Banawa & Wang Earn Norms at 6th Metropolitan Invitational
June 11, 2011
Phillip Wang
Metropolitan Chess, Inc. hosted an International Master norm round robin tournament on June 1 to 5 of 2011. The tournament was sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.
The 6th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational was held in Suite C998 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament was organized by Ankit Gupta, the chief arbiter was Randy Hough, and the deputy arbiter was Michael Belcher. The participants included: IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Timothy Taylor (USA), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), FM Joel Banawa (USA), FM Pedram Atoufi (IRI), NM Ankit Gupta (USA), FM Phillip Xiao Wang (USA), CM Giovanni Carreto (MEX), FM Harutyan Akopyan (USA) and NM Alessandro Steinfl (ITA).

The tournament was a 10 player round-robin (all play all), with rounds scheduled as follows - 1st: 7:00 PM, 2nd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 3rd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 4th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 5th: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. Spectators as always, were welcome and encouraged to come to watch the games in person at the tournament site.

FM Joel Banawa and FM Philip Xiao Wang achieved IM norms scoring 6.5 out of 9.0. This was Philip's 2nd norm, and Joel's 3rd, making FM Joel Banawa, now International Master-elect. IM Zhanibek Amanov won the tournament with a convincing 7.0 out of 9.0.

FM Philip Xiao Wang annotated a game of his from the tournament that you can find below.

Wang,Philip (2350) - Atoufi,Pedram (2281) [A00]
6th Metro Chess FIDE Invitational, 02.06.2011
[Wang, Philip]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 a6
A tricky move order.
The antidote recommended by Avrukh. The idea of Black's move order is that he gains interesting play after normal White moves: [9.h3 b5!; 9.Re1 exd4 10.Nxd4 Ng4!?]
Now 9...b5?! doesn't work because White can take advantage of the vacated d1 square: 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Rd1!
10.Rd1 Qe7 11.h3 Nh5 12.b3
Since Black is going to play f5, White's plan is to put pressure on the a3-f8 diagonal and open the center.
12...f5 13.Ba3 exd4 14.Nxd4 c5 15.Nde2 Ne5
15...fxe4 16.Qxe4! After exchanging queens, Black will be left with long-term weaknesses on d5 and d6.
16.f4 Nc6 17.Nd5 Qd8 18.e5!
For the measly investment of a pawn, White opens diagonals for his bishops, restricts the scope of Black's bishops, and opens the d-file for the rook.
18...Qa5 19.Bb2 dxe5 20.fxe5 Nxe5 21.Bc3 Qd8 22.Qb2 Re8 23.Kh2
A useful move. It improves the position of the king, defends g3, and threatens Nef4.
23...Qd6 24.Ndf4!
Not 24.Nef4? Nxg3! 25.Kxg3 g5 and the position is totally unclear.
24...Qc7 25.Nxh5 gxh5 26.Nf4 h4 27.Re1!
Creating a terrible pin. White's plan is to increase pressure on the e5 knight and there's nothing Black can do. If hxg3+, simply Kh1.
27...Bd7 28.Bd5+
Forcing the king to a square where Bxg7 will be check.
28...Kh8 29.Nh5
29. Re3 Re7 30.Rae1 Rae8 31.Nd3!
The fifth piece that attacks e5. The knight can't move because of Bxg7+ followed by Qf6+.
31...hxg3+ 32.Kg2 f4 33.Rf1 Bf6 34.Rxf4
And Black is collapsing.
34...Nxd3 35.Rxf6+ Kg7 36.Rc6+ Re5 37.Rxc7 Nxb2 38.Rxe5 1-0

Metropolitan Chess Invitational Camp (August 12-16)
Please also take a moment to view the short video about the August 12-16, 2011, Metropolitan Chess Scholastic Camp (with GM Michael Adams, GM Loek Van Wely, GM Melikset Khachiyan, and many other titled instructors). The video can be found here.

This camp leads into the 1st Metropolitan International which will be held from August 17-21, 2011.

Metropolitan Chess, Inc was voted 2011 Chess Club of the Year by United States Chess Federation (USCF). NM Ankit Gupta, Chief Organizer of Metropolitan Chess, Inc, was voted 2011 Organizer of the Year by the USCF.
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