Christmas Opens

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There are various ways to spend the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve – instead of or after present-giving and family gatherings. Winter sports is one option, others like Levon Aronian prefer holidays in the tropics. But those who would rather play chess can choose between plenty of Swiss Opens – this report provides a quick overview of three events.

The North American Open in Las Vegas attracted players with a quite substantial prize fund – at least for first and second place – and maybe the opportunity to win (or lose) a few dollars between the rounds also played a role? Spanish top seed Francisco 'Paco' Vallejo secured clear first prize which turned out to be 9261$. Key games were holding a difficult position with white against Ivan Sokolov and then dismantling Shabalov's Sicilian; a rather straightforward last-round draw against second seed Akobian was enough to keep his lead. Other GMs were probably less satisfied: Shabalov missed a bigger chunk of the prize fund because he couldn't beat 19-year old untitled Roman Yankofsky (USCF rating 2500, Elo 2397) in the final round. Macedonian GM Mitkov lost against fellow Europeans Vallejo and Sokolov in the last two rounds, and fell back to 11th place but still got 363$ (minus the 150$ entry fee).

PGN file

Final standings (top 20)

#NameRtngStRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7TotPrize
1GM Francisco Vallejo Pons2778ESPW29W18W7D3W5W11D26.0$9261.00
2GM Varuzhan Akobian2698CAW16D8W22W12D3W7D15.5$2633.34
3GM Ivan Sokolov2676NEDW21W15W4D1D2D9W115.5$2633.34
4Roman Yankovsky2500CAW43W19L3W24W22W6D55.5$2633.34
5GM Alexander Shabalov2600PAX57D23W13W8L1W16D45.0$658.25
6IM Marc Tyler Arnold2566NYD32W44D10W19W15L4W185.0$658.25
7IM Adam Hunt2558ENGW42W26L1W29W10L2W205.0$658.25
8IM Enrico Sevillano2509CAW37D2W23L5W25W13D95.0$658.25
9IM Mackenzie Molner2499NJW39D38W25D35W20D3D85.0$1680.00
10IM Jake Kleiman2450TNW40D28D6W27L7W36W155.0$1680.00
11GM Nikola Mitkov2576MKDW36D14W28W17W35L1L34.5$363.00
12GM Mikheil Kekelidze2545NYW34D25W14L2L16W33D174.0$40.34
13IM Ricardo De Guzman2495CAD44W32L5W41D23L8W344.0$40.34
14IM Justin Sarkar2458NYW20D11L12W37D17L18W384.0$40.34
15FM John Daniel Bryant2454MOX58L3W31W26L6W23L104.0$40.34
16IM Vladimir Mezentsev2439CAL2D47W44W38W12L5D194.0$40.34
17FM Robby Adamson2390AZW48W45D35L11D14D19D124.0$40.34
18FM Teddy Coleman2374NYW46L1L41W39W29W14L64.0$40.34
19Alexander Chua2339TXX60L4W45L6W30D17D164.0$40.34
20FM Viswes Kameswaran2306INDL14B—W51W47L9W22L74.0$40.34

Two Swiss Swisses in Zurich and Geneva had similarities and differences. In both events, two players were half a point clear of the field before drawing each other in the last round, but the final outcome was different. In both cases, most favorites finished at or near the top, but only in Zurich it was a relatively smooth ride. The "Zürcher Weihnachtsopen" was nominally stronger, but the "Open International de Genève" turned out to be more exciting.

In Zurich, top seed Grachev and fifth seed Kurnosov shared first place. As already mentioned, they drew their game in the final round but all four games in the chasing group were also drawn – which meant that others could catch up and 14 players shared third place. Also in earlier rounds, many games on the top boards were drawn – impossible to find out how much fight was involved because there was no live transmission and the pgn file provided on the tournament homepage only includes decisive games!

Final standings (top 20)

 

Nr.NameTitleRoNivWWenRpRnDiff.(K1
1.Kurnosov IgorGM264825075.54.83727372655+ 6.70
2.Grachev BorisGM269325345.54.97727642698+ 5.30
3.Alekseev EvgenyGM267024905.05.18726482668- 1.80
4.Prohaszka PeterGM256424265.04.83725842566+ 1.70
5.Vorobiov EvgenyGM258924695.04.62726272593+ 3.80
6.Turov MaximGM264524865.04.97726442645+ 0.30
7.Baramidze DavidGM259724735.04.69726312600+ 3.10
8.David AlbertoGM259724805.04.62726382601+ 3.80
9.Sanikidze TornikeGM253124505.04.27726082538+ 7.30
10.Bartel MateuszGM265324325.05.46725902648- 4.60
11.Halkias SteliosGM259323975.05.25725552591- 2.50
12.Pelletier YannickGM258124275.04.97725852581+ 0.30
13.Héra ImreGM254223735.05.04725312542- 0.40
14.Miezis NormundsGM254724135.04.76725712549+ 2.40
15.Ghaem Maghami EhsanGM258024185.04.97725762580+ 0.30
16.Heimann AndreasIM245923355.04.69724932462+ 3.10
17.Fridman DanielGM266124664.55.25725682654- 7.50
18.Malakhatko VadimGM253924154.54.69725172537- 1.90
19.Stojanovic MihajloGM259123524.55.60724542580-11.00
20.Papa SeverinIM239223164.54.20724182395+ 3.00

 

In Geneva, Campora and Khenkin were leading before the last round and drew their game when an unbalanced Trompovsky suddenly ended with a move repetition. Here all games in the chasing group were decisive. This allowed three others – Guliyev, Ivanisevic and Fier – to share first place. Rather uniquely, Swiss IM Gerber finished in sole(!) sixth place with 5/7. The "bumpy ride" of the favorites had started as early as round 2 when four of the eventual winners couldn't beat opponents who were roughly 300 points lower-rated: Campora drew against Campora (that's right, Argentinian GM Daniel H. Campora met his Spanish namesake Daniel Campora Perez, Elo 2169), Khenkin against FM Colmenares, Ivanisevic against IM/WGM Sedina, and Fier lost against FM Preissman – not a rising star but a senior born in 1950. Unfortunately, not all of these games are available.

PGN file

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. NameFedRtgClub/LocationPts.TB1TB2
1GMCampora Daniel HARG2493 5.527.52533
2GMGuliyev NamigAZE2549 5.525.52580
3GMKhenkin IgorGER2630 5.525.52549
4GMIvanisevic IvanSRB2636 5.524.52538
5GMFier AlexandrBRA2573 5.524.02529
6IMGerber RichardSUI2400 5.026.52453
7GMCherniaev AlexanderRUS2469Genève Bois-Gentil4.530.02515
8GMSokolov AndreiFRA2571 4.527.52434
9GMSuba MihaiROU2458 4.527.02349
10FMColmenares AurelioSUI2269 4.526.52318
11IMSedina ElenaITA2343 4.526.02323
12WIMBjerke SiljeNOR2219 4.525.02342
13 Petrov NikitaRUS2166 4.524.52307
14 Gurtner DanielSUI2148 4.522.52255
15 Steenhuis JanSUI2139 4.520.52189
16GMGodena MicheleITA2548 4.028.02409
17GMRaetsky AlexanderRUS2460 4.027.02360
18IMBae TorsteinNOR2419 4.027.02351
19FMPreissmann EmmanuelSUI2266 4.026.02312
20 Sevenyuk AlexeyBLR1916 4.022.52094

 

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