2012 US Masters Underway in North Carolina
By FM Todd Andrews   
September 2, 2012
USMLogo.jpgThe 9th edition of the U.S. Masters Championship is underway in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since 1996, it has only occurred nine times in three states. The last Masters event was held in 2010 in North Carolina and it only had 27 players! However, if the folks at the North Carolina Chess Association have anything to do with it, this will become a tournament that is as important in its nature as its namesake suggests.
At the start of the half way point, (IM) Jan van de Mortel of the Netherlands sits on top of this 57 player section with a perfect 4-0 score
. (GM) Sergei Azarov of Belarus and (GM) Tamaz Gelashvili of Georgia, the country not the state, sit right behind him at 3.5/4.0. Here is one interesting tactic from the first GM vs. GM battle in round two. Grandmaster Larry Kaufman was happy with this victory, but missed a brilliancy:

White to Play and win

Show Solution

NC Chess Organizers Walter High and Gary Newsom have planned this event with thought and precision. They picked a sterling location in a unique place that not too many chess players can claim to have done battle. They have gone out of their way to make the event accessible to foreign and titled players and they have provided excellent amenities. Many thanks also go out to the cooperating sponsors of High Point University, The United States Chess Federation and the North Carolina Chess Association. 
Look for more reportage on this event by FM Todd Andrews

Look for a concluding report on this event on Chess Life Online and an instructive piece from Todd Andrews
in Chess Life Magazine. Other games and full results can be found at www.ncchess.org.