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New Champion at Queens Chess Club

by on November 23, 2014

New Champion at Queens Chess Club


The 2014 version of the Queens Chess Club Championship took place over seven rounds from October 3 until November 21, with no round on November 14 due to another event at our church site. Top-rated IM Jay Bonin (2436) was back to defend the title (he has won it six times clear and shared it four other times). His nearest challenger initially was Robert Guevara (2156), who as a 1900 player upset IM Danny Kopec in Round 2 of this event many years ago. Several other former champions participated as well (Edward Kopiecki (1997 clear, 1998 shared) (2044), Brian Lawson (1995 clear, 1999 shared) (2041), Edward Frumkin (1996 clear) (2018), Joseph Felber (1994 shared) (2009) and Edgar Cimafranca (1999 shared) (1969). With 24 players present the first night, the initial cut saw Bonin in a tough fight against John Hardin (1866), from which the defending champ barely prevailed. The big upset for the round was on Board 2, where Jay Kleinman (1816) stole one from Guevara, as Rob passed up a repetition after squandering an advantage. Christos Pamboukes (1912) mysteriously forgot the start date of the event and no-showed vs. David Chan (963/3) in the latter’s second tournament.

In Round 2 several more players joined up, as Round 1 unfortunately had to be held on Yom Kippur. Upsets continued as Joe Felber held Bonin to a draw in a Queen’s Indian and Frumkin was fortunate to draw with Kleinman. The pairings among some of the half point bye players were within 100 points of each other. Kopiecki and Richard Murphy (1970) were headed for a draw until Dick’s time pressure did him in. A big upset was Philip Mathew (1313) over Paul Denig (1704), taking away the lead (+391) for that extra prize from Guevara-Kleinman (+340). Mulazim Muwwakkil (1868) took a bye to play in the Millionaires’ Open in Las Vegas. Other tight matchups were Payam Parhami (2096) over WIM Dorothy Teasley (2002) which went to the former and between former champs Lawson and Cimafranca, also won by the former.

Round 3 saw two more players start play: Tyrell Harriott (2159), who had also played in Vegas, and former club vice president Frank Drazil (1657), who had pre-entered but had to skip the first two games for other reasons. There were only three perfect scores, so the top pairings were Kopiecki-Parhami and Bonin-Lawson. Parhami played well to take the clear lead as Bonin prevailed with an exchange sacrifice that the computer refuted. The pairings among the 1½-½ group of Antonio Lorenzo (1869)-Bill Arluck (2035), Frumkin-Muwwakkil and Felber-Kenneth Sasmor (1821) went to the higher-rated player in each matchup. Kleinman’s upsets came to a temporary halt as he lost to Harriott. Guy Rawlins (1646) held Murphy to a draw.

In Round 4 Parhami-Bonin saw the latter grab the b2 pawn and barely survive. Parhami took a repetition, as a possible three pawns for a piece position was difficult to evaluate (and it is good to stay ahead of the toughest opponent). Arluck-Frumkin went to Bill this time and Felber-Harriott went to Tyrell. Among the 2-1 pairings Cimafranca beat Guevara, Kopiecki lost to Pamboukes and Lawson beat Teasley. Now Parhami and Arluck had 3½, while Bonin, Harriott, Lawson, Cimafranca and Pamboukes all had 3-1.

Parhami won an interesting ending from Arluck in Round 5 to regain the clear lead at 4½. Bonin beat Cimafranca and Harriott beat Lawson to reach 4-1, as did Pamboukes with a win from Felber, giving the former a 4 game win streak that ended up being the longest in the event. The upset for this round was Clayton Glad (1713) over Murphy. James Sirotnik (1558)’s draw with Lorenzo was just shy of the upset threshold (400 point rating difference for draws, which only Bonin-Felber achieved).

Parhami defeated Harriott in Round 6 to maintain his lead (5½-½) while Bonin ended Pamboukes’ streak and was alone at 5-1. Arluck beat Muwwakkil to be the only player at 4½-1½. Frumkin drew with Lawson and Kopiecki beat Cimafranca. A new upset leader emerged as Alexander Roti (1435) beat Lorenzo (+444), also leading for the U1500 prize and even tied with the U1800 leader at 3½-2½.

By round 7 Parhami had nearly run out of opponents, having played the next four players in line behind him. As a result he was paired down 1½ points to Frumkin while Bonin was paired with Arluck. Bill’s clock battery died but Jay’s position was worse when he offered a draw that Bill accepted, at which point Parhami and Frumkin also drew. We have a new champ, who may have reached 2200 in the process. Bonin was in clear 2nd, while Bill had to await the results of Kopiecki-Harriott and Guevara (3 ½)-Pamboukes (4) to see if anybody else could get to 5-2. Guevara won but the Kopiecki-Harriott game was a wild affair, eventually reaching a position with Kopiecki’s two Rooks and 4 fractured pawns against Harriott’s Bishop, two Knights and 4 sound pawns after which Eddie ran out of time with no targets or entry points. Philip Mathew picked off the upset prize by toppling Lorenzo (+566!). Even losing to Cimafranca, Alex Roti was top U1500 with an even score. Ira Cohen was top U1800 with 4-3 after his draw with Teasley.

Prizes (raised by 1/3!) were $400 1st (Parhami), $240 2nd (Bonin), $160 3rd and $144 U2100 ($152 each to Harriott and Arluck), $120 U1800 (Cohen), $96 U1500 (Roti) and $40 upset (Mathew). For a total of $1200. Congratjulations to the prize winners and our thanks to all who participated!!

Ed Frumkin and Joe Felber directed.



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