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40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage Round 2: Mat on board

Round 2: Mat on board

The increase of 36 points difference between the 2013 finalists’ Elo average   and  2014’s of the Lebanese Individual Championship is a clear sign for the positive progress the LCF and the players alike have made, being on the organizational level, or educational and training one. (2013: Elo av:2088, 2014 Elo av: 2124). This didn’t prevent the participants from playing cautiously. All of them want to attack and mat their opponents’ king. But what they have in mind is something very different from what happened really on the board, at least for half of them.

Board 6 game between the ex-champions Ahmad Najjar and Faisal Khairallah was the first to finish. Choosing a rare line by the former against Faisal’s king’s Indian setup is an acceptable strategy, on condition not letting the small edge in piece development sleep away. A passive and piece un-development play from Ahmadd enabled Faisal to construct a dangerous setup against White’s king. Heavy losses, king included, couldn’t be prevented, forcing Ahmad to stop the clock.

Another King’s Indian setup appeared on board 5, which witnessed another ex-champions clash between Amr ElJawish and AbdelAziz Mahmoud. The King’s Indian Attack adopted by Amr provoked AbdelAziz to initiate what seems to be an attack on the king side. Amr’s counter play from the queen side, then in the center put an end to AbdelAziz’ illusionism. A bad king, accentuated by material loss forced the later  to resign.

The Fantasy variation against the Caro-Kann (3.f3) always leads to interesting and exciting games. That’s what happened on board 3 between the current champion Ibrahim Chahrour and the talented Elie Asmar. Both of them wanted to attack the other’s king, with a small, but very important difference: Elie’s king was still in the center. Ibrahim has started his attack as if Elie’ s king has castled, while Elie’ s play was somewhat in slow motion. When the later castled, he castled into it. (This famous title was the heading of the famous Gligoric-Fischer Bled 1959 game, where the American legend castled in a ruined side, then escaped from Gligoric’s attack). But here, the story is different. Open lines were already made for Ibrahim’s Queen and rooks. The cutting-circuit move (26 f7) forced Black to play Rxf7, leaving his king alone to its fatal destiny: The mat.

A solid draw was the result on board 4 between Jamal Shemieh and Marwan Sharbel. In a Queen’s gambit, exchange variation, some imprecise moves by both players led to a slow maneuvering game, where both sides were satisfied (may be) with the peace agreement.

A very tense game was played on board 1 between Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani and Khaled Shehab. A hedgehog middle game setup was the result of the Queen’s Indian defense adopted by Khaled. It seems that both players have their own view on how to treat this delicate phase. Mahmoud played very risky moves, allowing his opponent to create dangerous threats, threats that were never executed. After missing several opportunities to obtain huge advantage, a miscalculation by Khaled resulted in losing his queen to Mahmoud’s only counter play in the game, and the point.

Board 2 game between the ex-champion Antoine Kassis and Bassel Sharaf was the last one to finish. The Italian game was on the plate. Everything started cool, till suddenly Antoine decided to open the game, to be faced by Bassel’ solid and strong centralized knights, accentuated by a dangerous passed a-pawn. A liquidation to end game issued by Bassel led him to reach a classical endgame, where his centralized king and knight dominated Antoine’s bad bishop. The zugzwang position reached on move 55 and a tiring 5 hours of play forced Antoine to stop the clock.

Round 2 on 2014/06/15 at 6 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 1  -  0 Shihab Khaled 2112 7
8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 0  -  1 Bassel Charaf 2114 6
9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 1  -  0 Asmar Elie 2016 5
10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 ½  -  ½ Sharbel Marwan 2006 4
11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 1  -  0 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 3
1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 0  -  1 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 2
Round 3 on 2014/06/16 at 6 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 - Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 12
3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1
4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 - FM El Jawich Amro 2171 11
5 Asmar Elie 2016 - Shamieh Jamal 2076 10
6 Bassel Charaf 2114 - FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 9
7 Shihab Khaled 2112 - FM Kassis Antoine 2177 8


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