Berkeley International Returns in 2011
By IM David Pruess   
July 25, 2010
gareyev225.jpg
GM Timur Gareyev, the highest rated player signed up to play in the Berkeley International
From January 2 to January 8, a strong international tournament will be held in Berkeley, California. The ten round swiss follows in the tradition of the 2005, 2006, and 2008 events organized by IM David Pruess, who will assist the principal organizer of this edition, NM Arun Sharma.  The tournament is open to any player with a FIDE rating over 2100 (or juniors with a FIDE rating over 2000), though the number of players allowed in the lower rating categories is limited to ensure the tournament is reasonably balanced and that GM and IM norms are possible.  This edition promises to be quite strong, with six grandmasters already signed up, including GM Timur Gareev, pictured to the left and area GM Josh Friedel.

Now is the best time to sign up, if interested.  A special discounted entry fee is being offered until the middle of August, and signing up early is the best way to ensure a spot in the event.  This is one of the few opportunities for American players to play a quality tournament with norm opportunities without having to travel abroad.  In addition to seeking more players for the event, the organizers are also looking for sponsors, fans, and volunteers!  If you'd like to participate in making this one of the best events on the American calendar, please get in touch with them:  asharma at math dot berkeley dot edu and dpruess at chess dot com.

The previous edition of this event was won by GM Giorgi Kacheishvili half a point ahead of GM Zviad Izoria.  It also produced IM norms for Daniel Rensch, Marc Esserman (both of whom have since completed their IM titles), and WIM Iryna Zenyuk. Earlier events saw GM norms for some of America's most recent GMs:  Jesse Kraai, Josh Friedel, and Lev Milman.  Here are some entertaining games from the last one: