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17th Lebanese Individual Women Championship 2012

17th Lebanese Individual Women Championship 2012

Suzanne Mouradian:  Champion for the 6th times


Without any loss, and conceding just one draw, Suzanne Mouradian won the 17th edition of the Lebanese individual championship.

The event was held at the Ararat Chess Club, managed by Mr. Nazareth  Seukunian, whose big efforts, in collaboration with the Chief arbiter Elie Houlichian, made it a successful event.

The participants were: WIM Knarik Mouradian (2185), Youmna Makhlouf (1950), WFM Maya Jalloul (1920), Suzan Mouradian (1838), Farah Kaskas and Riham Saleh.

Though the participation of just 6 players is a little bit irritating, as it was expected more than 10, it was suggested , during the technical meeting, to make it a double-Round Robin Fide rated event, but due to tiny schedule and players’ commitments, the final decision was to make it in one go.

Before the start of the event, as the players’ list shows, , it was thought that Knarik was the top favorite to win the championship, and her forthcoming encounter with Maya the critical one, especially as the later has just returned back from Tunis with a silver medal in her pocket after participating in the Arab Women Open Championship.

The first round pairing came as follows:

Board 1: Suzanne Mouradian – Maya Jalloul

Board 2: Knarik mouradian –  Riham Saleh

Board 3: Farah Kaskas – Younma Makhlouf

And look what happened on board 1:

(1) Mouradian,Suzan (1838) – Jalloul,Maya (1920) [B92]

Women 2012 (1), 13.07.2012

 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.a4 h6 10.Bh4 Qc7 11.Nd2 b6 12.Nc4 Bb7 13.f3 0–0 14.0–0 Rac8 15.Ne3 Rfe8 16.Rc1 Qd8 17.Nf5 Qc7 18.Nxe7+ Rxe7 19.Qd2 Re6 20.Rfd1 Nh5 21.Nd5 Bxd5 22.exd5 Ree8 23.Bxa6 Ra8 24.Bb5 Nf4 25.Bc6 Rac8 26.Bf2 Red8 27.b4 Nb8 28.b5

 Nd7 29.Be3 Ng6 30.Qf2 Rb8 31.g3 Qa7 32.Ra1 Qc7 33.c4 Ne7 34.f4 Nf5 35.fxe5 Nxe3 36.exd6 Qxd6 37.Qxe3 Ne5 38.Qe2 Qc5+ 39.Kh1 f6 40.Rdc1 Rdc8 41.a5 bxa5 42.Rxa5 Qb4 43.Ra7 Qc5 44.Ra6

Rc7 45.Ra8 Rxa8 46.Bxa8 Ra7 47.Bc6 Ra4 48.b6 Rb4 49.b7 Rb6 50.Ra1 Qd4 51.Ra8+ 1–0

A well game played by Suzanne.

Possibly that was the critical game of the event, as it made the expectation of the future champion name unclear.

On second board, Riham, possibly shocked by playing for the first time against her famous opponent, blundered too early and lost.

Farah – Youmna game was very interesting, as the first player showed a good determination in the opening and the middle game, where Farah forced her opponent to threw a pawn away in order to relief the pressure:

The eternal question is: how to win a winning position? And that what make the difference of strong players are from normal ones: Hard work, studies, composure, and practice. Later Farah made several weak moves enabling Youmna to turn the table and win.

Before the start of the second round, Maya felt sick and withdrew from the tournament. So, the race continued with 5 players. Suzan made a draw with Knarik, while Farah, having a good position, blundered a pawn against Riham , and lost.

After round 2, Farah also felt ill, so that she couldn’t even play her round 3 and 4 games against her opponents, the Mouradian.

In Round 3, Riham, as Black, got a nice position against Youmna, who mishandled the opening stage. The later, understanding that her position is somewhat dangerous, entered the endgame phase, relying on her experience, and somewhat on the lack of it at her opponent. And she collected the point after several weak moves from Riham.

In Round 4, Suzan, with the white pieces, beat Youmna, who made several imprecise moves in the opening stage, allowing Suzan to dominate the light squares and pick up a pawn. Though Youmna got a wonderful centralized knight, she made a mistake by exchanging it, eliminating the last chance to complicate and swindle her opponent.

The last round was full of surprises: in the Youmna – Knarik game, the opening was the King’s Indian, Saemish variation. After the 23rd move by White, the following position was reached:

Now, Knarik played:

23… Qc7

On which Youmna replied: 24 Nce2. there follows: 24..Qb7 25 Nc3, repeating the position: 25…Qc7 26 Nc3 draw.

On the other board, it was thought that it will be a simple formality for Suzan (playing with the black pieces) to beat Riham. Take a look at their position after the 25th White move:


An extra passed (!!) pawn, plus 2 open files for a rook and a queen. Can one ask for more to win the game?! I don’t know what both players were thinking and feeling here, but as I mentioned earlier, (how to win a winning position) is the common theme in some of this championship games. After the 43rd White move, the following position is reached:

What a change! After just few moves, White resigned.

Final standing: (Maya’ score is included, just for the record):

  1. Suzanne Mouradian 4.5 / 5
  2. Knarik Mouradian 4
  3. Youmna Makhlouf 3.5
  4. Riham Saleh 2
  5. Farah Kaskas 1
  6. Maya Jalloul 0

Click here to download the games.

Congratulations to Suzanne for winning the championship.

Personal training is too costy and time consuming.  As we saw, our players are in a need for a trainer, a resident one (!), in order to improve their technique and let their talent shine.

  We always hope.

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