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Round 4 of the 37th Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2011 : 3 x-champions are share the lead and Roland Akhrass creates his own miniature

By :  Charles Kayle

A draw by 3-moves repetition was the result of the encounter on the first board between Antoine Kassis (White) and Ahmad Najjar, who countered 1 e4 of Kassis by adopting the Pirc defense in his own creative way, transposing it to the Schmid Benoni. This opening strategy forced Kassis to delve deeper into the net of variations, to find the peaceful path.


This draw gave Faisal Khairallah a great opportunity to share with them the lead, by beating the young talented and U-20 champion Daniel Kobeissi, in a game that witnessed a lot of fight and creativity from both sides.

The position above was reached after 16 moves. Objectively, it contains a dose of dynamic equilibrium. White controls the center and is more developed, while Black has a strong g7-bishop and a c4 square for his counter queenside play. Now Faisal played the ambitious: 17 e5, sacrificing his central pawn, which Daniel accepted gratefully. 17..dxe5 18 fxe5 Nbc4 19 NxN NxN 20 Bf4 Nxe5 21 Rae1, reaching the following position:

Now, to unpin his knight, Daniel played the imprecise 21..Qc5+. A much better move was to give a check, but from the b6 square, attacking at the same time the b2-pawn, which would force the white e-rook to decentralize by Rb1, leaving Black the free hand to develop and stabilize his advantage. And, as usual in a position full of complications, the time is the prime factor, pushing Daniel to blunder an exchange and seeding the point.

Board 3 was the battlefield between the young Ibrahim Chahrour (White) and the Army Champion Jamal Shamiyeh. The opening and the middle game phases were played in a cool way. After a mass of exchanges, a rook with several pawns for each side appeared on the board, with a small advantage for Black. Shamiyeh started playing aggressively, by pushing his passed g-pawn, reaching the following position:


Ibrahim tried his only chance: pushing the queenside pawns: 56 a5 Rxb4 57 axb6 Rxb6 in order to reach a theoretical draw endgame. But his king is in the longer side of the g-pawn, which gave Jamal better prospects to play for a win, found the bridge principle and won the game.

Board 4 witnessed also a signature of peace between the young Michel Adeimi (White) and Bassel Sharaf. That peace was negotiated deeply in the struggle between a white knight and a black bishop, till both sides reached a nearly empty board.


But the star of the round was RolanAkhrass, playing Black against Amin Haidar, when the later played some imprecise moves in the opening, trying to attack as much as he can, reaching the following position after 11 moves:


Amin played now 12 gxf4, trying to win materials, to be countered by the creative: Nh5!? And after several moves, they reached another critical position:


After 17 fxg6 , Roland hits with the original 17..Rdg8, profiting from the broken pawn structure around the White king and White’s lack of queenside pieces development. White tried to exchange some pieces in order to release a little bit the aggression his king is facing, when another critical position was reached:

After 22 Qg4 Rh5 23 Rg1Rgh8 24 h3, we can write down the usual question: Black to play and win. And you are right: 24 Qxg5!! And White resigned.

Board 6 witnessed the 4th consecutive draw by Mahmoud Maasarani, guiding he Black pieces, against Marwan Nassar. But it is worth to mention that all those draw games were played till the end, without any compromise.


And Finally, Amr ElJawish opened his score, by wining, with the white pieces, over Jihad AlHusseini, who played very passively the opening, allowing his opponent a lot of space and attacking prospects. Jihad dropped a pawn, tried to flee his king to the queenside, but that was useless against Amr’s aggressive mood.

Not a bad round, where the question (who can win the championship?) is still open.

(1) Kassis,Antoine (2230) – Najjar,Ahmad (2267

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Bd3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.dxe6 fxe6 9.0–0 d5 10.e5 Ne8 11.Kh1 a6 12.Ng5 Bh6 13.Nh3 Nc6 14.Qg4 Ng7 15.Bd2 Nxe5 16.fxe5 Bxd2 17.Rxf8+ Qxf8 18.Rf1 Nf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.Qf3 Bxc3 21.Qxd5+ Qf7 22.Qd8+ Qf8 23.Qd5+ Qf7 24.Qd8+ Qf8 25.Qd5+ ½–½


(2) Khairallah,Faisal (2283) – Daniel,Kobeissi (2024)

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 d6 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nge2 g6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 a6 8.0–0 Bg7 9.Be3 Nge7 10.a4 0–0 11.Nb3 Ne5 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.Nd2 N7c6 14.f4 Nd7 15.Qc4 Nb6 16.Qe2 Na5 17.e5 dxe5 18.fxe5 Nbc4 19.Nxc4 Nxc4 20.Bf4 Nxe5 21.Rae1 Qc5+ 22.Kh1 Nc6 23.Ne4 Qd4 24.c3 Qxa4 25.Bg5 Qb5 26.Qd2 f5 27.Nd6 Qb6 28.Nxc8 Raxc8 29.Rxe6 Rce8 30.Rfe1 Rxe6 31.Rxe6 Qc7 32.Bf4 Rd8 33.Bd5 Rxd5 34.Qxd5 Qf7 35.Kg1 h6 36.h4 Kh7 37.Rd6 Qc7 38.Qe6 Qb6+ 39.Be3 Qxb2 40.Qxg6+ Kh8 41.Re6 Qb1+ 42.Kh2 Qc2+ 43.Kh3 Qh2+ 44.Kxh2 1–0



(3) Chahrour,Ibrahim (1966) – Shamieh,Jamal (2068)

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.g3 dxe4 6.dxe4 Nc6 7.Bg2 e5 8.c3 Qd3 9.Qe2 Qxe2+ 10.Kxe2 0–0 11.Nc4 Bg4 12.h3 Bh5 13.g4 Bg6 14.Nfxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe4 16.Bxe4 Nxe4 17.Be3 Rfe8 18.Kf3 Bg5 19.Kxe4 Bxe3 20.fxe3 f6 21.Rad1 Rxe5+ 22.Kf3 Rae8 23.Rhe1 Kf7 24.Rd7+ R8e7 25.Rxe7+ Kxe7 26.Rd1 h5 27.Rd4 hxg4+ 28.hxg4 f5 29.Rb4 b6 30.Rf4 fxg4+ 31.Rxg4 Kf6 32.Rd4 c5 33.Rd6+ Re6 34.Rd7 Re7 35.Rd6+ Ke5 36.Rg6 Rf7+ 37.Ke2 Rd7 38.Rg4 Kf5 39.Rf4+ Kg6 40.Rg4+ Kh5 41.Rg2 g5 42.Rg1 g4 43.Rh1+ Kg5 44.a3 Rf7 45.b4 cxb4 46.cxb4 g3 47.Rh8 Rf2+ 48.Ke1 Kg4 49.Rh7 Kf3 50.Rf7+ Kxe3 51.Rxa7 Kf3 52.Rf7+ Kg2 53.Rb7 Rf6 54.Re7 Rf5 55.a4 Rf4 56.a5 Rxb4 57.axb6 Rxb6 58.Ke2 Rh6 59.Rg7 Rh2 60.Ke1 Rh5 61.Ke2 Re5+ 62.Kd2 Re4 63.Kd3 Re8 64.Rg6 Rh8 65.Ke2 Re8+ 66.Kd3 Kh2 67.Rh6+ Kg1 68.Kd2 g2 69.Rh7 Re4 70.Rh8 Kf2 71.Kd3 0–1



(4) Adeimi,Michel (1895) – Bassel,Charaf (2034

1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Nxe5 dxe5 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Qxd7+ Kxd7 12.0–0–0+ Ke6 13.Rd3 c6 14.Kd2 Rhd8 15.Ke2 Rxd3 16.cxd3 Be7 17.g3 Bc5 18.f4 exf4 19.gxf4 Bd4 20.Nd1 a5 21.f5+ Ke5 22.Ne3 b5 23.Rc1 Kd6 24.Rc2 g6 25.fxg6 fxg6 26.b3 a4 27.bxa4 Rxa4 28.Nf1 Ra7 29.Nd2 Rf7 30.Nf3 Ba7 31.d4 h6 32.Ne5 Rc7 33.Nf3 g5 34.Kd3 Rc8 35.Ne5 Bxd4 36.Rxc6+ Rxc6 37.Nxc6 Bg1 38.Nd8 Bxh2 39.Nf7+ Kc5 40.Nxh6 Kb4 41.Ng4 Bd6 42.Kc2 Kc4 43.Ne3+ Kd4 44.Nf5+ Ke5 45.Kd3 Bc5 46.Ng7 g4 47.Nh5 Bf2 48.Kc3 Be1+ 49.Kb3 Kxe4 50.Nf6+ ½–½



(5) Haidar,Amin – Akhrass,Roland (1946)

1.Nf3 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.0–0 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.c3 e5 7.Qb3 Nc6 8.Ng5 Qe7 9.e4 f4 10.Bh3 Bxh3 11.Nxh3 Nd8 12.gxf4 Nh5 13.f3 Ne6 14.f5 Nc5 15.Qc2 0–0–0 16.b4 Nd7 17.fxg6 Rdg8 18.Kh1 hxg6 19.Bg5 Bf6 20.Qg2 Bxg5 21.Nxg5 Nf4 22.Qg4 Rh5 23.Rg1 Rgh8 24.h3 Qxg5 0–1



(6) Nassar,Marwan (2072) – Maasarani,Mahmoud (2111)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.e3 g6 4.h3 Bg7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.0–0 Nd7 9.Bh2 cxd4 10.exd4 e5 11.Na3 a6 12.Nc4 Nb6 13.dxe5 Nxc4 14.Bxc4 dxe5 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.Rfe1 Na5 17.Bf1 f6 18.b4 Nc6 19.Bc4+ Kh8 20.Rad1 Bf5 21.Bb3 Bd3 22.Re3 Bf5 23.Ree1 Bh6 24.g4 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Be4 26.Nd2 Bxd2 27.Rxd2 Rd8 28.Rxd8+ Nxd8 29.f4 exf4 30.Bxf4 Kg7 31.Kf2 Bc6 32.a4 Bd7 33.Kg3 Ne6 34.Be3 f5 35.c4 Kf6 36.b5 Ke5 37.Kf3 f4 38.Bf2 g5 39.Bd1 Nd4+ 40.Kg2 Be6 41.bxa6 bxa6 42.c5 Bd5+ 43.Kf1 Bc4+ 44.Ke1 Bd5 45.Kd2 Bg2 46.Kc3 Nc6 47.h4 h6 48.hxg5 hxg5 49.Be2 a5 50.Kc4 Bd5+ 51.Kb5 Nd4+ 52.Bxd4+ Kxd4 53.c6 f3 54.Bf1 Be6 55.Kxa5 Kc5 56.c7 Kc6 57.Bh3 Kxc7 58.Kb4 f2 59.Kc5 Bxg4 60.Bf1 Bd1 61.Kd4 Bxa4 62.Ke3 Kd6 63.Kxf2 Kd5 64.Kg3 Bd1 65.Ba6 ½–½

(7) El Jawich,Amro (2155) – Jihad,Al

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 Nbd7 7.d3 Be7 8.Bd2 h6 9.0–0–0 c6 10.g4 Nh7 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.Be3 Nhf8 13.d4 0–0–0 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Qxf7 Bf6 16.d5 Nb6 17.Qxc7+ Kxc7 18.a4 cxd5 19.Bxb6+ axb6 20.Nxd5+ Kb8 21.Bb5 Rd6 22.Nxf6 Rxf6 23.Rd8+ Ka7 24.Rhd1 Ng6 25.R8d7 Nf4 26.Rxg7 Nxh3 27.Rdd7 Rb8 28.Bc4 Nf4 29.b3 Ka8 30.b4 Ka7 31.a5 bxa5 32.bxa5 Rc6 33.Bb5 Rc5 34.c4 Ne6 35.Rg6 Nc7 36.Rb6 Rf8 37.Kb2 Rf2+ 38.Kb3 Rf3+ 39.Kb4 Ne6 40.Rdxb7+ Ka8 41.Rb8+ 1–0


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