Kudrin and Ivanov Win Hartford Open
By Matan Prilleltensky   
April 19, 2010
GM Sergey Kudrin, Photo Jennifer Shahade 2006
141 chessplayers contested the Hartford Open from April 16 to 18th. With Foxwoods no longer on the schedule, Continental Chess Association owner Bill Goichberg wanted to offer New England chessplayers a solid regional tournament. The Sheraton at Bradley Airport offered a pleasant venue.

The field was led by GMs Kudrin and Ivanov, CCA tournament stalwarts. IMs Esserman, Sarkar, and Hungaski added to a tough Open section.

The GMs set the pace on the first two days, justifying their seedings with 3-0 records. IM Marc Esserman joined them on a perfect score, showing some nice attacking ideas en route.

Marc Esserman-Sylvester Smarty

Black to play. Marc has just played 1. Nc4. If 1…0-0, white intended 2. Nfxe5 with an attack. The game went 1…b5 2. Nxd6! Now if 2…Bxd6, 3.Nxe5 Bxe5 4. Rxe5 Kf8 5. Qf3 with chaos. The game went 2…Qxd6 3.Rxe5 0-0 4.Qe2 Nxd5 5.Rd1 Bxg5 6.Rexd5 Qe6 7. Qxe6 Nxe6 8. Nxg5 Nxg5 9. Rxg5 and white went on to win this better ending. See if you can spot any of the beautiful lines that *could* have happened.

Alex M. Fikiet- Marc Esserman

Black to play, find the quickest win.

Show Solution

Round 4 saw the Grandmasters pull clear from the field, Ivanov prevailing in a long endgame against Esserman. The players ultimately reached this position:
1…c5 2.bxc5 Kc6 3.Kf3 Bxc5 4.Bxc5 Kxc5 5.Ke3 Kc4 6.f3 Rg6 7.Rxh4 Rh6 8.Rh1 h4 9.Kf2 h3 10.Kg3 Kxc3 11.Rxh3 Rg6+ 12.Kf2 c5 13.Rh5 c4 14.Rxf5 Kb2 15.Rf6 Rxf6 16.exf6 c3 17. f7 c2 18.f8=Q c1=Q 19.Qb4 Kxa2 20.Qxb7 Qc4 21. f5 and Ivanov won in his opponent’s desperate time pressure.

Kudrin also won over Shmelov, setting up the meeting of the GMs in the final round. With a Grandmaster draw, Kudrin and Ivanov ran out co-winners of the 2010 Hartford Open.

The class sections were characterized by an interesting twist: Instead of u2200, u2000, etc, Hartford saw u2205 u2005, and so on. This let some players usually at the bottom of their sections to be top seeds for a change. Jaime Cintron took full advantage to tie for first u1605 with 4/5. Interestingly, most top seeds fared less well, finishing around the middles of their respective sections. Evan Rabin said goodbye to under sections by winning the u2205; check his blog for a report in the next couple days.

That’s all from Hartford, folks! I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament and hope to be back next year.     

See the MSA report for USCF rated results from the tournament. For more by Matan Prilleltensky see his
Best of CLO winning report, How to Score a Summer Upset.