National Open Begins; 3 GMs Tie in G/10
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 5, 2009
G/10 co-champ Tigran Petrosian and GM Loek Van Wely. Yes, he's very tall!
The National Open began in Las Vegas Friday morning, June 5 , at a brand new location, the South Point Hotel. Previously the event was held at the Riviera. The ameneties at the new hotel include a luxurious pool and spa and a cineplex. The South Point rooms and food options are a big step up from the Riviera. The only complaint from the thrill-seekers among the chessplayers is that the South Point is a bit far from the action of Strip, but close to major residential areas. As my cab driver told me on the way over, "This is where we hang out."

In the star-studded Game/10 Championship Thursday night, GM Zviad Izoria and Armenian GMs Gabriel Sargissian and Tigran Petrosian ended on top with 5.5/6. Petrosian had a chance to sweep the field by reaching a winning rook+2 pawns vs.rook endgame against GM Loek Van Wely in the final round. But Petrosian lost one of his pawns and conceded the draw, allowing his countryman, Sargissian and Izoria to join in a tie for first.

Many of the players from the recently concluded Copper State International are also playing in Vegas, including IM Lenderman, who is hot off the heels of his first GM norm performance. "Of course you always need a little luck to do well in a tournament," Lenderman told CLO, "But I feel that I played really well overall."

Other strong players to join the action for the Main Event, the National Open, are Russian GM Evgeny Bareev, IM Irina Krush and Bay Area GMs Josh Friedel and Jesse Kraai. See the full participant list here.  Keep up to date on the results here. Also watch live games, powered by Monroi.

Photo Gallery

Round 1 of the National Open: IMs Joe Bradford and Irina Krush

A happy IM Alex Lenderman

Chris Bird and French GM Laurent Fressinet

CLO editor Jennifer Shahade vs. GM Alexander Ivanov