Monday, November 9, 2009

Eastern Semifinals: Knights defeat the Blitz!

Whew! With the clock ticking toward midnight, that was the only response I, and probably the entire contingent of Knights' fans could muster. Seemingly in control of the match, with favorable positions on all boards, despite Boston's draw odds, we demonstrated once again that you cannot take anything for granted in the USCL.

On board 4, Yaacov looked headed for a slightly inferior endgame against Boston stalwart NM Ilya Krasik. Perhaps sensing the need for a victory, Norowitz decided on an interesting pawn sacrifice that soon paid dividends, as Ilya's king was caught in the middle. Norowitz soon had at least a draw in hand, when Ilya offered two pawns in a desperate bid to free himself. Krasik's resourcefulness paid off, as he soon developed massive counterplay against the black king. In Krasik's time pressure, Norowitz missed a cute perpetual idea and the game was drawn.

On board 3, I faced the dangerous veteran NM Vadim Martirosov, fresh off a win over NM Evan Rosenberg, in a Rossolimo Sicilian. After a slight opening inaccuracy from Vadim, my position was slightly better owing to a strong e4/d4 pawn center. When Vadim lashed out with b7-b5, hoping for queenside counterplay, I opted for the committal e4-e5, trading fluidity for the opportunity to bottle up black's kingside. At this point, I started playing second-best moves, allowing black to simplify, rather than grabbing what should have been a clean extra pawn. I held a slight edge, and then thought I could transpose into a slightly better rook and bishop endgame. In my haste, I essayed the terrible 29. Rc6?? which should lose on the spot to 29. ..Bg3!! (which would have earned Martirosov move of the week, if not game). Instead we entered what should have been a drawn endgame, where I proceeded to commit hara kiri. Martirosov didn't have to be asked twice and reeled in the full point, giving Boston a 1.5-0.5 lead.

On board 1, Giorgi started with 1. d4 but soon ended in a g3 Pirc against living legend GM Larry Christiansen. Giorgi was able to maintain a slight edge throughout and avoided some last-ditch swindle tactics, finally forcing resignation in a two pawn up rook endgame. With Giorgi's win, the match was knotted at 1.5, putting Pascal in a must-win situation on board 2.

Shortly into the match, board 2 looked to be the worst for the Knights, as GM Eugene Perelshteyn built an impressive position and time edge against Pascal in a Catalan. Pascal's prospects went from bad to worse after Eugene struck with 18. Nf7!. Dogged defense, however, paid off and by 29. ..Qd6, Pascal was no worse. After 35. .Rf8!, Pascal was likely winning in a remarkable turnaround. Time pressure began to take its toll as Charbonneau missed the instantly winning 39. ..Bf7 40. Bf5 Kg7!. Instead, after 39. ..b2?, a study-like endgame arose. With both players under two minutes, Pascal managed to round up white's a-pawn and cut off the white king, clinching the match for New York!


Ilya said...

Hallarious but very eroneous description by Matt Herman. I almost didnt realize you are talking about my game, I think you failed to mention that Yaacovn got himself into a dead lost pos, after Bg6,--Bf3 simply wins since Rh1 cannot be stopped.Earlier, he was much better, and the pawn sac wasnt forced, i didnt have to take the pawn. I was looking straight at Bf3 but hallucinated something in time pressure. Also, even though the Queeen Endgame is drawish, it was Yaacov who forced the draw with Rxf2, what was my cute idea you are reffering to?? Also Larry missed Rd8 at the end, which I think completely wins, luck wasnt on our side today, NY survived and won, ce la vie.

Taamuz said...


Boston's board 2 was also inferior. I believe your analysis is subjective! Yes, White's position looked better (qualitatively) but the imbalances in the position favored Black. The score should have been 3.5-0.5 in favour of Boston. yeah Chabor. up 3 pawns goes for Rg6?? allowing Rd8 and a forced win in some hysterical line. Ilya missed Bf3!! which a weak C player saw instantaneously. You guys kept the momentum in your favor and went on to win in the time scramble.



Muhamed said...

I have to agree with Rafik, except
i think he meant to say Kacheshvilli not Charboneu. My take on this match is as follows, board 4 was a slugfest where Yaacov Norowitz had some iniative for the sacked pawn. However, after some inacurate moves he found himself on the defensive. After Krasik sacked some pawns of his own his attack became very dangerous and he missed a win at one point. Eventually the game settled into an equal but mutually dangerous Queen endgame where Norowitz forced a draw by perpetual. Perelshteyn played a great game i thought, sacking a pawn, then sacking a piece on f7, which was later returned. Eugene missed c4! move at key juncture allowing Charbonneu to play c4 ! himself, solidifying his passed pawn. Eventually Eugene had to give up a piece and lost. On board 1, Larry had a great position, which he spoiled, but later in the game he missed Rd8 which surely would have won the match for Boston. On board 3, Herman got into an equal endgame with MArtirosov. I dont know who this Martirosov guy is, he isnt well known but I was impressed how he manhandled Herman making him look like a 900 rated player. The master endgame technique was something of a clinic. My advice to you Mr Herman stop playing Najdorfs and buy some dvorestky endgame books. All in all, good win by NY, but you guys better play better next week vs NJ Pioneers if you want to advance. Also, what kind of stupid name is Pioneers, whoever thought of that name is either a retard or a loony communist, either way this name is completely inappropriate for a team hailing from the great American state of NJ. Allahu Akbar

Matt said...

Good match. This was a very impressionistic post at 2 in the morning, so obviously there will be some analysis errors. You are right that Yaacov was lost if you'd found Bf3. Horseshoes, hand grenades, etc.

NJ is the Knockouts, no?

Martirosov was slightly inferior for most of the game before I mistakenly traded down into a drawish rook and bishop endgame. As mentioned in the post, we both missed ..Bg3! that would have won instantly. If I keep the R on c6, black doesn't really have great chances to make progress. As it was, Vadim played the endgame quite well and combined great technique with a few bad moves on my part. He played a great game. See you guys next year.

HA81 said...

Friends, readers, players lend me your ear. I come here to praise Krasik not to bury him. We all should feel the pain of loss in memory if not in deed and that objectivity is merely the crass tool of the inept blogger. No, it was apparent from the start that Boston was surely the best in the league and only vain misfortune could depose them from the path of greatness. Truly it was beyond the efforts of mere mortals to construct the demise of the Blitz and even then without glory would the Knights claim victory. Yes, surely as the serpent hisses we see the work of that demon Charbonneau as he spins the net for poor Eugene. How else could it be that the mortal Christiansen succumb to the treachery of Kachieshvilli, even as Larry missed some moves. No, there is impossibility in the notion that Ilya could have failed the opportunity to repair all the evil done. We ponder as it had appeared the Knights could easily have claimed a deadlock on Ilya’s board, yet strove to invoke the devils of the board to haunt poor Ilya, he overcame them to arrive at the moment of greatest glory, only to be blinded to the simplest of solutions bishop to kings bishop three. At last we hear the words of the hero, how misfortune befell his poor troop, how another shipmate could easily have turned the tide except for missing an easy move, the sheer inequity of having the best team yet only to fail because of being mortal. Sport, that most demanding of masters tells us that winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing. Poor Boston, with nothing at all, poor Ilya with no one to blame but himself, poor USCL forced to continue the season without the heroic Blitz we have all grown to love. I tell you it is our duty, no it is a command from the heights of Olympus itself, stop the season and banish to the netherworld any mention of notion that such deeds ever happened! Let our hearts be full of joy that we were able to save Ilya from knowing that he alone could have saved the entire season for us, yet his mortal self failed. I can only dream that this will be done so that we are beyond the pain of this memory.

Nah, just kidding… Ha Ha Ilya, you messed up, you messed up, you messed up. I am just a blogger, but I know a whining goat when I see him! Ha Ha, you messed up, you messed up you messed up….

Muhamed said...

Ilya, I would not ever respond to this idiot. I mean it must feel good to be a little dog-HA81 and to bark at an elephant and to point out his missteps. Chess is a game of luck and skill, Ilya has skill maybe he didnt have all the luck. Ha81, has no skill in chess just a penchant for attacking players who could simul 1200's HA81's.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

PLEASE annotate the game for Klassic Krasik! Or do a video analysis of it, also with more animal stories!? Don’t let Matt have the last word!

Tony Cortizas, Jr. said...

OK, I give up. Could someone tell me on what move Larry C had Rd8 to win?


Muhamed said...

I dont expect anyone will reply to an annonymous coward like HA81, I dont understand is this guy having a mid-life crisis?

HA81 said...

Muhamed, read all the comments at I have replied for myself.