Papp Wins World Open, Beats Bologan In Armageddon

Papp Wins World Open, Beats Bologan In Armageddon

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Gabor Papp won the World Open in Philadelphia after beating GM Victor Bologan of Moldavia in an Armageddon playoff.

Photo courtesy Paul Truong.

The 44th World Open traditionally takes place over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. It was held June 30-July 4 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia. Many different tournaments over different rating sections were held with about 1,200 players attending.

As always it was a nine-round Swiss, which could be played in different formats. To begin with, there was both a seven-day and a five-day schedule with a classical rate of play so that it was possible to score norms. There were also four- and three-day options with less time on the clock.

The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

With a record guaranteed prize fund of $225,000, lots of bucks were at stake. This attracted 221 participants to the open section (33 grandmasters) where the first prize was $20,000. But for example the best player rated FIDE 2300-2449 would still win $5,000. The time control was 40 moves in two hours followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 10-second delay per move.

This year the name of the tournament was finally somewhat justified because it ended in a tie for first place among players of seven different federations: GMs Gabor Papp (Hungary), Victor Bologan (Moldova), Tamaz Gelashvilli (Georgia), Gill Popilski (Israel), Alex Shimanov (Russia), Vasif Durarbayli (Azerbaijan), and Illia Nyzhnyk (Ukraine). They all won $5,800, scoring 7/9.

Five U.S. grandmasters were among the group of players scoring 6.5/9 (only worth $200 this year) with Gata Kamsky having the best tiebreak. For an extra $500 an Armageddon game was played between the top two players on tiebreak, in which Papp defeated Bologan.

GM norms were scored by Andrey Gorovets, and Razvan Preotu. IM norms were scored by Nicolas Checa, Joshua Colas, Vignesh Panchanathan, Kevin Wang, William Morrison, Levy Rozman, Nasir Akylbekov, and Atulya Shetty. For Colas (17) this meant that he secured the title. Our own Shaun McCoy ( support) did well in the U1600 section and won 61 rating points.

The following game from round four was an easy winner in our weekly Move of the Week section of ChessCenter. This double-bishop motif, known as the Lasker sacrifice, couldn't have come as a big surprise for Akobian. 

“I’m pretty sure he knew this idea but he just kind of forgot,” Gelashvili was reported saying.

Bologan won six games, drew two and lost one, to Durarbayli. He also got to learn about Li Ruifeng, the 15-year-old talent who had shared first place the week before in Las Vegas. The experienced grandmaster needed 76 moves to force resignation:

Papp remained undefeated with five wins and four draws. He scored a nice win against Giorgi Kacheishvili in the penultimate round. The game was fairly balanced but just before the time control The Hungarian GM got a strong initiative.

The Armageddon game wasn't a real fight. Shortly after the players had bashed out some recent Najdorf theory, Bologan blundered away the game in one move.

Gabor Papp won the 44th World Open. | Photo courtesy Paul Truong.

44th World Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Name Rtng Fed Tot TB1 Prize Amount
1 GM Gabor Papp 2596 7.0 45 1st-7th/Bonus $6300.00
2 GM Victor Bologan 2654 7.0 44.5 1st-7th $5800.00
3 GM Tamaz Gelashvili 2557 7.0 44 1st-7th $5800.00
4 GM Gil Popilski 2542 7.0 43.5 1st-7th $5800.00
5 GM Alex Shimanov 2631 7.0 41 1st-7th $5800.00
6 GM Vasif Durarbayli 2596 7.0 41 1st-7th $5800.00
7 GM Illia I Nyzhnyk 2622 7.0 39 1st-7th $5800.00
8 GM Gata Kamsky 2675 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
9 GM Aleksandr Lenderman 2614 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
10 GM Varuzhan Akobian 2612 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
11 GM Samuel Sevian 2603 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
12 GM Yaroslav Zherebukh 2595 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
13 GM Alejandro Ramirez 2563 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
14 IM Andrey Gorovets 2551 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
15 GM Alexander Shabalov 2533 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
16 IM Razvan Preotu 2462 6.5 8th-10th $200.00
17 FM Nicolas T Checa 2398 6.5 1st 2300-2449 $5000.00
18 FM William Morrison 2295 6.5 1st 2200-2299 $5000.00
19 GM Axel Bachmann 2642 6.0
20 GM Giorgi Kacheishvili 2589 6.0

(Full final standings here.)

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