Copper State Final Blog

Copper State Final Blog

| 16 | Misc

The 2010 Copper State International, presented by Abstrax Inc came to a close on Wednesday June 9th in Mesa, Arizona. The tournament ended in the same way that it started: "Fighting Chess" on boards one through twenty! It seemed that every participant had something to play for down the stretch. Whether it was first place and prize money, norms, or pride -- the event began with 40 players and ended with 40 players -- not a single player withdrew.

Big Pic of RoomThe 2010 Copper State International, presented by Abstrax Inc Tournament Hall
KacheishviliGM Giorgi Kacheishvili enjoys a composition, setup by IM Stopa, during the opening ceremony...

It was our goal from the outset to create the highest quality chess environment, both over the board and "in the halls"; so the fact that every player completed the event was not a moot point at all -- it was a big deal! How did we attempt to ensure this?  First and foremost, we asked for a commitment from the players: For many of our participants, we added an extra fee -- required up front  -- that was only to be reimbursed upon completion of the event. We did this not to demand or control anyone's ability to leave the field if they were unhappy, but simply to make clear "before kick-off", exactly what we expected from each player during the tournament.

With the Copper State International, we believe that when you enter a tournament you are making a commitment to not only fight hard for your own goals, but to compete your hardest amongst your peers as they try to achieve theirs. We founded the tournament on this ideal, and we intend to hold to it.  As organizers and hosts, we also made a pledge to the players: To do our absolute best in providing a completely comfortable, cooperative, and productive atmosphere that would guarantee a high level of chess to be played. We tried to do this in any way we could before, during, and after the event -- and we will only try to get better with every year...

Lalonde and DannyOwner of Abstrax, Inc - John Lalonde - and IM Danny Rensch caught on camera during the event
Fridman Plays BugEven Super-GMs (Daniel Fridman) enjoy a little Bug-House!

Now, onto the chess! In the top section (A-Group) last year's "Sole" Champion was this year's Co-Champion. GM Timur Gareev (who at this point has already gone onto win the National Open) tied for first place with IM (now with two GM Norms) Mackenzie Molner. Pictures of both are below. Each player finished with six points out of nine.

Grandmaster Timur Gareev celebrates his "Armageddon Blitz" win -- and therefore the right to take home the trophy -- as Co-Champion Mac Molner looks on.
Mackenzie Molnar receives his "GM-Norm Congratulations certificate" from Arbiter, Jon Haskel, as Danny Rensch looks on.

Also in the A-Group, IM Sam Shankland (who missed out on his final GM Norm by a half point) and GM Alejandro Ramirez tied for 3rd place:

Please ignore Alejandro's Shirt!

There were several other great players competing in the A-Group. Placing tied for 5th-8th place were GM Alex Lenderman, IM Nikolay Andrianov, IM Irina Krush, and IM Dean Ippolito -- all finishing with four points. 9th and 10th places were shared between IM John Bartholomew and IM Jacek Stopa.  Although there were many incredible battles, IM Nikolay Andrianov (featured below) took home the Best Game Prize for his 2nd round win over IM Jacek Stopa.

Nikolay Best GameIM Nikolay Andrianov (white pieces) dedicated his win to the late former World Champion, Vassily Smyslov.
Just the A-Group...
Everyone!All Participants of the 2010 Copper State International, presented by Abstrax Inc!!!

In the B-Group (which it should be noted was not the "B" Group because of the caliber of players, but simply because it wasn't a Round Robin. In fact, the average rating of the top ten players would have surpassed those in the "A") we saw a three way tie for first place between GM Daniel Fridman (the tournament's strongest player at #84 in the world), Giorgi Kacheishvili, and Mikhail Kekelidze.

B-Group WinnersLeft to right: IM Rensch, GM Kacheishvili, GM Fridman, GM Kekelidze, and John Lalonde.

Grandmaster Fridman lead the field by a full point heading into the last round, and had apparently already played all of his "tough" competition. He was forced with a pairing a full point and a half out of his score group against IM David Pruess. Well Mr. Pruess, who had gotten off to a slow start, had finally found his stride... GM Fridman felt the wraith of David's aggressive style and lost in 26 moves!

rsz_pruess_beating_fridmanIM David Pruess delivers a crushing blow to GM Daniel Fridman in the final round!

This startling result threw the B-Group final standings for a loop, and so an Armageddon Blitz Match between our three Co-Champions would have to decide the clear winner. GM Fridman made quick work of his competitors however, beating both Kacheishvili and Kekelidze 2-0 each, to take clear first.

Splitting fourth, fifth and U2500 FIDE honors were GM Mesgen Amanov, Siddharth Ravichandran, and IM David Pruess.

Left to Right: IM Daniel Rensch, IM Pruess, Ravichandran, GM Amanov, and John Lalonde

Capturing prize money and an IM-Norm each were Conrad "Thunder-Holt" and Keaton "Special K" Kiewra!

Holt and Kiewra"Thunder-Holt" and "Special K" were quite the dynamic duo as far as attacking chess goes in this year's tournament!

Arizona's own, FM Robby Adamson, reached a long time goal by earning his final IM-Norm. Robby showed great perseverance by rebounding from a tough Chicago Open result. His tournament was so strong in fact, he was among the leaders throughout and even had chances for a GM-Norm heading into the final rounds.

RobzFM (or should we say IM-Elect) Robby Adamson was all smiles after his big achievement.
Taking first place in this year's Qualifier was local expert John M Williams. John will join the main event next year...

Click here to view the complete final standings.

Although we believe all the participants enjoyed the tournament, perhaps no one more than Daniel Fridman. Daniel and his wife, Anna Zatonskih, even made a donation in support of the tournament and of American Chess Events LLC's goal to raise $2,000.00 -- to be donated directly to the Cardon Children's Medical Center -- during the Copper State. A goal which we reached!

rsz_banner_donationDaniel Rensch, on behalf of all the sponsors of the 2010 Copper State International, presents Cardon Children's Medical Center with a check for $2,000.00! We did it!!!

Final thanks from ACE Chess to Abstrax Inc, to all those who helped make this event possible, and to you guys for watching on See you next year, June 2nd-9th 2011 in Arizona!

MORE PICTURES will be added at the end of the week, and we will post a link in the comments.

IM Daniel Rensch

Chief Chess Officer, LLC.

International Master Danny Rensch is best known for his videos and shows - but also writes educational articles, publishes breaking chess news, and organizes the details for's biggest events, like the Grandmaster Blitz Battle Championships, Blitz Death Matches, the National Invitational Championship and more!

More from IM DanielRensch
Arena Kings | Cash Prize Chess Tournament For Streamers

Arena Kings | Cash Prize Chess Tournament For Streamers

$56,100 Prize Fund For 2018 Pro Chess League

$56,100 Prize Fund For 2018 Pro Chess League