- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2006

For the second straight year, New York GM Joel Benjamin has tied for first in the tournament honoring his friend the late Virginia IM Richard Delaune.

At the second annual memorial tournament in honor of Delaune, who died suddenly at the age of 49 in 2004, Benjamin finished in a five-way tie for first, taking the first-place trophy on tiebreaks. Also finishing at 4-1 in the 34-player Open section in Springfield were IM Larry Kaufman and FM Thomas Bartell, both of whom drew Benjamin, and FMs Dov Gorman and Boris Privman.

Expert William Marcelino finished alone in first in the Under 2200 tournament at 4-, a half-point ahead of Matthew Grinberg, Chris Bush and Class B player Joshua Lilly, while four players tied for first in the Under-1600 section: Curtis Winter, Glenn Shelton, Wilfredo Acevedo and Pamela R. Lee, whose 1291 rating is likely to rise after her three-win, two-draw effort.

Virginia master Steven Greanias and D.C. master Andrew Samuelson staged one of the more entertaining battles of the weekend, with dueling passed pawns fighting for supremacy and risk-taking on both sides.

Things start out sleepily enough in this English Opening, and the battle is really joined only after White’s 21. b3 Ra6 22. g4!? fxg4 23. Bxg4 Nd3 24. Be2 Nxf4 25. c5!, undermining Black’s strong center. The ensuing hand-to-hand combat centers on whether White’s d-pawn or Black’s e-pawn will prove more potent.

The double-edged nature of the position is illustrated neatly after 31. d7 Kg5 32. Rxb7! Nxe2! 33. h4+; White’s point is that Black’s king must abandon the rook because of the check, while Black’s point is that the king now becomes a key cog in a fearsome mating attack.

Both sides walk a tightrope until White finally slips on 37. Re8 Ng3+ 38. Kh2 e2 39. Rxd8 Nf1+ (it’s only a draw on 39…e1=Q 40. Rf8+ Nf5 41. Rc2+ Kf3 42. Rxf5+ gxf5 43. d8=Q Qg3+ 44. Kh1 Qe1+, with a perpetual) 40. Kh3 e1=Q 41. Rf8+?, when 41. Re8! keeps things level after 41…Ne3 42. Rc2+! Kf3 [Kg1? 43. Rg2+ Kh1 44. d8=Q Qf1 45. Qa8! Qxg2+ 46. Qxg2+ Nxg2 47. Re4 wins for White] 43. Rxe3+ Qxe3 44. d8=Q Kf4+ 45. Kh2 [Kg2 Qe4+ 46. Kg1 Qxc2] Qg3+ 46. Kh1 Qe1+, again with perpetual check.

The long, taut struggle breaks Samuelson’s way on 41…Kg1 42. Rf3 (mate on g3 was threatened) Qe6+ 43. Kh4 g5+! 44. Kh5 (Kxg5 Qe5+ 45. Kh6 Qxc7, winning) Qg6+, and White gives up in view of the forced 45. Kg4 h5+ 46. Kh3 Qe6+ 47. Rf5 Qxf5 mate.

• • •

The first strong international event since the Turin Olympiad is reaching the midpoint in the Ukrainian resort of Foros near Yalta on the Black Sea. The Category 18 event has a nice mix of proven veterans and up-and-coming stars, including Spain’s Alexei Shirov, Alexander Grischuk of Russia, and hometown heroes Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov.

Young Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, the reigning world junior champ, set the early pace with a 2- start before being slowed by a loss to Ivanchuk. Mamedyarov’s fast start included a pretty win against Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko in Round 3.

The Bishop’s Opening (2. Bc4) doesn’t have the best of reputations, although the databases say White has done surprisingly well in tournament play with this modest idea. A close maneuvering game results, with the first trade not coming until Move 21. The trade may not be optimal for Areshchenko, for he will miss the light-squared bishop as the two players build up their attacks on opposite wings.

Slowly but steadily, Black takes over the play after his f-pawn break, barely noticing White’s queen-side counterplay. By 36. Qb4 R7f6 (Rxf2? 37. Qxd6 and Black’s e-pawn must fall) 37. Re2 Rf4 38. Qb3 Ng5 39. Nd2 Qf5, Mamedyarov has won the strategic battle and now moves to collect the spoils.

White’s defensive line collapses after 40. Rf1 Rd4 41. a5?! (more active was 41. Rc1 Rd3 42. Rc7+ Kh6 43. Qc2, when 43…Nxh3+ is only a perpetual after 44. gxh3 Qg5+ 45. Kh2 Qf4+ 46. Kg2 Qg5+) Rd3 42. Qb2 (Qc2 doesn’t work now because of 42…Nxh3+! 43. gxh3 [Kh2 Nf4] Rg3+ 44. Kh2 Qxc2) Qf4!.

Now 43. f3 Rxd5 44. b6 axb6 45. axb6 Qg3 is strong for Black, but White’s 43. Rc1 (see diagram) allows Black an even quicker knockout: 43…Nxh3+! 44. gxh3 Qg5+ 45. Kf1 (the prettiest variation doesn’t make it to the board: 45. Kh2 Rxf2+!! 46. Rxf2 Qg3+ 47. Kh1 Qxf2 48. Rc3 Qe1+ 49. Kh2 Rxd2+, winning) Rxh3 46. Ke1 (f3 Rh1+ 47. Kf2 Qh4+ 48. Ke3 [Kg2 Qh2 mate] Rxc1 49. Kd3 [Qxc1 Qd4 mate] Rc5, with a won ending) Rh1+ 47. Nf1 Qg2.

Facing hopeless lines like 48. Kd2 Rxf2 49. Ng3 Qxg3 50. Rxh1 Rxe2+! 51. Kxe2 Qg2+ 52. Ke3 Qxb3, White resigned.

2nd Richard K. Delaune Memorial Tournament, Springfield, June 2006


1. c4c523. Bxg4Nd3

2. Nf3g624. Be2Nxf4

3. d4cxd425. c5Raa8

4. Nxd4Nf626. cxd6Qxd6

5. Nc3Nc627. Qd4+Qf6

6. e4d628. Rc7+Kh6

7. Be2Bg729. Qxf6Rxf6

8. Be30-030. d6Rd8

9. 0-0Bd731. d7Kg5

10. Rc1Nxd432. Rxb7Nxe2

11. Bxd4Bc633. h4+Kxh4

12. f3a534. Rxf6Kg3

13. Kh1Nd735. Rc7e3

14. Bxg7Kxg736. Re6Kf2

15. Nd5Nc537. Re8Ng3+

16. Qd4+e538. Kh2e2

17. Qd2Bxd539. Rxd8Nf1+

18. exd5f540. Kh3e1=Q

19. f4e441. Rf8+Kg1

20. Rc3Qf642. Rf3Qe6+

21. b3Ra643. Kh4g5+

22. g4fxg444. Kh5Qg6+

White resigns

Aerosvit GM Tournament, Foros, Ukraine, June 2006


1. e4e525. Ngf1Re7

2. Bc4Nf626. Qc2Ng8

3. d3c627. Nc4Bh6

4. Nf3Be728. Qd2Kg7

5. 0-0d629. Bxh6+Nxh6

6. c30-030. Nfe3Rf8

7. Bb3Qc731. b4cxb4

8. Re1Nbd732. cxb4f5

9. Nbd2Nc533. exf5Nxf5

10. Bc2Ne634. Nxf5+Rxf5

11. Nf1Re835. b5Ref7

12. Ng3Bf836. Qb4R7f6

13. h3g637. Re2Rf4

14. d4Bg738. Qb3Ng5

15. Be3Bd739. Nd2Qf5

16. Qd2Rad840. Rf1Rd4

17. Rad1Bc841. a5Rd3

18. Qc1c542. Qb2Qf4

19. d5Nf843. Rc1Nxh3+

20. Ba4Bd744. gxh3Qg5+

21. Bxd7Qxd745. Kf1Rxh3

22. b3Kh846. Ke1Rh1+

23. Nd2h547. Nf1Qg2

24. a4N8h7White resigns

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

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