Kritz & Mikhalevski lead SPICE Cup

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After four rounds GMs Leonid Kritz and Victor Mikhalevski are leading the 2nd SPICE Cup International Invitational Tournament, according to the organizers "the strongest field of chess grandmasters in U.S. round-robin history".

The second SPICE Cup is taking place 19-28 September at the Texas Tech University located in Lubbock, Texas. It's the main attraction of Texas Tech's annual SPICE Cup Festival. Other activities include the 2008 Texas Women's Open Championship, SPICE Cup Grand Prix, SPICE Cup Scholastic and SPICE Cup Amateur Under 1000 Open. SPICE stands for "Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence" at the Texas Tech University.

After the first SPICE Cup was won by GM Eugene Perelshteyn last year, for the second edition the organizers managed to bring together an interesting field again - and a very strong one, since the defending champion is the last seeded player this year!

Participants: Onischuk, Alexander (2670, USA), Pentala, Harikrishna (2668, IND), Kritz, Leonid (2610, GER), Akobian, Varuzhan (2610, USA), Kaidanov, Gregory (2605, USA), Becerra, Julio (2598, USA), Mikhalevski, Victor (2592, ISR), Miton, Kamil (2580, POL), Stefansson, Hannes (2566, ISL) and Perelshteyn, Eugene (2555, USA).

This makes the 2nd SPICE Cup a Category 15 round-robin ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú proudly called "the highest-rated tournament of its kind held on U.S. soil" - perhaps one of our readers can either confirm or counter this?

The results so far:
Round 1 Akobian 1-0 Perelshteyn Becerra 1/2 Onischuk Stefansson 1/2 Harikrishna Kaidanov 0-1 Kritz Mikhalevski 1-0 Miton Round 2 Onischuk 1/2 Mikhalevski Harikrishna 1/2 Becerra Kritz 1/2 Perelshteyn Kaidanov 1-0 Stefansson Miton 1/2 Akobian
Round 3 Stefansson 0-1 Kritz Akobian 1/2 Onischuk Mikhalevski 1/2 Harikrishna Becerra 1/2 Kaidanov Perelshteyn 1/2 Miton Round 4 Onischuk 1-0 Perelshteyn Kritz 1/2 Miton Harikrishna 1/2 Akobian Kaidanov 0-1 Mikhalevski Stefansson 1/2 Becerra
[TABLE=402]

A selection of games from the first four rounds:



Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA



The participants of the second edition of SPICE Cup



The playing hall with round 1 being played



Akobian - Perelshteyn



Becerra - Onischuk



Kaidanov - Kritz



Mikhalevski - Miton



Stefansson - Harikrishna



...all fighting for this beautiful cup



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