MetroWest Chess Club - Spring Swiss
April   1, 8, 15, 22, 29   2003

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Tournament Commentary
written by Larry Eldridge

Round 5 - April 29, 2003

Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov completed a sweep of the annual Spring Open, defeating master John Curdo in the last round for a perfect 5-0 score. Ivanov began his run with a victory over Robert Harvey, defeated expert John Chamberlain in Round 2, then reeled off consecutive victories over his three main rivals: No. 2 seed Igor Foygel and fellow masters Charles Riordan Curdo.

Riordan took runner-up honors with 4 points, losing only to Ivanov, while expert Ed Epp came in third with 3.5. Foygel and Curdo also each lost only to the winner, but byes reduced their final tallies to 3.0 points, enabling Epp to slip past them with a last-round victory.

A-players Robert Powell, Robert Harvey, Ed Astrachan, and Michael Farmer scored 3 points each to tie Foygel and Curdo for fourth-place honors. Powell lost to Curdo in Round 2 but stormed back with three straight wins to reach the top echelon again before falling to Riordan in the last round. Harvey and Astrachan also turned in noteworthy performances, losing only on the high boards in Round One (to Ivanov and Riordan, respectively), then going undefeated the rest of the way with two wins and two draws apiece.

Howard Goldowsky defeated Mark Kaprielian in the last round to win U1750 honors with 4.5 points (four wins and a half-point bye). Bill Stein, Menno Koning, Paul Vlahos, and Gatumba Abu shared runner-up honors at 3.5 points each.

Plamen Krastev defeated Scot McLaughlin in a decisive last-round battle to emerge victorious in a very competitive U1450 section. McLaughlin won four straight games to hold the lead going into the last round, but Krastev (3.5), leapfrogged past him with his victory to take clear first place.

Stephen Schnair and Thomas Martin, two of the big surprises in the tournament, also both went into the last round with 3.5 points and a shot at top honors, but they were paired against each other and battled to a draw to finish with 4 points each. Fred Harvey and Eric J. Sonnenstuhl, meanwhile, won their last-round games to join the five-way second-place deadlock which of course also included McLaughlin.

Schnair, rated only 1158 entering the tournament, apparently gained more than 100 points in an outstanding undefeated performance highlighted by victories over two of the top seeds. Thomas, who went in unrated, also posted an unbeaten slate highlighted by a mid-tournament upset of top-seeded Pierre Fleurant.

The final round went almost completely according to form, the only upset meeting our 100-point criterion occurring in the Open section where young Jacob Wamala (1431) held Alexander Paphitis (1765) to a draw.

Name                             Pnts     Victim
Jacob K Wamala (1431)     167.0     Alexand Paphitis (1765)
Na Ruthramoorthy (1863)    86.0     Trev De Koekkoek (1949)
Robert L Harvey (1865)       75.0     John Chamberlain (2015)
Michael V Farmer (1806)     10.0     Niki Konovalchuk (1816)

Name                             Pnts     Victim
Gatumba Z Abu (1555)         74.0     David W Martin (1629)
Alan D Schaefer (1456)        34.0     Ethan Thompson (1490)
Howard Goldowsky (1714)   25.0     Mark Kaprielian (1739)

Name                         Pnts         Victim
Lanny Sun (1259)             21.0     David M Smith (1280)
Plamen Krastev (1372)     14.0     Scot Mc Laughlin (1386)

Round 4 - April 22, 2003

Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov defeated master Charles Riordan with the black pieces to take command with a perfect 4-0 score, clinching at least a tie for top honors and needing only a draw with white in the last round to capture clear first place.

Master John Curdo, who won two games and then took two straight byes for 3 points, has the last shot at the leader. Also at 3.0 and sharing runner-up honors with Curdo at the moment are Riordan, Senior Master Igor Foygel, and A-player Robert Powell.

With Foygel on vacation and taking a last-round bye, the pairings work out Ivanov-Curdo, Powell-Riordan, and Ed Epp-Randy Brueckner in a battle of 2.5s on Board 3.

Bill Stein and Howard Goldowsky share the U1750 lead with 3.5 points each (3 wins and a half-point bye in both cases), but Stein is taking a last-round bye, complicating the pairings. Goldowsky has black vs. Mark Kaprielian (2.5) and can win it all with a victory or tie for first place with a draw. Stein, by virtue of his bye, is "in the clubhouse" with 4 points and could actually take clear first place himself if Kaprielian beats Goldowsky or tie for top honors if that game ends in a draw.

The U1450 section is in many ways the most interesting of all, with upsets galore and an exciting battle heading into the finale. Scot McLaughlin has won four straight games to hold the solo lead with the only perfect score, but three rivals are breathing down his neck with 3.5.

One of this trio is Steven Schnair, who is actually the big story of the tournament so far with two major upsets to his credit. Ranked only 19th out of 37 players at 1158, Schnair started off with a bye and a forfeit win, then defeated two of the sectionís top players, James Klinkenberg (1406) and John McLaughlin (1425) to join the leaders.

Plamen Krastev and Thomas Martin are the other players with 3.5, with Krastev getting the Board One pairing (and the white pieces) vs. McLaughlin, while Schnair has white on Board 2 vs. Martin.

Schnairís upset of John Mc Laughlin was the most significant of Round 4, but not the biggest in terms of rating differential. That honor went to Gregory Cermak (795) for a draw with Klinkenberg (1406). Others: Danny Ashman (1572) defeated Alexander Paphitis (1765) and Justin Grimes (1075) drew Pierre Fleurant (1428).

One more player jumped in in Round 4, raising the total entries to 83 (23-23-37).

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
Danny M Ashman (1572)     193.0     Alexand Paphitis (1765)
Michael V Farmer (1806)       46.0     Alfred G Ward (1852)
Edward Astrachan (1816)      23.5     Na Ruthramoorthy (1863)

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
Gatumba Z Abu (1555)          92.0     Mark Kaprielian (1739)
Harvey G Reed (1394)           75.0     Lomer J Cormier (1469)
James H Rafferty (1469)        39.5     Severine Wamala (1548)
Harry Henriques (1511)           9.0     Edwin F Burnett (1529)

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
Gregory W Cermak (795)    305.5     Jame Klinkenberg (1406)
Stephen Schnair (1158)      267.0     John Mc Laughlin (1425)
Justin P Grimes (1075)       176.5     Pierre Fleurant (1428)
David M Smith (1280)           46.0     Plamen Krastev (1372)

Round 3 - April 15, 2003

Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov defeated Igor Foygel in a showdown battle of the top two seeds to maintain his perfect record, while Charles Riordan kept pace with a win over Trevor De Koekkoek to post the only other 3-0 score. The two leaders will meet in Round 4, with Riordan getting the white pieces.

John Curdo, who won his first two games and then opted for a bye in Round 3, stands alone in third place with 2.5 points, and gets black vs. Foygel (the highest-rated 2.0) on Board 2. Also with 2 points is a quartet consisting of Ed Epp, John Chamberlain, Robert Powell, and Randy Brueckner , with Chamberlain-Epp the Board 3 pairing while Powell plays De Koekkoek (1.5) since Brueckner is taking a bye.

Bill Stein defeated Peter Karp to emerge as the only player with a perfect score in the U1750 section. Howard Goldowsky and Menno Koning are tied for second place at 2.5 each. Goldowsky has white against Klein on Board One, while Koning drops to face top-seeded Mark Kaprielian (2.5) on the second board.

Sharing the lead with perfect scores in the U1450 section is a trio consisting of Scot Mc Laughlin,  Plamen Krastev, and surprising eighth-grader Andrew Taylor. The Round 4 pairings are Mc Laughlin-Taylor on Board One and Krastev vs. David Smith (the highest-rated 2.5) on Board 2.

Stephen Schnair scored the biggest upset in Round 3, defeating James Klinkenberg despite a 248-point difference in ratings (1158-1406). The only other form reversals meeting our 100-point criterion were Gregory Cermak (795) drawing Justin Grimes (1075) and Danny Ashman (1572) defeating Calvin Hori (1673).

Eighty-two players are competing: 22 in the Open section, 23 in the middle, and 37 in the bottom grouping.

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
Danny M Ashman (1572)     101.0     Calvin G Hori (1673)

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
James H Rafferty (1469)         80.0     David W Martin (1629)
Harvey G Reed (1394)            72.0     Louis P Jacques (1466)
Gatumba Z Abu (1555)           49.5     Walter Champion (1654)
John Stengrevics (1471)         19.0     Ethan Thompson (1490)

Name                                 Pnts     Victim
Stephen Schnair (1158)         248.0     Jame Klinkenberg (1406)
Gregory W Cermak (795)       140.0     Justin P Grimes (1075)
Lanny Sun (1259)                   82.0     James A Krycka (1341)


Round 2 - April 8, 2003

All four masters won again to emerge as the only players with perfect scores in the Open section - so now the fun begins! Top-seeded Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov gets the white pieces against Charles Riordan in the Board One match up in Round 3, while No. 2 seed Igor Foygel has black against longtime rival John Curdo. Meanwhile, breathing down their necks with 1.5 points each and paired against each other on Board 3 are Ed Epp and Trevor De Koekkoek.

An array of draws, byes, and losses took their toll on the leaders in the U1750 section, leaving only Bill Stein, Howard Goldowsky, and Peter Karp sharing the lead at 2.0. But a full half dozen competitors won for the second straight time in the U1450 section, creating a logjam at the top among John McLaughlin, Scot McLaughlin, Plamen Krastev, Greg Siciliano, Jenshiang Hong, and Andrew Taylor.

Gregory Cermak pulled the biggest upset of the tournament so far, shocking Douglas Thompson despite a 496-point rating differential (795-1291). The only other form reversal in any section meeting our 100-point criterion was Jenshiang Hong (1268) over Pierre Fleurant (1428).

Seven players jumped in for Round 2, increasing the field to 82: 22 in the Open section, 23 in the middle, and a whopping 37 in the bottom group.

Name 			Pnts 	Victim 
Michael Barry (1758) 		42.0 	Neil B Cousin (1842) 
Edward Astrachan (1816) 	24.5 	Robert L Harvey (1865) 

Name 			Pnts 	Victim 
Peter Karp (1648) 		91.0 	Mark Kaprielian (1739) 
Alan D Schaefer (1456) 	55.0 	Harry Henriques (1511) 
Matthew W Phelps (1549) 	52.5 	Walter Champion (1654) 
John Stengrevics (1471) 	38.5 	Severine Wamala (1548) 
Edwin F Burnett (1529) 	35.5 	Philip Mercurio (1600) 

Name 			Pnts 	Victim 
Gregory W Cermak (795) 	496.0 	Douglas Thompson (1291) 
Jenshiang Hong (1268) 	160.0 	Pierre Fleurant (1428) 
Round 1 - April 1, 2003
The big news is that after a lapse of two years Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov is playing at the MCC again this month. IM-designate Igor Foygel and masters John Curdo and Charles Riordan are also competing, making it one of the strongest fields we have had in some time.

All four masters won their opening tests, as did experts John Chamberlain and Derek Slater, and A-players Robert Powell, Randy Brueckner, and Al Ward, creating a nine-player tie for first place at this early juncture.

In the other sections, Mark Kaprielian heads a group of 10 competitors sharing the lead in U1750, and Pierre Fleurant tops a 14-player array leading the U1400 section.

All three sections went very much according to form, with only a handful of relatively mild surprises. In the top section, the lone upset meeting our 100-point criterion was a draw achieved by Alexander Paphitis (1765) against expert Ed Epp (2016). Elsewhere, Lomer Cormier (1469) defeated David Martin (1629) and James Rafferty (1469) knocked off Phil Mercurio (1600).

In terms of total entries, last monthís 80 is "a tough act to follow," but this tournament opened with 20 players in the Open section 23 in the middle, and 32 in the bottom group for a total of 75. Thus with the usual "jump-ins," the field is likely to eventually exceed that March figure.

Name 			Pnts 	Victim 
Alexand Paphitis (1765) 	125.5 	Edward R Epp (2016) 

Name 			Pnts 	Victim 
Lomer J Cormier (1469) 	160.0 	David W Martin (1629) 
James H Rafferty (1469) 	131.0 	Philip Mercurio (1600) 
Alan D Schaefer (1456) 	  49.5 	Gatumba Z Abu (1555) 
Name 			Pnts 	Victim