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Round 5 of the Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2011: Najjar and Khairallah share the lead, Maasarani wins an inspiring endgame

By : Charles Kayle

Conducting the white pieces, Ahmad Najjar won his game against the solid Jamal Shamiyeh, pushing him to join a punch of players with one clear point difference afar from him. The English Opening was adopted by Najjar, countered by a classical queen’s gambit formation fromShamiyeh. By the later played some hesitated moves, enabling Najjar to create some tactical threats, and resulting in collecting the point


On board 2, Faisal Khairallah , guiding the black pieces, surprised Roland Akhrass by the Caro-Kann defense, forcing the later to spend a lot of time trying to solve the positional problems of the opening which yielded to cost him the loss of the light squares control and an  unsecured king (position after 14.. o-o):

In order to untangle himself, Roland played 15 Naxc4, sacrificing a knight for 3 pawns. But this proved insufficient facing the robot-like technique of Faisal. This win enabled the later to join Najjar in the lead.

Board 3 witnessed a tough battle between Bassel Sharaf and Antoine Kassis. Bassel, as White, adopted the Nimzo-Larsen attack, which served him well against Amr ElJawish. And it was not a surprise to see it again on the board. Antoine played the main classical defensive setup, to reach the following position after the 27th black moves:

In this animated middle game, Bassel felt very optimistic, and played 28 Raf1, sacrificing his a-pawn, and relying on his strong knight, f-file pressure, and somewhat passive d7-bishop. Antoine snatched the pawn, and after white 32nd move, they reached the following position:

Of course 32..a5 or 32..Qe8 are candidate moves, but Antoine played very dynamically: 32..Rxd4!? , sacrificing the exchange, and liberating the black bishop. But due to time trouble, he settled for a draw by applying perpetual checks on the White King.

Board 4 was another missed opportunity to concretize an advantage. The promising young Daniel Kobeisi (White) was facing the explosive stylish Michel Adeimi, when they reached the following position:

2 center pawns, 2 bishops, undefended black knight on b6. All those advantages were more than enough for Daniel to play and win the exchange by playing: 21 e5 Be7 22 e6 Bf6 (better was 22..fxe6) 23 Bc7. But Michel didn’t accept the loss of exchange, and showed a tough resistance, pushing Daniel to the time trouble zone to reach the following position where the draw was agreed:

A possible try was to defend the white h-pawn along the 5th rank, switching the passive h-rook to the Black zone, with much greater possibility to exchange the black rook, condemning Black to passivity and trying the mate his king on light squares. May be this needs more than 50 moves, and I am sure you understand what I mean.

Now we move to the longest game played so far on board 5. It was between Mahmoud Maasarani (White) and the young Ibrahim Shahrour. All the time, Mahmoud was pressurizing Ibrahim’s position, till they reached, after 60 moves, the following instructive position:

A strong black knight on e5 dominating the light squares, a defensive bishop on d1, all the black pawns are situated on dark squares. How white can make progress? By the methodical: 60 hxg5 hxg5 (may be better was 60..fxg5 to avoid the continuation of the game by keeping the rooks on the board) 61 RxR RxR 62 RxR KxR 63 d6!! Yes, like this, by creating a path to the active white king, this push enabled the white king to infiltrate and win the game, although Ibrahim tried to put some resistance, but that was in vain.

Another win by Amr ElJawish (White) on board 6 over Amin Haidar put him the group mentioned at the beginning of this article. Amin played very passively, weakened his position too much which was more than enough for Amr to collect the point.

The same scenario happened also on board 7 between Marwan Sharbel (White) and Jihad ElHusseini. A passive play by the later enabled the former an easy win.



Standing after round 5:

Rank Name Pts
1 FM Najjar Ahmad 4
2 FM Khairallah Faisal 4
3   Shamieh Jamal 3
4 CM Kassis Antoine 3
5   Adeimi Michel 3
6   BasselCharaf 3
7   Maasarani Mahmoud 3
8 CM El JawichAmro 3
9   Daniel Kobeissi
    Akhrass Roland
11   Nassar Marwan
12 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2
13   Sharbel Marwan 2
14   Haidar Amin
15   Jihad Al Husseini 1


(1) Najjar,Ahmad (2267) – Shamieh,Jamal (2068)

1.Nf3 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.e3 d5 4.b3 Be7 5.Be2 0–0 6.Bb2 b6 7.0–0 Bb7 8.Nc3 Nbd7 9.Rc1 Nc5 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Qc2 Be4 13.Qc3 Bf6 14.d4 Rc8 15.Rfd1 Bd5 16.Qc2 Ne4 17.Ba6 Bh4 18.Rf1 Qf6 19.Nxh4 Qxh4 20.f3 Ng5 21.Bxc8 Rxc8 22.Qf2 Qh5 23.h4 Bxf3 24.hxg5 Bd5 25.Qf4 f5 26.gxf6 Rf8 27.f7+ Kh8 28.e4 e5 29.Qxe5 Qe2 30.Rf2 1–0


(2) Akhrass,Roland (1946) – Khairallah,Faisal (2283)

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.f4 e6 5.Nf3 h5 6.c3 Nh6 7.Be2 c5 8.Bb5+ Nc6 9.Qa4 Qb6 10.Be3 c4 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.b4 a5 13.Na3 Be7 14.Nd2 0–0 15.Naxc4 dxc4 16.Nxc4 Qa6 17.bxa5 Bc2 18.Qxc2 Qxc4 19.Qb3 Qd3 20.c4 Qe4 21.0–0 Rfb8 22.Qc3 Bb4 23.Qc1 Nf5 24.Bf2 Nxd4 25.Bxd4 Qxd4+ 26.Kh1 Bxa5 27.Rd1 Qc3 28.Qxc3 Bxc3 29.Rac1 Bb2 30.Rc2 Rxa2 31.h4 Ra1 32.Rxa1 Bxa1 33.Ra2 Bd4 0–1


(3) Bassel,Charaf (2034) – Kassis,Antoine (2230)

1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e4 5.Nd4 Nxd4 6.Bxd4 Be7 7.c4 c6 8.Nc3 d5 9.h3 0–0 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Be2 Be6 12.0–0 Qd7 13.f4 exf3 14.Bxf3 Ne8 15.Be2 Bf6 16.Nb5 a6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Nd4 Ne4 19.Bd3 f5 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Qe1 Rac8 22.Qg3 Qd5 23.h4 Bd7 24.a4 b5 25.a5 b4 26.h5 h6 27.Rf4 Rc5 28.Raf1 Rxa5 29.Qh2 Qe5 30.g4 Rd5 31.gxf5 Rf6 32.Kh1 Rxd4 33.exd4 Qxd4 34.Qf2 Qd5 35.Qe3 Qf7 36.Qh3 Qd5 37.Qe3 Qf7 38.Qh3 Qd5 39.Kg1 Qxd2 40.Rxe4 Bc6 41.Rg4 Qd5 42.Rg6 Qd4+ 43.Kh2 Qd2+ 44.Kg3 Qd6+ 45.Kh4 Qe7 46.Rxf6 Qxf6+ 47.Kg3 Qe5+ 48.Kh4 Qf6+ 49.Kg3 Qe5+ 50.Kf2 Qd4+ 51.Qe3 Qh4+ 52.Qg3 Qd4+ 53.Qe3 Qh4+ 54.Qg3 Qd4+ ½–½



(4) Daniel,Kobeissi (2024) – Adeimi,Michel (1895)

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.d4 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.Nf3 Bf5 8.0–0 c6 9.Bf4 Re8 10.Qb3 Qb6 11.Qxb6 axb6 12.Ne5 Nbd7 13.f3 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Nd7 15.Bf4 Bf6 16.Rad1 b5 17.a3 Nb6 18.e4 dxe4 19.Nxe4 Bxe4 20.fxe4 Rad8 21.e5 Be7 22.e6 Bf6 23.exf7+ Kxf7 24.Bc7 Nc4 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Rf2 Kg8 27.b3 Ne3 28.Rd3 Bxd4 29.Kh1 c5 30.Rfd2 Rf8 31.h3 b6 32.Re2 Nxg2 33.Kxg2 h6 34.Rf3 Ra8 35.b4 Ra4 36.bxc5 bxc5 37.h4 b4 38.axb4 Rxb4 39.Re8+ Kh7 40.h5 Rb7 41.Rc8 g6 42.g4 gxh5 43.gxh5 Rg7+ 44.Kf1 Rg5 45.Rh3 Bg7 46.Ke2 Rg4 47.Rxc5 Re4+ 48.Kf3 Ra4 49.Rh2 Ra7 50.Kg4 Ra4+ 51.Kf5 Ra1 52.Rc7 Rg1 53.Rh3 Rg5+ 54.Ke4 Kg8 55.Rc8+ Kh7 56.Kf3 Rf5+ 57.Ke4 Rg5 ½–½



(5) Maasarani,Mahmoud (2111) – Chahrour,Ibrahim (1966)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.0–0 d6 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.c3 d5 8.Re1 Rb8 9.e4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Rxe4 Bf5 12.Re1 Re8 13.d5 Na5 14.Nd4 Bd7 15.Bf4 Rc8 16.Be5 Bxe5 17.Rxe5 Nc4 18.Re2 Bg4 19.f3 Bd7 20.Qb3 Nb6 21.c4 c5 22.Nb5 Bxb5 23.Qxb5 Qd7 24.Qxd7 Nxd7 25.Bh3 Rcd8 26.Rae1 Kf8 27.f4 Nb6 28.b3 Rd6 29.f5 g5 30.g4 f6 31.Kf2 Nd7 32.Kg3 Ne5 33.Re3 Kg7 34.Bf1 Ra6 35.a4 Rd6 36.Be2 a5 37.Bd1 b6 38.Be2 h6 39.Kf2 Red8 40.Rh1 Rh8 41.h4 Rd7 42.Reh3 Rdd8 43.Ke3 Nf7 44.Ke4 Nd6+ 45.Kd3 Nf7 46.R3h2 Ne5+ 47.Ke4 Nf7 48.Ke3 Nd6 49.Kd3 Nf7 50.Rh3 Ne5+ 51.Ke3 Nf7 52.Bd1 Nd6 53.Kf3 Nf7 54.R3h2 Ne5+ 55.Ke3 Nf7 56.Be2 Nd6 57.Bf3 Nf7 58.Re1 Ne5 59.Bd1 Rd6 60.Reh1 Rdd8 61.hxg5 hxg5 62.Rxh8 Rxh8 63.Rxh8 Kxh8 64.d6 Kg8 65.Ke4 Kf7 66.Kd5 exd6 67.Kxd6 Ke8 68.Ke6 Nd7 69.Bf3 Ne5 70.Be2 Nd7 71.Bf1 Ne5 72.Kxf6 Nxg4+ 73.Kxg5 Ne5 74.Kf4 Nc6 75.Be2 Ke7 76.Kg5 Nd4 77.Bd1 Kf7 78.f6 Kf8 79.Kg6 Nc6 80.Kf5 Nd4+ 81.Ke5 Kf7 82.Bh5+ Kf8 83.Kd6 Nxb3 84.Kc6 Nd2 85.Kxb6 Nxc4+ 86.Kxc5 Nd2 87.Kb5 Ne4 88.f7 Nf6 89.Bg6 Kg7 90.Kxa5 Nd7 91.Bh5 Nf6 92.Kb6 Nxh5 93.a5 Nf6 94.a6 Nd5+ 1–0

(6) El Jawich,Amro (2155) – Haidar,Amin

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Be2 0–0 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.h3 c5 10.Bf4 a6 11.d5 Re8 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Qc2 Qb6 14.Rfe1 Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Rad1 Qc7 17.Bd3 Nf8 18.Ne4 Bd7 19.Nfg5 Re7 20.Re3 h6 21.Nxf6+ gxf6 22.Ne4 Nh7 23.Rg3+ Kh8 24.Qd2 f5 25.Nc3 Ng5 26.h4 Nf7 27.Bxf5 Rd8 28.Bd3 Bc6 29.Qe3 Qe5 30.Re1 Qxe3 31.Rgxe3 Kg7 32.Be4 Rd6 33.Bxc6 Rxc6 34.g4 Rd6 35.Nd5 Red7 36.Rxe6 b5 37.Rxd6 Nxd6 38.cxb5 axb5 39.Re7+ Rxe7 40.Nxe7 Kf6 41.Nc6 Ke6 42.f4 Nc4 43.b3 Ne3 44.g5 hxg5 45.fxg5 Nf5 46.h5 Nd6 47.h6 Kf5 48.Nd8 Kg6 49.Ne6 c4 50.bxc4 bxc4 51.a4 c3 52.Nd4 Kxg5 53.h7 Nf7 54.a5 1–0



(7) Sharbel,Marwan (2028) – Jihad,AlHusseini

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Qe2 d6 5.h3 h6 6.c3 Bd7 7.0–0 Be7 8.d4 exd4 9.cxd4 0–0 10.Nc3 a6 11.Bd3 Nb4 12.Bb1 Re8 13.a3 Nc6 14.b4 Qc8 15.Kh2 Na7 16.Qc2 Nh7 17.Nd5 Bd8 18.Bb2 c6 19.Nf4 Nf8 20.Ba2 d5 21.exd5 Bc7 22.Ne5 cxd5 23.Rac1 Bxe5 24.dxe5 Qxc2 25.Rxc2 Rac8 26.Rfc1 Rxc2 27.Rxc2 Rc8 28.Rxc8 Bxc8 29.Nxd5 Be6 30.Ne7+ Kh7 31.Bb1+ g6 32.Be4 b6 33.Bd4 Nd7 34.a4 Kg7 35.Bb7 Kf8 36.Nd5 Bxd5 37.Bxd5 Ke7 38.Bb7 Kd8 39.f4 Kc7 40.Bxa6 Nc6 41.Bc3 Nf8 42.Bc4 Ne6 43.Kg3 Ne7 44.Kf3 h5 45.g4 hxg4+ 46.hxg4 Kc6 47.Ke4 Ng8 48.Bb5+ Kc7 49.Be8 Nd8 50.a5 bxa5 51.bxa5 Ne7 52.Bd4 Nec6 53.Bb6+ Kb7 54.Kd5 Nb4+ 55.Kd6 Ne6 56.f5 gxf5 57.gxf5 Ng7 58.Bd7 Nd3 59.f6 Nh5 60.Be8 Ng3 61.Bxf7 Ne4+ 62.Ke7 Nxe5 63.Bd5+ Nc6+ 64.Bxc6+ Kxc6 65.f7 Nc3 66.f8Q Nd5+ 67.Ke6 Ne3 1–0



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