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40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage – Round 8

Round 8: First Win by AbdelAziz Mahmoud

It was this win over Bassel Sharaf on board 5 that distinguished the 8th round of the championship. A complicated middle game arose, with chances for both sides. As Bassel’s pieces controlled in a certain way more space in the center, AbdelAziz tried to get something on the queen side. After snatching the a7-pawn, he centralized his pieces. Bassel counter-attacked on the center. AbdelAziz defended well, forcing Bassel to enter the endgame phase, a phase where White’s king was the main factor. AbdelAziz’s passed pawns, active rook and king, accentuated by the mating threat convinced Bassel to stop the clock.

On the neighboring board, Marwan Sharbel and Elie Asmar blitzed their moves in a Benko Gambit Accepted variation. May be the football World Cup fever was influencing their play: they were eager to finish their quickly, as they agreed on the draw on move 20. I can’t imagine Marwan’s feelings when he knew that he had a clear win after just 2 more moves.

On board 1, Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani adopted the Catalan Opening against Jamal Shamieh. Jamal played the opening and middle game phases in an exemplary manner. Even the white passed c-pawn didn’t disturbed him. Dr. Mahmoud tried to squeeze something in the endgame phase, but Jamal played precise moves. When the board was going to be clean but from the kings, the peace was signed.

A different scenario happened on board 2 between the 2 youngest fighters; Amr ElJawish and Ibrahim Chahrour. Against the Knights Tango Opening adopted by Ibrahim, Amr chose the fianchetto variation of the Ponziani Opening, a setup similar to the King’s Indian attack against the Italian one (I know; it is complicated). Ibrahim kept his king in the center, and tried to attack Amr’s king side, but the later defended well. While Ibrahim was centralizing his heavy pieces, the nice maneuver of the white bishop by Amr enabled him to balance the chances. A sudden break through on the queen side executed by Amr in his time trouble forced Ibrahim to go to the defensive. Down to his last seconds, Amr played 35Rab1 (35Ra4 was much better, preparing the d4 strong break through, with attacking chances), enabling Ibrahim to defend well. When the first time control is over, they signed the peace in a heavy pieces balanced and stable position.

The last game to finish was on board 3, between Ahmad Najjar and Antoine Kassis. A typical Benoni defense was adopted by Antoine. This issuing middle game kept chances for both sides. Conceding the only open file on move 38 (Re8-b8) to Ahmad was a fatal endgame mistake by Antoine. Using the rook and a dominant knight, the former seized it as a channel to enter his opponent’s back ranks. The triple white f-pawn pushes forced Antoine to resign.

As it is now an 11-players round robin, it was Faisal Khairallah turn to take a rest on board 4.

Round 8 results:

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 ½  -  ½ Shamieh Jamal 2076 10
11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 ½  -  ½ FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 9
1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1  -  0 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 8
2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 1F – 0F Shihab Khaled 2112 7
3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 1  -  0 Bassel Charaf 2114 6
4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 ½  -  ½ Asmar Elie 2016 5
Round 9 on 2014/06/24 at 6 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 Asmar Elie 2016 - Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 12
6 Bassel Charaf 2114 - Sharbel Marwan 2006 4
7 Shihab Khaled 2112 0F – 1F CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 3
8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 - FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 2
9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 - FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1
10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 - FM El Jawich Amro 2171 11
2014/06/25 – Rest day



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Ranking Crosstable after Round 8 (excluding Khaled Shihab)
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts
1 2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 LIB 6
2 9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 LIB
3 1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 LIB
4 11 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 LIB
5 12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 LIB 4
6 6 Bassel Charaf 2114 LIB 4
7 10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 LIB
8 8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 LIB 3
9 4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 LIB 2
10 5 Asmar Elie 2016 LIB 2
11 3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 LIB 2

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