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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 Samir obtained his usual space advantage, Ralph’s long castling strategy put a halt on the former’s attempt to breach Ralph’s defense. With no more (French bad bishop), it was time to split the point.

The other surprise was the loss of the current champion Faisal Khairallah against Marwan Sharbel. Faisal adopted the Grand Prix Attack against Marwan’ Sicilian Defense. I am not going to say that missing the early f5 move by White, permitting Bg4, was the cause of the fall of his attack, but the imprecise evaluation of the complicated and tactical variations that arose during the play, where each side was trying to win and defend his position in nearly every move. I will jump over the missed opportunities to decide the game, being a win or a draw, and will say that it was Faisal that made the last mistake, and Marwan was up to the task to find the killing stroke(s). It seems that the Grand Prix Attack has no chance to breath in this event.

Another surprise was the game between Antoine Kassis and Marwan Nassar. The surprise is not the game result, as it was balanced when the draw was agreed on the 21st move, but Antoine’s 20th move (Bxf6). By move 19, he obtained a very promising middle game, where Marwan’s king was stuck in the center, and the typical breakthrough (19 h5 or f4 followed by g5) was on the agenda, but missed by Antoine, as I am sure that he knows what to do in this type of pawn structure and disposition of pieces.

Another draw was agreed between AbdelAziz Mahmoud and Mahdi Kaouri.  AbdelAziz, playing White, tried to generate an initiative on the king side, and he succeeded in his mission, then to lose all his accumulated advantage in the labyrinth of the available plan. Splitting the point on move 21 was a wise decision.

The encounter Elie Asmar – Tarek Moudallal was a dramatic and adventurous at the same time. The Accelerated Dragon is always welcomed in the Lebanese championships, which means that the players must be ready to face it or play it with all its intrigues. Taking the poisoned e4 pawn was a great risk for Tarek, as he couldn’t see the refutation, and nor did his opponent. They embarked on huge complicated variations that let Elie emerged with a strong initiative. Precise play was needed from his part, but he rushed with his moves, enabling Tarek to calmly construct his defense and maintaining his material advantage, converted by the later to his first point in this championship.

Another Accelerated Dragon was on the schedule of Amr ElJawish – Ahmad Najjar game. As the middle game was somewhat calm, the endgame wasn’t a sort of. Ahmad, after winning a pawn, couldn’t find the precise moves of the plan to conserve his advantage. Snatching the black h-pawn by Amr was the turning point of the game, where he demonstrated a great technique of winning the issuing bishop endgame.

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Round 5 on 2017/07/23 at 6.30 PM

SNo.

Name

Rtg

Res.

Name

Rtg

SNo.

3

FM

Kassis Antoine

2137

½  -  ½

Nassar Marwan

2015

12

4

FM

El Jawich Amro

2209

1  -  0

FM

Najjar Ahmad

2304

2

5

FM

Khairallah Faisal

2273

0  -  1

Sharbel Marwan

1940

1

6

CM

Abdulaziz Mahmoud

2117

½  -  ½

Kaouri Mahdi

2074

11

7

Asmar Elie

2009

0  -  1

Moudallal Tarek

2080

10

8

FM

Sursock Sameer

2101

½  -  ½

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

Ranking Crosstable after Round 5

Rank

SNo.

Name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Pts

SB

1

4

FM

El Jawich Amro

*

0

1

1

1

1

4

5.00

2

11

Kaouri Mahdi

1

*

½

½

½

1

11.25

3

3

FM

Kassis Antoine

½

*

½

½

1

1

6.75

4

5

FM

Khairallah Faisal

½

*

0

1

1

1

4.25

6

CM

Abdulaziz Mahmoud

½

*

0

1

1

1

4.25

6

12

Nassar Marwan

½

*

1

½

½

½

3

7.00

7

7

Asmar Elie

1

0

*

0

1

1

3

5.00

8

2

FM

Najjar Ahmad

0

0

½

½

*

1

2

4.75

9

1

Sharbel Marwan

0

0

1

½

0

*

5.00

10

10

Moudallal Tarek

0

0

0

0

1

*

1

3.00

11

8

FM

Sursock Sameer

0

0

½

0

*

½

1

1.75

12

9

Khairallah Ralph

0

0

0

0

½

*

½

0.50

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