Izoria and Kacheishvili Share Marshall Crown
By Evan Rosenberg   
October 30, 2008
GM Zviad Izoria, Photo Dynako,
 Betsy Dynako.com
The 92nd Annual Marshall Chess Club Championship wrapped up on Sunday October 26, after nine rigorous rounds spanning two weekends. The Grandmasters, both  of Georgian descent, Zviad Izoria and Giorgi Kacheishvili shared first prize. They took home $1500 a piece and the coveted title of Marshall Chess Club Champion. Their scores of 7.5/9 were dominant; no other participant came within a point and a half. 

In round two GM Izoria displayed the power of a Knight outpost on d6 in his smooth victory over NM Parker Zhao.


In round nine GM Kacheishvili demonstrated excellent defense technique to secure his kingside against GM Michael Rohde, and he eventually converted his two minor piece against rook advantage.


NM Paul Szuper, who outstandingly won three consecutive games to conclude his tournament, collected $500 in clear second place with 6/9.

A group of experienced titled players and Marshall regulars shared the remainder of the prize fund. IM Justin Sarkar, IM Alex Lenderman, IM Jay Bonin, and FM Ilye Figler scored 5.5/9. The three international masters each received $150 for their efforts, and FM Figler earned an additional $100 for the U-2400 prize. 

The 35-player field included thirteen who were granted eligibility despite being under 2200 by virtue of a plus score in the Jerry Simon Memorial Amateur Championship. This contingent includes Szuper who, to the relief of other amateurs, has surpassed 2200. I believe, in some modest way, that I contributed to Szuper’s magnificent achievement this tournament. I’d like to say that he read my previous article on making master , and perhaps he did, but of greater significance is the fact that he defeated me in the penultimate round.

A tremendous benefit to competing in the club championship is the inclusion of the Edward Lasker Brilliancy Prize, worth $300. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, this prize has yet to be announced. However, there is an abundance of likely candidates:



IM Renato Naranja, featured in two of the games above, started brilliantly, and finished on 5/9. The veteran IM, originally from the Philippines, drew Bobby Fischer at the 1970 Interzonal in Palma de Mallorca (incidentally, he also drew Taimanov and Smyslov, and defeated Reshevsky). IM Naranja is unequivocally one of the most amicable members of the Marshall, and he deserves enormous praise not only for the games he contributed, but also for perpetually being a fine ambassador of chess.

I had a mediocre tournament, scoring 3.5/8. After losing to Szuper I preferred to watch the Giants do to the Steelers what my last round opponent would have inevitably done to me. I could unconditionally criticize my chess, but instead I diplomatically choose to praise my opponents for putting up tremendous resistance against me. Furthermore, all the players, and the tournament director Steve Immitt, were congenial and considerate. This was a first rate tournament without a serious incident. Well, unless you count when I accidentally kicked over IM Lenderman’s tea on Saturday night, then in an identical act of irresponsibility I knocked over NM Hulse’s coffee on Sunday morning. This is the first stage of my plan to eradicate hot drinks from chess tournaments, be forewarned. I’m reckless.

The Marshall Chess Club website, www.marshallchessclub.org posts game bulletins, wallcharts, and full prize distributions. Located on 10th Street and 5th Avenue, the historic club is continuously supporting some of the finest chess in New York City, including the monthly St. John’s Masters tournaments and the New York Knights who last night, qualified for the U.S. Chess League playoffs. Guests are warmly invited.