National Open Heats Up Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 9, 2007
Photo Jennifer Shahade

by Jennifer Shahade

The National Open (June 7-11, Las Vegas) began with a surprising result on board one, as the legendary Viktor Korchnoi drew from a losing position against the young Erkin Gurbauzade from Azerbaijan. Korchnoi was down a piece with very little compensation. Korchnoi is known for being one of the greatest fighters in chess history, and he showed it off in this game, steering the game into the only conceivable drawish position....Rook vs. Rook and h and f-pawns. This is a famous endgame which is hard and sometimes impossible for the side up to pawns to win.


Korchnoi's battle against Erkin Gurbauzade drew a crowd. Photo Betsy Dynako

In the second game, Korchnoi had a much easier time against Life Master Viktors Pupols. Pupols played a bizarre opening with White, which Korchnoi quickly punished.


Another notable round 1 upset was 13-year-old Christian Tanaka's victory over Emory Tate. Tanaka was well aware of Emory's attacking prowess, so he tried to avoid crazy tactics.When I asked if Emory had made a key mistake or if he was proud of one particularly move, Tanaka said that there wasn't a single move that stood out. "He got into time pressure, and I managed to take advantage of it."


Round two highlights

After two rounds, there are 20 perfect scores in the open.
Click here for the crosstable.
The top guns are playing well. In round two Nakamura, Shabalov and Akobian all made winning with white against Senior Masters seem easy.




Stay tuned for CLO's daily coverage and for now, enjoy the photos from the side events and the first two rounds. Also check out the official National Open website
and watch the games live on!

Photo Gallery

Hikaru Nakamura is 2-0 after 2 rounds. He also won the blitz tournament on Thursday night. Photo Betsy Dynako

There was a small scholastic trophy tournament on Friday preceding the Susan Polgar World Opens for Boys and Girls on Saturday and Sunday. Photo Betsy Dynako

GM Merab Gagaunashvili placed second in the blitz tournament. Photo Betsy Dynako

On Friday night, GM Susan Polgar gave a simul to participants of the Susan Polgar World Opens for Girls and Boys. Photo Jennifer Shahade

Tom Polgar-Shutzman is rated 1487 and ranked 9th in the country for 8-year olds. Photo Betsy Dynako

Korchnoi's grand entrance in round one. Photo Betsy Dynako

Inside the Riviera hotel and casino. Photo Jennifer Shahade