My last tournament this summer was the World Open from July 2-6, which was right after the DC International so I had to play this tournament under fatigue and tiredness acumulated in DC International.
Talking about the tournament, World Open was nothing but a festival, as the total numer of participants in various sections exceeded 1100, and added with a huge number of accompanying persons, I just felt like, I was transported to an Indian age category tournament, where I am used to seeing so much players and parents. The organization was nothing but a disaster, as the pairings, were generally posted 15 minutes later than the scheduled start time of the game . Talking about the venue, it was held in the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. The tournament hall was quite spacious with seperate skittles room and the organizers need to be applauded for that.
Round 1 has been very tricky for me this summer, as out of the last 5 tournaments, I was held to a draw four times in round one! I was paired against Hans Schut(fide rating:2153) and I had the black pieces. I made quite few dubious moves, just to make the position sharper, and this approach clearly backfired, and I was on the brink of losing the game
Round two, I was paired against Akshay Malhotra(fide rating:2001). An equal middlegame was reached, but I had a slight pull, and I converted it quite masterfully, with the help of some dubious moves from my opponent
I just couldn't believe my eyes, when I saw the pairing sheet for Round 3. This was solely because, I was paired against Gata Kamsky!! My first 2700 opponent. I had no time to prepare, so I just went to the board, hoping that he allows me to play my favorite Berlin.
(Gata Kamsky in action Pic credits: Eric Rosen)
I was paired against the talented American junior FM Cameron Wheeler(fide rating:2208) in round 4, and it was a very nice positional win for me.
Yury Shulman was my opponent in round 5, and having the white pieces, I faced the French defense, and I was slightly worse throughout the game, but managed to hold a draw, after few accurate moves in the endgame.
(GM Yury Shulman in action. Pic Credit:Eric Rosen)
In Round 6, my opponent was GrandMaster Yuri Gonzalez Vidal(fide rating:2546) from Cuba. I had the black pieces and it was a normal Berlin position, where black achieved equality without much effort, and white had nothing better than a draw.
Joshua Sheng(fide rating:2056) was paired against me in round 7, and I played quite a horrible game, as I messed up a solid opening advantage, and got into a worse position, after a series of dubious moves. Luckily, my opponent, was quite overwhelmed by my rating, and offered me a draw in a clearly better position for him.
I played one of the toughest games in my career so far in Round 8 against Christopher Gu(fide rating:2313).
After playing 6 hours against Gu in the morning, I was dead tired to play my final round game against GrandMaster Timur Gareev.
(My final round game against Timur Gareev. Pic credit:Eric Rosen)
Scoring 5.5/9 in such a strong field is not a bad result, but I found it as a mediocre performance, after playing so good in the DC International
. As I mentioned earlier, if I was not fatigued, I would have pushed for a win against Gareev, and also could have possibly drawn against Kamsky. I also managed to gain a few rating points in this event.
The Open section had a 3 way tie for the title with Grandmasters Ilya Smirin, Illia Nyzhnyk, and Conrad Holt scoring 7/9. Smirin beat Nyzhnyk in an armageddon playoff to be crowned as the champion of the 2014 edition of the World Open and took home a cash prize of 10145$. Norms were aplenty, with a GM norm scored by Razvan Preotu and 8 IM norms were earned.
(Winner of the 2014 World Open, GM Ilya Smirin from Israel. Pic credits:Eric Rosen)
(GM Illia Nyzhnyk from Ukraine, he and Conrad Holt earned 9891$ for their efforts. Pic credit:Eric Rosen)
This is the last tournament report, that am writing this summer! Hoping to meet you soon, with my tournament exploits later this year! till then bye :)