Ivanov Wins Senior; Bradford Earns Ticket to Greece
By Franc Guadalupe   
July 19, 2012
GM Alexander Ivanov at the 2011 US Championships, Photo courtesy CCSCSL
This year’s Summer Chess Festival was held at the spacious facilities of the Marriott Houston South. The Festival included the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Junior Open, and the Not-A-Senior-Not-A-Junior Open.  It also had several side events including Blitz, Bughouse, and a simul by the Senior Open defending Champion, GM Sergey Kudrin.  

Sergey, who was among the 37 players entered in the six-day schedule of the Senior Open, was derailed in the second round and held to a draw by Oklahoma’s Tom Braunlich.  Meanwhile, IM Joe Bradford and fellow Texan Fred Pennington raced to a 3-0 record before the merge.  In the three-day schedule, GM Alexander Ivanov, the 2010 U.S. Senior Champion, was among the 24 players in that session and easily raced to a 3-0 record along with Oregon’s NM Carl Haessler.  

After the merge, Ivanov beat Haessler while Bradford bested Pennington.  After an easy win in Round 4, Kudrin beat Haessler in the 5th Round while Ivanov beat Bradford.  


That set a confrontation between the two GMs in the last round which ended in a draw and gave Ivanov sole possession of first place and the $1,250 prize.  

On Board 2, IM Bradford, with the white pieces, was held to a draw by Tom Braunlich.  In addition to his two draws against titled players, Tom, who entered the tournament with a 2185 rating, won his other four games.  That was good enough for a 2nd – 3rd place tie with Kudrin and a 31-point increase for Braunlich's rating, solidly over the 2200 mark once again (see Braunlich's award winning CLO piece on draws).  Tom and Sergey each received $650 for their efforts.  

The 61-year old Bradford, the highest placed player over the age of 60, won the right to be the official USCF representative at the World Senior Championship which will take place in Greece, 12-25 November.  Bradford finished in a four-way tie for 4th place with Yefin Treger, John Carr, and John Wilson, each earning $275.  After his participation in the WSC, Joe also gets a $500 stipend from the organizers and the $250 Larry Englebretson Memorial stipend to aid with expenses at that event.  The latter award was given by the Houston Chess Club in memory of last year’s over-60 winner Larry Englebretson who passed away earlier this year.

USCF President Ruth Haring was among the 61 participants from 16 states.  Ruth finished with an even 3-3 score but had some excitement in Round 5 when her opponent, Joe Alexander, got stranded for 45 minutes in a malfunctioning elevator just as the game started!  She agreed that Joe should not lose any time for that incident but ended up losing the game.  She bounced back in the last round with a win over Robert Hatfield.  

The rated results of the U.S. Senior Open are on MSA. Also find the MSA rated results of the US Junior Open and look for the wrap-up on that tomorrow.