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My Girl Takes Amateur Team South Print E-mail
By Harvey Lerman   
February 17, 2009
The winning team at U.S. Amateur Team South, "My Girl is Pissed."
Gilberto Luna II, captain of last year's U. S. Amateur Team South winners that eventually won the national playoff, put together another winning team for this year's USATS in Orlando. He combined three players from Miami and then searched the list of rated Florida players to choose one from central Florida to give his team a 2193 rating. The team was named "My girl is pissed!" reflecting the fact that many wives and girlfriends were "a little" upset to be left alone on Valentine's Day!

Jeff Haskel, who was on Gil's winning team last year, led a team of four of Florida's top teenagers. Jeff indicated his pleasure with being included on this team with those players, saying, "I would not have to face them over the board!" This team formed by Toby Boas, who recently won the National Grade 12 championship, was 2nd highest rated at 2146. The team eventually named themselves "Pawnographers" and explained that it had to be "said with a Southern Twang."

The third highest rated team in the event was made up of "oldtimers" that play in every USATS, consider it their favorite event, and play in very few, if any other, events. This team rated 2133, was named "No Bailout For You" reflecting the fact that as businessmen they normally were more concerned with the economy than playing chess. This team had a 5th player, to allow any player "a rest" if needed. In fact while reviewing the wallcharts before the event to plan his team strategy, Haskel sluffed off the NOBAIL team as no threat as "they were playing at their floors!" Little did he know at the time that this would do his team in!

So the top three teams were:
1 MYGIRL My girl is pissed! (2193.3)
Bruci Lopez (2485)
Ernesto Alvarez (2210)
Gilberto Luna II (2069)
Makaio W Krienke (2009)
2 HASKEL "Pawnopgraphers" (2145.5)

Jeffrey Haskel (2258)
Christopher Heung (2123)
Toby Boas (2112)
Dalton Perrine (2089)
3 NOBAIL No Bailout For You (2133.5)

John P Nardandrea (2200)
Lawrence A Storch (2200)
Peter Dyson (2071)
Jeremy Mandelkern (2063)
Charles S Hall (2040)

These top three teams won their first two matches and then HASKEL had to face NOBAIL. Maybe Haskel's strategy backfired as their team lost ½-3½ to these oldtimers which would really hurt their tiebreak points. Going into the last round MYGIRL was alone at 4-0 and would face HASKEL at 3-1. While NOBAIL who had lost to the leaders in the previous round faced the "Tampa Tornadoes" rated 2116, and without their first board, as Nardandrea sat out. But this might have been part of NOBAIL's strategy as this moved Larry Storch (2200, floor) up to play Corey Acor (2274) and as Storch later pointed out "I normally do well against Corey. Larry's win against Corey gave NOBAIL the match 2½-1½.


1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.f4 e6 7.Nf3 Nge7 8.Be3 b6

 This avoids the annoying e5 pawn sacrifice after ...Nd4...
9.0–0 0–0 10.d4
but allows this advance.
10...Ba6 11.Re1 Na5 12.b3? Rc8 13.Ne2 d5 14.exd5 Nxd5 15.Bf2 Bxe2 16.Qxe2 Nc3 17.Qd3 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Qd6!
To double on the file and prevent b4
19.Re5!? Rfd8!
Not taking the bait
20.Rae1 Qb4 21.a3 Qxa3 22.Qf3 Qb4 23.Rxa5 Bxd4! 24.Raa1

24.Rxa7 Nb5! attacks both rooks
 24...a5 25.Kh1 Bxf2 26.Qxf2 Qc5 27.Rf1 Qxf2 28.Rxf2 Rd4 29.Bf1 Nd1 30.Re2 Rc3 31.Kg1 Ne3 32.Kf2 Nd5

32...Nxc2 33.Rc1 Ne3 34.Rxc3 Nd1+
33.Ke1 Nb4 34.Rd1 Rxd1+ 35.Kxd1 Kf8 36.Rd2 Ke7 37.Bc4?

The final mistake
37...a4! 38.Bb5 a3 39.Rd7+ Kf6 40.Ra7 a2 41.Be8 Kf5 42.Rxf7+ Ke4 43.Ra7 Ke3 0–1

The MYGIRL-HASKEL match was the last one to finish. Haskel did his job by drawing Bruci as Nardandrea(2200, floor) had done in the previous round, and the 4th board match, Perinne-Krienke, was drawn as well. Boas then was able to beat Luna, leaving everything up to Heung-Alvarez. HASKEL needed a draw to win the match which would leave these top three teams tied for 1st, but it looked like tiebreaks would favor MYGIRL. The game was a rook and pawns endgame that was drawn, and MYGIRL won on tiebreaks.

But even the champions were not invincible. My Girl's captain went down in round 1 to Carl Scarpati. Carl analyzes the game for CLO:


1.e4 e6 2.d3

 I've never played Gil before, so when he played the King's Indian Attack I was a bit surprised, as I am more familiar with the more used d4 2...d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.Ngf3 c5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.Re1 b6 9.c3 Bb7 10.e5
 I thought this move was slightly inferior to the other choices White had, after Nd7 I think Black had reached at least equality
10...Nd7 11.d4 Rc8 12.Nb3 a5 13.a4
At this point I felt like I needed to rearrange my pieces starting with my light squared bishop, considering the way the diagonal was locked up
13...Ba6 14.h4 h6

I really didn't understand the meaning behind h4, I felt like I was doing ok after this
15.Bf1? Bxf1 16.Kxf1
 I thought the trade of the light square bishops was mistimed since his king was now in a awkward square, for a long time I pondered on moves such as c4 or f6 but I misplaced the thought that after I take he does not have to take back with the pawn which would have allowed me the nice knight out post on b4
16...cxd4 17.Nbxd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Nc5 19.Kg2 Qd7 20.Bf4 Rfe8 21.Rh1 f6

This move was most likely wrong but I felt as if I needed to make a break in order to attain some sort of play
Perhaps a little too aggressive
22...fxe5 23.Bxe5 Bd6 24.Nf3 Bxe5 25.Nxe5 Qd6 26.Re1 Rcd8 27.Qc2 Ne4 28.Nd3 Rf8

Black should have had a better game here, but White blundered. I don't know whether it was the time pressure or if he just missed it, but after that it was a straightforward win for me.
29.f3?? Qg3+! 30.Kh1 Qxf3+ 31.Kg1 Qg3+ 32.Kh1 Nf2+ 0–1

The Scholastic section was won by "Ludwig's Warriors", named after the team's coach, Daniel Ludwig, and older brother of 8-year old John Ludwig who was on the team. John was rated only 842 in the year-end ratings used for this event, so had to play 4th board, as the WAR team consisted of:

WAR Ludwigs Warriors (1140.5)
Samuel Leavitt (1370)
James W Barrick (1336)
Amy Tsai (1014)
John G Ludwig (842)

But John Ludwig has been tutored by his famous older brother and his current rating is over 1200 and many are predicting that he is improving faster than his brother had. Ludwig was the only player in the scholastics to win all 5 games. Terminators" finished 2nd.
(Breaking News: Big brother Daniel Ludwig just won his final IM and first GM norm in Hungary. Check CLO for more details soon.)