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40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage Faisal Khairallah – Champion of Lebanon for the 7th times… and counting

Faisal Khairallah – Champion of Lebanon for the 7th times… and counting

Congratulations for Faisal Khairallah for winning the championship. A quick 20 moves-draw on board 5 with some 35 minutes of play spent for the game against Jamal Shamieh made Faisal the winner of this 40th edition, without any loss.

The fight on the neighboring board between Amr ElJawish and Ahmad Najjar was critical for determining the second place. Amr adopted the King’s Indian Attack against Ahmad’s Capablanca setup. Ahmad’ strong initiative on the queen side was so dangerous that Amr’s only chance resided in creating some attacking chances against Ahmad’s king. Ahmad was trusting so much his position, and he has reasons for doing do, so that he wanted it to finish it in a stylish manner. He sacrificed his queen in order to ensure the promotion of his passed c-pawn. This slip enabled Amr to play in a precise order the moves that allowed him to save the game and secure the second place in the championship.

Another interesting battle was taking place on board 4 between the defending champion Ibrahim Chahrour and AbdelAziz Mahmoud. The Austrian Attack adopted by Ibrahim against AbdelAziz’ Pirc defence showed how much each professional player spent so much time for studying a certain theoretical variation. Just one imprecision from the later (16..Qa5, instead of the theoretical Rhf8) was enough for Ibrahim to take advantage of it. A precise play from him resulted in putting a great pressure on AbdelAziz’ position, converted later into a material advantage, and then through technical play into a full point.

Antoine Kassis, on board 3, didn’t find any difficulties in his game against Marwan Sharbel, to overcome his opponent’s French defense. I am sure that Antoine felt the respite when this game was over, putting behind his back this championship.

As Elie Asmar was having his rest day on board 2 due to Khaled Shihab forfeit of the event, the last game to finish was the board 1 encounter between Bassel Charaf and Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani. The Classical variation adopted by Bassel against Massarani’s King’s Indian Defense didn’t bring him too much. A mass of exchanges took place, reaching an endgame of bishops of the same color. Everybody thought that the peace was going to be signed. But Bassel had a different scenario in his mind. He continues maneuvering with his bishop and king, trying to find a hole in Massarani’s fortress. In a moment of relaxation by Dr. Mahmoud enabled Bassel to snatch a pawn. A miscalculation from the former concerning the 50-moves rule guided him to play some inferior moves, enabling Bassel to reach the desired zugzwang position, and the goal of the game.

Round 11 results:

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
6 Bassel Charaf 2114 1  -  0 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 12
7 Shihab Khaled 2112 0F – 1F Asmar Elie 2016 5
8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 1  -  0 Sharbel Marwan 2006 4
9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 1  -  0 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 3
10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 ½  -  ½ FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 2
11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 ½  -  ½ FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1


Final ranking (Khaled Shihab excluded)
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Res.
1 2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 LIB 8 0
2 11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 LIB 7 0
3 1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 LIB
4 6 Bassel Charaf 2114 LIB 1
5 9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 LIB ½
6 10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 LIB 4 1
7 8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 LIB 4 1
8 12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 LIB 4 1
9 5 Asmar Elie 2016 LIB 3 ½
10 3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 LIB 3 ½
11 4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 LIB 0

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