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Norms for Liu and Molner; Paragua Beats Ramirez in Playoff Print E-mail
By J.Shahade/E.Vicary   
June 26, 2008
Paragualead
GM Mark Paragua. Photo from the 08 National Open, Betsy Dynako
At the Marshall Chess Club International (June 21-25, New York), GM Mark Paragua and GM Alejandro Ramirez tied for first with 6.5/9 while two young American talents, Mackenzie Molner and Elliott Liu earned IM norms. Paragua won the official title in an Armageddon playoff against last-minute entry Ramirez. Ramirez is featured prominently in Elizabeth Vicary's quiz at the end of this story. Click here to access final standings.

Can you find tournament winner Paragua's move  in the following position, from his third round battle against IM Milos Szecic?
25.qf3.jpg
Position after 25.Qf3

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 Alejandro won a nice final round game against GM Sergey Erenburg.



IM Norm Scoring


 Elliott Liu narrowly missed a GM norm; he needed to win his final round game against tournament winner Paragua. In his attacking win over GM Carlos Garcia-Palermo that clinched his IM norm, Elliott found himself in the following position. Black just played 27...Qd7, which looks like a great defensive move at first glance. How does White avoid the queen trade?

35.Rc2
Liu-Garcia-Palermo, Position after 27...Qd7


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Mackenzie Molner's key win was an attacking Italian game against Julio Becerra, which ended brutally, with 44.Rh-g6!



Marshall International Quiz by Elizabeth Vicary


1. When did GM Alejandro Ramirez first hear about the Marshall International?

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23.Qd1Becerra.jpg
GM Alejandro Ramirez in the Marshall Chess Club's backyard. Photo Elizabeth Vicary

2. How did Ramirez know that his sixth round opponent, GM Mark Paragua, would accept his draw offer on move 9, despite having the white pieces?
 

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3. In which specialized aspect of video game design, Ramirez’s intended career, does the grandmaster feel his real talents lie?

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4. What move did GM Julio Becerra play in this position, causing a chill to run down Ramirez’s spine and the thought “Oh my God, I really suck” to flash through his head?
35.Rc2

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  5.  Which IM exclaimed loudly after round five, “Beating a sucker is the greatest thrill there is!”?

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6. Which young talent (and runner-up for the USCL 4th Board All Star Award) lamented his recent tournament results, calling his play “a shadow of what it used to be”?

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7. What characteristic does Ron Burnett warn new students that they will “almost certainly need” in order to become a strong chessplayer?

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8. What New York chess legend convinced the two Columbia Journalism graduate students who shot this interview to help him clean his apartment?

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EhlvestMarshall.jpg
GM Jaan Ehlvest and the bust of Frank Marshall. Photo Elizabeth Vicary

9. What’s peculiar about the bust of Frank Marshall on display at his namesake chess club?

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10. What surprising incentive did TD Steve Immit report that organizer Bill Goichburg was giving out for free to first-time tournament players at last weekend’s New York State Open?

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11. 
QuizMarshallop

This position looks suspiciously like White has made six moves, while Black has only made three. What standard opening variation did this come out of, and which two players reached it in round six?

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