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Play Up at the Eastern Open Print E-mail
By Michael Atkins   
December 22, 2009
EOHotel.jpgA little old...a little new...a lotta new...The 36 Annual Eastern Open (December 27-30) has some of both. Held in the same beautiful hotel, Westin Washington, since 1995 and over the same 4-day period after Christmas, this year's event introduces some changes. The long time organizer David Mehler handed over the reigns to Tom Beckman.

A long time DC expert and chess coach, Tom raised the guaranteed prize fund and introduced some interesting new prizes. Thirty Two Upset Prizes! One per round in each of the top 4 sections. Most Improved Player: $250-150 in each of the top 3 sections, performance rating versus current rating, and won no other section prize.  As Tom says "Play up, play well, and win $." Finally there is the Best Played Game: Open: $100 in each of last 2 Rounds; U2200: $50 in each of last 2 Rounds.  Submitted games must be annotated.  Winners will have games submitted to Chess Life for publication. GM-Elect Alex Lenderman will help annotate and pick the prize winners, I don't know if we'll get a dance but who knows?!

 GM Alex Ivanov will open up this year's even with a simul on Dec 26th, the night before the tournament. You can choose color and opening against the GM, but he has right of refusal if you pick something bad for him. With two Grandmasters and seven International Masters in the advance entries, along with the most advance entries as of this date in a decade (123), it looks to be an exciting tournament. If you need a break from chess for one round, you can visit any of the classic DC sight, many of which are within minutes of the hotel. If you have only a day to play, quads are happening on three of the days and the Eastern Open Blitz on Tues 12/29/09.

Follow the results at http://members.cox.net/tournaments/eo_09.htm. 

Also follow the Pan-American Championships in South Padre Island and the North American Open in Las Vegas (Dec.26-29).