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40th Lebanese Individual Championship – Final Stage – Round 9

Round 9: Elie Asmar showed his teeth

It is the first time I saw the solid Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani ‘s game being under such pressure. On board 1, he adopted the English defense against the aggressive setup of Elie Asmar. The later went all the way to the attack, not letting any chance of counter play for his opponent. He crowned his successful attack by winning a piece. Even this didn’t let him relax; after the exchange of queens, he even go after Maasarani’s king. Being threatening to be mated, Maasarani was forced to stop the clock. With this win, every participant now has a victory in his profile.

On board 2, the solid Bassel Sharaf adopted the English Opening against the solid Marwan Sharbel. Instead of increasing the pressure due to the advantage obtained in the issuing middle game, the former let his plus sleep away due to mass of exchanges, to enter the endgame phase with balanced chances. Both of them play it precisely, and agreed to sign the peace.

The first game to finish was the board 6 one between Jamal Shamieh and Amr ElJawish. Jamal adopted the English opening against Amr’s Dutch defense (again!), who adopted the Leningrad setup (an improved version of the King’s Indian defense setup). Jamal was tempted by planting a knight on the g6 square, in the middle of heart of Amr’s king side. Amr played around it, surrounded it, and snatched it without falling in any Jamal’s tricky and saving attempts. The resulting dark squares weaknesses around White’s king, accentuated by Jamal material deficits were exploited masterly by Amr, forcing Jamal to stop the clock.

The center of the round was the board 4 game between Antoine Kassis and Faisal Khairallah. After 1.e4 from Antoine, the 1…Nc6 came as a surprise for him. Are we going to witness another Tango? Unfortunately no, as Faisal adopted g6 system, a Modern defense with some venom in its tail. Faisal’ strategy in the opening worked well against his opponent, as Antoine started spending a lot of time for the issuing middle game. Faisal succeeded in winning a pawn, to enter the endgame phase with a clear plus, as all his pieces were active compared to the wondering White rook and Antoine’s king and bishop passivity. Antoine was forced to stop the clock, as the 2 connected black pawns couldn’t be stopped from rolling down the board.

With this win, and without any loss, the (untouchable) Faisal  ‘ score is now 7 points, 1.5 points away from his follower, Amr ElJawish.

The last game to finish board 5 game between the youngest participant, Ibrahim Chahrour, and the eldest one, the experienced Ahmad Najjar. Some imprecise moves in the opening by Ahmad, who adopted the Scandinave defense, was exploited by Ibrahim, netting him a positional advantage. The game then entered in a complicated middle game, where moves of up and down values were played by both parties, netting Ibrahim an exchange. Everyone expected the game to finish soon, as Ahmad’s king was trapped on the first rank (yes, from the White’ side). As the time trouble started looming, imprecise moves by Ibrahim let his opponent’s king escape.  But a genius idea executed by Ibrahim resulting in a Rook + 2 passed pawns against Ahmad’s 2 knights without any pawn support. Time pressure on Ibrahim’s clock forced him to seed a pawn, allowing Ahmad to sacrifice one of his knight for the remaining white pawn, resulting in a drawn Rook vs Knight endgame. The peace was signed after more than 5 hours of play. A big escape for Ahmad (do you remember by last year’s article about him – the lucky player?), and a disappointing result for the current champion. Never let Ahmad play with a knight. What about two?

AbdelAziz Mahmoud got a rest day on board 3 as Khaled Shihab‘s forfeit of the event.

Round 9 results:

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 Asmar Elie 2016 1  -  0 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 12
6 Bassel Charaf 2114 ½  -  ½ Sharbel Marwan 2006 4
7 Shihab Khaled 2112 0F – 1F CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 3
8 FM Kassis Antoine 2177 0  -  1 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 2
9 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 ½  -  ½ FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 1
10 Shamieh Jamal 2076 0  -  1 FM El Jawich Amro 2171 11
2014/06/25 – Rest day
Round 10 on 2014/06/26 at 6 PM
SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
12 Maasarani Mahmoud 2103 - FM El Jawich Amro 2171 11
1 FM Najjar Ahmad 2247 - Shamieh Jamal 2076 10
2 FM Khairallah Faisal 2235 - FM Chahrour Ibrahim 2133 9
3 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2101 - FM Kassis Antoine 2177 8
4 Sharbel Marwan 2006 1F – 0F Shihab Khaled 2112 7
5 Asmar Elie 2016 - Bassel Charaf 2114 6


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

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