2015 Bruce Alberston Memorial Games

2015 Bruce Alberston Memorial Games

May 6, 2015, 1:08 AM |
Hi There Fellow Chess Fans!

On April 25, 2015, on what would have been Bruce Alberston's Birthday, the Lehigh Valley Chess Club hosted our 1st Memorial Chess Tournament in his honor. Bruce Alberston had been playing chess since high school and won the 1968 Pa State Championship before he retired from tournament play and moved to NY, to teach and write chess books, somewhere about 1980 until his passing last November 2014. He was, in my early chess playing days, the resident Allentown, Pa, master of note at that Allentown Chess Club which existed at the Swain School, during the 1970's. I started playing at the Bethlehem YMCA Chess Club which later merged with it about 1977-78 and it swelled to become rather large in its number of active members. Besides FM Bruce Alberston, there were Herman Hesse and Marty Simsak, both of which had Pa State Championship titles and were formidable opponents. I had the privledge of playing them all but never beating them, back then, including Bruce. The history of chess at the local level in the USA is ever changing and diverse. Novice and Master compete at chess clubs and tournaments and challege each other over the chessboard with only a fraction of any of those games being shared. It is through this process of testing and retesting lines of play we begin to glean insight from our better's. So, here are a few from the recent 2015 LVCA Bruce Alberston Memorial. All games were played under the fast G30;d5 time control and errors are common with this fast time format though the play was challenging and entertaining.  Enjoy!

This first game was played against FM Karl Dehmelt who has been playing very well of late. Most recently in March, Karl had finished 1st in the Pa Quick Chess Championship and 1st in the Lancaster Open at the Pa State Championships. This event is traditionally recognized as the Pa State Championship winner of 2015. He was Co-Champion in both events with IM Thomas Bartell and this is his 3rd Pa State Championship lifetime title. 


This game, won by Kevin, was the Best Game "Brilliancy Prize for U2100" submitted by a player at this tournament. Mostly, as its contained much complexity and the play was extemely difficult under the time control with many move choices throughout the game. Kevin Santo is a player to watch. With some effort I expect him to make master level in the near future.
Next game was submitted by Master Isaac Leon who won the Pa State Scholastic K-12 Open Championship in 2014. Again, FM Karl Dehmelt defends in very strong and complex game with Isaac Leon. Isaac is very good at drawing and if he can convert those draws to wins he will be well on his way to IM and GM status. Here is the game...
Next game was between CM Jonathan Pfefer(winner of the U2100 Prize and tied for 4th with Peter Minear, Isaac Leon and Ilya Shvartsman) and NM Peter Minear who is a 4-time Pa State Champion in addition to his long string of tournament victories that includes the recent 2014 Lehigh Valley Invitational (8 Masters(5 Pa State Champions), 2 CM's). Jon Pfefer has casually won many Junior events, including a Pa Collegiate Champion title, throughout his chess career and is intent on reaching NM level soon, in his future.
Peter, ever the knowledgable tournament player catches Jon in an opening trap of the Caro Kann, 2 Knights Variation, though Jon was not the first person to end up with an inferior position from this opening according to the databases...
Next game was a Classic Closed Ruy Lopez: Smyslov Variation between NM Matthew O'Brien and NM Peter Minear. Matthew was able to win a piece for 3 pawns but after missing the critical continuation he quickly lost another pawn and found his pieces on uncoordinated squares and the charging pawns dominated the play, backed by Peter activating all his pieces into a well organized attack...
It was a bit of a frustrating loss for Matthew O'Brien but, this weekend after scoring a respectable 3 of 5 in the Bruce Alberston Memorial he took his game to the 61st Maryland Open on May 1-3, 2015 and entered in the U2200 Section and took clear first with an undefeated 4.5/5.0 to bounce right back in his next event. Good for him and congratulations!
Last, but not least, we come to the selected best game for players submitted Over 2099 in the 1st Annual LVCA Bruce Alberston Memorial between NM Peter Minear and this year's 2015 Pa State Scholastic K-12 Open Champion, Master Christopher Yang. Christopher tied for 1st with IM Igor Khmelnitsky and CM Daniel Tartaglione in this event and also went undefeated in 5 rounds. This game was typical of the back and forth struggle to play great chess with both players sharing in the prize for Best game "Brilliancy Prize for Over 2099" for a drawn result in the Sicilian Defense. Here is that game as follows...

Finally, I wish to thanks the players who came out to honor Bruce Alberston, chess player, chess champion, chess teacher and chess author and native of the Lehigh Valley, Pa. Seven masters, of which six were Pa State Champions, in addition to the numerous LVCA Club Scholastic PA State Champions who helped make this day special and very grand.  In addition, thanks to all the family and friends of LVCA CC who came and helped celebrate Bruce Alberston's legacy, we hope to continue it for many years to come. See you soon at chess!