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Round 8 of the 37th Lebanese Individual Chess Championship 2011: Khairallah still in the lead

By : Charles Kayle

This penultimate round witnessed, on the first board, a decisive game for the leader Faisal Khairallah, where he faced with the white pieces the seeded number 3 Antoine Kassis. Faisal adopted the English opening, to be countered by the English defense! Antoine tried to generate a certain attack based on his knights maneuvering towards White’s king side. 2 bishops, centralized pieces, center control and queenside majority were more than enough for Faisal to repulse any attack and concretize his advantage with impeccable technique.

A rook and a pass pawn on the 7th rank deserve always a diagram:

It is time to resign.

On the 2nd board, Ahmad Najjar, playing Black, equalized easily his opening phase against Roland Akhras. The later entered the danger zone of the time trouble, and tried to initiate some play on the king side, countered by a well exchange manoeuver on the open d-file. An extra pawn, added to Queen+knightvs.Queen+BishopAdvantage, not to mention the damaged king side pawn structure of White and couple of black pawns in the pocket, all those parameters enabled Ahmad to collect the point.

Caution is a suitabletitle for the board 3 game between Bassel Sharaf (White) and Mahmoud Maasarani. Exchanges of pawns,  rooks, 3 pairs of minors pieces, queens, the reaming minor pieces, were the result of the solid play of both players, reaching a pawns endgame with no entry point for either side,

And peace was signed.

The same result was also put on the 4th board between Jamal Shamiyeh (White) and Amr ElJawish, where the former adopted the exchange variation of the King’s Indian Defense. It is known that this strategy can yield to a good ending for Black, but should be backed up by a precise play; Amr got that advantage, and pushed back Jamal forces to the defensive, to reach the following position after white 27th move:

Here Amr played 27..Nc5?! Allowing the exchange of the knights. A much better plan was to relocate the knight by 27..Nb6! profiting from his dominant white squares on the queenside, followed later by ..f6, releasing the bishop on d6 from his defensive duty, and Amr could look for the future with brightness. But again, time trouble was taking effect and a draw was signed.



A battle between old and young generations was taking shape on board 5 between Amin Haidar (White) and the young Daniel Kobeisi. Amin adopted the aggressive Bird opening which was countered by a solid defense of his opponent. Then he tried to play on the queen side, leaving behind him a weak center, which Daniel profited from by using it as a pivot for his pieces, transformed this advantage to a material one, and collected the point.

The Queen’s gambit – Exchange variation was the opening title adopted by Marwan Sharbel (White) against Marwan Nassar. The battle entered the middle game phase with mutual chances, where the time factor was the decisive parameter. This factor affected the defensive resources of Sharbel, who allowed Nassar’s rook to penetrate on the White second rank, collected some pawns and threatened to promote one of his pawns to a queen (which Sharbel allowed on the board!)

Rook on the White 2nd rank deserves a diagram, just not to let her feel jealous from Faisal’s.

Sharbel resigned after playing some moves by inertia.

The revelation of the round was possibly the deserved draw earned by Jihad ElHusseini (Black) against the young Ibrahim Shahrour. The latter generated some initiative on the king side, countered by a play on the queen side by Black, to equalize the chances. After exchange of a lot of pieces, both players reached the following position where any attempt to break through would have fatal consequences. Draw.

Rank after round 8
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Fide
1 1 FM Khairallah Faisal 2283 LIB 7 29½
2 2 FM Najjar Ahmad 2267 LIB 29½
3 9 BasselCharaf 2034 LIB 5 22
4 3 CM Kassis Antoine 2230 LIB 22½
5 8 Shamieh Jamal 2068 LIB 22
6 13 Akhrass Roland 1946 LIB 20
7 5 CM El JawichAmro 2155 LIB 19
11 Daniel Kobeissi 2024 LIB 19
9 7 Nassar Marwan 2072 LIB 17½
10 14 Adeimi Michel 1895 LIB 4 19½
11 6 Maasarani Mahmoud 2111 LIB 4 19
12 12 FM Chahrour Ibrahim 1966 LIB 18
13 15 Haidar Amin 0 LIB 15
14 10 Sharbel Marwan 2028 LIB 2 9
15 16 Jihad Al Husseini 0 LIB


Round 9 pairings:

Bo. SNo. Name Pts Res. Pts Name SNo.
1 7 Nassar Marwan 7 FM Khairallah Faisal 1
2 2 FM Najjar Ahmad CM El JawichAmro 5
3 11 Daniel Kobeissi 5 BasselCharaf 9
4 3 CM Kassis Antoine Akhrass Roland 13
5 10 Sharbel Marwan 2 Shamieh Jamal 8
6 16 Jihad Al Husseini 4 Adeimi Michel 14
7 12 FM Chahrour Ibrahim Haidar Amin 15
6 Maasarani Mahmoud 4 Bye


As it is clear from the 2 tables above, round 9 encounters on the first 3 boards will be very critical for the final standing. Amr sill has less than 24 hours as a title holder, and will try to prove to everyone that his deserved place between the Lebanese Elite players is not a coincidence. Also first board is expected to witness a tough batle. And the fight for the bronze medal is expected to take rage on boards 3, 4 and 5, though Bassel has a confortable half point edge.

(1) Khairallah,Faisal (2283) – Kassis,Antoine (2230)

1.c4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.e4 e6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.0–0 0–0 7.a3 Bxc3 8.dxc3 f5 9.e5 Nbc6 10.Re1 Ng6 11.b4 Qe7 12.Qe2 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Qxh4 14.f4 Ne7 15.Be3 h6 16.g3 Qh3 17.Qf1 Qxf1+ 18.Bxf1 Rad8 19.c5 Nd5 20.Bd4 g5 21.c4 Ne7 22.cxb6 cxb6 23.c5 gxf4 24.cxb6 a6 25.gxf4 Ng6 26.Be3 Nh4 27.Rec1 Nf3+ 28.Kf2 Nxh2 29.Rc7 Ng4+ 30.Ke2 Be4 31.Bc5 Rf7 32.Kd2 Ra8 33.b7 1–0



(2) Akhrass,Roland (1946) – Najjar,Ahmad (2267)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 d6 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bf4 Be6 9.Qe2 0–0 10.0–0 Rb8 11.b3 Nd7 12.e5 Bxc4 13.Qxc4 dxe5 14.Bg3 c5 15.Rad1 Rb6 16.Nd5 Rd6 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Rfe1 Rd8 19.Bh4 g5 20.Qg4 h6 21.Bg3 Nf6 22.Qe2 Rxd1 23.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 24.Qxd1 Qd6 25.Qa1 Nd7 26.c4 f6 27.h4 gxh4 28.Bh2 Kg7 29.Kh1 Nf8 30.Qe1 Qd3 31.f3 Ng6 32.Bg1 h3 33.Qg3 hxg2+ 34.Qxg2 Kf7 35.Bxc5 Nf4 36.Qg4 h5 37.Qg3 Qb1+ 38.Bg1 Qxa2 39.Be3 Qb1+ 40.Kh2 Qc2+ 41.Bf2 Qxb3 42.Bxa7 Qxc4 43.Bf2 Qc2 44.Qg1 Nd3 0–1



(3) Bassel,Charaf (2034) – Maasarani,Mahmoud (2111)

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.0–0 a6 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.Re1 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Qe2 Ne7 11.Bg5 0–0 12.Rad1 Qe8 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.Rxd5 c6 16.Rd3 Rad8 17.Red1 Bf6 18.Kf1 Qc7 19.R1d2 Rxd3 20.Rxd3 Rd8 21.Qd2 Rxd3 22.Qxd3 Bg7 23.Nd2 f6 24.Nb3 Bf8 25.Qc4+ Kg7 26.Qe6 a5 27.Nd2 Qd6 28.Qxd6 Bxd6 29.Ke2 Kf7 30.Kd3 Ke6 31.a4 b5 32.b3 Bc5 33.axb5 cxb5 34.f3 Kd6 35.Nb1 Bb4 36.c3 Bc5 37.Nd2 Ba3 38.c4 Bb4 39.Nf1 a4 40.cxb5 axb3 41.Nd2 Bxd2 42.Kxd2 Kc5 43.Kc3 Kxb5 44.Kxb3 Kc5 45.Kc3 Kb5 46.h4 Kc5 47.g3 h6 48.f4 g5 49.fxg5 fxg5 50.hxg5 hxg5 51.g4 ½–½



(4) Shamieh,Jamal (2068) – El Jawich,Amro (2155)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0–0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5 Rf8 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.cxd5 c6 12.Bc4 b5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Rd1 c5 15.Be7 Rc8 16.0–0 Nd7 17.Bh4 Bf8 18.Bc2 Bd6 19.Nd2 c4 20.Bg3 c3 21.bxc3 Rxc3 22.Bb1 b4 23.Rc1 Ba6 24.Rfe1 Rac8 25.Nb3 Bb5 26.Rxc3 bxc3 27.Bc2 Nc5 28.Nxc5 Rxc5 29.f3 ½–½


(5) Haidar,Amin – Daniel,Kobeissi (2024)

1.d4 Nf6 2.f4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.e3 cxd4 5.exd4 d6 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.c3 Bd7 9.Nbd2 Bc6 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.b4 Nd5 12.Ne4 N7f6 13.Bd2 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Nf6 15.Bd3 a6 16.a4 Qc7 17.b5 axb5 18.axb5 Bd7 19.c4 b6 20.Bb4 Rfe8 21.Qc2 Rxa1 22.Rxa1 Bc8 23.h3 Bb7 24.Nd2 d5 25.Bxe7 Rxe7 26.g3 dxc4 27.Qxc4 Qd8 28.Rc1 Rd7 29.Nb3 Bd5 30.Qb4 Bxb3 31.Qxb3 Rxd4 32.Rd1 Ne4 33.Be2 Rxd1+ 34.Qxd1 Qxd1+ 35.Bxd1 Nc3 36.Bc2 Nxb5 37.Kf2 h6 38.Ke3 Kf8 39.Kd3 Ke7 40.Ke4 Kd6 41.f5 0–1



(6) Sharbel,Marwan (2028) – Nassar,Marwan (2072)

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bg5 Bg4 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Be2 Bh5 10.Nh4 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Bb4+ 14.Nc3 Qa5 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.g3 Nb6 17.0–0–0 0–0–0 18.Bf4 Bd6 19.Bg5 Rde8 20.Bf3 Nbd5 21.h4 Nxc3 22.Qxc3 Nd5 23.Qb3 f6 24.Bd2 Qf7 25.Kb1 Bc7 26.Rc1 Rd8 27.Rhe1 Rhe8 28.Rxe8 Qxe8 29.Re1 Qf7 30.Bb4 Qd7 31.Bd2 Qf5+ 32.Ka1 Kb8 33.Bxd5 cxd5 34.Qe3 Bb6 35.Rc1 a6 36.a3 Qd7 37.Bb4 Re8 38.Qd3 Qf5 39.Bd6+ Ka7 40.Qxf5 gxf5 41.Bc5 Re2 42.f3 Rg2 43.Bxb6+ Kxb6 44.Rc5 Rxg3 45.Rxd5 Rxf3 46.Rd7 Rg3 47.h5 f4 48.h6 gxh6 49.Rd6+ Kc7 50.Rxf6 f3 51.Rxh6 f2 52.Rh7+ Kb8 53.Rh8+ Ka7 54.Rf8 Rg1+ 55.Ka2 f1Q 56.Rxf1 Rxf1 57.Kb3 Kb6 0–1


(7) Chahrour,Ibrahim (1966) – Jihad,AlHusseini

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Nd4 8.Qf2 Qa5 9.g4 e5 10.Bg2 Be7 11.0–0 0–0 12.f5 h6 13.Bf3 Qd8 14.Nd1 Nh7 15.c3 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Ng5 17.Qg2 b5 18.Ne3 a5 19.Nd5 Nh7 20.Be3 Kh8 21.Nxe7 Qxe7 22.Qg3 f6 23.h4 b4 24.c4 a4 25.Rf2 Ra7 26.Rg2 Kg8 27.g5 fxg5 28.hxg5 Nxg5 29.Bxg5 hxg5 30.Kf2 Kf7 31.Qxg5 Qxg5 32.Rxg5 Rh8 33.Rag1 Rh2+ 34.R1g2 Rxg2+ 35.Kxg2 a3 36.b3 Rd7 37.Rg6 Rd8 38.Kf3 Rh8 39.Kg2 Rd8 40.Kg3 Rd7 41.Kg4 Rd8 42.Kg3 Rd7 ½–½