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Top-Rated Teams Dominate 9th Queens Team Championship

by on June 30, 2009

Our 9th annual two player team event set a new record this year with 14 paid teams, after 13 the past two years, raising the projected prize fund 40% to $140-$70 to the top 2 teams, $84 to the top U1700 team and $84 each for board prizes.  The ratings had to average under 2000, so last year’s winning team of Andrew and Nicholas Ryba had to split up, as each was now rated 2060.  They ended up partnering with Zoltan Sugar (1762) and Ken Cruz (1758), respectively, not surprising since they have frequently been a foursome in New Jersey every February.  After the usual juggling with the June rating list, the top two ranked teams were “the Hungry Bishops” of Ed Frumkin (2037) and Mitch Drobbin (1954) and “Philidor’s Legacy”, Joe Felber (2000) and Bill Arluck (1976), averaging 1995½ and 1988, respectively, followed by “Deep Sugar”, Andrew Ryba and Sugar at 1911 and “Cruz to Victory”, Nicholas Ryba and Cruz at 1909.  Perennial team tournament star Arunas Simonaitis (1964), frequently a terror on Board 2, recruited Ken Sasmor (1797) from the Polgar club and came in as the 1880½ rated “Fischermen”.  Another regular, Paul Denig (1696), recruited Edgar Cimafranca (1935) to from “D takes C”, rated 1815½.  Rapidly improving ten year old James Black (1692), instead of pairing with relative newcomer Linval White to form “the Zebras”, joined forces with Al Freeman (1857) to constitute the “Lion Attackers”.  “Lasker’s Defense” (Tony Lorenzo (1890) and Alfonso Diaz (1270)) took a Round 1 bye to play in the National Open in Las Vegas.  Tournament stalwarts Carrie Goldstein (1400) and Phyllis Benjamin (GM Joel’s mom, 1213) formed “Girls’ Knight Out”.  Round 1 was all 2-0 sweeps, except for Frumkin turning a pawn up ending against Louis Lima (1944) of “the Sandbaggers” into a draw, which had interesting consequences later on.  With seven perfect scores, the pairings were team 4 vs. 1, 2 vs. 5, 6 vs. 3 and 10 vs. 7.  Lorenzo beat Freeman and Black beat Diaz for a drawn match in the 10-7 dustup.  4 vs. 1 was a 1½-½ squeaker with Frumkin drawing Nicholas and Mitch narrowly beating Ken Cruz.  2 vs. 5 was similar, with Felber drawing Simonaitis and Bill Arluck topping Ken Sasmor.  The 6 vs. 3 match was a draw on both boards (Cimafranca-A Ryba and Sugar-Denig), creating a crucial pairing of the top 2 teams in Round 3.  Frumkin-Felber was a seven move draw, giving Ed time to return to the Marshall’s New York International, from which he had taken a Round 2 bye.  Drobbin was holding Arluck when he suffered a heart attack during the game!  Bill gave him the draw and he and wife Ruth went to the hospital with him, staying until 4:30 am.  “Deep Sugar” squeezed past the Lion Attackers 1½-½, with James Black perhaps missing an endgame win from Sugar, which would have drawn the match.  “D takes C” also made it to a 2½-½ match score by squeezing past “the Fischermen” as Edgar beat “Rooney” while Zoli and Paul drew.  Ninth-ranked “Just Nathan”, comprised of Sundar Swaminathan (1792) and Suriyan Nathan (1576), scored a surprising sweep of “Cruz to Victory” to lead the U1700 group by a full match point with one round to play.  They would meet “the Sandbaggers” in Round 4 and get swept.  Phyllis Benjamin had to miss Round 3 due to her grandson’s Bar Mitzvah, so substitute Santa Calderon (1124) put “Girls’ Knight Out” on the scoreboard with a win, giving their team a drawn match.  The first two tables saw the four teams with 2½-½ squaring off in Round 4, 6 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 3.  In the latter matchup Felber-Ryba was a fairly quick draw, not such a great idea with Board 2 substitute Rich Ziet (1617) a huge underdog against Arluck.  Bill finally prevailed.  In the other match Mitch Drobbin played (!! – Heart attack? What heart attack?  Captain Ed Frumkin had already recruited Jay Kleinman (1860) to substitute) and beat Paul Denig, helped by a two minute time penalty add-on.  Frumkin then offered a draw, which was declined by Cimafranca, who was falling into Zeitnot.  Then Frumkin sacrificed a Rook and the time pressure helped to do Edgar in.  The two teams a point behind “Just Nathan” could only manage a drawn match, so “Just Nathan” won the U1700 prize even while being swept.  “The Sandbaggers” swept their last three matches (Edwin Doscher (1538) went 3-1 on Board 2) but failed to win a place prize, as “the Hungry Bishops” and “Philidor’s Legacy” took those.  Louis Lima, thanks to the Round 1 gift draw, took the Board 1 prize with 3½-½.  Mitch Drobbin, Bill Arluck and James Black shared the Board 2 prize with the same score.  Ed Frumkin and Joe Felber directed.

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