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U.S. Senior and Women's Begin Print E-mail
By WIM Alexey Root   
September 5, 2009
Karina Vazirova, Bayaraa Zorigt and Tom Braunlich, Photo Alexey Root 
Three grandmasters top the field of the U.S. Senior Open: GM Larry Christiansen, GM Boris Gulko, and GM Larry Kaufman. GM Fedorowicz, originally scheduled to play, will not be participating.

For the Okie Master's Round Robin, the hat of United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Chesty Puller, which Tom Braunlich got in an auction, was used to draw lots for the field. The lots chosen were(with RR number following) Alex Chua (1) IM Ray Kaufman (2), IM Bryan Smith (3), FM Darwin Yang (4), Mihail Bantic (5), Nelson Lopez (6), FM Mihail Langer (7), and Conrad Holt (8).

In the Women's Open, which has 18 players pre-registered, top players include Iryna Zenyuk, Chouchanik Airapetian, Bayaraa Zorigt, Karina Vazirova, Saheli Nath, and Medina Parrilla.

The tournament kicked off with a split pea soup reception. This five-year-old tradition in OK tournaments is based on the pea soup served as a thank you to Wijk aan Zee 1944 players, who had made a special effort to play there during World War II. Attached is a photo of Karina Vazirova, Bayaraa Zorigt, and Tom Braunlich (who made the soup) with the pea soup. Braunlich is playing in the Senior Open along with his duties as organizer and reporter.

The Web site for the tournament is http://www.geocities.com/okiechessfestival/

Find out more about Dr. WIM Alexey Root on her author page (pdf) and on her Monroi blog.