Finegold on Fire at SPICE Cup
September 24, 2009
IM Ben Finegold, Photo Betsy Dynako from Chicago 09
IM Ben Finegold is on fire at the SPICE Cup at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, standing with four points out of five games. (The prematurely reported 5/6 from Ben came true as Ben won his sixth round game as well and needs just 1/3 for the norm now.) 6/9 will give Ben the performance rating to qualify for his final GM norm! Follow the games live on to see if Ben can do it.

Finegold told CLO about his third round miniature victory over Davorin Kuljasevic: "He made an inaccuracy in the opening with 8...Nxd5?! The last 4-5 years, GMs only play 8...exd5.  Then, he made another risky move with 10...Qxc3+.  Years ago, some GMs tried 10...Nf6, which seems all right.  Then he made a final error with 13...c5? which traps his queen."


Finegold also won an interesting Sicilian game in round five (Watch that queen's rook go!) against IM Gabor Papp, creeping closer to the norm.


Although Ben is grabbing many of the headlines this time, there have been a number of stand-out battles in the competition, including this wild game between Robson and Bhat. See more games on


There are other norm chances in the "B" group: Rensch is going for his final IM norm while IMs Antal and Robson need to go on a big streak to earn GM norms.

In the "A" Group, three GMs lead, John Ludwig Hammer of Norway, Yury Kuzubov of Ukraine and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia. This is a young group of visiting GMs: they are 19, 19 and 18.


Standings after five rounds
(corrected from earlier post)
A group

1-3. GMs Hammer, Kuzubov, Andreikin 3.0
4. GM Mamedov 2.5
5. GM So 2.0
6. GM Akobian 1.5

B group

1. IM Finegold 4.0 (needs 2/4 for GM norm and title)
2-3. GM Bhat, GM Perelshteyn 3.5
4. IM Antal 3.0 (needs 3/4 for GM norm and title)
5-6. IM Papp (needs 3.5/4 for 2nd GM norm), IM Robson (needs 3.5/4 for GM norm and title) 2.5
7-8. FM Rensch (needs 2/4 for IM norm and title), IM Kuljasevic 2.0 (needs 4/4 for GM norm and title)
9. GM Diamant 1.5
10. IM Ippolito 0.5