The first, hopefully annual or if Chad can manage it bi-annual, Albuquerque FIDE Invitational was held at the North Hampton Inn in Albuquerque, New Mexico January 2-4. As you may have surmised, Chad Schneider,who also was the sponsor and organizer of the 2011 Southern Rocky FIDE Open, organized and eventually directed this round robin event with two 9 player sections. Lior Lapid, who was the upset winner of the 2011 Southern Rocky FIDE Open, went undefeated in the top section after being upset in round 1 by a crowd pleasing two piece sacrifice executed by Sac “I mean” Zack Stuart. I believe Lior maintained that the first piece sac was unsound at some level, but the second piece sac posed insoluble problems for the Albuquerque Chess Professional. Stuart, who chews up and spits out many strong players with his aggressive gambit style of play, is definitely an adherent of the well-known dictum that “fortune favors the brave”.
So I guess the alert title reader might want to know why a chess tournament would also be known as Niagara Falls. Chad, in the name of cost reduction, procured a single hotel room that functioned as the tournament room. And Yes, this single room had a single bathroom with a non-urinal (commode). Somewhere around round 2, an appropriate pre round announcement would have been to “aim at the back” which would have required no clarification. Let’s finish this tasteless piece off by noting that it was not too difficult to discern who was on blood pressure medication.
I want to congratulate Mark Schwarman for a Houdini like (literally and figuratively) Queen sacrifice he played against the Dutch Defense. In the following diagrammed position Mark plays the silicon charged Qh6!
After a near apoplectic fit, I realized Schwarman’s bolt from the blue was completely sound and reacted with Kg8. Note that acceptance of White’s queen sac leads to mate in 2. Schwarman brilliantly and thematically renews the mate threat with Ng4 which forces Black to capture the mating bishop at b2 leaving the game close to level. The Albuquerque expert went on to win the game outplaying Young in the ending which included a very sneaky corralling of the Black Horse.
The last game to finish in Round 1 was Ben Coraretti vs Steve Young. The game ended drawn because Young did not know how to mate with a Bishop and Knight and did not really feel like trying after Coraretti cleverly figured out a way to force that ending. Of greater significance, was Senior TD Art Glassman’s special interest in that game. Young was keeping score with a MonRoi device and did not have a complete score with less than 5 minutes remaining. Glassman peered over Young’s shoulder to confirm this. It was debatable whether Glassman should have taken this action unless summoned by Coraretti. After the game was agreed drawn, an agitated Glassman informed Coraretti that he could have forced Young to catch up on the score sheet on his own time with possible time forfeiture as a consequence. Glassman correctly asserted that there was no way for Coraretti to determine if Young had a complete scoresheet without first asking Young to display it on his MonRoi device, but again Glassman’s involvement was “self inserted”. Neither player requested that he intercede or make a ruling.
In my view, it is Ben’s choice to make said request and Glassman should not have interceded an any fashion. The game was very illustrative of the difference that exists between the USCF and FIDE with respect to scorekeeping when one side has less that 5 minutes AND a 30 second increment is being used. Ask Todd Andrews about this as his well known game with Alexander Ivanov ended sourly due to a scorekeeping dispute. There were no incidents in the final 8 rounds after Glassman withdrew his services. Finally, I want to thank Chad Schneider for his magnanimous giving of time to Caissa and Ron Coraretti( Ben’s dad) for playing a few house games after one of the players in the top section withdrew.