|Kaidanov Takes Throne in King's Island|
|By Steve Immitt|
|November 14, 2011|
The Kings Island Open celebrated its 20th anniversary this past Veterans’ Day Weekend, November 11-13th, and the guest list for the occasion was an impressive testament to the tournament. The Open Section was dedazzled by over 37 Masters, including ten Grandmasters and three International Masters!
Kentucky GM Gregory Kaidanov was white hot this weekend, winning all five games, including successive victories over GMs Dmitry Gurevich, Alexander Ivanov (play through the game below) and Alexander Goldin.
He captured the $2,541 First Prize, along with the extra $169 Bonus Prize for finishing clear first, and turning in a sizzling 2869 tournament performance rating along the way. Some even wondered which would be more, Kaidanov’s $2,710 total prize, or his new rating after the tournament.
When Gregory made his U.S. tournament debut, winning the 1990 Manhattan Chess Club International in Carnegie Hall, ahead of the legendary Yefim Geller, it was clear that a new star had risen on the American chessscape. Yet because of his easy-going and friendly nature, it was also sometimes difficult to remember how powerful a player he is. This outstanding result at Kings Island will certainly serve as a friendly reminder to everyone that Gregory has plenty of good moves to go along with his good nature.
Massachusetts GM Eugene Perelshteyn was almost as good as Kaidanov, ceding but one draw to fellow New England GM Sergey Kudrin, to take the $1,271 Second Prize with 4½ points. Kudrin, along with GMs Timur Gareyev (the tournament’s top-seed at 2718) and Alex Ivanov, Canadian IM Leonid Gerzhoy and Michigan FM Seth Homa, each won $305 for finishing with 4 points, tied for 3rd through 7th. Pittsburgh junior sensation Kevin Mo’s last-round victory over Serbian IM Goran Vojinovic also gave him 4 points, but he took home the $1,355 Under 2300 prize instead. Illinois’ own William Brock also won his last-round game against Okechukwu Iwa , giving him sole possession of the $678 Second Under 2300 prize, with 3½ points.
Ariel Ofek of Indiana finished alone at the top of the Under 2100 Section with 4½, winning the $1,694 First Prize. Three players, Sameer Manchanda, Safal Bora and Duan Larkin, were right behind with 4 points, taking home $536.50 each. The fifth prize was also split three ways among Timothy Brookshear, Ralph Gregorz and Michael Opaska, who each received $84.67
Logan Stalions stormed the Under 1900 Section, winning all five games, along with the $1,694 First Prize. Enver Jusufbegovic’s 4½ points gave him the $847 second prize, while Kash Moghaddami and Eric Macaluso each recievd $381.50 for scoring 4-1. Eight more players finished with 3½ points and $31.75: Rahul Ramaswamy, Girgis Tanas, Jack Mo, Russel Robbins, Charles A Smith, Andrew Ward, Jeffrey Palun and David Guehl.
Young Nicholas Tomlin swept the Under 1700 Section, finishing with 5 points and $1,694. BIko Wachira scored 4½ points to take the $847 Second Prize, while John M Wright, Ronnie Barnes and Angelo Fleming each tied for 3rd-5th with 4 points, winning $339 each.
The Under 1500 Section saw a seven-player logjam at four points: Alan Kindred, Dragan Knezevic, Michael Slosson, Paul Ladd, Miles Keating-Adams, Matthew Strobino and Tim Goldenberg each won $447.72.
One final perfect finish occurred in the Under 1250 Section: Zhijin Hu scored 5 points to win the $1,186 First Prize. Vladimir Nashempa was right behind with 4½-½, but because he was limited to winning $300 as an unrated player, David Rasool ended up winning $593 for finishing in clear Third Place with 4 points. Scott Dietsch, George W Jones, Keith A Smith, Janet Pend and Ryan Friend likewise benefited with some extra prize money thanks to Nashempa’s prize limit, taking home $92.40 each.
Delondo Hawthorne and Kevin Aring scored 4½-½ to tie for the Under 1000 Section honors. This time it was Kevin who was limited to $150 as an unrated player, thereby providing Delondo with the $678 top prize. The remaining amount trickled down to the four players who finished with 4 points: Arbab Khalid, Shaw Hertel, Jerald Cowan and David Carroll, giving them each $174.25 to take home.
The Kings Island Resort, just down the road from the world-famous Kings Island Theme Park in Mason, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), has been a faithful and gracious host for the Kings Island Open for these past two decades. This year was no exception, as the hotel staff was focused on covering every last detail to accommodate the tournament’s 317 entries, even waiting until the last game had ended at midnight Saturday before shutting down the food concession, in case someone had a late-night cheeseburger craving.
Another attraction unique to the tournament’s platinum edition this year, besides the unprecedented power in the Open Section, was the annual fall meeting of the USCF Executive Board. Held just down the hall from the tournament room, the meeting gave players an unusual, first-hand opportunity to observe their governance in action both in the board Room and on the chess board. See USCF President Ruth Haring's report on the meeting coming soon to CLO.
Play through some more games (two just added on 11.16.11) from the event and look for a piece by CLO columnist IM Greg Shahade on the King's Island Open next week.