GMs Benjamin, Gelashvili, Kekelidze & Kudrin Top Long Island Open
By Harold Stenzel   
March 20, 2012
Benjaminlead.jpgFor the first time since the early 1970s the Continental Chess Association sponsored a tournament on Long Island on March 16 to 18, 2012.  Although I’ve been directing tournaments on Long Island for 36 years, I haven’t run an open weekend Swiss since the early 1990s and neither has anyone else.  The largest attendance I ever got was 89.  

Geographically Long Island isn’t located to attract players from any direction but Bill Goichberg and CCA decided to take a chance (I was assistant TD for the event).  The playing site was convenient to both the Long Island Railroad and Long Island MacArthur Airport.  The tournament guaranteed $8,000 with a projected prize fund based on 150 players of $12,000.  Perhaps because of the rarity of a weekend tournament on Long Island the tournament was well supported by the local chess population and there were 158 entries in four sections (151 adjusted entries for the $12,080 prize fund) making it the largest ever on Long Island in both attendance and prize money.

The Open section turned out to be very strong attracting five GMs, two IMs, and a WGM.  The last three rounds were critical in determining the winners.  In round three GM Joel Benjamin defeated GM Alex Stripunsky to become the only 3-0.  


In the fourth round GM Benjamin was paired against GM Mikheil Kekelidze.  Benjamin won a pawn but Kekelidze was able to hold the draw. 


In the last round Benjamin had a short draw with GM Sergey Kudrin to guarantee both a tie for first at 4-1.  GM Tamaz Gelashvili joined the winners circle with a win over FM Nathan Resika and GM Kekelidze joined the tie with a win over NM Yefim Treger.  GM Kekelidze had the best tie breaks and got the extra $101 first place bonus.  WGM Sarai Sanchez and NM Rawle Allicock tied for top under 2300 at 3½-1½.  Robert Guevara was top under 2200 at 3-2.

The under 2100 section ended in a five way tie for first at 4-1 with Massino Carini of Italy, WIM Dorothy Teasley, Joseph Felber, Frank Paciulli, and Ed Wielunski who was also top under 1900 in the tie.  


Yasavi Hari and Neal Bellon shared under 1800 honors at 3-2.

Andrew Wang receives his prizecheck from Bill Goichberg

Rob Ritchea travelled from Georgia to win the under 1300 section with a perfect 5-0.  Eric Crook, Ricardo Minier, Charilao Aneziris, and Joe DePalo tied for second at 4-1.  9-year-old Andrew Wang was the top player under 1100 at 3½ -1½.

To find full tournament information and crosstables, see the Long Island Open homepage. For USCF rated results, see the MSA report.