White) and Faisal Khairallah. Faisal adopted the Modern Defense, reaching a typical advantageous King’s Indian one. Due to some imprecise moves by Tarek, Faisal was 2 pawns up with nearly winning position. Even after sacrificing the exchange, he kept his chances high. But Tarek didn’t surrender. Profiting from some imprecise moves by Faisal, he in a certain way forced the exchange of queens, keeping some chances of survival. He didn’t only survive, but, profiting from Faisal’s time pressure, played some tricky  moves, pushing the later to make several mistakes. The appearance of a new white queen on the board without its rival forced Faisal to shake hand.

Click here to download the games.

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

Rank after Round 9:

Rank SNo. Name IRtg Pts Wins Draws Loses Koya SB vict
1 6 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 7.5 7 1 1 3.5 26.25 7
2 8 FM Kassis Antoine 2166 7.0 5 4 0 4.5 32.50 5
3 7 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 6.0 6 0 3 2.0 18.50 6
4 5 Bassel Charaf 2070 5.5 4 3 2 3.0 19.50 4
5 12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 5.5 5 1 3 1.5 16.50 5
6 4 FM El Jawich Amro 2173 5.0 3 4 2 2.0 16.00 3
7 11 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 4.5 2 5 2 3.0 19.00 2
8 9 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 4.5 2 5 2 2.5 20.75 2
9 1 Nassar Marwan 2091 3.5 3 1 5 1.5 10.50 3
10 10 Moudallal Tarek 1968 2.5 2 1 6 1.5 9.00 2
11 2 Hammoud Nadim 1944 1.5 1 1 7 0.5 3.50 1
12 3 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 1.0 0 2 7 1.0 5.00 0




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