Lenderman Wins Philadelphia International

GM Alex Lenderman took clear first in the 2019 Philadelphia International (Philadelphia, PA, June 27-July 1) scoring 7-2 and taking home $6100. Seeded third at the outset, Lenderman led the tournament from start to finish, and had to face virtually all the other top seeds in his path to victory.
Alex Lenderman (photo David Hater)
The Philadelphia International was a truly international event. There were 13 GMs, 19 IMs, 17 FMs, 1 WGM, and 1 WIM in the 91 player field, with 19 different FIDE federations represented. I spoke with Lenderman after his last round game and he graciously offered comments about several of his games. Those comments are included in the below analysis. Lenderman also calculated that this event will see him rise to 2740 USCF and cross 2650 FIDE. After defeating GM Yasser Quesada Perez in round four, Lenderman had two draws in a row against 2019 National Open Champion Illia Nyzhnyk and GM Timur Gareyev. Both went to rook and pawn endings, although Lenderman had the worse of it against Nyzhnyk and the better side of things versus Gareyev. The round six draw against Gareyev was a very interesting game. Gareyev sacrificed a piece after 42. … Ra8. Lenderman thought it was just desperation, but there are mate threats that would allow Gareyev to get the piece back.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Date "2019.06.30"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Gareyev, Timur"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A33"]
[WhiteElo "2640"]
[BlackElo "2584"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r7/5pk1/2bR4/1pP1pP1p/1P4n1/2N5/6PP/1B4K1 w - - 0 43"]
[PlyCount "34"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

43. Rxc6 Ra3 44. h3 (44. Nxb5 Re3 45. f6+ Kh6 46. Bd3 Rxd3 47. Rd6) (44.
f6+ Kh6 45. Nd1 Ra1 46. Bc2 Ne3 47. Bb3 Nxd1 48. Bxf7) (44. Ne2 Ra1 45. f6+ Kh6
46. Nc3 Ra3 47. Nxb5 Re3 48. Bd3 Rxd3 49. Rd6) (44. Nd5 Ra1 45. f6+ Kh6 46. Nc3
Ra3 47. Nxb5 Re3 48. Bd3 Rxd3 49. Rd6) 44... Rxc3 45. hxg4 Rc1+ 46. Kf2 Rxb1
47. gxh5 Rxb4 48. h6+ Kh7 49. Ke3 Rc4 50. Rb6 Rxc5 51. Ke4 b4 52. g4 Rc4+ 53.
Kxe5 Rxg4 54. Kf6 Rc4 55. Kxf7 Rc7+ 56. Ke8 Rc8+ 57. Kd7 Ra8 58. Kc6 Rf8 59.
Rxb4 Rxf5 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
For instance: after 43. Rxc6 Ra3 44. Ne4 Re3, Gareyev is fine. Lenderman understandably didn’t like that line and instead played 43. Rxc6 Ra3 44. h3, giving him an edge that was not sufficient for victory. But  Lenderman could have won with several ideas on the 44th move to advantageously give back the piece: a) 44. Nxb5 Re3 45. f6+ Kh6 46. Bd3 Rxd3 47. Rd6 b) 44. Nd5 Ra1 45. f6+ Kh6 46. Nc3 Ra3 47. Nxb5 Re3 48. Bd3 Rxd3 49. Rd6 c) 44. f6+ Kh6 45. Nd1 Ra1 46. Bc2 Ne3 47. Bb3 Nxd1 48 Bxf7 d) 44. Ne2 Ra1 45. f6+ Kh6 46. Nc3 Ra3 47. Nxb5 Re3 48. Bd3 Rxd3 49. Rd6 Lenderman then won in round seven against top seeded GM Lazaro Batista Bruzon. The game was a bit of a back-and-forth affair where Lenderman was worse, but then he was able to turn the tables, eventually bringing home the full point.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Date "2019.06.30"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Bruzon Batista, Lazaro"]
[Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2657"]
[BlackElo "2640"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:16:46"]
[BlackClock "0:06:17"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Nce2 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Nf3 Be7 8. a3
a5 9. Nf4 Qb6 10. h4 a4 11. Be2 Qb3 12. Qd2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Nb6 14. Nh5 Rg8 15.
O-O Nc4 16. Qe1 Bd7 17. Nf4 N6a5 18. Rb1 Bxa3 19. Bd3 Be7 20. Bxh7 Rh8 21. Bd3
Nc6 22. Bxc4 Qxc4 23. Be3 Bxh4 24. Nxh4 Rxh4 25. Rd1 Qb4 26. Rd2 Na5 27. f3 Rh7
28. Nd3 Qe7 29. g3 Bb5 30. Rff2 Bxd3 31. Rxd3 Nc4 32. Bc1 Kd7 33. Rh2 Rxh2 34.
Kxh2 f5 0-1

[/pgn]
On the final day of the tournament, Lenderman drew in the morning with GM Zavan Andriasian and then in the last round with GM Emilio Cordova. The game against Cordova was very imbalanced. Near the end of the game, they repeated the position when Cordova was very short of time.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Date "2019.07.01"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Cordova, Emilio"]
[Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A06"]
[WhiteElo "2615"]
[BlackElo "2640"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/p1nq3p/1p3Q2/4p3/8/3pP1P1/Pn5P/3R1RK1 w - - 0 27"]
[PlyCount "5"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:25:42"]
[BlackClock "0:04:12"]

27. Qg5+ Kh8 28. Qf6+ Kg8 29. Qg5+ 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
Lenderman (correctly) thought that Cordova could win with 27. Rd2 Nc4 28. Rf5. He also thought that he would just be lost if he gives back the knight at b2, but Fritz thinks the assessment is White is only better and not winning.
Aaron Jacobson (photo David Hater)
There were two IM norms earned in the event. FM Aaron Jacobson earned an IM norm with a round to spare. That was serendipitous as he lost to Nyzhnyk in the last round. Jacobson needed every point he could get and he was somewhat fortunate in round one when his opponent resigned a drawn position. Can you save the game for White?
Solution: 73. Bd4 a2 74. Ba1! Kxa1 75. Kc2 In round two, Jacobson won a nice round against GM Denes Boros.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.06.27"]
[Round "2.12"]
[White "Jacobson, Aaron"]
[Black "Boros, Denes"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B54"]
[WhiteElo "2302"]
[BlackElo "2466"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Qc7 7. Be3 Be7 8. g4
Nf6 9. g5 Nfd7 10. h4 b5 11. a3 Bb7 12. h5 Ne5 13. f4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Qxc4 15. Nb3
a5 16. Qd3 O-O 17. Nd4 Qxd3 18. cxd3 b4 19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxa8 Bxa8 21. Na2 Na6
22. Ke2 Rb8 23. Ra1 e5 24. Nf5 Bf8 25. Nc1 Nc7 26. fxe5 dxe5 27. Nb3 Ne6 28.
Ra5 Rc8 29. Kd2 Bc6 30. Rxe5 Ba4 31. Nfd4 Nxd4 32. Nxd4 g6 33. Ra5 Be8 34. h6
Be7 35. Ra7 Kf8 36. Nf3 Bb5 37. Nd4 Be8 38. Nf3 Bb5 39. Bd4 Ke8 40. Bf6 Bc5 41.
Ra5 Bd7 42. Ne5 b3 43. Nxd7 Bb4+ 44. Bc3 Bxa5 45. Nf6+ Ke7 46. Bxa5 Rc2+ 47.
Kd1 Rxb2 48. Kc1 Rh2 49. d4 Kd6 50. Kb1 Kc6 51. d5+ Kc5 52. Bc3 Kc4 53. Be5 Rg2
54. d6 Rg1+ 55. Kb2 Rg2+ 56. Kc1 Rg1+ 57. Kd2 Rg2+ 58. Ke3 b2 59. Bxb2 Rxb2 60.
d7 Rb8 1-0

[/pgn]
Jacobson clinched his IM norm in the penultimate round with another fine win, this time over IM Thomas Bartell.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.07.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Jacobson, Aaron"]
[Black "Bartell, Thomas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B67"]
[WhiteElo "2302"]
[BlackElo "2369"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.
O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 b5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Kb1 Qb6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. f5 Qc5 14. Bd3
O-O-O 15. fxe6 fxe6 16. Ne2 h5 17. Qa5 Bb7 18. Nf4 Re8 19. a4 Bh6 20. Rhf1 Bxf4
21. Rxf4 Rhg8 22. g3 h4 23. Rxh4 Rh8 24. Rf4 Rxh2 25. Rxf6 b4 26. Qxc5+ dxc5
27. Rg1 b3 28. g4 Rd8 29. Rf3 bxc2+ 30. Kc1 Rd4 31. b3 Bxe4 32. Bxe4 Rxe4 33.
g5 Rd4 34. Rfg3 Rd7 35. g6 Rg7 36. Rg5 Kd7 37. Rxc5 Rh6 38. Rcg5 e5 39. Kxc2
Ke6 40. b4 Rh4 41. Kb3 Rf4 42. Re1 Rf3+ 43. Ka2 Rf2+ 44. Ka1 Kd5 45. Rexe5+ Kc4
46. b5 Kb3 47. Rg3+ Kxa4 48. bxa6 Rf6 49. Rg4+ Kb3 50. Re3+ Kc2 51. Rg2+ Kd1
52. Ra3 Rf8 53. Rb3 1-0

[/pgn]
The second IM norm was earned by FM Rohan Talukdar. He only needed a draw in the last round, but he defeated GM Boros to exceed the IM norm by a half point.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.07.01"]
[Round "9.11"]
[White "Boros, Denes"]
[Black "Talukdar, Rohan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B87"]
[WhiteElo "2466"]
[BlackElo "2384"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 b5 8. f4
Be7 9. e5 dxe5 10. fxe5 Nfd7 11. Qh5 O-O 12. Be3 Qc7 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. Rhf1 b4
15. Na4 Nxb3+ 16. axb3 Bb7 17. Qg4 Nc6 18. Qg3 Rfd8 19. Nf3 Rxd1+ 20. Rxd1 Rd8
21. Rf1 Rd5 22. Nb6 Rb5 23. Nc4 Na5 24. Nd4 Rd5 25. Qf2 Bc5 26. Nxe6 Bxe3+ 27.
Nxe3 Nxb3+ 28. Kb1 Ra5 29. cxb3 Be4+ 30. Nc2 Bxc2+ 31. Kc1 Ra1+ 32. Kd2 Rxf1
33. Qxf1 fxe6 34. Qxa6 Bf5 35. Qc4 Qxe5 36. Qxb4 Qxb2+ 37. Ke3 Qxg2 38. Qb8+
Kf7 0-1

[/pgn]
There were two other players with strong norm chances, but neither could not get the required final round wins. IM Joshua Sheng could have made a GM norm with a last round win over Gareyev, but they drew, giving both a share of second place. FM Andrew Peredun also needed a win against IM Michael Mulyar to earn an IM norm, but he too could only draw. One of the last games in the tournament to end featured a nice finish. After a long struggle where both sides had chances, Black finds a nice way to win the game. Can you find the key move?
Solution: 64. … e3! 65. Rxa3 e2 66. Rxh3 (66. Ra1 Rc6+ and … Rc1) 66. … e1=Q 67. a7 Qe4+ 68. Kg5 Qg4+. The Philadelphia International also featured a FIDE rated expert section. It was won by Rachael Li and Winston Ni. Both players scored 7-2, but they took very different routes to the winner’s circle. Winston started 4-0, gave up a draw to Madhaven Narkeeran, beat Rachael Li and then drew in rounds 6 and 7 before taking a bye in round 9. Rachael on the other hand gave up draws in rounds 2 and 5 and lost to Ni in round 6 and then won three straight in rounds 7, 8, and 9 to share first.
Rachael Li (photo David Hater)
Here is Li’s last round win over Madhaven Narkeeran.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Narkeeran, Madhavan"]
[Black "Li, Rachael"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2153"]
[BlackElo "2142"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bb5 d6 6. O-O e6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 8. d3
Ne7 9. Be3 Rb8 10. Rb1 O-O 11. e5 Nd5 12. Bd2 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Rxb1 14. Qxb1 Ba6
15. Qb2 c4 16. d4 dxe5 17. fxe5 Qb6 18. Qc1 c5 19. Bh6 cxd4 20. cxd4 c3 21. Re1
Bb7 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Qb1 Bxf3 24. Qxb6 axb6 25. gxf3 Ra8 26. Rb1 Rxa2 27. Rxb6
Rxc2 28. Rc6 Kh6 29. Kf1 Kg5 30. Ke1 Kf4 31. Kd1 Rd2+ 32. Kc1 Rxd4 33. Rc7 Kxe5
34. Rxf7 h5 35. Kc2 Rf4 36. Rg7 Kf6 37. Rg8 Kf7 38. Rc8 Rxf3 39. h4 Rf4 40.
Kxc3 Rxh4 41. Kd3 Ra4 42. Ke3 Kf6 43. Kf3 Kf5 44. Kg3 Ra3+ 45. Kf2 g5 46. Kg1
Ra2 47. Rf8+ Kg4 48. Rb8 e5 49. Rb4+ Kg3 50. Rb3+ Kf4 51. Rb1 g4 52. Rf1+ Kg3
53. Kh1 e4 54. Re1 Kf3 55. Rf1+ Ke2 56. Rg1 Ra8 57. Rg2+ Kd3 58. Rf2 e3 59. Rf7
e2 60. Rd7+ Kc4 61. Rc7+ Kd5 62. Rc1 Kd4 63. Kg2 Kd3 64. Rb1 Rf8 65. Rb7 e1=Q
0-1

[/pgn]
Here is the game between the two champions.
[pgn]

[Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.06.29"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ni, Winston"]
[Black "Li, Rachael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[WhiteElo "2068"]
[BlackElo "2142"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 c5 4. dxc5 Nc6 5. Bb5 e6 6. b4 a5 7. c3 Bd7 8. Qb3
Be7 9. Nd2 O-O 10. a4 Nh5 11. Bg3 Nxg3 12. hxg3 Ne5 13. Bxd7 Qxd7 14. Ngf3 Ng6
15. O-O Rfc8 16. Rfd1 Bf6 17. Ra2 axb4 18. cxb4 Qc7 19. a5 Ne7 20. Nb1 Nc6 21.
Nc3 Bxc3 22. Qxc3 Na7 23. Nd4 e5 24. Nf3 Nb5 25. Qd3 e4 26. Qxb5 exf3 27. gxf3
Rd8 28. Rad2 Rd7 29. Rxd5 Re7 30. Rd7 Rxd7 31. Rxd7 Qe5 32. Qxb7 Rb8 33. Qc7
Qa1+ 34. Kg2 Re8 35. Rd8 Qa4 36. Rxe8+ Qxe8 37. a6 Qa8 38. a7 h5 39. Qb8+ Qxb8
40. axb8=Q+ Kh7 41. c6 Kh6 42. c7 h4 43. c8=Q Kg5 44. Qg4+ Kf6 45. Qd6# 1-0

[/pgn]
One of the players in the third place tie deserves some mention. Nine year old Miaoyi Lu from China scored 6 ½ - 2 ½ to tie for third and earn $1600. She probably set the record for most moves played as the average number of moves in her games is 72 and she had a 172 move draw in round 5!
Miaoyi Lu (photo David Hater)
NTD Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess, and was assisted by David Hater, Brian Yang, and Jon Haskel. Full tournament details, including many games, can be found at www.internationalchess.net.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Philadelphia International was not the only big tournament in Philadelphia last weekend. A five round weekend swiss, the […]

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Annotation for the answer on the second puzzle is incorrect, e.g., Rxa3 should be Rxh3, etc.

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