From the Pig's Pen


edition 6 * 9 July, 2014

July 4th weekend means the annual tradition of the World Open. In past years players trekked to Philadelphia, but fortunately for us North Carolinians, the World Open has migrated southwest a few hours to just outside Washington DC. 42 North Carolinians made the trip to Arlington, VA for their shot at the largest annual prize fund among American Swiss events. All tolled Tarheel racked up 135 wins, 69 draws, and 138 losses in the main event.

Nadi Bozkurt.jpg

Two big stories emerged from the Under 2400 section. Duke graduate student Nadi Bozkurt put on a big performance winning six and drawing two of his nine games to finish tied for third in the under 2400. The result left Nadi with a 2442 provisional rating based on 19 games. It would be pretty much a sinch for him to earn his National Master title once he establishes at this point.

Nadi has an impressive 14+3=2- record since joining the North Carolina chess community. He is also very gracious in sharing his games with us as well. His last two games of the event (including a win over last year North Carolina Open co-winner FM Nikhilesh Kunche were full of drama and intrigue. At the end of the week, Nadi pocketed just shy of $1700.

NM Dominique Myers.jpg

Meanwhile the other big story out of the U2400 was the acquisition of the National Master title by the very well-liked and respected Dominique Myers. With a 3+2=3- score against higher rated competition (including a draw with Nadi in round four) Myers completed a nine year journey by raising his rating to 2208.

Drew Clary, a recent graduate of East Chapel Hill School, also had a fantastic tournament with a 5+3=1- effort totaling 6.5 points and a tied for ninth in the U1800 section.

Jonathan McNeill also had a strong event in the U2200 section. His result of 5+0=3- with one full-point bye for six points earned him a final Candidate Master norm and the title of USCF Candidate Master.

Below is a list of the top North Carolina finishers in each section of the World Open:

Section

Player

Wins

Draws

Losses

Points

OPEN

None

U2400

Nadi Bozkurt

6

3

1

7

U2200

Jonathon McNeill

5

0

3

6

U2000

Ken Baxter

5

2

2

6

U1800

Drew Clary

5

3

1

6.5

U1600

Andrew Krawczyk

4

4

1

6

U1400

Earl McNelty

4

2

3

5.5

U1200

Joshua Gambrell

Ronald Taylor

4

4

1

1

3

4

4.5

4.5

U900

Michael Inabinet

5

1

3

5.5

Unrated

Robert Allen

3

1

4

3.5

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While the more adventurous among us tested our skill in Arlington, there was still quite a bit of action back at home as well. The action started on July 4th with a rare Friday only event at Durham Academy hosted by NM Craig Jones. 31 players attended the six-round Game/30 action tournament where you could expect the unexpected. NM Kevin Mo.jpg

Early on six-year-old Alfred Ye turned heads with a 600-point upset in round one defeating a class B player and a near miss against another class B player in round two in which he sacrificed a rook out of nowhere to recover his pawn deficit and pry open his opponent’s king before misstepping in a pawn race. Ten-year-old Justin Su also defeated a B player for a near 700-point upset to add to the mayhem..

Things began to settle down later in the tournament though and pre-tournament favorite and Duke student NM Kevin Mo only yielded one draw en route to victory with 5.5 points. NM Craig Jones tied for second thank a 3+1=0- score and taking two half-point byes to ensure that noone had to sit out a game. National 9th grade champion Aaron Balleisen and the older of the two Alex Chens who played in the tournament each shared second with 4+1=1- tallies.

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The Charlotte Chess Center followed on July 5th with the 39th edition of it’s signature Saturday event, the Reverse Angle. 42 players appeared and battled for $800 guaranteed prizes. South Carolinians fared well in RA 39 with NM Wayne Christensen claiming top prize in the Open section with a 3+0=0- score. NM Klaus Pohl ceded one draw while claiming second place.

The U1800 section saw a huge knot up at the top with Damon Smith, Ishaan Maitra, Scott McInnis, and wunderkind Vishnu Vannapalli all efforting 2+1=0- scored to share this division.

Rapidly rising Gunateja Guruvelli won the under 1400 section with a 3+0=0- score while Richard Trela scored 2+1=0- to claim clear second. NM Peter Giannatos officiated proceedings.

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Our final stop on the Independence Day weekend tours occurred at the Carolinas Cafe in north Cary, site of the Cary Chess Club, where Gary Maltzman directed the 19th edition of the Triangle Area Chess Club two-rounder events. 24 players, many of whom played in the Durham Academy the day before, converge on this event.

The field was split into three sections or eight with modified ladder style pairings. This led to four players tying for first in Division I as Keith Carson, Lev Zilberter, Priyav Chandna, and Gary Maltzman all had 1+1=0- records. Chethan Ram scored the only 2+0=0- result in Division II. David Zilberter and Krishna Pallavalli each won both of their games in Division III as well.

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And last but not least: We had lots of players reach rating milestones this week:

Player

Rating Level

Event

NM Dominique Myers

2200

World Open

Jordan Joseph

1800

World Open

Todd Mendenhall

1800

Reverse Angle 39

James Dill

1800

2nd DA Action

Andrew Krawczyk

1600

World Open

Vishnua Vannapalli

1600

Reverse Angle 39

Gautam Kapur

1200

Reverse Angle 39

Joshua Gambrell

1100

World Open

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Whew! Just barely caught the coach before it became a pumpkin here on the ninth! I hope you enjoy this. Until next week…

Best Regards, Jeff “Pig” Jones