- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2005

A tournament honoring the memory of Virginia IM Richard Delaune had an appropriately impressive roster of winners as local FM John Meyer tied a trio of top grandmasters for first.

New York GMs Joel Benjamin and John Fedorowicz and Maryland GM Alex Wojtkiewicz joined Meyer at 4-1 in the event held in Springfield. The tournament, which attracted 123 players and included a simultaneous exhibition by Benjamin before the tourney began, was held in honor of Delaune, long one of Virginia’s top players, who died suddenly last summer at the too-young age of 49.

The Delaune family and the Virginia Chess Federation, which sponsored the tournament, say they hope to make it an annual tribute.

In the Under-2200 section, Larry Larkins was alone in first at 41/2-1/2, a half-point clear of Edward Pabalan and Milo Nekvasil. Kyle Askine had the weekend’s only perfect score, going 5-0 to win the Under-1600 section by a full point over Adam Chrisney and Jerry Wu.

In classic Swiss fashion, the grandmasters made draws with each other while racking up wins against the rest of the field. Kudos to FM Rodion Rubenchik and master Phil Collier, who managed draws against Benjamin and Fedorowicz, respectively.

Benjamin showed his 2600-plus strength in a powerful display against IM Oladapo Adu, quickly seizing the initiative from the Black side of a Sicilian Najdorf and turning the tables on his opponent when Adu tries to trap the grandmaster’s adventurous queen.

After 11. Qe2 Nc6 12. Nxc6 Qxc6, White’s 13. Bd4?! looks to be a significant loss of time after 13…Qd6! 14. Be3 Rc8 15. Bd2, and Black begins to dictate matters on 17. Ne4 Qd4! 18. f4 (Nd6+ Bxd6 19. exd6 Qxb2 20. 0-0 0-0 21. Rfe1 Qd4 leaves Black a clear pawn up with another White weakling marooned on d6) Qxb2.

Adu tries to cut off the queen’s retreat with 20. exf6 Nxf6 21. Nc3, but Black gets more than enough compensation with the forceful 21…Rxc3! 22. Rfb1 Bc5+ (Qxb1+?! 23. Rxb1 Rxa3 24. Qe5 gives White much more counterplay) 23. Kf1 Rxa3! 24. Rxb2 Rxa1+ 25. Be1 Bd4. Benjamin has a rook, knight and two pawns for the queen, but more important, his remaining pieces dominate the board.

After 26. c3 (Rb3 Nd5 27. Be4 [Qd2 Be3 28. Qe2 Nxf4!29. Qxe3 Nxg2 30. Qf2 Rxe1+ wins] Nxf4 28. Qf3 Rf8 29. Bxb7 Ng6 30. Qf8+ Nxf8 31. Ke2 d5 leaves Black three pawns to the good) Bxc3 27. Rb1 Rxb1 28. Bxb1 Bxe1 29. Kxe1 0-0, White could honorably call it a day, but Adu tries one last time to work up an attack on the Black king.

Benjamin easily turns that attack aside as his own b-pawn works its way down the board: 39. Ke3 b2 40. h6 Re2+! 41. Kd4 (Kxe2 Bb5+ 42. Kd2 b1=Q) gxh6 42. Qb3 (Qh8 b1=Q prevents the check at h7) hxg5 43. f5 Be4 44. Qh3 Bxf5! 45. Qh5+ Bg6 46. Qf3+ Kg7, and White can’t stop the pawn from queening. Adu resigned.

• • •

When they were not drawing grandmasters, Collier and Rubenchik staged one of the more entertaining battles of the tournament. The following analysis relies heavily on the postmortem the two masters did on their Round 4 game.

In a Nimzo-Indian, after the center is fixed with 12. Ba3 c4 13. Bc2, both sides appear to put their faith in king-side attacks. Collier loosens his own king’s defenses to bolster the knight on f5 with 18. Nf5 Qd7 19. g4!?, giving Rubenchik a target for his own attack.

In retrospect, White might have been better advised to press ahead with the sacrificial 22. Nxg6!?. The players later concluded that 22…hxg4 (fxg6 23. Qxg6+ Qg7 24. Qxh5 is not clear) 23. Nf4 Nxh3 24. Nxh3 gxh3+ 25. Kf3 leaves White a pawn down but with real compensation in the open lines to Black’s king.

Instead, after 22. f3?! hxg4 23. hxg4 Rxe3! 24. Bc1 (see diagram) Nxf3!, Black breaches White’s shaky king cover with decisive results. Forced is 25. Bxe3 (Nxf3 Qxg4+ and 25. Rxf3 Qxg4+ 26. Kf2 Qxh4+ 27. Kxe3 Re8+ 28. Kd2 Qg5+ 29. Kd1 Qg1+ 30. Kd2 Qe1 mate have no appeal for White) Qxg4+ 26. Kf2 Nxh4, giving Black three pawns for the exchange as his attack rages on.

Black gets too many pawns for the piece on 27. Qe2 Qg2+ 28. Ke1 Re8 29. Kd2 Qxe2+ 30. Kxe2 Nf5 31. Rf3 Ncxd4+! 32. cxd4 Nxd4+ 33. Kf2 Nxf3 34. Kxf3 b6, but White fares no better on the game’s 27. Ke1 Re8 28. Qf2 Rxe3+! 29. Kd2 (Qxe3 Ng2+) Nf3+! 30. Kc2 (Kxe3 Qe4 mate)Re2+!, when 31. Qxe2 Ncxd4+ 32. cxd4 Nxd4+ wins decisive material. Collier resigned.

Richard K. Delaune Memorial, Springfield, Va., June 2005

Adu Benjamin

1. e4 c5 24. Rxb2 Rxa1+

2. Nf3 e6 25. Be1 Bd4

3. d4 cxd4 26. c3 Bxc3

4. Nxd4 a6 27. Rb1 Rxb1

5. Nc3 Qc7 28. Bxb1 Bxe1

6. Be3 Bb4 29. Kxe1 0-0

7. Nde2 Nf6 30. g4 Rc8

8. a3 Be7 31. Kd2 Rc4

9. Nd4 b5 32. g5 Ne4+

10. Bd3 Bb7 33. Bxe4 Bxe4

11. Qe2 Nc6 34. Qe3 Kf7

12. Nxc6 Qxc6 35. Qa7 Bc6

13. Bd4 Qd6 36. Qb8 b4

14. Be3 Rc8 37. h4 b3

15. Bd2 Qb6 38. h5 Rc2+

16. e5 Nd5 39. Ke3 b2

17. Ne4 Qd4 40. h6 Re2+

18. f4 Qxb2 41. Kd4 gxh6

19. 0-0 f5 42. Qb3 hxg5

20. exf6 Nxf6 43. f5 Be4

21. Nc3 Rxc3 44. Qh3 Bxf5

22. Rfb1 Bc5+ 45. Qh5+ Bg6

23. Kf1 Rxa3 46. Qf3+ Kg7

White resigns

Richard K. Delaune Memorial, Springfield, Va., June 2005

Collier Rubenchik

1. d4 Nf6 16. Nh4 Bxc2

2. c4 e6 17. Qxc2 Ne4

3. Nc3 Bb4 18. Nf5 Qd7

4. e3 0-0 19. g4 g6

5. Bd3 d5 20. Nh4 Ng5

6. Nf3 c5 21. Kg2 h5

7. 0-0 Nc6 22. f3 hxg4

8. a3 Bxc3 23. hxg4 Rxe3

9. bxc3 Qc7 24. Bc1 Nxf3

10. cxd5 exd5 25. Bxe3 Qxg4+

11. a4 Re8 26. Kf2 Nxh4

12. Ba3 c4 27. Ke1 Re8

13. Bc2 Bg4 28. Qf2 Rxe3+

14. h3 Bh5 29. Kd2 Nf3+

15. Qd2 Bg6 30. Kc2 Re2+

White resigns

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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