Onischuk Wins in Dallas; Holt Earns GM Norm
By James Stallings   
December 20, 2011
IM Conrad Holt
At the University of Texas at Dallas Invitational (December 15-20), GM Alexander Onischuk too clear first but it was IM Conrad Holt's late surge that turned heads. Despite a slow start, (2 losses), IM Conrad Holt finished stronger than anyone else with 5 wins and 2 draws. He even defeated tournament co-leader GM Cristian Chirila. His 6 points gave him his second GM norm!

IM Milos Pavlovic was in the same situation needing to score 6 points for a GM norm with black and win against the other tournament co-leader, GM Alexander Onischuk. Alas, in this scenario the #1 seed would not be denied. Onischuk won the first place tournament title and trophy outright after winning a time scramble knight and pawn endgame.

Onischuk (7-2) finished 1st with 20 points: Chirila and Holt (6-3) tied for 2nd and 3rd with 17 points. GM Sadorra, GM Yotov, and IM Pavlovic (5-4) would tie for 4th-6th with 14 points.

GMs Sadorra and Onischuk

It was one of the more exciting December UTD Invitationals we have had in recent years. The tournament began in exciting fashion at the opening ceremony when GM Onischuk and GM Sadorra competed in two 2-minute blitz games for the Richardson Cup. For the first time ever, each one a game, and we had an Armageddon situation in which Onischuk as white had to win. He did. All in all, it was great preparation for next week’s Pan-American Intercollegiate. The "Pan-Am's" is one of oldest tournaments in the United States, running since 1946.

Find more information on the Pan-American Championships and look for coverage right here on CLO by Dr. WIM Alexey Root.