Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow New York State Of Mind In Louisville
New York State Of Mind In Louisville Print E-mail
By Steve Immitt   
September 23, 2013
IMG_1840 (1).jpg
IM Justin Sarkar at a simul for autism research
What do Kentucky and New York have in common?  It’s not just the Triple Crown anymore!  For one, International Master Justin Sarkar, is a very familiar face on the New York City tournament scene. 

They know him at the world-famous Marshall Chess Club as the reigning Co-Champion, along with GM Michael Rohde. 

And now Justin has notched another championship in his chess belt by winning this past weekend’s Louisville Open.  

Sarkar swept his first four games before drawing his last round to clinch the $1,000 First Prize, as well as the additional $50 Bonus Prize, for finishing in First Place.  Below is his key penultimate round victory on Board One against another player with East Coast connections:  IM Ron Burnett, a two-time New York State Champion (in 1996, where he tied with GM Mike Rohde, and in 1998, when he won clear First).


Tied with Burnett for 2nd-4th was WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor, who competed in the Women’s World Team Championship in Kazakhstan this past March, as well as the U.S. Women’s Championship in St. Louis  in May.  Rounding out the trio of 4-pointers was Ohioan Ram Dake, who was also the top-scorer Under 2200.  The three each won $400.

 Young Anagh Kulkarni won the $800 First Prize in the Under 2000 Section with 4½ points. Once again, three players tied for 2nd-4th with 4 points:  Lewis Sanders and Luke Weishaar each won $300, while Vincent Rozanskas's reward was the $400 Top Under 1800 prize. 

Jacob Hill posted the sole perfect score of the event, sweeping the Under 1600 Section en route to the $700 First Prize, while Rachel Weishaar, Yoan Perez Bello and Matt Price each won $233.34, following their counterparts in the top two sections and scoring 4 points to tie for 2nd-4th.

In the Under 1200 Section, 4 points once more produced a three-way tie, this time for 1st-3rd, among (in order of tiebreaks) Akul Rajan, Ankush Dhawan and Mikhail Kovalev, who each received their respective plaques, along with an additional $240 a piece.  The remaining plaques were for Top Under 1000 (Calvin Houghland), Top Under 800 (Anna Kovaleva), Top Unrated (Paul Burke) and Top Under 600 (Violet De Credico).

Rachel Weishaar in the Under 1600 Section teamed up with her brother Luke, in the Under 2000 Section, to score a total of 8 points and the $400 First Mixed Doubles Team prize.  Their average rating was 1701. They finished a point ahead of the top-rated Mixed Doubles Team of WGM Sabina Francesca-Foisor and Taylor Bagler (average rating: 2176).  Bagley seemed well on his way to winning the first round in the Open Section on Friday, but his opponent’s determined defenses held him to a draw instead. Not to be deterred, he promptly asked her if she would be his Mixed Doubles teammate.  Such quick-thinking kept him from going home empty-handed on Sunday-- they won the $200 Second Mixed Doubles Team prize.

The multifaceted affiliation between the Blue Grass and  the Empire State, exemplified by the results of Sarkar and Burnett, may very well signify, in the words of another very famous chess player from New York, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Look for an article later this week by Sarkar himself, on his breakthrough result at the US Masters. Also find a piece from earlier in the year about a simul he gave at a Chess benefit for Autism.