Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2010 arrow May arrow Juniors Storm Philadelphia International
Juniors Storm Philadelphia International Print E-mail
By Andrea Rosen   
June 25, 2010
Top juniors Darwin Yang and Sam Shankland begin their games at the Philadelphia International in Valley Forge.
The Philadelphia International kicked off this morning in Valley Forge with a field of more than 50 players, many hoping for a chance to earn IM or GM norms.  But for a few of the players, just getting to the playing site was their first challenge of the event.

A severe storm in Philadelphia on Thursday threw off travel plans for many, including IM Sam Shankland, who is trying for his third and final GM norm and came heartbreakingly close in Chicago last month.  He was originally booked on a flight from San Francisco with a changeover in Las Vegas.  When that flight was delayed more than three hours and it became clear he would miss his connection, he asked to go standby on a midnight flight direct to Philly.  When he was told he might not get on, he discovered that putting some cash in an envelope and discretely slipping it to the ticket agent does wonders for your place on the standby list.  But after flying all night, he arrived at his board only to discover that it wasn’t enough for him to be there---he needed his opponent as well.  He was paired with GM Gildardo Garcia, who registered for the tournament months ago but ended up as a no-show.  Luckily for his norm chances, he ended up paired with Timur Aliyev, who also arrived late as his flight from Israel was delayed.

I’m here from Chicago accompanying my son Eric Rosen and his friend Trevor Magness, and we were also delayed by storms on our flight out Wednesday night, but as they cleared we waited on the tarmac for two hours, we were treated to a rainbow and a pretty sunset, hopefully a good omen for the tournament.

 Eric and Trevor, who both became national masters in the last year, are both here for the opportunity to play some strong competition.  Eric will be the lowest rated player in the U.S. Junior Closed in St. Louis (July 9-19) , and felt this was a good chance to prepare.  It turns out he may not have been the only one with that thought.  Half the U.S. Junior Closed field is here.  In addition to Shankland and Rosen, Darwin Yang, Conrad Holt and Steven Zierk are all playing. Zierk is fresh off an IM norm from a closed tournament at the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco.  WIM Alisa Melekhina is the only player here who will be taking part in the U.S. Women’s Championship, also next month in St. Louis.

Eric is taking a pass on the World Open, feeling it’s too close on the heels of St. Louis.   Trevor was happy to accompany us for the smaller tournament .  “This is a great opportunity to play nine strong games, hopefully against higher rated competiton,” he said. 
Trevor Magness and Eric Rosen

In addition to Shankland, Magness was the only other player in the first round to have a no-show opponent, but assistant TD Boyd Reed offered to step in as a house player in order to give him a pairing and a shot at a norm.

In order to help players secure norms, tournament organizer Bill Goichberg decided to use accelerated pairings to ensure players have strong early round opponents.  He made that decision after Shankland just missed out on a GM norm at the Chicago Open because he had weaker opponents in the early rounds. Goichberg said he’s pleased with the field here, which includes six foreign GMs (it would have been seven had Garcia shown up), and seven foreign IMs.  FIDE norm requirements call for at least 20 players from a foreign federation, half of them GMs or IMs so that no one is required to play a foreign player.  At last year’s Philadelphia International, that requirement wasn’t met, and a player who tied for first missed out on a GM norm because of it.  “The turnout is better than expected,” Goichberg said.   He attributes that to some adjustments he made in the payout this year, lowering the overall prize fund from $10,000 to $7,000, but guaranteeing $600 to each foreign GM, and $300 to each foreign IM.

Find Philadelphia International standings on the World Open website and stay tuned to CLO for updates throughout the tournament and at the World Open next week. For more by Andrea Rosen, see her recent in-depth profile of Curtis Winter.


May - Chess Life Online 2010

Kacheishvili Leads Going into Chicago's Final Day Akobian and Najer Lead in Chicago Martin Gardner, Mathematician and Lifelong Chess Fan, Dies at 95International Stars Grace Chicago Open Fantasy Chess Results are in! Gata & Gaga Close 2010 US Chess Championships 57 Players Qualify for 2010 World Youth Chess Championship Gata Kamsky 2010 US Champion!Shulman and Kamsky Playoff: a Video PreviewOne Round to Go at the US Champs: A Video Recap Kamsky and Shulman Contend for 2010 US Championship Tension Builds in Saint Louis as Contenders Draw New York the Epicenter of Elo for Karpov 2010 Fundraiser The Final Four: A Video Recap Saint Louis Final Four Set One Round Till Final Four: A Video Recap Favorites in Good Position to Advance Kamsky and Onischuk Break Away in Saint Louis 2010 US Chess Champs Video Recap after Four RoundsLogjam at Top of LeaderboardLeaders Draw, Four-Way Tie at Top Second Round Whittles Field of Perfection Down to TwoFantasy Chess Stats Decisive Start to the US Chess Championships Russian Chess Federation Nominates KarpovUS Championships Kick Off with Red Carpet CeremonyAnand Retains World Title US Championship Chess TalkAnand Continues Reign as World Champion! Chess & Chocolate Update Sunday in Atlanta: An Elementary Nationals Wrap-upBill Hook, 1925-2010 One Game to Go in Topalov-AnandUS Championship Fantasy Chess 2010 Over 2000 Turnout for Elementary Nationals World Championship Approaches Final Stretch Anand Narrowly Misses Win in Thrilling ContestRed Carpet Opening for 2010 U.S. Chess Championship2010 US Chess Championship: The Battle of the Names GM Rogers on Sofia: Topalov Strikes Back New York State Champions Play Simuls Instant Replay: Topalov Wins Game 8 to Even Score Game 7 in Topalov-Anand Sees Thrilling DrawChess & Chocolate: Tune in to the TLCAbby Marshall's Bittersweet Goodbye to Scholastic Chess The May Check is in the Mail Anand Leads at the Half