Wednesday, December 16, 2009

IM Jay Bonin and SM Yaakov Norowitz victorious at last St. John's Masters!

Perennial Speed Powerhouse Yaacov Norowitz scored 3½ points in the December 15th St. John's Masters at the Marshall Chess Club. Yaacov's opponents tried to confuse things with some unusual openings, but when the smoke cleared, the Senior Master emerged unfazed by the complications. Leif Pressman trotted out the Budapest Gambit in Round 2, but Yaacov simplified his positional advantage into a won endgame. Round 3 saw FM Asa Hoffmann testing out an unorthodox Queen's Pawn opening (with 2... Bg4 and 3...Bxf3), but again Norowitz nursed a pawn advantage into a won game. Finally in the last round, Yaacov took no chances, grabbing a fast draw with IM Jay Bonin, who also had won his first three games.

Bonin and Norowitz shared first and second prize, taking home $250 each. Hoffmann, who rebounded with a last-round victory over NM Oliver Chernin, scored 3-1, along with IM Justin Sarkar, who bowed out of the festivities with a pre-declared last-round bye. They each won $70. Michael Layevskiy, the second-lowest-rated player at the start, showed that it's not so bad on the bottom, when he defeated NM Leiff Pressman in Round 3-- a 320 point upset which easily clinched the $30 Upset Prize. Michael also won the $30 Under 2300 prize to boot!

The St. John's Masters tournaments had been held on the third Tuesday of the month. This was the last such event, however. Starting in 2010, the monthly tournaments will be sponsored by the Marshall Chess Club, along with interested patrons.

The first "Marshall Masters" tournament will be at 7 pm on the third Tuesday of the month of January: January 19th.

These events are open to players rated over 2100. Players under 2100 may also qualify to register by scoring at least 2½ points in one of the "4 Rated Games Tonight!" action tournaments held every Thursday night at 7 pm since the last Tuesday Masters tournament.. You can also follow the action each round on Board 1 on ICC, if you can't make it out to the Marshall.

Steve Immitt

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