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2010 Labor Day Madness: Part I Print E-mail
September 7, 2010
Our first 2010 CLO Labor Day Madness round-up features a historic New York State Championship dispatch, IM Bryan Smith's win in North Carolina and annotations by FM Todd Andrews and IM Dean Ippolito from the Tennessee and New Jersey Opens. Stay tuned for our second round-up, which will include photos and games from the Southwest Open, the Illinois Open, the Saint Louis district Championship, the Southern California Open and more. 

New York State Championship by Matan Prillentensky

History was made at the 132nd New York State Championships, held at the Albany Mariott in the state's capital. According to preliminary calculations, New York Knights star Alex Ostrovskiy became the youngest state champion in tournament history, winning the title at just 14 years of age.  In doing so he eclipsed previous marks set by Hikaru Nakamura and Aaron Pixton, both at the ripe old age of 16.

Alex's name joins a venerable list on the state trophy, from Isaac Kashdan to Gata Kamsky. A certain Joel Benjamin is the biggest repeat titleholder; more on him in a minute. Breathless after his clutch last round win over Alec Getz, Ostrovskiy said this might be the best result of his life. It doesn't seem to have rattled him while it was happening; he told me he hadn't even thought about winning the title until after the fact!


Alexander only dropped points to Grandmasters Benjamin (loss) and Paragua (draw). An excerpt from the latter:

Despite his terrific result and state championship, Ostrovskiy didn't actually finish in first place!

Grandmaster Joel Benjamin (New Jersey) and IM Marc Esserman (Massachusetts) tied at the top with 5/6. GM Joel indicated his best game was over Ostrovskiy: A close encounter where the tactics worked well for White.


The Grandmaster mentioned that Ostrovskiy "really earned" the title, saying he was "very impressed" by his play.

GM Joel Benjamin with mother Phyllis in the background, Photo Polly Wright of the "Castling Queenside Blog"

IM Esserman rose to the occasion at crunch time, winning a fiery game against FM Nikolayev.


Class Sections:
U2200: Evan Rabin, Michael Ainsworth (playing up!): 4.5
U2000: Jan Paragua, 5
U1800: Benjamin Havey, 5.5
U1600: Arthur Alowitz, Bernard Rosenthal, 5
U1300: Ming-Ming Jiang, 5.5

The tournament saw 199 entries, with house players bringing the total above 200. This was a small improvement on last year. Albany works well for the tournament due to its central location and generous accommodation offered by the Marriott. Steve Immitt directed with his usual professionalism. I hope to see you at the capital next year! See the full MSA rated results here and crosstable with prize payouts on chesstour.com.

Tennessee Open by FM Todd Andrews
The 2010 Tennessee Open made its way to Cookeville, TN this year for its chess-appropriate 64th anniversary. Cookeville is about an hour due east of Nashville and it sits on the eastern side of the Cumberland Plateau, a dream landscape for hikers. Thanks to the generosity of the local Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville has been the home of our scholastic state championship since I was driving there to pick up high school championships.  This was the first time they hosted our Open event though and one International Master and three FIDE Masters attempted to get their name etched onto the intangible TN chess history cup.

IM Ron Burnett entered the event with a record-tying 7 titles (tied with TN Chess Hall-of-Famer Rob Coveyou). (FM) Peter Bereolos and myself entered with 6 titles each and (FM) Miles Ardaman was hoping to add another notch to his Florida (2 times), Texas (5 times), Georgia and North Carolina state titles he has collected. In the end, these two games put me into a three-way tie with Burnett and Coveyou as I earned my 7th title with 4.5/5.0.



1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.d3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nge2 h5 7.h3 Bd7 8.Rb1 Qc8 9.a3 Rb8 10.Bg5 b5 11.Qd2 Nd4 12.b4 Nf6 13.bxc5 Nxe2 14.Kxe2 Qxc5= 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Rb3 0-0 17.Rhb1 a6 18.Na2 Be6 19.R3b2 Qd7?
19...Nd7! 20.d4 Bxa2 21.Rxa2 Qc4+
20.Nb4 Bxh3 21.Bxh3 Qxh3 22.Nxa6 Ra8 23.Nc7 Rxa3 24.Nxb5 Raa8 25.Nc7 Rac8 26.Rb7= e6 27.Bh6 Bxh6 28.Qxh6 Ng4 29.Qf4 e5 30.Qf3 Nh2
30...f5! 31.Rh1 Nh2 32.Qe3 f4 33.gxf4 Qg4+ 34.Kd2 Nf3+ 35.Kc1 Rf7
31.Qe3 Qg2
Here I offered a draw, because I was having difficulty assessing the position. I was satisfied with maintaining my half point lead headed into the final round.
He graciously declined.
32...Ng4 33.Qa7 Nh2 34.Qe3 Ng4 35.Qf3 Qxf3+ 36.Kxf3 f5 37.Nd5 fxe4+ 38.Kxe4 Nxf2+ 39.Ke3 Ng4+ 40.Kd2 Ra8?!
40...Rf2+ 41.Kc3 Ra8 42.Ne7+ Kf7 43.Nf5+ Ke6 44.Nxd6 Kxd6 45.R1b6+ Kc5 46.Rb5+ Kc6 47.R5b6+ with a draw, but Miles is playing for the victory.
41.Ne7+ Kf7 42.Nc8+ Kg8 43.Nxd6 Ra2+ 44.Kc3 Ra3+ 45.R1b3 Rxb3+ 46.Kxb3 g5 47.c5 Rf3 48.Kc4 Ne3+ 49.Kb5 Nc2 50.Ne4 h4 51.Nxg5 Rxg3 52.Ne6?
52.Rb8+ Kg7 53.Ne6+ Kf6 54.c6
52...Rg6 53.Rb8+ Kf7 54.Nd8+ Kf6 55.c6 Nd4+ 56.Kc5 Rg7 57.Kd5 h3 58.Rb1 h2 59.Rf1+
59.Rh1 Rh7 60.Nb7=
With only seconds on his clock, Miles make the final mistake. His position has already gone south though.
60.Rh1 Rh7 61.Ne6
60...Rg1 0-1

See full crosstable here. 

IM Bryan Smith wins the North Carolina Open  by Gary Newsom

A grand total of 205 chess players invaded the "Queen City" aka Charlotte, NC for the 2010 North Carolina Open. At stake was $10,000 in cash prizes in addition to the coveted state championship title. The field was led by GM Sergey Kudrin along with IM's Bryan Smith, Alex Matros, Jon Schroer, and Oladapo Adu. Favorites Kudrin and Smith were both nicked for early draws, with Smith's draw coming at the hands of Kazim Gulamali while Kudrin was barely able to hold on against local North Carolina master Neal Harris.

The final round pairings were Smith-Schroer and Kudrin-Gulamali. Kudrin could not overcome the strong resistance of Gulamali, so another draw ensued, which allowed IM Bryan Smith to glide into a clear first place finish and $1200 in prize money with the following convincing victory. 


"In the last couple of months since winning the Philadelphia International my results in chess have been pretty bad, and when I set off to drive to North Carolina my mood was very bad", Smith said after the tournament. "However, things turned around it seems! That made winning this tournament so much more satisfying. I want to thank the organizers for running a very good tournament and for doing so much for chess."

The battle for the state championship was also very hard fought with four players in contention until the last pawn was pushed. NM Craig Jones squeaked by the young Daniel Gurevich in an exciting finish to win the crown with a 4-1 tally. This is Jones' first North Carolina State Championship title.

There are a lot of good things happening in NC Chess these days, with many up and coming youngsters on the scene. As an example, here is our Denker representative Joshua Mu nicely dispatching of the veteran South Carolina master Klaus Pohl:


The NC Chess Association thanks all who participated for helping to make this a great chess event. See the full crosstable on USCF's MSA.

IM Bryan Smith with Ronald Simpson and Oladapu Adu, Photo Tom Hales

New Jersey Open by Jim West and IM Dean Ippolito  

Four-time New Jersey State Champ IM Dean Ippolito
The 65th Annual NJ Open was held this Labor Day weekend at the Ramada Somerset. Most of the top players from the state competed for the title, in an event once won by Bobby Fischer. At the end of the weekend, international master Dean Ippolito  was clear first with 5 points. This was Dean's 4th NJ Open title. The only player to win more times is Orest Popovych who won his first and most recent NJ Open titles 41 years apart.
Ippolito annotates his favorite game, and refers readers to his website, deanofchess.com, for in-depth annotations to all his games.


Ippolito (2469) - Pozarek (2111) [E33]
NJ Open (1), 04.09.2010

Round 1 was already difficult-Pozarek is a former state champ.
1...Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qe7 6.Bg5 h6

Once the finesse of provoking h6 was realized, top GMs stopped playing 4...Nc6. I have played 4. ..0-0, 4...c5, and 4...d5 as Black, but I won't venture to try 4...Nc6. The h6 pawn is now a target, as this game shows.
7...d6 8.a3 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 e5 10.d5
10.dxe5 is also a little better. I have something else in mind.
10...Nb8 11.e3
11.h3 e4 12.Nd4 e3 is not an option I wanted to allow.
He had some interesting alternatives like 11...b5; 11...c6; 11...a5. 
12.h3 Re8 13.g4 e4
14.Nd4 c6
Trying to open the center makes sens since White has pushed on the kingside.
15.dxc6 Nxc6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.0-0-0 Qe6
17...a5 18.Be2
18.Be2 d5 19.h4 Nd7
19...Nxg4 20.Bxg4 Qxg4 21.Rdg1 wins
20.g5 hxg5
20...Ne5 21.gxh6 Qxh6
21.hxg5 Ne5 22.f4 Ng6 23.cxd5 cxd5 24.Bb5 Rd8
24...Bd7 25.f5 (25.Qh2 Rec8 26.Qh7+) 25...Qxf5 26.Rdf1 Qe6 27.Qh2 Bxb5 28.Qh7+ Kf8 29.Bb4+ Re7 30.Qh8+ Nxh8 31.Rxh8#
25.Qh2 Qb6 26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.Qxg7+ Ke7 28.Bb4+
This was an instructive game, but I knew this plan from my loss against Serper. See Serper-Ippolito/US Championships 2003. 28.Bb4+ Rd6 29.Qf6+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Nxh8 31.Qxh8+ Ke7 32.Qe8#  1-0

Look for more Labor Day action in our next round-up. If you have a game or story to add, email CLO editor at [email protected].


September - Chess Life Online 2010

Howard Stern Continues Support of Holly Heisman Memorial Fund USA Tops Bulgaria; Women Tie GreeceThe Great Gatsby Plays To Mate USA Draws China; Women Lose to Russia 2 No Change for FIDE: Kirsan WinsIrina Krush's Siberia Photo Gallery USA Ties with Poland; Women Defeat Armenia Olympiad Round Six: USA Defeats Vietnam, Women Falter to Georgia 2010 FIDE Election Update US Chess League Highlights: Week Five US Olympic Teams Prevail in Round Five US Chess School Call for Los Angeles Applicants Justus Williams Becomes Youngest African-American Master Ever2010 Chess Olympiad: First Impressions by John DonaldsonAn Unexpected Chess Adventure in Colombia CLO Wishes Spassky a Speedy RecoveryUSA Loses to Russia; Women Draw Hungary US Olympic Teams Convincing in Round Three Olympic Teams Victorious in Round Two Garden State Blues: GM Joel on the US Chess League US Olympic Teams Perfect in Round 1 John Hillery, 1952-2010Olympiad Begins with Grand Opening CeremonyOlympiad Opening Ceremony Live from Siberia! World Youth Delegation Set Lahno Wins World Women's Blitz Irina Krushing at the World Women's Blitz The US Chess Scoop on Magnus vs. the World US Class Champs Set for Oct 1-3 in Houston US Chess School Comes to Seattle, Part II Back to Scholastics: National Youth Action and K-12s Set for 2010Application Deadline Approaches for Schein-Friedman Scholastic Project Bent Larsen Dies at 75Magnus Faces World in G-Star RAW Chess Challenge GM Pascal Prevails in The Battle of the Border 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part III 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part II 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part I US Chess School Comes to Seattle, Part I Labor Day Chess Madness PreviewThe September Check is in the Mail Kamsky Wins Baku Open