- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 14, 2002

International Master Larry Kaufman took the title, but Class A player Chris Sevilla stole the show as the Arlington Chess Club, the most powerful in the region, staged its annual championship tournament last weekend at George Mason University's Arlington campus.
Kaufman took his third consecutive club championship, edging Sevilla on tiebreaks after both finished at 3-. Maryland-based GM Alex Wojtkiewicz also finished in a tie for first, but was not eligible for the title because he is not an ACC member.
The Arlington club championship has been prone to upset performances in the past. Kaufman was edged out for the 1999 ACC title by another Class A player, Ted Udelson, in a major upset.
Tournament director Mike Atkins, who supplied today's games, notes that Sevilla's unbeaten effort ranks as a 2496 FIDE performance rating. He upset two masters and an expert in his first three games, and only missed winning the tournament outright when he was held to a draw by NM Boris Privman in the final round.
In the Under-1800 section, Jon Evans took the 2002 ACC Amateur crown on tiebreaks over John Donelson and Tom LaBue, with the three posting identical 3- efforts.
Class winners in the 38-player Open section were: Top Expert Ray Kaufman (Larry's son), 3-1; and Top A Mark Young, Fred Nelson, Nick Yakovenko, David Slack and Jim Guill, 2-2.
A total of 29 players competed in the Amateur section. Class winners included: Top C Matt Freeman and William Wilson, 3-1; Under 1400 John Brockhouse and Richard Elmendorf, 2-1; Top Unrated William Nugent, 2-2.
Kaufman used a piece sacrifice against master Floyd Boudreau on his way to a 3-0 start, allowing him to take a quick draw with Wojtkiewicz in the final round.
In a Nimzo-Indian, White's 15. Rac1 g5 16. Bxg5! (Bg3 Nxg3 17. hxg3 poses no problems for Black) hxg5 17. Nxg5 forces Black's hand, as both the knight and mate on h7 are threatened.
On 17…Nhf6 18. e4 Bh6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. e5! Qe8 (Bxc1 21. exf6 Bf4? 22. Qg6+ Kh8 23. Qg7 mate) 21. exf6 Bxc1 22. fxe7 Qxe7 23. Rxc1 Qf6, Black has managed to retain at least nominal material equality, with a rook for a bishop and two pawns. But as he scrambles to rebuild a fortress around his king, White calmly plucks apart his queenside.
With 28. h3 Nf8, Black has managed to shore up his king's defenses, but the White queen is now free to go marauding on the other flank: 29. Ne4 Qh6 30. Qxa5 Ra7 31. Qd8 Rgf7 (Rxa2? 32. Nf6+ Kf7 33. Qe8+! Kxf6 34. Qxf8+ Kg5 35. Re5+ Kg6 36. Rxe6+ Kh7 37. Bf5+ Rg6 38. Re7+ Qg7 39. Qxg7 mate) 32. a3 Rad7 33. Qb6 Kg7 34. Qxc6 Rxd4 35. Qxb5.
The White queenside pawns are ready to roll and Black's pieces are in no position to restrain them. After 39. Nc5 Rd2 (R7d6 40. Qb2+ Kf7 41. Rf3+ Ke7 42. Qf6+ Ke8 43. Qxf8 mate) 40. Qe1, the Black e-pawn can't be saved. Boudreaux resigned.
Sevilla proved opportunistic in the club championship, repeatedly fighting back from tough positions over the weekend. Master Peter Gilruth fell to Sevilla in Round 2 after missing a mate in four.
Sevilla was at it again a round later, picking his way through a tactical minefield against veteran expert Alex Passov and pouncing when his higher-rated opponent missed the best defense.
The Advanced French with 3. e5 isn't the most popular choice these days, but it does give White a temporary stranglehold on the center and keeps a Black defensive piece out of f6. If the second player's counterattack isn't strong enough to distract White, the defense almost always faces a tough chore.
Passov moves quickly to eliminate the problem French bishop with 5…Bd7 6. Be2 Bb5, but the position after 13. Bb2 Be7 14. Ne3 Nxe3 15. fxe3 presents Black with a dilemma: The open c-file makes queenside castling too dangerous, but the game's 15…0-0 16. Ne1 a5 17. Nd3 Nb4 18. Nf4 leaves White in control of the half-open f-file while the White pawn on e5 greatly cramps the defense.
The game turns when Black fails to press his queenside play: 20. Rxf4 Nc2!? (perhaps even stronger was 20…Nxa2 21. Ba3 [Rxa2 Qxb3] Nb4 22. Raf1 Qc7, when White still has to justify his material deficit) 21. Rh4 h6 22. Rf1 Nxe3 (see diagram) 23. Rf6!?. White gets points for imagination and courage, but tougher would have been 23. Rf3 Nf5 24. Rhf4 Rfc8 25. g4 g5 26. gxf5 gxf4 27. Qxh6 Qb4 28. Qh4 (and not 28…f6 Qe1+ 29. Rf1 Qe3+, with at least a draw, as 30. Kg2?? Rc2+ 31. Kh1 Qe4+ leads to mate), with plenty of fight in the position.
Now the offensive defense with 23…Qb4!, threatening to invade, turns back White's attack following 24. Qe2 Nf5 25. Rxf5 exf5 26. Rf4 a4. Instead, Passov simply overlooks that White's last move pins his e-pawn on 23…Nf5?? 24. Qxf5! Qb4 25. Qf2
Black finally takes the proferred rook, but the result is a quick mate: 25…gxf6 26. exf6 (Qg3+ also leads to mate) Kh7 (Rfc8 27. Rxh6 Rc1+ 28. Bxc1 Qc3 29. Bd2 Qd3 30. Qh4 Qb1+ 31. Be1 and wins) 27. Qe3 Kg6 28. Qxh6+. Since 28…Kf5 29. Rf4 is mate, Passov resigned.

Arlington Chess Club Championship, Arlington
December 2002

1. d4Nf621. exf6Bxc1
2. c4g622. fxe7Qxe7
3. Nc3d523. Rxc1Qf6
4. Bf4Bg724. Bg4Rce8
5. e3c625. Re1Re7
6. Qb30-026. Re3Rff7
7. Nf3dxc427. Qd2Rg7
8. Bxc4b528. h3Nf8
9. Be2Be629. Ne4Qh6
10. Qc2Nh530. Qxa5Ra7
11. Bg5h631. Qd8Rgf7
12. Bh4Nd732. a3Rad7
13. 0-0a533. Qb6Kg7
14. Rfd1Rc834. Qxc6Rxd4
15. Rac1g535. Qxb5Rd5
16. Bxg5hxg536. Qe2Rfd7
17. Nxg5Nhf637. b4Qf4
18. e4Bh638. g3Qc7
19. Nxe6fxe639. Nc5Rd2
20. e5Qe840. Qe1Black

Arlington Chess Club Championship, Arlington
December 2002

1. e4e615. fxe30-0
2. d4d516. Ne1a5
3. e5c517. Nd3Nb4
4. c3Qb618. Nf4Bg5
5. Nf3Bd719. Qh5Bxf4
6. Be2Bb520. Rxf4Nc2
7. 0-0Nc621. Rh4h6
8. Bxb5Qxb522. Rf1Nxe3
9. Na3Qb623. Rf6Nf5
10. Nc2cxd424. Qxf5Qb4
11. cxd4Nge725. Qf2gxf6
12. b3Nf526. exf6Kh7
13. Bb2Be727. Qe3Kg6
14. Ne3Nxe328. Qxh6+Black
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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