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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 scroll down the moves of the 9th round game, you will noticed that most of the players fianchettoed their bishops, not a single but double ones.

 

I said (most) because the titled theme didn’t appear on the board 6, which witnessed the crazy encounter between between Tarek Moudallal (White) and Mahdi Kaouri. In the  Advanced variation of the French  Defense, Mahdi equalized theoretically in the early stage of the game when he succeeded in exchanging his (bad French) bishop for Tarek’s, obtaining a desirable white squares control through the issuing pawn structure. It is at this moment that Tarek pushed the button Creativity, generating a dangerous play on the king side. Mahdi defended well for a while, till he made a miscalculation enabling Tarek to create a fantastic position with a favorable unbalanced materials (see the game). The reached position was winning for Tarek, but a precise calculation was needed. Meanwhile, Mahdi tried to seek salvation on the queenside, his only place where he can play. The plans adopted by both players, using the king in the attack, put a lovely creative touch to the game. With a very low time on the clock, Tarek needed to find the precise moves to keep his advantage, but failed, reaching a position where the chances were equal. One final mistake from him enabled Mahdi to promote his b-pawn to a queen, forcing Tarek to stop the clock.

 

Faisal Khairallah, in order to surprise Marwan Nassar, adopted the Bird opening, the same opening that Carlsen used to score a win over Kramnik  in their recent rapid game. The game went too early outside the opening book, when Faisal reached his desirable position: 2 bishops with a space advantage. Although his position was solid, Marwan’s game lacked its dynamic ingredient. A sweet combination, à la Capablanca, enabled Faisal to cash in an important pawn on the queen side, then another one, and another. Seeing the march of the white a-pawn to his queening square, Marwan pressed the (stop) button of the clock.

 

Playing with the black pieces against Abdel Aziz Mahmoud, the space advantage that Amr El Jawish obtained on all sides of the board was very impressive. Pushing all (yes, all) the white pieces to the first rank was a rare occurrence on this level of event. Steinitz’ body would move in his grave if he sees this position. Abdel Aziz loss of materials was inevitable, forcing his resignation to end his suffer.

The first game to finish was Ralph Khairallah – Marwan Sharbel. Ralph played the Closed variation against Marwan’ Sicilian, reached a very promising middle game. Instead of initiating an attack on the king side (by pushing f5), Ralph adopted a dubious play on the queen side, enabling Marwan to profit from his strong knight installed on d4 and play an elementary combination. Due to the occupation of the black rook of the c-file, and the issuing sacrifice of it for the c3-white knight, losing a piece or possibly the queen was an enough reason for Ralph to resign.

The chaotic play in the opening between Samir Sursock and Ahmad Najjar generated a very complicated middle game which was nice to follow the play. The advantage passed from one side to another, where every side missed a certain win. Samir emerge with an extra bishop for 3 pawns, where, again, a precise play was needed to stabilize the profit. But this needs time on the clock, and Samir didn’t have it. Entering the rook endgame was a desperate try to save the game, but Samir’s clock didn’t permit it.

The last game to finish, near midnight, was Elie Asmar – Antoine Kassis’. The prolonged struggle between the two parties was very tense, as the positional and tactical motives were dominated. Antoine defended well against Elie’s aggression, and emerged with an advantage of a knight and pawn against a bishop, with a queen for each side. While Elie was defending his position in a cool way, Antoine tried all his best to convert his advantage to a more tangible one, but failed. The split of the game point after the 3 times repetition announced the signature of peace.

 

By the way, I like to share with you, dear reader, what I noticed as an interesting incident that occurred during the play of this round. While watching the games in the playing area, except Samir – Ahmad and Ralph – Marwan games, a knight was standing on the edge on the board at the same time or moment on 4 boards (Nassar 9..Nh5, El Jawish 10..Na5, Asmar 9 Nh4, Moudallal 12 Nh4 and Kaouri 12..Na5).

Click here to download the games

Round 9 on 2017/07/28 at 6.30 PM

SNo.

Name

Rtg

Res.

Name

Rtg

SNo.

5

FM

Khairallah Faisal

2273

1  -  0

Nassar Marwan

2015

12

6

CM

Abdulaziz Mahmoud

2117

0  -  1

FM

El Jawich Amro

2209

4

7

Asmar Elie

2009

½  -  ½

FM

Kassis Antoine

2137

3

8

FM

Sursock Sameer

2101

0  -  1

FM

Najjar Ahmad

2304

2

9

Khairallah Ralph

1762

0  -  1

Sharbel Marwan

1940

1

10

Moudallal Tarek

2080

0  -  1

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

Ranking Crosstable after Round 9

Rank

SNo.

Name

Rtg

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Pts

Res.

SB

1

4

FM

El Jawich Amro

2209

*

0

½

½

1

1

1

1

1

1

7

0

27.00

2

7

Asmar Elie

2009

*

1

½

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

25.50

3

11

Kaouri Mahdi

2074

1

0

*

½

½

1

½

1

1

1

0

26.00

4

5

FM

Khairallah Faisal

2273

½

½

*

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

6

0

21.75

5

3

FM

Kassis Antoine

2137

½

½

½

0

*

½

1

½

½

1

5

½

23.25

6

2

FM

Najjar Ahmad

2304

0

0

0

1

½

*

1

1

½

1

5

½

19.75

7

1

Sharbel Marwan

1940

0

0

1

0

0

*

1

½

1

½

4

1

14.50

8

6

CM

Abdulaziz Mahmoud

2117

0

0

½

½

0

0

*

1

1

1

4

0

12.25

9

12

Nassar Marwan

2015

0

1

0

½

½

½

*

0

½

½

0

15.25

10

10

Moudallal Tarek

2080

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

*

0

1

3

0

11.50

11

9

Khairallah Ralph

1762

0

0

0

0

0

0

½

1

*

½

2

0

5.50

12

8

FM

Sursock Sameer

2101

0

0

0

0

½

0

½

0

½

*

0

4.75

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