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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 a psychological one. I will try in my brief review of each game to point to them. I hope the players, who made those mistakes, will forgive me, and wish they will not repeat them in their subsequent games, and the other ones on the other side of the board will try to avoid them.

After some imprecise Black moves in the opening of the game between Mohamad ElHabash and Giorgio Kaloust, especially the 13..f5? (You can’t attack in the center when are behind in development and your opponent is already centralized nearly all his pieces), Mohamad obtained a nice advantage.

Instead of building on this advantage and improve the pieces deployment, Mohamad embarked on a dubious tactical combination, exchanging his knight of a couple of pawns. The defect of the combination was pointed out by the Giorgio, who refuted the combination by a counter attack, as, the mentioned combination enabled some of the black pieces to come to live. The resulting counter play by Black enabled him to pin the white knight and winning it, and the game point as a bonus.

How to avoid this type of mistake? Well, if you intend to embark on a tactical combination, you have to be sure, during the calculation of all the variations, that you will have a defined and concrete result/evaluation of the final position resulting from the combination. If you assessed the final position as unclear, or couldn’t give an evaluation, don’t do it, otherwise you are gambling, and instead of play of the 2 results (a draw or a win), you included a third option (a loss). The main psychological trap that the player is pushed into this type of play is the underestimation of his opponent‘s resourcefulness.

The game of Ahamd Najjar- AbdelAziz ElMahmoud has another scenario. After a modest play and somewhat purposelessness moves by Ahmad against the Hippopotamus setup of AbdelAziz, he was left with an inferior position. AbdelAziz profited from his clear pieces disposition and started his usual queen side initiative, obtaining a clear positional advantage. Meanwhile, Ahmad was trying to make or invent some play on the king side, the only side where he can hope to change the trend of the game. He succeed in implanting a knight on e5. So the question is: when you see in front of you a beast that eyeing to you, what you have to do? You are right: remove it. And AbdelAziz did NOT do this, although he could make this elimination with or without any hesitation. And that lonely mistake costed him the game, as, suddenly, all the pieces of Ahmad started surrounding the black king. Why AbdelAziz didn’t remove the e5-knight? Most probably he overestimated his opponent’s chances, as the f-file will be opened as a result of that exchange, and underestimated his own ones on the same disputed file. All was a moment of panic.

Most probably the game with the highest tension of the championship, the encounter between Amr ElJawish and Faisal Khairallah. I am sure that each one of them prepared very well for his fight. The Alekhine defense adopted by Faisal guided the game into a positional channel, after some 14 moves or so of theory, not letting Amr unleash his aggression. The final position, when the draw was agreed on, was a tense one, with an advantage for Black due to his central dark squares pressure, supported by a nice dragon bishop and a potential escalading initiative on the king side. So, to avoid any misadventure, as the time pressure was approaching at least from his side, the offer of a draw by Amr is understandable. But where was his mistake? I think it was in his preparation of the variation he chose, or its nature: it wasn’t sharp enough to imbalance the game and create a tension, pushing the game to the 3 results one, but not just the 2, or even 1 (just a draw).

But Faisal agreed to the draw, knowing that he has the preferable position? Because he is the leader of the event. Although he and Ahmad Najjar have 6.5 points each, followed by Amr with 6 points, Ahmad has just one game to be played, as he has a (Bye) on the 11th round, the last one. As Faisal is going to face Mohamad Farhat and Mohamad ElHabash in the 10th and 11th rounds, with a huge difference in the Elo and experience with his 2 remaining opponents, to his advantage, Amr will face tomorrow the dangerous Antoine Kassis, with another tense game, with unexpected result, as Antoine also is interested to climbing more steps the standing ladder by chasing Amr from it and taking his place in the top 3!! (See Ranking after round 9, bellow) This means that Faisal’s agreed draw was based on pure calculation and sporting approach of the expected possible results of the remaining rounds. Unless the unexpected happens, then…hum

If you know that your opponent is an experienced player, and plays nearly always the same variation of the French defense, you must be too courageous to permit the same variation to appear on the board, on the condition that you have a certain refutation, or at least some novelty in win some time on the clock, as you will force your opponent to spend valuable minutes in order to refute your idea, or at least to understand the changes that your move is going to cause on the normal course of the game. And this was Tarel Moudallal’s mistake, as he permitted to Mahdi Kaouri to play his pet line, and not only this, but felt to a small tactical combination, neting Mahdi an important pawn, with a strong counter play, that Tarek’s position couldn’t hold. The mistake? Bad preparation. Solution: Bring your opponent to play on your territory, not vice-versa, by choosing the proper opening and variation that can cause trouble to your opponent, not just in the opening phase, but also in the middle game and its complexity, as well as in the long term factors in the endgame phase.

Now take a look at the exciting game between Antoine Kassis and gen. Hasssan Jouni. After an imprecise move by Gen. Jouni, Antoine succeeded easily in obtaining a clear advantage in the form of an ideal Samisch setup against the King’s Indian formation. Then, when he tried to convert this advantage to another more tangible one, he was shocked by his opponent’s boomerang. Then the game was put on fire, where the advantage passed from one side to another due to the interchangeable mistakes. Gen. Jouni even obtained at several moments a clear, if not a winning, advantage due to his strong central passed pawns and menacing queen. As usual, the chance for a change of the trend of the game for Antoine resides, not only with his queen side passed pawns, but the somewhat weakened black king position. After mutual mistakes, Black, instead of centralizing his queen, in order to cover some critical points for defending the black king, he weakened more the protection of his majesty, enabling Antoine to grasp this offered chance to harass his majesty and scoring the win.

Mistakes: too many from both sides. From Antoine’s, miscalculation in calculation the variation that should lead to the conversion of his advantage, as the boomerang move was missing in this list of  candidate moves, as well as the underestimating his opponent’ s resources in the counter-play that proved too dangerous. From Gen, Jouni’s, still a lack of precise opening variations and the corresponding moves order are obvious. Also, time pressure had its effect on the concluding phase of the game. What to do? Solving more tactical exercises, as well as studying some books of instructive games on the attack as well as the defense of famous players and most importantly, if time and live permit, taking part in this type of high level tournaments. The last couple of hints are a must for all the players alike.

Click here to download the games

 

Ranking Crosstable after Round 9
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts Res. Koya
1 3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 LBN * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1     1 ½
2 8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 LBN ½ * ½ ½ 1 0 1   1 1 1 ½
3 5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 LBN ½ ½ *   ½ + 1 1 ½ 1   6 0
4 4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 LBN 0 ½   * ½ 1 ½ 1 ½   1 5 ½
5 10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 LBN 0 0 ½ ½ * 1   1 1 1   5 ½ 2
6 9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 LBN 0 1 - 0 0 *     1 1 1 4 0 1
7 1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 LBN ½ 0 0 ½     * ½ ½ 1 1 4 0 1
8 2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 LBN 0   0 0 0   ½ * 1 ½ 1 3 0 ½
9 7   Habash Mohamad 1883 LBN   0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 * ½ 0 2 ½
10 6   Farhat Mohamed 1792 LBN   0 0   0 0 0 ½ ½ * 1 2 ½ 0
11 11   Jouni Hassan 1792 LBN 0 0   0   0 0 0 1 0 * 1 0 0

 

 

Round 1 on 2016/11/23 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1  -  0   Jouni Hassan 1792 11
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 0  -  1   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 ½  -  ½ FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 ½  -  ½   Habash Mohamad 1883 7
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 1  -  0   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026     Bye 0  
Round 2 on 2016/11/24 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
11   Jouni Hassan 1792 0  -  1   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
7   Habash Mohamad 1883 ½  -  ½ FM El Jawich Amro 2243 5
8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 ½  -  ½ FM Kassis Antoine 2136 4
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 0  -  1 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 3
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 ½  -  ½   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113     Bye 0  
Round 3 on 2016/11/25 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 1  -  0   Jouni Hassan 1792 11
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 1  -  0   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 1  -  0   Moudallal Tarek 2026 9
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 ½  -  ½ FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
6   Farhat Mohamed 1792 ½  -  ½   Habash Mohamad 1883 7
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126     Bye 0  
Round 4 on 2016/11/27 at 16:00
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
11   Jouni Hassan 1792 1  -  0   Habash Mohamad 1883 7
8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 1  -  0   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 -  -  + FM El Jawich Amro 2243 5
10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 ½  -  ½ FM Kassis Antoine 2136 4
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 ½  -  ½ FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 3
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542     Bye 0  
Round 5 on 2016/11/28 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 1  -  0   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 ½  -  ½ CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 ½  -  ½   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
6   Farhat Mohamed 1792 0  -  1   Moudallal Tarek 2026 9
7   Habash Mohamad 1883 0  -  1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
11   Jouni Hassan 1792     Bye 0  
Round 6 on 2016/11/29 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
11   Jouni Hassan 1792 0  -  1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 1  -  0   Habash Mohamad 1883 7
10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 1  -  0   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 0  -  1 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 5
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 0  -  1 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 4
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251     Bye 0  
Round 7 on 2016/11/30 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 1  -  0   Jouni Hassan 1792 11
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 1  -  0   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
6   Farhat Mohamed 1792 0  -  1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
7   Habash Mohamad 1883 0  -  1   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 0  -  1   Moudallal Tarek 2026 9
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136     Bye 0  
Round 8 on 2016/12/02 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
11   Jouni Hassan 1792 0  -  1   Moudallal Tarek 2026 9
10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 0  -  1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 ½  -  ½   Habash Mohamad 1883 7
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 ½  -  ½   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 1  -  0 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 4
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243     Bye 0  
Round 9 on 2016/12/03 at 18.30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 1  -  0   Jouni Hassan 1792 11
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 ½  -  ½ FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 3
7   Habash Mohamad 1883 0  -  1   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 1  -  0 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 0  -  1   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
6   Farhat Mohamed 1792     Bye 0  
Round 10 on 2016/12/04 at 16:00
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
11   Jouni Hassan 1792 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 10
1 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 -   Moudallal Tarek 2026 9
2   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2312 8
3 FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 -   Farhat Mohamed 1792 6
4 FM Kassis Antoine 2136 - FM El Jawich Amro 2243 5
7   Habash Mohamad 1883     Bye 0  
Round 11 on 2016/12/05 at 18:30
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 FM El Jawich Amro 2243 -   Jouni Hassan 1792 11
6   Farhat Mohamed 1792 - FM Kassis Antoine 2136 4
7   Habash Mohamad 1883 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2251 3
9   Moudallal Tarek 2026 -   Kaloust Giorgio 1542 2
10   Kaouri Mahdi 2113 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2126 1
8 FM Najjar Ahmad 2312     Bye 0  

 

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