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Queens Chess Club Roundup: Bonin Wins Them All!

by on March 25, 2017

Queens Chess Club Roundup: Bonin Wins Them All!

Since winning his 11th solo Club Championship on November 18, 2016 IM Jay Bonin has won all six subsequent tournaments we have held. The December Open (12/2-23) was perhaps the only “close call”. There were twenty-two entrants and Jay gave half a point to the field by taking a bye in Round 2 due to a conflict with the Marshall Chess Club’s championship (spoiler alert—he didn’t win that one, although he has won it a few times, too), so after three rounds there was a four way tie for the lead at 2½-½ among Jay (2402), 2014 champ Payam Parhami (2205), club vice president Joe Felber (2000) and club secretary Jay Kleinman (1950). Joe had committed to a Round 4 bye to spend Christmas in DC with his sister, so the pairings came up Bonin-Parhami and Harold Scott (2087)-Kleinman, Parhami having been nicked for half a point by Dick Murphy (1997) in Round 2, Kleinman having drawn Felber and beaten Bill Arluck (2080) while Scott had taken two byes, the second speculated to have been strategic “Bonin avoidance” after having been crushed by Jay at Nassau earlier in the week. Jay and Harold both won, so Jay’s 3½ won $125 as Scott, Frumkin (2021), Felber, Al Casanova (1884) and Mulazim (Doc) Muwwakkil (1850) split 2nd and 3rd ($95-$80, $35 each). Doc beat Bill Arluck in Round 2. Frumkin took a Round 1 bye due to a conflict with his daughter’s wedding. The story of this one was the debut of Vincent Anderson, a 53 year old first-timer who joined in Round 2, drawing Frumkin, beating Dave Spigel (1900) and losing to Casanova for a 1944/3 starter rating. He took the U1700/unrated prize of $75.

The 87th Speedy Open, a 4 round G15 on December 30, drew only 10 on a weekend we usually don’t meet. Jay went 3½-½ with a clinching draw with Bill Arluck to take home $50. Edgar Cimafranca (1936) was clear second at 3-1 for $25 and Suriyan Nathan (1574), the lowest-ranked entrant won $25 as top under 1900 with 2½-1½, beating Cimafranca and Frumkin, losing to Bonin (doesn’t everyone?) and drawing Ed Kopiecki (2007).

The January G45 (1/6-13) drew 17 with four rounds spread over two Fridays and once again Jay had 3½-½ (winning $130) with a last round draw with Parhami, who had missed Round 1. Parhami, Arluck and Brian Lawson (2024) won $27 each ($80 2nd) for their 3-1 scores. Arluck lost to Clayton Glad (1580) in Round 1 while Brian lost to Jay in Round 3. Clay also drew with Ed Frumkin (2000) in Round 3 but missed out on the U1750 prize ($70) when Wayne Steele (1725) upset Ed Kopiecki (2048) to reach 2½-1½.

The Winter Open (1/20-2/10) drew 21. This time Jay had to come from behind with a win (with his usual 3½-½ ($130)) as Black from Parhami after giving up a draw to Lawson in Round 2. Players 2-6 (Parhami, Arluck, Kopiecki, Felber and Lawson all went 3-1 to win $32 each ($95 2nd, $65 3rd). Clay Glad won the $60 under 1600 prize with 2-2.

The 88th Speedy Open on February 17 drew only 6 players while an equal number of regulars went to New Jersey early for the US Amateur Team. Jay lapped the field with 4-0, as the next highest ranked were Charles Hua and Vincent Anderson. Charles went 3-1 and Mikhail Mordukhay was top U1600 with 2½-1½.

The Spring “Soccer” G45 (2/24-3/10) drew 21 players and gave 3 points for a win and only 1 for a draw or bye, which should have discouraged draws. Jay Bonin went the Swiss Gambit route with a first round draw with Ira Cohen (1895) before running the table to finish with 16 out of a possible 18 points. Brian Lawson (2038) pulled off a Swiss Gambit of his own with a Round 2 loss to Jay Kleinman (1957) and a Round 3 draw with Edgar Cimafranca (1902) to finish second $95) with 13 points. Four players came in during week 2, so with only 2 points out of 6 were paired among themselves, the lowest-ranked 3 pointer (loss-win) and highest ranked 0. The best showing among the late entrants was Vincent Anderson (1865/7 provisional), who beat Muwwakkil, Cimafranca and Frumkin before losing to Bonin. His post-event rating was 2005. Another of the late additions was Antonio Lorenzo (1963), who had been inactive since a stellar 2016 Club Championship in which he gained over 100 points. Tony beat Philip Mathew (1419, the aforementioned low 3 pointer), drew Ken Sasmor (1849) and beat Dave Spigel (1873) and Al Casanova (1925) to grab third prize of $65 with 12 points. Anderson had 11 and I suspect Bonin offered him an early draw (see Jay’s book Active Pieces for advice on how to escape bad situations when your rating is higher than your opponent’s). Clay Glad and Mikhail Mordukhay split the $55 U1700 prize with 6 points each. There were 8 draws, 4 involving Joe Felber (2-0-4), giving him the same 10 points as others who went 3-2-1.

These events were directed by a combination of Ed Frumkin, Jay Kleinman and Joe Felber.

We suspect that Jay hasn’t lost a game at Queens since Round 5 of the 2015 Championship to Devlin Sinclair. That win put Devlin a point up on the field with two rounds to play, but he then lost to Andrew Ryba and Danny Kopec (who became co-champions without playing each other) to somehow avoid winning a prize, although he regained his master rating but hasn’t played in the US since. Kopec’s win in Round 7 was his final tournament game, as he left us on June 12, 2016 and gave a (final) lecture at the club on April 1.

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