- The Washington Times - Friday, September 1, 2006

A grandmaster and a Class E player were the star performers at last weekend’s 38th

annual Atlantic Open, the premier summer event on the regional chess calendar.

Newly minted GM Eugene Perelshteyn of Massachusetts embellished what already was a very successful year by finishing alone in first in the 43-player Open section. Perelshteyn defeated impressive Ukrainian WGM Katerina Rohonyan in the final round to finish at 41/2-1/2, a half-point clear of fellow GM Alexander Shabalov and FMs Emory Tate and Thomas Bartell.

Top seed Shabalov raced out to a 3-0 but gave up draws to Rohonyan and Tate in the final two rounds and was lucky to hold his game with Tate in a desperate 80-move epic. Perelshteyn drew in Round 1 with Maryland expert Zhi-Ya Hu, but then reeled off four straight wins.

The weekend’s only perfect score came in the 61-player Under-1200 section, where Maryland Class E player Joseph Huang ran the table with a 5-0 result, defeating Jonathan Garcia of New Jersey in a final-round battle of the unbeatens.

Other section winners: Under-2200 — Maryland’s Yu Zhong Lu, 41/2-1/2; Under-2000 — Brian Duggan of the District and Yang Dai of Virginia, 41/2-1/2; Under-1800 — Eric Most of Virginia, 41/2-1/2; Under-1600 — Mira Madans of Maryland and New York’s Hector Maquieira, 41/2-1/2; and Under-1400 — Dianna Hu of New York. 41/2-1/2. Congratulations to all.

Some 340 players competed in this year’s Atlantic, which was directed by Steve Immit and Mike Atkins.

Rohonyan passed a fierce tactical test in her draw with Shabalov but could not match Perelshteyn’s silken positional finesse in the final-round money game. There’s not much for an annotator to add to the bald game score here, as the grandmaster grabs what proves a “decisive” advantage with his decision to double Black’s pawns with 4. Bxc6.

After that, it’s like watching someone sink slowly into the quicksand, as each trade brings White closer to a winning endgame. Black may have missed her last chance to grab for a saving vine with 29…c4!, straightening out her pawns after 30. Rxd5 cxd5 31. Nd4 Kf7 32. Rf3+ Kg7.

By 41. g3 a5 42. h4, the position has been distilled to its essence: Black’s queen-side pawns can’t be saved, and the ending is just lost. Rohonyan resigns after 44. Nc3 axb3 45. axb3 (Nxd5?? bxa2 hands the game to Black) Be6 46. Na4 (winning a pawn and the game) Bg4 47. Ke3!, and White triumphs in lines such as 47…Bc1 48. Kd2 Bf3 49. Nxb6 Ke6 50. Na4 Kd6 51. Nc3 Ke5 52. Ke3 Bg4 53. Ne4 Kd5 54. Nf6+ Ke5 55. Nxg4+ hxg4 56. c3 and the White pawns decide.

While Perelshteyn was grinding out the win, the big crowds were gathered around the game between Bartell and Potomac IM Larry Kaufman. Kaufman, a veteran competitor with innumerable local tournament wins to his credit, falls victim here to a brilliant sacrificial assault by his young New Jersey opponent.

White adopts one of the sharpest lines in this King’s Indian Defense, launching queen-side operations before his king is safely castled. Still, Kaufman may be excused for not seeing the deeper idea behind Black’s startling 15th move, one that inaugurates a string of stunning piece sacrifices that shred the White position.

Thus: 14. Bf1 fxe4 15. fxe4 (Black’s next move seems to come from nowhere) b5!! 16. Nxb5?! (see diagram; 16. cxb6 cxb6 undermines the whole point of White’s queen-side push, but how does Black follow up?) Nexd5! (clearing the queen’s path to h4) 17. exd5 Nxg2+! (a marvelous move that prevents g2-g3 and exploits the hanging knight on c4 after White’s recapture) 18. Bxg2 Qh4+ 19. Kd2 Qxc4 20. Nc3.

White appears to have survived the first wave of the onslaught, but Bartell is just warming up: 21…Bh6! (yet another piece is offered up, this time to allow the Black rook into f2) 22. Bxh6 Rf2+ 23. Ke1? (the computerlike 23. Ke3 seems to be the only hope here, although Black’s attack rages on after 22…Rxg2 23. Ne4 Bf5 24. Qd3 Qxb4, with the threat of 25…Bxe4 26. Qxe4 Qd2+ 27. Kf3 Qf2 mate) Rxg2, when now White has to fend off 23…Qh4+ 24. Kf1 Qf2 mate.

White’s position is in ruins on the game’s 23. Qf3 Qh4+ 24. Kf1 Bh3 25. Qxg2 Qxh6! (a sadistic touch, as the White queen isn’t going anywhere, and 26. Qxh3 Qxh3+ collects the knight on c3) 26. Re1 Rf8+ 27. Kg1 Bxg2 28. Kxg2 Qg5+, and it is mate after 29. Kh3 Rf3. White resigned.

Baltimore GM Alex Wojtkiewicz, who passed away unexpectedly in July, was a regular competitor in the Atlantic. A memorial blitz tournament honoring Wojo will be held Nov. 3 at the Arlington Chess Club, with half of the profits from the event to go to a burial fund for the popular grandmaster.

Preregistration for the event and more details can be found on the club’s Web site at https://members.cox.net/arlingtonchessclub.

38th Atlantic Open, Washington, August 2006

PerelshteynRohonyan

1. e4c525. Nf3Be6

2. Nf3Nc626. Ra4a6

3. Bb5g627. Ra5Rd5

4. Bxc6dxc628. Re1Kf8

5. d3Bg729. Re3Bc8

6. h3Nf630. Rxe8+Kxe8

7. Nc30-031. Ra4Rd7

8. Bf4Re832. Ng5Re7

9. Qd2e533. Rh4h5

10. Bh6Qd634. Ne4b6

11. Bxg7Kxg735. Rf4Re6

12. 0-0Be636. Kf2Ke7

13. Qg5Nd737. Ng5Rf6

14. Qg3Rad838. Ke3Be6

15. Rad1f639. Rxf6Kxf6

16. b3Nf840. Kf4Bd5

17. Ne2Bg841. g3a5

18. Nh2Ne642. h4a4

19. f4exf443. Ne4+Kf7

20. Nxf4Nxf444. Nc3axb3

21. Qxf4Qxf445. axb3Be6

22. Rxf4Be646. Na4Bg4

23. Rdf1f547. Ke3Black

24. exf5Bxf5resigns

38th Atlantic Open, Washington, August 2006

KaufmanBartell

1. d4Nf615. fxe4b5

2. c4g616. Nxb5Nexd5

3. Nc3Bg717. exd5Nxg2+

4. e4d618. Bxg2Qh4+

5. Nf30-019. Kd2Qxc4

6. Be2e520. Nc3Bh6

7. Be3Nc621. Bxh6Rf2+

8. d5Ne722. Ke1Rxg2

9. Nd2Nd723. Qf3Qh4+

10. b4f524. Kf1Bh3

11. f3Nf625. Qxg2Qxh6

12. c5Nh526. Re1Rf8+

13. Nc4Nf427. Kg1Bxg2

14. Bf1fxe428. Kxg2Qg5+

White resigns

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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