Chasin Captures K-5 Title in Dramatic Finale

Nico Chasin gets into the zone for his final round game against Samarth Rao Bellayaru, Photo Eric Rosen
Three players went into the final round of the K-5 Championship with 5.5/6. The pressure was on for the trio, who needed to win to control the fate of the National title. Samarth Rao Bellayaru (GA) took on defending K-5 National Champion Nico Chasin (NY) on board 1, while Jack Levine (NY), who also had 5.5, faced off vs the 2nd seed Dimitar Mardov (IL). Mardov, only in fourth grade, won a K-3 National Championship title in 2017.
Dimitar Mardov, Photo Eric Rosen
Chasin and Levine will be moving on to new middle schools next year, so this was their last chance to represent their Elementary school, PS 41. Chasin told US Chess that leading PS 41 was the most memorable aspect of the event for him. "We have won the first place team trophy many times and it’s sad that this will be the last time for me. "
Bellayaru with his game face on, Photo IM Eric Rosen
For Bellayaru, this was a chance to take down the title after a blazing 5-0 start and a sixth round draw against Mardov.
[pgn]

[Event "National K-5"]
[Site "Nashville, TN USA"]
[Date "2018.05.13"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Bellayaru, Samarth"]
[Black "Chasin, Nico"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "112"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Be3 Nf6 6. Bd3 d6 7. a4 b6 8. O-O
Bb7 9. Nc3 Nbd7 10. Nb3 Be7 11. f4 O-O {Black has a fairly comfortable
hedgehog. It is not so easy for White to advance.} 12. Kh1 Qc7 13. Qe2 Nc5 14.
e5 Nfd7 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16. Bxc5 {It is a good idea here to preserve the
light-squared bishop.} bxc5 17. Rae1 g6 18. b3 {18. exd6 Bxd6 19. Be4 is one
way to stay out of trouble.} d5 19. Nd1 c4 {A nice idea by black to make the
queenside the main battleground.} 20. bxc4 dxc4 21. Be4 Bxe4 22. Qxe4 Rab8 23.
Re3 {23. Ne3 was necessary here and White may hold the balance.} Rb1 24. Ree1 {
White has lost 2 tempi} Rd8 25. Ne3 Rxe1 26. Rxe1 Qa5 {Black creates a very
dangerous outside passed pawn.} 27. Nxc4 Qxa4 28. Nd6 Qxe4 29. Nxe4 Rc8 30. c3
a5 31. Ra1 Rc4 32. Nd6 Rxc3 33. g3 Bxd6 34. exd6 Rd3 35. Rxa5 Rxd6 36. Kg2 {
White has played very well to get to R+3 vs. R+4 to try and hold.} Rd5 {
36... Rd2+ 37. Kh3 h5 should definitely be considered.} 37. Ra2 Kg7 38. Kf3 g5
39. fxg5 {Maybe just 39. Rb2 to hold the structure} Rxg5 {Now Black has a
passed pawn to work with.} 40. g4 Rc5 41. Ra3 Kg6 42. h4 {42. h3 may provide
more resistance.} h5 43. g5 {Otherwise, Black gets connected passers.} Rc4 {
Now the weakness of h4 is crippling for the defense.} 44. Kg3 f6 45. gxf6 Kxf6
46. Ra5 e5 47. Ra6+ Kf5 48. Ra3 Rg4+ 49. Kh3 Kf4 50. Ra4+ e4 51. Rb4 Kf3 52.
Rb5 e3 53. Re5 e2 54. Rf5+ Rf4 55. Rxf4+ Kxf4 56. Kg2 e1=Q 0-1[/pgn]
After a well played Sicilian, Chasin takes the full point. Photo IM Eric Rosen
Meanwhile on board two, the game between Levine, also of PS 41 and Mardov was a wild contest.
Mardov vs. Levine with GM Krush studying the complex position, Photo IM Eric Rosen
[pgn]

[Event "Nashville, TN USA"]
[Site "Nashville, TN USA"]
[Date "2018.05.13"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Levine, Jack"]
[Black "Mardov, Dimitar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "137"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. Qe2 Nf6 6. Bg2 d4 {This release of
tension allows White to make a pleasant trip with a knight to c4.} 7. O-O e5 8.
a4 Bd6 9. Na3 a6 10. Nc4 Bc7 11. b3 {11. Bd2 b6 Nh4 with f2-f4 on the way is
good for White.} Rb8 12. Ne1 b5 13. Nb2 Qe7 14. f4 h5 15. f5 Ba5 16. Nf3 Bc3 {
Both sides are playing with great imagination in the last round.} 17. Rb1 Bd7
18. axb5 axb5 19. Nd1 Bb4 20. Bg5 Qd6 21. Ra1 {Levine wants to play Ra6,
followed by Nxe5 ideas, starting to control both sides of board.} Qc7 22. Ra6
Rb6 23. Rxb6 Qxb6 24. Nh4 c4 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Bf3 Ke7 {Mardov sets up the
kingside defenses, but Levine has another plan ready.} 27. Bxh5 Be8 28. bxc4
bxc4 29. Qg4 Bd2 30. Qg7 {The start of an amazing combination!} Rxh5 31. Ng6+
Kd7 32. Nf8+ Ke7 33. Ng6+ Kd7 34. Nf8+ Kd6 {34... Ke7 35. Ng6+ would be a 3
time occurrence; also 35. Ne6 Bb4 36. Nf2 trying to get to f6 with immense
complications.} 35. Qxf6+ Kc5 36. Ne6+ Kb4 {36... fxe6 37. Qf8+ is promising
for White} 37. Nf2 Kc3 {Defending against Rb1+ but also to emphasize the
strength of the king-walk.} 38. Qg7 Qa7 {38... fxe6 39. Qf8 is dangerous} 39.
Qg8 Bd7 40. Qxf7 Rh8 41. Nf8 Qa2 42. Nxd7 {Finally regaining the material with
advantage! Players starting to get in time pressure} Kxc2 43. Qe6 Na5 44. f6
Qa3 45. Nxe5 c3 46. Qb6 Nb3 47. f7 Rf8 48. Nfg4 Qc5 49. Qa6 Qa5 50. Qxa5 Nxa5
51. Nd7 Rxf7 52. Rxf7 Kxd3 53. Nc5+ Ke2 54. Rf2+ Kd1 55. Nd3 {White seems to
have fully consolidated as both players in blitz scramble.} c2 56. e5 Nc6 57.
e6 Ne7 58. Rf1+ Ke2 59. Nge5 Be3+ 60. Kg2 Nd5 61. Ng6 {A blunder by Levine
after a wonderful game when under a minute left on the clock. Perhaps it was
time for 61 h4.} Kxd3 62. e7 Nxe7 63. Nxe7 Ke2 64. Nf5 {64. Nc6 d3 65. Nb4
holds} d3 65. Nxe3 Kxe3 66. Rf3+ Kd2 67. Rf2+ Kc3 68. Rf1 d2 69. g4 0-1[/pgn]
Since Mardov was half a point behind, this victory gave Nico Chasin the title clear, while Mardov tied for 2nd place.
Our twitter hero of the weekend, IM Eric Rosen with Dimitar Mardov
Levine lost the game but still earned a National Championship title as a key member of PS 41 along with Nico.
Throw your trophies in the air! L to R: Drew Justice, Nathaniel Shuman, Nico Chasin, Gus Huston, Adi Murgescu, and Jack Levine, Photo IM Eric Rosen
After capturing the title, Chasin showed characteristic good sportsmanship and told US Chess, "I also want to congratulate my friend Nate Shuman for winning Nationals on his birthday and on Mother's Day! Also thanks to my parents and my coach for supporting and believing me.
Friends and National Champions: Nathaniel Shuman (K-6 Co-champ) and Nico Chasin, K-5 Champ. Photo IM Eric Rosen
Browse full standings here. Find more info on the other three Championship sections in our earlier report.  Review highlights from our twitter takeover by IM Eric Rosen at #ElemChessChamps
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After being introduced to the game of chess at a young age, Danny spent most of his childhood at chess tournaments, as his parents GM Michael Rohde and IA Sophia Rohde were both involved in chess. He is a US Chess expert, Graduate of the University of Michigan and the Event Manager of the Greater NY Scholastic Chess Championship aka "The Cities." He is on the US Chess Scholastic Committee and a US Chess Delegate of New York, focusing on making the game of chess better for all who are a part of it.
He otherwise spends his time teaching chess, running events and playing poker part-time professionally. Follow him on twitter at @danrohde

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