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40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage – Round 10

Round 10: A High Tense Round

This penultimate round was very critical, not only for determining the final ranking of the championship, but also for naming the 5 finalists for the next year championship. Each contestant approached his game against his opponent with different mentality. Some wanted to keep a chance to step up on the podium, others were more ambitious, heading for the prestigious title, while others wanted to limit the damage that hit their ELO ratings, and others wanted just to play and enjoy their time.

I will start taking a look at the board 5 game between Elie Asmar and Bassel Charaf. The Sicilian defense adopted by Bassel was integrally changed by Elie into a Sicilian Gambit, who obtained a promising attacking position for the sacrificed pawn. When the critical moment arrived (move 19), giving Elie the opportunity to convert his advantage into a material one (19 NxRa8), he changed his mind and landed his knight on the e6 square, just to snatch a pawn. Bassel accepted the second valuable gift, then coordinated his pieces. He even returned the knight gift back in order to kill any counter-trick and profited from Elie’s pieces disharmony in the center. With the threat of losing a piece, Elie stopped the clock. This game was the first to finish, as both players were nearly blitzing their moves. The game didn’t last for more than one and a half hours.

Board 1 witnessed Amr ElJawish adopted his favorite King’s Indian Defense against Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani’ solid King’s fianchetto. A typical middle game arose with chances for both sides. Exchanging the dark squares bishop for the f6-knight needed more contemplation from Maasarani, as it gave Amr an easy game and plan. After mass of exchanges, both players entered the endgame. As every experienced player knows, the knight+pawns endgame should be treated as pawn endgame, and the side with much less islands of pawns and centralized king will have a promising advantage. Amr understood this well, converted his better knight mobility, pawn structure and king’s activity into a material one, reaching an easy winning pawn endgame, forcing Maasarani to resign.

On the neighboring board, Ahmad Najjar adopted the promising Colle system against Jamal Shamieh queen’s Indian set up, a set up that was played with some passivity, as it saw Jamal throwing away a pawn in order to free his game. The protected f6-pawn was weighing heavily on Jamal’ shoulders, as he tried a final trick using his passed e-pawn. Ahmad reacted instantly by moving his king to g1, sending a message to his opponent that it is time to stop the clock. And that what happened.

The board 3 game between Faisal Khairallah and Ibrahim Chahrour was the focus of the round. The Pirc defense, by transposition of moves, was played, where Faisal adopted the King’s Fianchetto variation. A solid play by both players arose in the middle game, where Faisal kept the things under control, not letting Ibrahim’s tactical talent to emerge. An endgame of equal chances arose, and after 3 times moves repetition, the peace was agreed.

Everyone was wondering about what is happening to Antoine Kassis. It is the first time in his chess career, if my memory is still on a good level, that he lost 3 games in a row. On board 4 against AbdelAziz Mahmoud’ English opening, he adopted the English defense setup, a very aggressive one. AbdelAziz was up to the task, equalizing the chances in the middle game. The turned-down of AbdelAziz’ draw offer on move 20 was justified, as Antoine’s evaluated the position correctly: the position contains a lot of play with possibility to create some attacking chances. A few moves later (move 25), Antoine, in a somewhat inferior position, offered the draw to his opponent. After some thinking, AbdelAziz turn it down! Some precise moves by AbdelAziz forced Antoine to sacrifice the exchange, seeking salvation in the issuing unbalanced position. AbdelAziz didn’t let his chance sleep away, initiated an attack against Antoine’s king. Confronted by the inevitable loss of more materials, Antoine didn’t find any solution other than stopping the clock.

Marwan Sharbel was taking a rest day on board 5 due to Khaled Shihab forfeiting the event.


With Faisal’s draw with Ibhraim, and Amr’s win over Dr. Maasarani, Faisal Khairallah is now ahead of one point from his follower, Amr ElJawish.

Round 10 results:

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 0  -  1 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 11
1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1  -  0 Shamieh Jamal 2076 10
2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 ½  -  ½ FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 9
3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 1  -  0 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 8
4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 1F – 0F Shihab Khaled 2112 7
5 Asmar Elie 2016 0  -  1 Bassel Charaf 2114 6
Round 11 on 2014/06/27 at 6 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
6 Bassel Charaf 2114 - Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 12
7 Shihab Khaled 2112 0F – 1F Asmar Elie 2016 5
8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 - Sharbel Marwan 2006 4
9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 3
10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 2
11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1



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

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