Magesh Panchanathan Wins New Jersey Open
By Pete Tamburro   
September 8, 2015
GM Magesh Panchanathan
New Jersey has been holding state championships since 1886, but none as strong as the 2015 NJ Open Championship held at the Hyatt Hotel in Morristown. Ten grandmasters and four international masters headed the field of over 240 players (including class and scholastic sections) for the three day Labor Day event.

GM Magesh Panchanathan, a New Jersey resident,  and GM Sergei Azarov, of Belarus, with 5-1 scores,  edged out last year’s defending state champions GM Joel Benjamin and GM Alex Stripunsky, who, a half-point back, shared third place honors with fellow GMs Mackenzie Molner, Arun Subramanian, Sergey Kudrin, Alex Fishbein and John Fedorowicz.


Spectators were thrilled that there were no short “grandmaster draws.” The games were characterized by uncompromising efforts on the part of the titled players. Stripunsky pulled off what was easily the “save of the tournament” in a losing position against Panchanathan. Up and coming young players benefitted greatly by the experience of trying their skills against the professionals, with some being very successful.  Seventeen year old and national master Jeremy Glassman upset IM Yaacov Norowitz in the second round.


The New Jersey State Chess Federation made a conscious effort to attract the grandmasters by providing free rooms at the hotel and free entry with no EF deduction if you won money. The town of Morristown was also an attraction for their families. Instead of a hotel site by a strip mall off an interstate, Morristown provided the players in their off-time and patiently waiting family members with parks, many restaurants, retail stores, movie theater, historic sites and spa all within easy walking distances. Noreen Davisson and Jim Mullanaphy directed the event.
New Jersey Open Prize List

Open Section

1st Place (tie)        
Magesh Panchanathan  & Sergei Azarov     5.0/6.0        $900 each
3rd Place (tie)      
Alexander Stripunsky    4.5/6.0        $171.53 (each)
            Mackenzie Molner   
            Arun  Subramanian   
            Sergey Kudrin       
            Joel Benjamin       
            Alex Fishbein       
            John Fedorowicz   

Top Expert        Sergei Malinin        3.5/6.0        $200
Top Class A        Maanav Ganthapodi    4.0/6.0        $200
Top Under Age 13    Brandon Jacobson    4.0/6.0
Top Under Age 16    Aaron Shlionsky        4.0/6.0
Top Age 55 & Over    Boris Privman        4.0/6.0

Under 2000 Section

1st Place (tie)        Nico Werner Chasin     5.0/6.0        $225 (each)
            Jan Paragua       
            Vedant Rautela       
            Angelica Chin       
5th Place        Robert Forney        4.5/6.0
Top Class B        David Liu        4.0/6.0        $22.22 (each)
            Amey Pasarkar
            Ankit Raparthi
            Jessica Rattray
            Shawn Wang
            Mitch Fishbein
            Charles Hua
            Samuel Zhang
            Claire Cao
Top Class C        Sean Cushman        3.5/6.0        $200.00
Top Under Age 13    Evelyn Zhu        4.0/6.0
Top Under Age 16    Maxwell Weinstein    3.5/6.0
Top Overage 55        Donnally Miller        2.5/6.0

Under 1600

1st Place        Tim Kraft        5.5/6.0        $500.00
2nd Place (tie)        Suraj Oruganti        5.0/6.0        $200.00 (each)
            Albert Yao   
4th Place (tie)        Sumer Maini        4.5/6.0   
            Dhruv Patel       
Top Class D         Jun Kubo        4.0/6.0        $66.667 (each)
            Eric Yuhan Li   
            Harpal Maini
Top Class E        Sean Winston Luo    3.5/6.0        $200.00
Top Class F        Aryan Jhaveri        3.0/6.0        $200.00

Top Under 13            Katie Lin
Top Under 16            Jaron Bernard
Top Age 55 & Over         Brian Cige