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GMs Battle as World Open Merge Approaches Print E-mail
By Jonathan Hilton   
July 3, 2010
As the World Open players head for the merge of schedules in Round 5 this evening, the grandmasters are dominating the pack in both the 5-day and the 7-day schedules. After four rounds in the 7-day schedule, IM Martin Neubauer of Austria and USCF Expert Daniel Leach III of Maryland stand alone as the only non-GMs with a plus score, with both surviving at 2.5/4.0. Meanwhile, on the leaderboard, the first seven slots are taken by the GMs with 3.0/4.0. Not surprisingly for a tournament dubbed the “World Open,” the leaders come from around the world: they include Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain; Surya Shekhar Ganguly, P. Harikrishna, and Sandipan Chanda from India; Luke McShane of England; Loek Van Wely from the Netherlands; and Alexander Onischuk from Maryland, the lone U.S. player among the 7-day’s leaders. Onischuk is the only player among these to have lost a game, ceding a point in Round 2 to McShane.

Friends and travelling partners Paco Vallejo of Spain and Jan Gustafsson of Germany played in the 7-day together, only to be paired together as early as round two.

Luke McShane was captured on video minutes after arriving to the event. Here's it is, without a glitch that appeared when we first posted it:

Meanwhile, in the 5-day schedule, the players head into the morning round on Saturday having completed three rounds. Only three of the contestants have a perfect score: GM Viktor Laznicka of the Czech Republic and our own GMs Alexander Lenderman and Alexander Shabalov. But all eyes were on reigning U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky last night as he battled GM Magesh Panchanathan of India. Even as the game headed toward a dead draw, a crowd of twenty-five or thirty spectators crowded the board, pressing in around the players. No partition separates the top competitors in this tournament, making it a spectator’s dream. Even when the players are far from time pressure, spectators crowd Kamsky’s games.

Another exciting draw was held by GM Mesgen Amanov of Turkmenistan, who held with the Black pieces against a determined GM Jaan Ehlvest. By going down a bishop in the endgame, Amanov was able to reach an obscure fortress position.

I caught up with Alex Lenderman before his third-round win over GM Mark Paragua from the Philippines, which featured a nice pawn sacrifice with 16.d5! against Black’s uncastled king. This past year he made the switch from a college student to a full-time chess professional, a choice that he is glad to have made. He’s been able to dedicate his time and energy toward his chess growth. Commenting on a recent slide in his FIDE rating, he remarked that he was fine with a 47-point rating dip “so long as it’s two steps forward for each one back.”

The 4-day schedule will be joining the rest of the tournament tonight, with plenty more GMs from across the country and the world joining the event. Stay tuned to worldopen.com to see if a tournament leader emerges by the time of the merge in Round 5.


July - Chess Life Online 2010

The Chess Party Begins in Irvine Irina Krush Victory Rap The Odds at the DenkerPan-Am Youth Squad Heads to BrazilNew FIDE Titles for AmericansBullyproof Chess Arbiter Update: From the World School to Online TrainingUS Chess School Comes to Dallas US Women's and Juniors Closing Gallery Datta Wins Record Smashing U.S. Junior OpenThe Denker Turns 25 in Irvine, California The US Senior Open Returns to Boca Raton Berkeley International Returns in 2011Chess Boy Scouts Merit Badge Announced in Saint Louis Tatev Abrahamyan Wins 2010 US Women's Fighting Spirit Award Sevillano Triumphs in Agoura HillsA Perfect Storm Leads IM Sam Shankland to US Junior titleNietman and Walters Elected to USCF Executive Board Krush crowned; three-way tie atop Junior leaderboardMitkov Takes 2010 Chicago Class Krush and Zatonskih Tied in Women; Zhao Creeps Closer to Robson in JuniorsA Chess Mom on the US Junior Closed Zatonskih Maintains Lead; Robson Pulls Away in JuniorsYang and Liou Share Cadet TitleZatonskih Still Leads at the US Women's; Zhao FaltersLiou Leads the 2010 Cadet ChampionshipZatonskih and Zhao bring their A-GameKislik and Naroditsky Earn IM Norms in HungaryAdelberg and Ostrovskiy Take An Early Lead In CadetZhao Leads Junior Closed, Zatonskih and Krush WinUS Cadet Championship OpensHarper Leads Juniors; Favorites Break Streak at the Women'sDaniel Naroditsky Earns IM Norm in Hungary Stage Set for Epic Showdown at U.S. Women's ChampionshipFighting Chess in round 1 of US Womens and US Juniors Pairings Set for 2010 U.S. Women's and Junior Closed ChampsChess Talk with Yasser Seirawan The Scoop on the World Open A Parent's Perspective on Chess Camps July Grand Prix Update Vik(c)tors Top the World OpenNakamura to Comment on Opening Weekend of US Junior and US Women's The Origins of National Chess Day Laznicka Pulls Away at the World Open GMs Battle as World Open Merge Approaches Hilton on Arriving in Valley Forge The July Check is in the Mail The US Chess Scoop on Valley Forge: Part I