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Atalik Wins Konig Memorial Print E-mail
By John Donaldson   
July 27, 2007
Tournament namesake Irme Konig (1901-1992)

by IM John Donaldson

Suat Atalik showed his great strength and insatiable love of chess in winning the 2nd Imre Konig Memorial which ended last night at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club.The Turkish GM, who has played 26 games the past three weeks in a whirlwind North American tour that included tournaments in Ottawa, Los Angeles and San Francisco, showed no signs of tiredness in scoring an undefeated 8 from 10. New York GM John Fedorowicz showed some of his old magic, rebounding from a first round loss against IM David Pruess to go undefeated the rest of the way and take second. None of the IMs came close to the 6.5/10 score necessary for a GM norm. IMs Josh Friedel and Dmitry Zilberstein were the closest with 4.5.

Suat Atalik at work.

Suat won against Vladimir Mezentsev in the following game, annotated by John Donaldson.


1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 b6?!
6...0–0 7.Nf3 b6 is the usual way to enter the Tartakover-Bondarevsky-Makogonov variation.
7.cxd5 Nxd5
7...exd5 8.Bb5+ c6 9.Bd3 would also favor White.
8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Qa4+
Suat introduces a novelty, borrowing an idea from the 4.a3 line of the Queen's Indian, which is designed to prevent Black from achieving his ideal development. Previously seen were 10.Ne2 ( Petrosian), 10. Be2 ( Portisch) and 10. Rc1 ( Polugaevsky). Note that from a4 the Queen can sometimes meet ...c5 with Qa3 ( especially after Black has castled) and play Ba6 or Bb5 to try to gain control of c6.
This move picks up a tempo but the Bishop is not well-placed here ( it belongs on b7 or e6) and will soon have to move again. 10...c6 was more solid.
11.Qb3 0–0
Vladimir is a dangerous tactician and here he stays true to his style trying to solve his positional problems with tactics.
12.Ne2 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5
13...Qxc5 14.Rc1 with a clear positional disadvantage. The text commits him to gambiting material.
14.Nf4 Nc6 15.Nxd5 Qd6 16.Rd1 Rab8 17.Qc3

Position after 17.Qc3

Black tries to complicate but White simply develops.
18.Bc4 Bc6 19.Nf4 Qf6 20.exd4 Qxf4 21.0–0 cxd4 22.Rxd4 Qf6 23.Rfd1
White has emerged from the opening with a winning position with an extra pawn and more active pieces but Suat does not make the common mistake of relaxing with the win in sight.
23...Rfc8 24.Qg3 Be8 25.b3 Rb6 26.h4 Kf8 27.Qd3 Qg6 28.Qe3
The endgame after 28.Qxg6 Rxg6 29.Kf1 would have still involved a lot of work.
28...Qf6 29.Rf4 Qe7 30.Re4 Qf6 31.Re1 Qc6 32.Re7 a6
Can you find the win here?

Position after 32...a6

33.Bd5! 1–0
(If 33...Qb5, a4 wins immediately.)

The 2nd Konig Memorial is named after the late Imre Konig ( 1901-1992), the first international player to play at the Mechanics'. (You can read more about the tournament and Konig in the Donaldson's first report, "Norm-Hunting in San Francisco.") The tournament attracted many spectators including International Master William Addison, a many time US Championship participant in the 1960s, who represented the United States in the 1964 and 1966 Chess Olympiads and the 1970 Interzonal.

1st row- Dmitry Zilberstein, Alan Stein, John Fedorowicz; 2nd row- Josh Friedel, Vladimir Mezentsev, David Pruess, Alexander Baburin, Alex Yermolinsky, Katerina and Suat Atalik

GM Team

1. GM Atalik 8/10
2. GM Fedorowicz 6.5
3. GM Yermolinsky 6
4. GM Baburin 5
5. IM K. Atalik 4.5

IM Team

1. IM Friedel 4.5
2. IM Zilberstein 4.5
3. IM Pruess 4
4. IM Stein 3.5
5. IM Mezentsev 3.5

1st overall Atalik
2nd overall Fedorowicz
3rd overall Yermolinsky

GM team 30 - IM 20