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Round 4 of the Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2013 – Final Stage

Kassis held by Dr. Maasarani

Adopting his usual solid setup, Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani put his system under test by the leader of the tournament Antoine Kassis. The usual aggressive style of the later gave him a substantial space advantage in the center, an advantage that he tried to increase it by the d4-break-through (possibly the other e4 one was worth considering, but I will let to Tony and our readers to decide which was better). Dr. Maasarani didn’t panic, consolidated his position, and a draw was agreed in a position full of potential play.

Even with this tie result, Tony is still leading by a full point ahead of his followers due to tie on other critical 4th and 5th boards.

Usually when the English Opening is adopted by White, one is expecting a long and maneuvering play. Not this sort of in the game between AbdelAziz ElMahmoud and Ahmad Najjar. A decentralizing of the white queen and the c1-bishop, accentuated by a white squares weaknesses in the center gave Ahmad what all he needs to generate a strong play in the center and against AbdelAziz’s king. The motto (the strong piece is always sacrificed, the bad piece is always lost) is well applied when Ahmad landed the stroke 21..Rxa3, netting him a piece, and the game point.


The same motto was seen on board 3 between 2 aggressive players: Tarek Moudallal and Ibrahim Chahrour. Tarek, as usual, obtained an advantageous middle game, but Ibrahim has his counter chances due to his 2 bishops, the g-file avenue, and a Queen well placed on the king side. What I like in the game is that Ibrahim understood well that keeping his king in the center was the safest strategy. Just one imprecise move by Tarek, (22 Ne5) enabled Ibrahim to land a stroke:

22..Qxd1 !!

I will let you, dear reader, to enjoy analyzing the consequences, (as well as the quickest 22..Rxg2). Being an exchange down, then due to time trouble, a rook down, it was time to Tarek to stop the clock.

Possibly the most solid game, full of tension and strategic ideas was the minimum description of the encounter on board 4 between the current champion Faisal Khairallah and Bassel Charaf. As usual, the Petroff defense adopted by Bassel put both players under pressure. Somewhat time trouble pressure on both sides dominated early the game. Faisal, with his creative play, succeeded in reaching a very advantageous endgame, as a rook on the 7th rank is nearly always a strong asset. Bassel defended well, holding the pressure with the type of only-move game. As the time trouble started looming, Faisal made an imprecise move, enabled Bassel to restrain White extra d-pawn from advancing,  securing the draw.

Board 5 witnessed a tense game between Marwan Nassar and Amr El Jawich. Marwan enjoyed a spatial space advantage, but Amr’s position was very solid. A maneuvering phase occurred on the board, resulting in exchanging of rooks, releasing some tension from the game. Amr tried to complicate the position, but no mistake was made by any party, and the repetition of moves was the signal for peace signature.

The Open Sicilian defense was present on board 6 between Nadim Hammoud and Maya Jalloul. As you know, dear reader, this opening nearly always generates exciting play. And the spectators were not disappointed. Some imprecise moves by Nadim gave to Maya the opportunity to seize the initiative, an opportunity that was missed by Maya, and transformed to advantage to White, netting him a pawn, a winning endgame, and the game point.

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 ½  -  ½ FM Kassis Antoine 2166 8
9 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 0  -  1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 7
10 Moudallal Tarek 1968 0  -  1 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 6
11 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 ½  -  ½ Bassel Charaf 2070 5
1 Nassar Marwan 2091 ½  -  ½ FM El Jawich Amro 2173 4
2 Hammoud Nadim 1944 1  -  0 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 3



Click here to download the round 4 games.

Standing after Round 4:

Rank SNo. Name IRtg Pts Wins Draws Loses Koya SB vict
1 8 FM Kassis Antoine 2166 3.5 3 1 0 3.5 7.75 3
2 12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2109 2.5 2 1 1 1.5 5.25 2
3 4 FM El Jawich Amro 2173 2.5 1 3 0 1.0 4.25 1
4 6 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1980 2.5 2 1 1 1.0 3.75 2
5 11 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 2.5 1 3 0 1.0 3.50 1
6 1 Nassar Marwan 2091 2.5 2 1 1 0.5 2.75 2
7 7 FM Najjar Ahmad 2263 2.0 2 0 2 1.0 4.00 2
8 5 Bassel Charaf 2070 2.0 1 2 1 0.5 3.00 1
9 9 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2074 1.5 0 3 1 1.5 3.50 0
10 2 Hammoud Nadim 1944 1.0 1 0 3 0.0 0.50 1
10 Moudallal Tarek 1968 1.0 1 0 3 0.0 0.50 1
12 3 WFM Jalloul Maya M. 1942 0.5 0 1 3 0.5 1.25 0


As you noticed, dear reader, from the table above, every participant has score minimum one win, except Maya (1 draw) and Abdelaziz (3 draws)L . Also it seems that the players performed better when using the Black pieces, as, from 24 games played till now, Black scores 11 wins for 5 to White, with 8 games ended in tie. Let’s wait and see if in the forthcoming rounds the statistics will change.



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