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In Dallas, A Rocky Start, a “Rocky” Finish Print E-mail
By Dr. WIM Alexey Root   
November 30, 2009
GM Alejandro Ramirez facing IM Daniel Ludwig. Continue reading to find out who gave Ramirez roses.

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) GM and IM norm invitational tournaments had a rocky start. GM Amon Simutowe forfeited round 3. By the end of round 5, nine games had been postponed due to students’ classes and exams. There were several short draws.

Coach Rade
Steps in

UTD Chess Coach IM Rade Milovanovic rescheduled missed games and changed perceptions. Milovanovic explained that Simutowe didn’t mean to forfeit round three. Milovanovic said Amon had a communication problem with Chief Arbiter Jon Haskel and with his opponent, GM Zviad Izoria. But this problem could be solved. Izoria, Rade told me, was known for his modesty. During one round of the 2007 UTD GM Invitational, Izoria didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by asking for a ride so he walked for miles from his hotel to the playing site. On Wednesday night Rade predicted that Izoria would play Amon rather than keep his forfeit win. That prediction came true on Thanksgiving, immediately after round 6, when Izoria drew Simutowe in 13 moves.

Coach Milovanovic expected a large number of draws in the GM-norm section for two reasons. First, players could score six draws and three wins to earn a GM norm (6 points out of 9). Second, the players in the GM-norm section were very close in rating. Therefore, they had to play carefully against each other. The winners of the GM section were Izoria and GM Giorgi Kacheishvili, each with 6 points out of 9. Both players are originally from Georgia but now live in the US.

Kacheishvili had an instructive endgame win in the last round over IM Sal Bercys, using a Lucena position to win the K, R, and Ps against K, R, and Ps endgame.


 As Bercys said, "I resigned because he's a GM. He knows how to build a bridge."

Roses for Ramirez

As the tournament entered its last three rounds, NM Tautvydas Vedrickas, IM Puchen Wang, FM Daniel Yeager, and WFM Bayaraa Zorigt were still in the norm hunt. The games became longer and more closely contested and the spectators showed their appreciation.
UTB’s GM Gareyev with Mohammed Nasim, a student in my Chess Online ED 4358 course

GM Timur Gareyev (a student at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College) gave roses to the players and to Coach Rade. UTD Team Captain Alejandro Ramirez ended up with the lion’s share of the roses. Ramirez brought in the Sunday, November 29, 2009, Dallas Morning News. The chess team’s recent trip to Cuba was front page news! All the players and staff were very excited to read the article.

Bayaraa Zorigt, Sal Bercys, and Alejandro Ramirez check out the Dallas Morning News front-page article

Fighting Spirit

The IM-norm section had more fighting spirit. The winner of the IM section was NM Tautvydas Vedrickas with 6 points out of 9. Vedrickas's rating now goes over 2300 FIDE, so he can apply for his FM title. WFM Bayaraa Zorigt made the only norm of the event, by scoring 5 points and gaining a WIM norm.


TD Jon Haskel awards Bayaara Zorigt her WIM norm certificate while IM Puchen Wang looks on

Bayaraa also scored 5 of 9 at last year’s UTD norm event, one point above what is required for a WIM norm, but the 2008 IM-norm section was one titled player short. That meant no norm last year. So this year’s norm was her first ever. I asked Bayaraa to strike a pose from the movie Rocky. She hadn’t heard of the movie, so IM Julio Sadorra showed her how it’s done.

IM Julio Sadorra is a fan of the movie, Rocky

Despite a rough tournament, UTD freshman Sadorra also kept punching until the end, winning his last round against GM Amon Simutowe.


Find complete game collection from the tournament on Monroi and see final crosstables on the tournament website. Also see WIM Alexey Root's first CLO article on the tournament.

Dr. Alexey Root, WIM is the author of Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. Her blog is on the MonRoi site. Root is also teaching a series of online classes in Chess Education. Registration for Spring 2010 classes is now open.


November - Chess Life Online 2009

In Dallas, A Rocky Start, a “Rocky” FinishNewsflash: Results in for Thanksgiving TourneysFront Page News: University of Texas at Dallas Chess Team Travels to Cuba Three Lead American Open at Halfway Point Nakamura Tops Carlsen in BNbank Blitz in Norway Thanksgiving Tourneys Begin in Philly and LAAmericans in the World Cup: Kamsky OutAmericans in the World Cup: Akobian and Shabalov Out GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: All the Way to Siberia for This? Sharks and Knights in US Chess League Championships! Morales and Samuelson Win Duncan Oxley New National Event: US Girls Junior OpenKamsky Advances; Akobian and Shabalov Head to TiebreaksIce Cream, Two Minute and Norm Hopefuls at the University of Texas at DallasWorld Cup Round 2, Game 1: Kamsky Wins, Onischuk FaltersShabalov and Akobian Advance in World Cup! Action and Upsets in IllinoisSilver for Tanuj and Samritha! Americans in the World Cup: Two Advance, Three Go To TiebreakNorm Hunting in Texas BeginsNational Youth Action in Full SwingUSA Scores 4.5/10 in World Cup Game 1 Two Rounds to Go in the World Youth! GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: A Long Road to Siberia Tanuj, Jarod and Samritha Roll on Countdown to the World CupA Parent's Perspective on King's IslandBig US Scorers Increase Pressure at World Youth Video From the King's Island Open Tanuj, Sarah, Samritha and Jarod on 5/6 in Turkey Five Tie in Turkey BowlKnockouts, Knights, Sharks and Mechanics Advance in USCL Playoffs Alena and Tanuj Still Perfect at World YouthUps and Downs in Round Two of the World YouthUS World Youth Squad Scores 22/25 in Round 1 Big Opens Kick Off in Ohio and FloridaAbby Marshall Previews the World YouthOn the Way to TurkeyGM in Residence at the CCSCSL: Ben Finegold GM Ronen Har-Zvi Hosts Kick off Schenectady Simul 15 spots up for grabs at 2010 U.S. Chess ChampionshipUS Chess League Heads to PlayoffsGM Larry Kaufman's Final Word on the World Senior Texas and Belgrade Colleges Battle Kaufman on the World Senior's Final Stretch GM Robert Hess on Channel One 25 Player World Youth Squad SetLenderman Fifth in World Junior!All-American Battle Set for Round Eight of the World Senior GM Joel on Quality vs. Quantity in Your RepertoireThe November Check is in the Mail World Cup Round 1 PairingsBryan Smith Scores 14-3 in Allentown Halloween Simul Week 9 US Chess League RecapUS Chess Scoop #9- A Lesson with Lenderman