Robert Hess in Groningen: A Win Over Winter Break
January 3, 2012
GM Robert Hess, Photo CCSCSL
Robert Hess tied for first at the Groningen Open (December 21-30, the Netherlands) with Alexander Kovchan of Ukraine. Both Grandmasters scored 7/9 and posted 2700+ FIDE performances, though Kovchan topped Hess on tiebreak points.

Robert, who just finished his first semester at Yale University, told CLO that he "struggled my first two rounds against significantly lower-rated players, shaking off the rust and pulling out two victories."

Hess's most memorable wins were as white against GMs Evgeny Romanov and Sergei Tiviakov in rounds seven and eight, #2 and #1 seeds respectively,

In his game against Tiviakov, Robert said, "I felt I played smoothly from start to finish in defeating an extremely strong player. It also reminded me of my game against Ben Finegold in the US Championship, although this time I managed to secure the win and not throw away half a point!"


Robert is now headed back to Yale, and told CLO that "it is certainly difficult to balance college life and chess, but I am trying my best. It definitely helped that I was extremely relaxed while playing in Groningen – I didn’t have any schoolwork to do and I just had fun playing." He also pointed out that he was hungry to play chess after his absence. "I am trying to work out a schedule to play more in the spring and summer (U.S. Championships in May here I come!)"

IM Daniel Naroditsky also participated in the Groningen Open, tying for 9th-18th with 5.5 points.

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