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42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016 – Final Stage

42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016 – Final Stage

Does Elo rating matter?

Before embarking in this pre-report on the most prestigious national event, let me send a word of congratulation for the new Lebanese Chess Federation board, headed by Mr. Izzat Kraytem, for its new formation. I am sure that, with what it is known about the management skills and the long term visions of Mr. Kraytem, especially his active work through the National Olympic Committee, the LCF will have a bright future, and we don’t need to wait for 3 or 4 years to apply the (wait and see) proverb, as I believe a deep change will be seen in less than a year.

Back to our subject. The final contenders for the prestigious title are (sorted by their Elo rating):

SNo.

Name

IRtg

1

FM

Najjar Ahmad

2312

2

FM

Khairallah Faisal

2251

3

FM

El Jawich Amro

2243

4

FM

Kassis Antoine

2136

5

CM

Abdulaziz Mahmoud

2126

6

Kaouri Mahdi

2113

7

Asmar Elie

2043

8

Moudallal Tarek

2026

9

Habash Mohamad

1883

10

Farhat Mohamed

1792

11

Jouni Hassan

1792

12

Kaloust Giorgio

1542

Amro El Jawich (the current champion), Ahmad Najjar, Elie Asmar, Faisal Kairallah and Antoine Kassis were qualified directly from last year championship, the remaining ones from this year qualification phase (the results which, till writing this report, wasn’t sent to Fide rating commission – humm, as well as other 3 rapid and blitz events).

What distinguishes this year championship is the participation of the teen-aged Giorgio Kaloust, who qualified after a tie-break matches with the other 2 young players Jawad Farhat and Hrag Lakhyan (beating the former and drawing with the later –  each one of them scored 4 points from 6 rounds in the qualification phase).  As a bunch of players scored also 4 points each, the qualification of Giorgio was based on the decision of the LCF board to encourage the participation of at least one young player in the final stage of the championship.

I don’t want with my questions or critics make any bad feelings, but on the contrary, I want to emphasize on some minor details that can improve the techniques of the organization of the national events. For example, the 2016 qualification phase consisted of 6 rounds, while all the previous ones consisted of 7. This means that the number of rounds of the qualification phase is not specified and written in the competition rules. I am sorry to push the competitions committee to sit down for work, but I will try with my forthcoming reports to help, not the mentioned committee but also the other ones, by focusing on the gaps that exist in the internal rules of the competition.

Need one more rule to discuss? Well, what about the draw-offer rule? I noticed that in the qualification phase, not only in the 2016 one, but also of the previous years, that in the final round, when a couple of players, paired to play each other, were assured of their qualification for the final stage by tying their game, they played some moves, sometimes just one move by each of them, and the draw offer was instantly agreed. Is that Chess? Sport? Science? Olympic approach? Suppose a certain VIP, who is interested in chess, the noblest game of all, was watching that game. What would be his reaction? The solution is simple: Apply the 30-moves rule in the qualification stage, as it is applied in the final one. Putting this rule in written in the competitive laws will avoid a lot of non-competitive debates.

Now back to the first question: the title of this report:

Does Elo rating matter?

This question pushed me to go back the final stages of the previous years. I calculated the average Elo rating of each of them, and obtained the following figures:

Year 2012: average: 2103 (11 rated players)

Year 2013: average: 2088 (-15 points from 2012)

Year 2014: average: 2124 (+36 points from 2013)

Year 2015: average: 2079 (-45 points from 2014)

And the current one:

Year: 2016: average: 2021 (-58 points from 2015)

What I see from these numbers is that the average rating is not constant or steady, but has a decreasing tendency, and in a sharp way. This is a sign that not to be underestimated, a sign that must push the LCF members to do something concrete, not just to halt   and try to maintain the status-quo, but to change it positively.

How to do it?

If we take a look, again, at the Elo list of all the Lebanese players, we can see an increase in the number of the rated players, especially the young players. This was due to several factors, one of them is the high increase of interest in chess among the young generation, supported by the parents’ mentality of what chess can offer to their kids minds (psychologically, socially, etc..). Another factor is the Fide technical decisions during the last few years to lower the minimum rating parameters, creating a lot of motives in Chess as a sport on the international scenes (especially on the rapid and blitz events.

BUT,

If we take a look at the ratings of the top 15 or 20 players of the same list through the last 5, 10, 15 or even more years, what we can notice? The same Elo average. Nearly the same names with a little bit of shuffling. Nothing more. How this can be? How to change it? How to make a decisive break through is the problem.

And the solution is simple, but costly a little bit: Bringing a professional trainer to create a BASE.

By Base I mean a group of national strong players, capable, not only to improve the final standing of Lebanon in Olympiads, but to discover the talents in the new generation and pass their experience to them. In this way the ball will start rolling and increase its size. To clarify things: bringing the professional trainer not for a couple of months, just to prepare a certain team for a certain event. No. To stay here, to keep contact with players and supervising their work for a considerable period of time that is needed to create the Base. The only obstacle against this only-solution project is the money. But this problem can be overcome, as there are a lot of good willed, generous and patriotic people that can make this plan a reality.

There are a lot of other things that can help in this long project, but I will be satisfied with the mentioned one, for now.

Back to the main question (still remember it?)

From my experience and interactions with the players, the Elo rating matters very much for them, especially in the final stage of the championship. Some find it a golden opportunity to increase their ratings, others to compensate what they dropped in the last tournament. But in each game, each one of them is fighting, each one want to prove something, being for himself or for the others. And that what distinguish the final stage: the fighting spirit.

As announced by LCF, the final stage of the 42nd championship will be held in the Tanmiya club, Kaskas region, in Beirut. Below is the pairing and round by round date and time that I prepared by myself (if any mistake exists, I apologize in advance. Sending the correction on my email: charo@intracom,net.lb will be highly appreciated, and  I will correct it as soon as I can).

Round 1 on 2016/11/23 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
3   Asmar Elie 2043 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
Round 2 on 2016/11/24 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Jouni Hassan 1792 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
8   Habash Mohamad 1883 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 6
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 5
10   Moudallal Tarek 2026 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 4
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 -   Asmar Elie 2043 3
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
Round 3 on 2016/11/25 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
3   Asmar Elie 2043 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
7   Farhat Mohamed 1792 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
Round 4 on 2016/11/27 at 16:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Jouni Hassan 1792 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
10   Moudallal Tarek 2026 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 6
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 5
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 4
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 -   Asmar Elie 2043 3
Round 5 on 2016/11/28 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3   Asmar Elie 2043 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
7   Farhat Mohamed 1792 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
8   Habash Mohamad 1883 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
Round 6 on 2016/11/29 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Jouni Hassan 1792 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
10   Moudallal Tarek 2026 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 6
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 5
3   Asmar Elie 2043 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 4
Round 7 on 2016/11/30 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 -   Asmar Elie 2043 3
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
7   Farhat Mohamed 1792 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
8   Habash Mohamad 1883 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
Round 8 on 2016/12/02 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Jouni Hassan 1792 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
3   Asmar Elie 2043 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 6
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 5
Round 9 on 2016/12/03 at 16:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 4
7   Farhat Mohamed 1792 -   Asmar Elie 2043 3
8   Habash Mohamad 1883 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
10   Moudallal Tarek 2026 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
Round 10 on 2016/12/04 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Jouni Hassan 1792 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 11
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 10
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 9
3   Asmar Elie 2043 -   Habash Mohamad 1883 8
4 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 7
5 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 6
Round 11 on 2016/12/05 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
6 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 12
7   Farhat Mohamed 1792 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 5
8   Habash Mohamad 1883 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 4
9 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 -   Asmar Elie 2043 3
10   Moudallal Tarek 2026 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final round of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

Faisal Khairallah – Champion of Lebanon without compromise And he did it for the 8th time. He even didn’t play for a draw against Mohamad Habash, but he won convincingly, and with the black pieces. The game between Amr ElJawish and Gen, Hassan Jouni was a one side game. Gen. Jouni mishandled his opening, kept …

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Round 1 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

The experience and the rating dominated …almost I said (almost) because the first game to finish with a draw result was between Antoine Kassis and Mohamad Habash. Antoine adopted his usual Grand Prix Attack against his new comer opponent’ Sicilian defense, an attack that was easily repulsed. Even Mohamad got the initiative and started his …

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Round 10 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

A draw will be enough After winning both of the their games, Faisal Khairallah and Ahmad Najjar shared the lead in the championship with 7.5 points each, followed by Amr ElJawish with 6.5 points, after drawing with Antoine Kassis. As mentioned in the previous report, Ahmad will have a Bye in the last round, while …

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Round 2 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

A lucky escape by the Champion! Am I setting the board in the right way? What about the players ‘colors? Anything wrong? No. Everything is right. My eyes are not deceiving me. Amr ElJawich is losing! Is that possible? Is Mohamad ElHabash going to play the game of his life by defeating the Lebanese champion, …

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Round 3 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

An instructive and tense round The Grand Prix Attack always generates exciting games, and the encounter between Amr ElJawish and Ahmad Najjar wasn’t an exception. After a somewhat balanced opening, Ahmad starts play on both sides of the board, making a psychological pressure on Amr, who snatched the b4 pawn with a nice game and …

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Round 4 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

A solid round If the win of Amr El Jawish over Tarek Moudallal (by forfeit of the later) is disregarded, and the high tension of a couple of games of the first round, I noticed that the level of opening preparation and the players’ solid play in the 4 rounds are very impressive. Some games …

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Round 5 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

More theoretical preparation is needed After scrolling the moves of the 5th round games, I noticed a lack of theoretical knowledge of the opening phase, as well as in the middle game one, on most of the board. Some want to surprise his opponent with an early deviation, others just cited the moves without deep …

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Round 6 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

An uncompromising round It seems that the players, in this round, forgot the meaning of the word (peace), except one player (to be mentioned later in the report). And the funny thing about the games is that all the players with the black pieces adopted in their opening the fianchetto system of their dark squares …

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Round 7 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

Mistakes, Technique, and Creativity The game between Mohamad Farhat and AbdelAziz ElMahmoud was decided too early by the mishandling of the former of his opening. Losing several tempos on the queenside by White was severely punished by AbdelAziz, with his pieces dominating the queenside, netting him a vital central d4-pawn. The rest was a matter …

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Round 8 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

What an escape!! That is the minimum of with I can express my astonishment of the way the game between AbdelAziz ElMahmoud and Mohamad ElHabash ended. After some uncertainty of play in the opening and the subsequent middle game phase, Mohamad succeeded in holding the initiative. The exchange of mistakes and imprecise moves increased due …

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Round 9 of the 42nd Lebanese individual Chess Championship 2016

Mistakes, and Solutions As the end of the event is near When the tension is high, , and the preparation of the players for the final rounds is critical, the appearance of mistakes in one’s game is normal, even at professional level. In this round, I noticed two types of mistakes: a tactical one, and …

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