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43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Senior, Young, and in-between.

In this introductory report of the supreme national title, I decided to make it a little bit a non-classical report. The reason? Samir Sursock is back and will play in the Final!

Samir Sursock: FM 2101

It was a coup d’état from the LCF to invite him as one of the wild card the LCF board possesses. This gentleman that leaded the Lebanese team in several historical Olympiads is going to show us, through his moves, the metaphor of our noble game since he won the supreme title in 1970! He defended it successfully in the following year, and, he won it again in the first championship in 1992 resumed after the end of the civil war. I will never forget the day, dated in late 80’s if I am not mistaken, during a training session at the then Soviet Chess Club, when the late Mr. Mohamad Succar handled Samir his certificate of Fide Master. Or if you like, check his game against Arthur Youssupov (Dubai Olympiad 1986) when Youssupov was ranked 3rd in the World (behind the 2 Ks), when the great x-soviet player was on the verge of defeat using his own pet opening (the French defense). In those days, the minimum rating was 2200, no Elo inflation, no computer assist, nothing. Just your paper note book, some informants, and your memory were your asset. Holding a chess Master title was like a crown on the king’s head. It was a glorious moment for Lebanon.

On the other side of the list, we have the young and the promising Ralph Khairallah (no relation to Faisal )

Ralph reached the final after a hard fought games in the qualification phase. His modest Elo (1762), the lowest among the finalists will send a feeling to his opponents that as they will get an extra free point. Not the sort of. We all know that most of the Elo digits betray. Just ask the Lebanese players about their experience with the foreign ones. Anyway, it is a great chance for Ralph to grasp this golden opportunity and profit from it.

Now, in brief, to the in-between players:

Ahmad Najjar: FM 2304, the highest seeded, 3 times champion, a lot of experience, highly motivated over the board, can extract a win from even a lost position. The adjective ‘lucky’ always means ‘Ahmad Najjar’.

Faisal Khairallah: FM 2273, Nth times (I stopped counting) and current champion. The scientific and broad opening repertoire count for something J Sending a message to the new generation of the Lebanese players (Hey, no one will break my holding the title record in the future) is a motive by itself to conserve the title.

Amro El Jawish: FM 2209, 2 times champion, the first time at age of 15! This guy has matured and capable of beating anybody regardless of his opponent’s title. He made a name for himself in the Arab and Asian events. His eyes are always looking toward the supreme title.

Antoine Kassis FM 2137, held the title just once in 1995, nearly always member of the Olympic team, and always (if I remember correctly) one of the finalists of the championship. His recent peaceful results in the last championships kept him away fighting for the title. This doesn’t mean that his games are not hard fought ones. Will he score more points this time and freeze the N counter? (See above).

Abdel Aziz Mahmoud CM 2117: This dangerous x-champion results are difficult to predict. Always playing for a win, a certain miss-calculation can vex anyone. No problem with this as his positive approach to the game gives him always to collect more points.

Marwan Nassar 2015: The calm guy that can beat anybody and is dangerous to everyone. His qualification to the final will add a fighting touch to the game. Keep an eye on him.

Tarek Moudallal 2080: Adventurous, volatile, unpredictable, too optimistic. You can choose any description for the character of this amiable player. All his games are like they are put on a boiler. Watch out for your fingers.

Mahdi Kaouri 2074: A promising cool player, who can upset with his play anyone. This championship is a great opportunity to prove that he can be in the top 5 among the elite Lebanese players.

Elie Asmar 2009: this hyper-aggressive player is a threat to all. Finishing in the top 3 of the final standing is his minimum ambition. I will look at his games more carefully, as he intends to win the (most beautiful game of the Championship) prize, and may be more.

Marwan Sharbel 1940: The rock-solid player that too difficult to crack. His ability to play long games will be too provocative for his opponent. His qualification is deserved in this final.

What I like in this Final is the improved Elo average of the players 2085 (an increase of some 60 points from 2016 edition). With the new LCF board evolution of rules and vision of its president, Mr. Ezzat Koraitem, and his team, I am sure the future of chess in Lebanon will start be written from this event.

The championship will be accommodated in the Tanmiya Chess Club (Barbir – Kaskas street). Below is the pairings of all rounds:

43rd Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2017 – Final Stage
Round 1 on 2017/07/18 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
Round 2 on 2017/07/19 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Nassar Marwan 2015 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
8 FM Sursock Sameer 2101 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 6
9   Khairallah Ralph 1762 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 5
10   Moudallal Tarek 2080 - FM El Jawich Amro 2209 4
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 - FM Kassis Antoine 2137 3
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 2
Round 3 on 2017/07/20 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 -   Sharbel Marwan 1940 1
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
7   Asmar Elie 2009 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
Round 4 on 2017/07/21 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Nassar Marwan 2015 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
9   Khairallah Ralph 1762 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
10   Moudallal Tarek 2080 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 6
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 5
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 - FM El Jawich Amro 2209 4
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 - FM Kassis Antoine 2137 3
Round 5 on 2017/07/23 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 2
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 -   Sharbel Marwan 1940 1
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
7   Asmar Elie 2009 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
8 FM Sursock Sameer 2101 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
Round 6 on 2017/07/24 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Nassar Marwan 2015 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
10   Moudallal Tarek 2080 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 6
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 5
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 - FM El Jawich Amro 2209 4
Round 7 on 2017/07/25 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 - FM Kassis Antoine 2137 3
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 2
7   Asmar Elie 2009 -   Sharbel Marwan 1940 1
8 FM Sursock Sameer 2101 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
9   Khairallah Ralph 1762 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
Round 8 on 2017/07/26 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Nassar Marwan 2015 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 6
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 5
Round 9 on 2017/07/28 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 - FM El Jawich Amro 2209 4
7   Asmar Elie 2009 - FM Kassis Antoine 2137 3
8 FM Sursock Sameer 2101 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 2
9   Khairallah Ralph 1762 -   Sharbel Marwan 1940 1
10   Moudallal Tarek 2080 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
Round 10 on 2017/07/29 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12   Nassar Marwan 2015 -   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 11
1   Sharbel Marwan 1940 -   Moudallal Tarek 2080 10
2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 -   Khairallah Ralph 1762 9
3 FM Kassis Antoine 2137 - FM Sursock Sameer 2101 8
4 FM El Jawich Amro 2209 -   Asmar Elie 2009 7
5 FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 - CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 6
Round 11 on 2017/07/31 at 6.30 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
6 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2117 -   Nassar Marwan 2015 12
7   Asmar Elie 2009 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2273 5
8 FM Sursock Sameer 2101 - FM El Jawich Amro 2209 4
9   Khairallah Ralph 1762 - FM Kassis Antoine 2137 3
10   Moudallal Tarek 2080 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2304 2
11   Kaouri Mahdi 2074 -   Sharbel Marwan 1940 1

 

 

Samir

Round 1 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

A fighting round When observing the games of the starting round of the final stage of the championship, you get the feel of the eagerness of the players to play chess. This is usual after a somewhat long break away from the classical tournament(s). I will make a brief board by board description of those interesting …

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Samir

Round 10 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

A cautious round   Except Ahmad Najjar – Ralph Khairallah game, it seems the contenders want to play for a win and hold their position on the board in a cautious way, without making any adventure. Indeed, it is the first time in this championship that most of the games finished in less than 4 …

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Samir

Round 11 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Amr ElJawish is the Champion of Lebanon 2017 As most of the spectators and players agreed, it was one of the tense round in the history of the Lebanese round robin individual championship. Any slip can tip the favor from one side to another. After the quick draw between Mahdi Kaouri and Marwan Sharbel, where …

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Samir

Round 2 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

No Mercy It seems that the first round charged the players with energy, as nearly each move in each game of this 2nd round contains a lot of aggressiveness, and each player wants to score a point. Even the Kaouri-Kassis game was agreed on a tie, in a chaotic position, when the complication may favor …

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Samir

Round 3 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Progress on several levels With every played round in this Final, I noticed something interesting: Progress or increasing of occurrence of certain topics or symptoms or types of moves. The tenacity of the players increased, the Opening preparation improved, the endgame phase occurred more often, the time trouble is becoming more frequent, the number of …

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Samir

Round 4 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Miscalculation and missed opportunities With every round deeper into the championship, the players’ preparation increased, as can be noticed from round 4 games. Although some imprecise moves can be seen here and there, the tension between players over the board can be felt, causing half points or even full ones to be thrown away. The …

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Samir

Round 5 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Surprises Not just one, but several ones. I will start with game that, in my opinion, will have a good impact on the chess in Lebanon. It is the draw between the youngest player, Ralph Khairallah, and the eldest one, Samir Sursock in the championship. Ralph, adopting the French defense, obtained a solid position. Although …

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Samir

Round 6 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

The will to win Every chess player wants to win his game. The opening preparation, knowing the weaknesses (or the strength) of his opponent, tournament situation or even previous score against his coming opponent, are all intensives to play for a win. The professional player, relying on his experience, knows, especially during the progress of …

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Samir

Round 7 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

The lion showed his fangs The star game of this round is Ralph Khairallah – Tarek Moudallal. Tarek gave his new Sicilian defense a rest, and adopted a gambit variation of his favorite: The Scandinavian Defense. But he chose the second rated line (3..Nbd7?!) instead of the more theoretical one (3..Bd7), to be faced with …

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Samir

Round 8 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

Elie Asmar leads – temporarily   Due to his win, with the black pieces, over Ahmad Najjar and the adjourned Amro El Jawish – Faisal Khairallah game, Elie is now leading the event with 6 points out of 8 without any draw! The early endgame was somewhat tipped in his favor due to better control …

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Samir

Round 8 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017 – Part 2

The great escape In what can be described as the most awaited game in the championship, the resumed encounter of Amr ElJawish with Faisal Kharaillah didn’t disappoint anyone. Playing Black, the current champion adopted the Sicilian Kan and obtained fair chances in the issuing middle game, if not more. It was a little slip from …

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Samir

Round 9 of the 43rd Lebanese Individual Championship 2017

A fianchetto day As most of the players know, the development of a bishop by move it one square to a long diagonal of the board is known as (fianchetto). This term goes back to the middle of the 19th century, from Italian, as a diminutive of fianco (flank), ultimately of Germanic origin. If you …

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