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Round 2+3: A tough and tiring day

Arab Individual Championship – Dubai 2021

Round 2+3: A tough and tiring day

Playing two classical games per day, as every experienced player knows, is very tiring and critical for the player’s performance, not just for the game under going, but also can affect the subsequent rounds results. Add to this, the players will have to pass this exam for a second time on Monday (Round 5+6). All this is due, as I know, to the Arab championships short schedule. After checking it, I noticed that the Rapid championship will take place before the last round! A possible improvement for future events could be to place the Blitz and the Rapid events at the starting of the playing schedule, i.e. Blitz, then Rapid, following by the Classic event.

In the way the schedule is currently executed, certain, or more probably a lot of, players, if they have the right to, can take the Rapid event as a day off, prepare at their leisure for the final and decisive round of the Classic championship, which will be unfair, from the sporting perspectives, for the remaining participants.

Or, if you look at it from another angle, the Blitz and the Rapid events stole 2 days of the Classic schedule, without even reserving a rest day in the middle of it.

Anyway, I will try to write by observation of the games in a concise manner as per player.

The Benoni structure from the white side adopted by Maya in the morning round against her Algerian WIM opponent Lina Nasser put her in difficult position. Maya’s passive play gave her opponent a free hand in the center and on the king side. With a lot of weaknesses around her king, the loss of the game point couldn’t be avoided.

The evening round was another matter for Maya. Manipulating the black pieces, she played in a ferocious way against her Omani opponent Rawan Al Bulushi. The later couldn’t hold for too long against all the strokes of Maya’s moves. A deserve win for the Lebanese player.

The early round wasn’t also a good start for Akram who faced the Moroccan FM Illyass Msellek. The later with more than 400 Elo rating points higher than his opponent’s imposed his rhythm to the game progress. Even if some hopes waived for the Lebanese player in the middle game, Akram couldn’t save the half point.

The round 3 game was another matter. The Sicilian Sveshnikov was a nice choice against his Kuwaiti opponent FM Bader Al Hajiri. The resulting middle game was well played by Akram, who profited from his opponent’s imprecise moves to attack the latter’s king and collecting the game point.

I don’t know what happened to the first game of Amr, as when I saw the draw result against his Algerian GM Bilel Bellahcene, I said: Ok, nice to draw with a GM. But I was shocked when I saw the final position, when Amr was a piece up. I speculated that he was in severe time trouble as otherwise why agreeing to draw in a winning position? Only Amr has the explanation to calm me down.

His second game of the day was a tough matter. Against the Moroccan GM Msellek, Amr’s Sicilian gave him a solid setup. Instead of consolidating his position, his decision to open the center too soon lands him to an inferior position and later found himself a pawn down. Amr tried to setup a certain fortress, but his opponent, by attacking Amr’s king side, played strongly and collected the point.

‘Formidable’ is my way to express my feeling in one word of the game of Faisal, as Black, against his dangerous opponent the Jordanian IM Rafat Issa. The 8-times Lebanese champion adopted the stonewall variation of the Dutch defense against his opponent’s solid opening. Where White went wrong is difficult to say, as Faisal played his moves in the style of Karpov. Even winning the queen+bishop ending was splendid. A nice and perfect game played by Faisal that deserves to be taught in classes.

Faisal’s evening game turned into a crazy hair affair. Another London system was his weapon against the Tunisian GM Amir Zaibi. An imprecise move order in the opening from the later gave Faisal the opportunity to sacrifice the exchange for two pawns, with a strong initiative. The theory of the line went deep for more than 14 moves, with White having a nearly decisive advantage. With a very wild middle game where everything hangs for Black by a thin hair, Faisal committed an imprecise move, I think around move 20, letting his opponent escapes. The later seized his chances by starting a counter attack, where the time pressure has his final word. An undeserved loss for the Lebanese player.


[Event "Arab Individual Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "2"]
[White "E Jawich, Amro"]
[Black "Bellahcene, Bilel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B21"]
[WhiteElo "2309"]
[BlackElo "2528"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 c5 2. f4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bb5+ Bd7 5. Bxd7+ Qxd7 6. d3 Nc6 7. Qe2 Nge7 8.
O-O g6 9. Be3 Bg7 10. c3 b6 11. Bf2 O-O 12. Nbd2 Rac8 13. e5 a5 14. Bh4 a4 15.
Bf6 a3 16. b3 b5 17. Qf2 Kh8 18. Ng5 Bxf6 19. exf6 Nf5 20. g4 e5 21. gxf5 Qxf5
22. Qh4 h5 23. Qg3 exf4 24. Qxf4 Qxf4 25. Rxf4 Rce8 26. Kf1 Kg8 27. b4 Re3 28.
Rf3 Re5 1/2-1/2

[Event "Arab Individual Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Issa, Rafat"]
[Black "Khairallah, Faisal"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A90"]
[WhiteElo "2357"]
[BlackElo "2247"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 Qe7 8. Bb2 O-O
9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. Nd2 Ne4 11. Nxe4 fxe4 12. f4 exf3 13. exf3 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Bc5+
15. Kh1 Bd7 16. f4 dxc4 17. bxc4 Be8 18. Be4 Bg6 19. Qc2 Bxe4+ 20. Qxe4 Rad8
21. Rad1 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Rd8 23. Rd3 Rd7 24. Qe2 Qd8 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. g4 Qf7 27.
f5 exf5 28. e6 Qf8 29. g5 f4 30. Kg2 Qf5 31. h4 f3+ 32. Qxf3 Qxe6 33. Qc3 Qe2+
34. Kh3 Qf1+ 35. Kg4 Qg2+ 36. Kf4 Bd6+ 37. Kf5 Bf8 38. Kf4 Kf7 39. Ba3 Qf1+ 40.
Kg3 Qg1+ 41. Kh3 Qf1+ 42. Kg3 c5 43. Qf3+ Qxf3+ 44. Kxf3 a6 45. Ke4 Ke6 46. Bb2
b5 47. Bc3 g6 48. Be5 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Khoder, Akram"]
[Black "Msellek, Illyass"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E62"]
[WhiteElo "1963"]
[BlackElo "2384"]
[PlyCount "44"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. Nc3 c6 7. e4 Nfd7 8. O-O
a6 9. a3 b5 10. Be3 bxc4 11. Nd2 Nb6 12. d5 c5 13. Qe2 a5 14. f4 N8d7 15. h3 e6
16. e5 exd5 17. Nxd5 Ba6 18. Nc3 d5 19. Bxd5 Nxd5 20. Nxd5 c3 21. Nc4 Nxe5 22.
b3 Nxc4 0-1

[Event "Arab Women Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Jalloul, Maya"]
[Black "Nasser, Lina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "1861"]
[BlackElo "1951"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3.
Bg2 d5 4. Nc3 d4 5. Ne4 Nxe4 6. Bxe4 c5 7. d3 Bd6 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. Nf3 O-O 10. O-O
h6 11. a3 e5 12. Rb1 Re8 13. Bd2 a5 14. b3 Bg4 15. h3 Bf5 16. Ne1 Qd7 17. g4
Bg6 18. Rb2 Qe7 19. e4 dxe3 20. Bxe3 e4 21. Re2 Rad8 22. Rd2 Qe5 23. f4 exf3
24. Rxf3 Qh2+ 25. Kf1 Nd4 26. Bxd4 cxd4 27. Rff2 Qg3 28. Rf3 Qh4 29. Rff2 Bxa3
30. Nf3 Qg3 31. Rde2 Re3 32. Ne1 Bb4 33. Nc2 Rxe2 34. Rxe2 Bxd3 35. Nxb4 axb4
36. Kg1 Bxe2 37. Qxe2 d3 38. Qe7 Ra8 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Women Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Al Bulushi, Rawan"]
[Black "Jalloul, Maya"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B91"]
[BlackElo "1861"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. a4 e5 7.
Nde2 Be7 8. g3 Be6 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. h3 Nb4 11. g4 d5 12. g5 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 dxe4
14. Bd2 Rc8 15. Bxb4 Bxb4+ 16. c3 Qxg5 17. Bxe4 Rd8 18. Qc2 Bc5 19. b4 Ba7 20.
c4 Qh4 21. Ng3 Rd4 22. Bd5 Bxd5 23. cxd5 O-O 24. Ra3 Rxd5 25. Nf5 Qxb4+ 26. Rc3
Bd4 27. Ne7+ Qxe7 28. Rg3 Qb4+ 29. Kf1 Rc5 30. Qe2 Qc4 31. Qxc4 Rxc4 32. Ke2
Rxa4 33. Rb3 b5 34. Kd3 Bxf2 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Khairallah, Faisal"]
[Black "Zaibi, Amir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D00"]
[WhiteElo "2247"]
[BlackElo "2399"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 3. e3 Nc6 4. c3 Qb6 5. Qb3 c4 6. Qc2 Bf5 7. Qxf5 Qxb2 8.
Qxd5 Qxa1 9. Qb5 O-O-O 10. Bxc4 e5 11. Bxe5 Bb4 12. Bd3 Bxc3+ 13. Kf1 Nge7 14.
Bxg7 Rhg8 15. Bf6 Bb4 16. Qc4 Kb8 17. Ne2 Rd7 18. Qxf7 Rdd8 19. g3 Rgf8 20. Qe6
Rd6 21. Bxe7 Nxe7 22. Qe5 Nc6 23. Qg7 Rdf6 24. Nf4 Qxa2 25. Kg2 a5 26. Rc1 a4
27. Be4 Qb2 28. Nd3 Rxf2+ 29. Kg1 Qe2 30. Nxf2 Qxf2+ 31. Kh1 Qxe3 32. Nd2 Qxd2
33. Rb1 Re8 34. Qxh7 Qxd4 35. Bg2 a3 36. Qf7 Rf8 37. Qb3 Qc5 38. h3 Rf2 39. g4
Qc2 40. Qg3+ Ka8 41. Rxb4 Qc1+ 42. Kh2 Rxg2+ 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Msellek, Illyass"]
[Black "El Jawich, Amro"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2384"]
[BlackElo "2309"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. a4 Ngf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8.
Nxd4 O-O 9. Re1 Nc5 10. Bf1 d5 11. e5 Nfe4 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. Bf4 Qc7 14. Nb5
Qb8 15. Qd4 b6 16. b4 Ne6 17. Qxe4 Bb7 18. Qe3 a6 19. Nd4 Nxf4 20. Qxf4 Qc7 21.
Qe3 Rfd8 22. c4 a5 23. b5 e6 24. Nb3 Bf8 25. f4 Rd7 26. Rec1 Bc5 27. Nxc5 bxc5
28. Rd1 Rad8 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. Ra3 Rd4 31. Rd3 Rxc4 32. f5 exf5 33. e6 Re4 34.
Rd7 Qe5 35. exf7+ Kg7 36. Qb3 c4 37. Qa3 1-0

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.27"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Al Hajiri, Bader"]
[Black "Khoder, Akram"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "2044"]
[BlackElo "1963"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8.
Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 O-O 12. Nc2 Rb8 13. b4 Bg5 14. Nce3 Bb7
15. a4 bxa4 16. Rxa4 Bxe3 17. Nxe3 Ne7 18. Bxa6 Bxe4 19. O-O d5 20. Ra5 Ra8 21.
Qe2 Ng6 22. f3 Nf4 23. Qd2 Rxa6 24. Rxa6 Bd3 25. Raa1 Bxf1 26. Kxf1 Qb6 27. Ra5
d4 28. Nc4 dxc3 29. Qxc3 Qh6 30. g3 Qh3+ 31. Ke1 Ng2+ 32. Kd1 Qxh2 33. Qxe5
Qg1+ 34. Kc2 Ne1+ 35. Kb3 Nxf3 36. Qf4 Nd4+ 37. Ka2 Qd1 38. Qe3 Nc6 0-1