US Senior Wraps: Ivanov Wins, Kaufman Advances to World Senior
By GM Larry Kaufman   
August 30, 2010
2010 US Senior Champ, GM Alexander Ivanov, Photo Phil Smith

The US Senior Open (August 23-28, Boca Raton, Florida) finished much as expected, with top rated GM Alexander Ivanov taking first and the US Championship slot with 5.5 out of 6. Ivanov finished the tournament off with a win over IM Emory Tate.


Second rated GM Sergey Kudrin took second with 5, and the third rated player (myself) taking fourth on tiebreak at 4.5 along with the US spot in the World Senior in Italy.

Third place with 5 out of 6 was taken by FM Luis Barredo of Cuba, who defeated the higher-rated FM LaRota in the last round. Consequently a playoff game between Kudrin and Barredo was played to decide who qualifies for the US Championship in case Ivanov gets in by rating. Kudrin got 30 minutes and White, Barredo 20 minutes and Black plus draw odds. Kudrin won, and only afterwards was it realized that the game was pointless as Barredo being Cuban is ineligible for the US Champioship anyway!

As for myself, I played carefully to hold the draw in the last round against Kudrin to get the World Senior slot as best scorer over 60.


However Leonid Bondar, rated only 2006 and 70 years old, came out of nowhere to win his last three games and reach a tie with me at 4.5 for the spot. So we also had to have a playoff game. The two players submit sealed bids for Black, with the lower bid winning. I bid 20 minutes (White gets 30), which also was the winning bid in the Kudrin game. Bondar really wanted the draw odds, as he bid a ridiculous FIVE minutes! Even allowing for the five second delay, this was quite silly and I won easily. So it looks like I'll be back for my third consecutive World Senior with (most) expenses paid. It's in northern Italy starting near the end of October.

The other 4.5 scorer was IM Joseph Bradford, who told me that he held a 2500+ rating for over 20 years but is now in the low 2400s. As for the other IMs, Emory Tate finished out of the money with 4 points, having lost to the two top GMs. He blamed his losses on the fast time control and on a bedbug infestation at his hotel (not the Marriott!). IM John Watson withdrew after four rounds citing eye trouble.

As for the age bracket prizes, Ivanov gets 50-54, Bradford 55-59, I get 60-64, Denis Strenzwilk got 65-69, Bondar got 70-74, and the amazing Dan Mayers won the 75 and up category at age 87!

The tournament was well-run by Jon Haskel and there were no significant problems expect perhaps that one round was a bit disturbed by an extremely noisy event held just outside the tournament hall. The event was crowned by a banquet and awards presentation.

See tournament details, photos and USCF rated results on MSA.