Adams wins first Metropolitan International in L.A.

GM dbojkov
0 | Chess Event Coverage
Adams wins first Metropolitan International in L.A.Michael Adams won the first Metropolitan International in Los Angeles, California. The English grandmaster finished clear first wth 7.5/9, a full point ahead of a group of six players, including GMs Loek van Wely and Dejan Bojkov, who reports for us.
By GM Dejan Bojkov

One of my first tournaments on American soil was the Jimmy Quon Memorial in Los Angeles. It was back then in January when Ankit Gupta invited me for the first Metropolitan International in August. Ankit is a decent chess player himself: a national master, who sometimes takes part in his own events. Invitations for tournaments with conditions are very rare in the U.S.A. and a friend of mine advised me to always accept such offers. Moreover, Ankit had great plans, and I already knew that he keeps his promises. Back in January it was already known that the top-seeded would be Michael Adams and Loek van Wely.

The tournament started on the 17th of August, and the interesting chess began from round one. An additional stimulus for the players were the daily best game prizes: one for every round. Those were various Apple products (iPads, Shuffles, and Nano's) and in order to participate in the contest a player needed to win (draws did not work here as it is hard to imagine an iPad separated carefully in two pieces).

Those prizes would be judged by two famous young GMs - Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana - but they had to withdraw at the very last moment for the sake of busy schedules. Thus the change in the World Cup dates affected the tournament a bit, as well as another major event on the East Coast that ran in the same period. The U.S.A. was literally 'chess separated' in two parts!

The start of the event did not witness many surprises. The rating favourites met in round four. Adams had the white pieces, and with his usual persistence he tried to convert his minimal advantage. The Dutchman defended well though, and the point was eventually split.

In the fifth round I participated in the brilliancy contest (alas as a spectator only...):

Holt,Conrad (2438) - Bojkov,Dejan (2544) 1st Metropolitan International Los Angeles (5), 19.08.2011 [Annotations by Conrad Holt]

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Conrad Holt is eighteen years old and is one of the promising American juniors. He recently gained his first GM norm, and was very close in reaching a second one in L.A., and it was only some average rating points that prevented him from doing this.

Both leaders scored in the next round, and it seemed that they would keep the same pace till the end. However, round six saw a major upset. The fact that Timur Gareev defeated Van Wely is not that surprising, as the Uzbek Grandmaster is rated over 2600 and number three in the tournament's starting list. But the same had happened in the World Open in Philadelphia, earlier this year! Adams kept the lead by drawing the very same Gareev in the next round.

By that time many of the participants felt fatigue due to the double-round per day scheme as well as the strong field of opposition. I was one of them but the coach in the foyer of the Sheraton gave me strength to get an iPad for my effort against Zhanibek Amanov. The whole game was interesting from a strategical point of view, as IM David Pruess explained at the closing ceremony, and therefore the price. But I will only show the final:

Amanov,Zhanibek (2382) - Bojkov,Dejan (2544) 1st Metropolitan International Los Angeles (8), 20.08.2011 [Annotations by Dejan Bojkov]

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David Pruess, who recently scored his final GM norm, was visited the event to cover the tournament for The American site is probably the fastest progressing chess site at the moment, and the live shows gathered quite a big audience.

Another game which won an iPad brilliancy price was the following one, which I present you with the annotations of the winner:

Kelley,Dereque (2239) - Ravichandran,Siddharth (2383) 1st Metropolitan International Los Angeles (8), 20.08.2011 [Notes by Dereque Kelley]

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In the eighth round I was happy to take half a point from the tournament leader, which gave Gareev a chance to catch up with Adams. He tried hard against GM Amanov, but his efforts were enough for a draw only. Adams thus kept a slim lead going into the final round.

After a couple of hours into the last round, the games of his pursuers on boards two and three had ended peacefully. Now he only needed a draw (with the black pieces) to secure the first prize, and the beautiful Svarovsky trophy. However, he showed a champion's character and after a nice combination won the beauty price for the final round, as well as the tournament by a full point margin:

Hungaski,Robert (2495) - Adams,Michael (2715) 1st Metropolitan International Los Angeles (9), 21.08.2011 [Notes by Dejan Bojkov]

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Hungaski was not very lucky. He needed to beat a player rated over 2450 in the final round to achieve a GM norm, but faced Adams. Thus, the only player who went home with a norm was Michael Lee from Washington - he made an IM norm after scoring 5.5/9, and by keeping his concentration throughout the whole event thanks to his headphones.

For many years, things were quiet in Los Angeles in terms of norm events and open tournaments. For the last ten months Ankit Gupta has organized eleven norm events (both IM and GM), one is in progress at the moment, and he crowned his efforts with this Los Angeles International. He is already working on the next one, and preparing for yet another major event in December. But this is in the future...

Betsy Dynako was the official photographer for the tournament. Christine Hartman and Christian Glawe of IceHat Creative also provided coverage of the event. In this report you find examples of their excellent work.
Metropolitan International 2011 | Round 9 (Final) Standings (top 30)
# Name Rtg Fed Pts # Name Rtg Fed Pts
1 Michael Adams 2715 ENG 7.5 16 Conrad Holt 2438 USA 6.5
2 Loek Van Wely 2683 NED 6.5 17 Darwin Yang 2434 USA 6.0
3 Timur Gareev 2613 UZB 6.5 18 Levon Altounian 2431 USA 5.5
4 Varuzhan Akobian 2613 USA 6.0 19 Raja Panjwani 2420 CAN 3.5
5 Alejandro Ramirez 2592 USA 4.5 20 Mas Hafizulhilmi 2416 MAS 5.0
6 Robert Ruck 2569 HUN 6.5 21 Daniel Rensch 2410 USA 5.5
7 Dejan Bojkov 2544 BUL 6.5 22 Michael Lee 2395 USA 5.5
8 Mesgen Amanov 2544 TKM 6.5 23 Mark Ginsburg 2387 USA 5.5
9 Melikset Khachiyan 2505 USA 2.5 24 Siddharth Ravichandran 2387 IND 5.5
10 Robert Hungaski 2495 USA 5.5 25 Zhanibek Amanov 2382 KAZ 5.5
11 Enrico Sevillano 2492 USA 5.5 26 Jack Peters 2377 USA 4.5
12 Salvijus Bercys 2487 USA 5.5 27 Joel Banawa 2374 USA 5.0
13 Dmitry Gurevich 2479 USA 5.5 28 Philip Xiao Wang 2371 USA 5.0
14 Andranik Matikozyan 2451 ARM 5.5 29 Bence Szabo 2362 HUN 5.0
15 Mackenzie Molner 2447 USA 5.5 30 William Duckworth 2352 USA 5.5


The players' dinner at the top of the hotel


Tournament winner Michael Adams...

Michael-Adams-vs-Dejan-Bojkov--Dejan-featured--Round-8-Aug.-2011-1st-Metro-4828 playing against the author of this report


Adams receiving his first prize...


...a stunningly beautiful trophy - rare for a chess tournament!


Unsurprisingly, Ankit Gupta is USCF Organizer of the Year

Photos © Betsy Dynako | Videos © IceHat Creative for the Metropolitan Chess Club


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