From Groningen To Las Vegas: A Round-Up Of Christmas Tournaments

From Groningen To Las Vegas: A Round-Up Of Christmas Tournaments

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Dec 31, 2014, 9:19 AM |
13 | Chess Event Coverage

It's the time of holiday celebrations, and traditionally lots of chess players can be found behind the chess board. Here's a round-up of Christmas tournaments that have finished.

North American Open: Wesley So

GM Wesley So is now a top-10 player, but that doesn't stop him from playing the occasional open. The Filipino-American grandmaster decided that part of his preparation for the Tata Steel tournament should involve playing some chess, and so he appeared as the top-seeded player at the North American Open in Las Vegas!

The Strip, Las Vegas.

The 24th edition took place December 26-30 at Bally’s Casino Resort. It was a 9-round Swiss, won convincingly by So. He scored 8.0/9 with six straight wins, then two draws (against Bu Xiangzhi and Julio Becerra) and another win.

The top prize of $9,700 was So's second envelope in Las Vegas this year. (The previous one was more than ten times thicker: $100,000 at Millionaire Chess.)

Bu Xiangzhi, Julio Becerra, Alex Yermolinsky and Vladimir Georgiev tied for second place with 6.5 points each. 

It must have been nice to finish the tournament with the following combination — not too difficult, but pleasant to play:



Wesley So, leaving Las Vegas with $9,700.

The most successful player at the North American Open is GM Walter Browne, who won it four times. GMs Varuzhan Akobian, Giorgi Kacheishvili, Hikaru Nakamura, Igor Ivanov and Alexander Shabalov all won it three times.

2014 North American Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Name Rtng St Tot Prize Amount
1 GM Wesley So 2762 MN 8.0 1st $9713.00
2 GM Xiangzhi Bu 2691 CHN 6.5 2nd-5th $2314.00
3 GM Julio J Becerra 2546 FL 6.5 2nd-5th $2314.00
4 GM Alex Yermolinsky 2519 SD 6.5 2nd-5th $2314.00
5 GM Vladimir Georgiev 2517 MKD 6.5 2nd-5th $2314.00
6 GM Sergey Erenburg 2601 VA 6.0 6th-10th/Other $396.55
7 GM Jianchao Zhou 2587 CHN 6.0 6th-10th/Other $396.55
8 GM Maxim Dlugy 2494 NY 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
9 IM Akshat Chandra 2489 NJ 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
10 GM Nikola Mitkov 2482 MKD 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
11 IM Chen Wang 2473 CHN 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
12 GM Enrico M Sevillano 2465 CA 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
13 WGM Qian Huang 2464 CHN 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
14 IM Roman Yankovsky 2436 RUS 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
15 FM Safal Bora 2379 MI 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
16 IM Joshua Ruiz 2377 COL 6.0 6th-10th/1st-2nd U2500 $396.55
17 GM Tsegme Batchuluun 2525 MGL 5.5
18 IM Yang Shen 2475 CHN 5.5
19 IM Andres Gallego 2411 COL 5.5
20 FM Daniel Gurevich 2365 GA 5.5

(Full final standings here.)

Groningen: Alexander Donchenko

The Groningen Chess Festival has an even longer tradition: this year the 52nd edition was held. It took place December 21-30 at Sport Centre Rijksuniversiteit & Hanzehogeschool.

A typical Dutch canal street in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Besides several open groups there was a match between 15-year-old IM Jorden van Foreest and GM Dimitri Reinderman (final score 2.5-3.5), and also one between IM Elisabeth Pähtz and WIM Anne Haast (final score 4-2).

In a field of many GMs, the open was won by IM Alexander Donchenko, who reached the same splendid score as So in Vegas: 8.0/9. The first prize was 2,000 Euro ($2,430).

Here's a quiet but impressive win from the tournament winner:

 

GM Benjamin Bok, who will turn 20 next month, and 21-year-old GM Alexander Ipatov tied for second place.

Bok, Donchenko, Ipatov. | Photo Zhaoqin Peng.

2014 Groningen Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rank Name Score Fed. Rating TPR W-We BH SB PS
1 IM Donchenko, Alexander 8.0 GER 2523 2803 +2.77 50.0 43.25 41.5
2 GM Bok, Benjamin 7.0 NED 2572 2686 +1.34 53.5 39.25 35.5
3 GM Ipatov, Alexander 7.0 TUR 2599 2651 +0.67 53.0 39.75 36.5
4 GM Andriasian, Zaven 6.5 ARM 2609 2653 +0.69 54.5 38.0 36.0
5 GM L'Ami, Erwin 6.5 NED 2613 2610 +0.14 54.5 37.0 35.5
6 GM Rakhmanov, Aleksandr 6.5 RUS 2647 2607 -0.19 50.5 36.0 32.5
7 IM Baghdasaryan, Vahe 6.5 ARM 2368 2620 +2.98 50.5 34.0 32.0
8 IM Raznikov, Danny 6.0 ISR 2494 2598 +1.36 53.0 33.0 34.5
9 GM Alsina Leal, Daniel 6.0 ESP 2540 2553 +0.30 50.5 31.0 33.5
10 GM Tiviakov, Sergei 6.0 NED 2677 2592 -0.82 50.0 31.5 34.0
11 GM Ma, Qun 6.0 CHN 2621 2553 -0.64 48.5 31.25 33.0
12 IM Nakar, Eylon 6.0 ISR 2419 2463 +0.60 48.0 30.5 30.0
13 IM Svane, Rasmus 6.0 GER 2507 2540 +0.51 48.0 29.5 31.5
14 FM Kerigan, Demre 6.0 TUR 2277 2523 +2.94 47.0 27.75 30.5
15 IM Biolek, Richard Jr. 6.0 CZE 2446 2470 +0.35 46.5 29.25 30.0
16 IM Wan, Yunguo 6.0 CHN 2482 2496 +0.30 46.5 28.0 30.0
17 IM Hovhannisyan, Mher 6.0 BEL 2511 2477 -0.17 45.0 27.75 30.5
18 Klekowski, Maciej 6.0 POL 2418 2500 +1.03 44.5 28.0 31.0
19 GM Dobrov, Vladimir 6.0 RUS 2495 2437 -0.54 42.5 26.75 29.0
20 IM Azaladze, Shota 5.5 GEO 2499 2492 +0.10 49.5 27.75 32.0

(Full final standings here.)

Zurich: Arkadij Naiditsch

The Zurich Christmas Open is another long-running tournament: the 2014 edition was the 38th held so far. It took place December 26-30 at the Crowne Plaza Zürich.

A view over Zurich.

The top group, called Master Tournament, was a 7-round of Swiss event. The top seed was German number one GM Arkadij Naiditsch, and he didn't disappoint. With 6.5/7 Naiditsch finished clear first and won the top prize: 3,000 Swiss francs (2495 Euro, $3030). 

Here's a quick attacking win from Naiditsch:



Arkadij Naiditsch wins in Zurich.

2014 Zurich Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2731 6,5 30 208,5 23
2 9 GM Gonda Laszlo HUN 2542 6 28 206,5 20,5
3 15 IM Hansen Torbjørn Ringdal NOR 2470 5,5 32 203,5 22,5
4 5 GM Meier Georg GER 2640 5,5 30,5 196,5 22
5 2 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2716 5,5 28,5 186,5 20,5
6 4 GM Bauer Christian FRA 2647 5 34 196 24,5
7 8 GM Stojanovic Mihajlo SRB 2547 5 31,5 198 23
8 18 IM Kurmann Oliver SUI 2426 5 30,5 191,5 22,5
9 6 GM Georgiev Kiril BUL 2628 5 30 192 20,5
10 3 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2654 5 28,5 196,5 20,5
11 49 FM Corvi Marco ITA 2222 5 28,5 195,5 21
12 10 GM Miezis Normunds LAT 2499 5 28 182 19,5
13 16 GM Pikula Dejan SRB 2457 5 27,5 188 19,5
14 31 FM Moroni Luca Jr ITA 2321 5 27 198,5 21
15 19 Kaczmarczyk Dennis GER 2408 5 27 184,5 18,5
16 17 IM Lekic Dusan MNE 2439 5 25,5 194,5 18
17 40 FM Misiano Franco ITA 2269 4,5 34 189 24,5
18 14 FM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2476 4,5 33 190,5 23
19 13 GM Turner Matthew J SCO 2485 4,5 30 190,5 22
20 72 Formento Paolo ITA 2135 4,5 29,5 188 21

(Full final standings here.)

South Padre Island: Webster University

Another traditional end-of-the-year event is the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess ChampionshipHeld since 1946, this annual tournament is open to college and university teams from North and South America, including the Caribbean. 

Hosted by the University of Texas at Brownsville, this year the “Pan-Am” was held December 27-30 at the Hilton Garden Inn in South Padre Island, Texas.

South Padre Island, a resort town in Texas.

The format of the tournament was a six-round fixed-roster team Swiss-system tournament scored by team points. It was won by Webster University, whose team consisted of GM Le Quang Liem, GM Ilya Nyzhnyk, GM Ray Robson and GM Vasif Durarbayli. Other strong teams were:

  • University of Texas at Dallas — GM Conrad Holt, GM Giorgi Margvelashvili, GM Leonid Kritz, IM David Berczes, IM Denis Kadric
  • Texas Tech — GM Yaroslav Zherebukh, GM Elshan Moradiabadi, IM Andrey Gorovets, GM Samy Shoker, IM Alexander Battey
  • University of Texas at Brownsville — GM Anton Kovalyov, GM Andrey Stukopin, GM Holden Hernandez, WGM Katerina Nemcova, WIM Aura Cristina Salazar
  • University of Maryland — GM Niclas Huschenbeth, IM Tanguy Ringoir, IM Levan Bregadze, WGM Nazi Paikidze, GM Akshayraj Kore

The top four U.S. schools advance to the President's Cup (informally known as the "Final Four of College Chess" and typically held in the first weekend of April), which determines the U.S. National College or University Champion.

At the time of writing, the UT Texas website hasn't updated the standings after round five yet:

2014 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Tot TBrk[U] TBrk[G] TBrk[H]
1 UT Dallas - A 2624 5.0 57 16.5 100
2 Webster University - A 2734 4.5 51.5 16.5 100
3 Webster University - B 2557 4.0 44.25 15.5 99
4 Texas Tech - A 2618 4.0 41 14 100
5 UT Dallas - B 2458 4.0 40.5 13.5 100
6 Webster University - C 2421 4.0 38.5 13 100
7 Univ. of MD, Balt. County 2579 4.0 38 14.5 100
8 Columbia University - A 2438 3.5 39 13 100
9 Lindenwood University - A 2316 3.5 35.5 13 100
10 Univ. of TX at Brownsville-A 2592 3.0 33.5 12.5 99
11 Texas Tech - B 2344 3.0 32.5 11.5 100
12 University of Illinois - A 2325 3.0 32.25 14 100
13 University of Toronto - A 2271 3.0 32 13.5 100
14 Duke University 2301 3.0 29.5 13 100
15 Yale University - A 2370 3.0 28.75 11.5 100
16 University of Chicago - A 2138 3.0 20 12.5 99
17 University of Illinois - C 1962 3.0 20 10.5 99
18 University of Illinois - B 2145 3.0 19.75 10.5 100
19 Carleton College 1804 3.0 19.5 9.5 99
20 Univ. of Texas at Austin - A 2048 3.0 17.5 10.5 99
21 Wash U St. Louis - B 1898 3.0 15.25 11.5 100
22 UT Dallas - C 2190 2.5 24 11 100
23 Wash U St. Louis - A 2181 2.5 23.5 10 100
24 Columbia University - B 2129 2.5 20.5 8.5 100
25 Univ. of TX at Brownsville-B 2051 2.5 12.5 9 100
26 Brown University - A 1808 2.5 11.5 8.5 100

However, from Susan Polgar's Twitter feed it's not difficult to deduce the winners: Webster University of St Louis, coached by Polgar.

There were quite a few other tournaments around Christmas, in fact:

  • GM Bartosz Socko, GM Vladimir Burmakin, GM Kevin Spraggett, IM Rui Damaso and GM Emre Can all ended on 7.0/9 at the Lisbon Christmas Open. They earned 910 Euro ($1,010) each.
  • GM Gata Kamsky edged out GM Robert Hungaski at the 2014 Empire City Open; both scored 5.0/6 and took home $900 (740 Euro).
  • GM Henrik Teske won the 24th Erfurter Schachfestival 2014 and with it 1,024 Euro ($1,245).
  • IM Yuri Boidman won the 11th Paderborner Schachtürken-Cup and earned 1,000 Euro ($1,215).
  • IM Oliver Mihok, IM Jinshi Bai, GM Vadim Shishkin and GM Arik Braun tied for first place at the 31st International Böblinger Open 2014 and got 725 Euro ($880) each.
  • Henrik Malm Lindberg, Kent Ängskog and GM Thomas Ernst shared first place at the Karlstad Open (prize fund not available).
  • GM Jose Carlos Ibarra Jerez and GM Zenon Franco Ocampos tied for first at the 3rd International Lorca Christmas Tournament and took home 1,250 Euro ($1,520) each.
  • IM Dennis Wagner and GM Sergey Fedorchuk shared first at the 11th Vandoeuvre Open and both won 1,250 Euro ($1,520) each.

And there were still a bit more (it's amazing how much chess is played all over the world, isn't it?) but let's leave it at this!

Some other well-known tournaments that are underway, such as Hastings and the Rilton Cup, will be covered in the new year.

Which brings me to wishing all readers of our news section, including everyone who is still reaching these pages via ChessVibes, a healthy and successful 2015. May the pieces smile at you!

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