11 Perfect in Open; Fernandez and Parry Lead
By J.Shahade/Jerry Hanken   
August 5, 2008
Matthew Parry is leading the Denker with 4.5/5. The Denker and Collegiate are finishing up as the U.S. Open heats up. Photo Jonathan Hilton
There are 11 3-0's in the U.S. Open including Mitchell Powell (1979), who upset a master, Richard Weaver, in round three. Otherwise, the top seeds are keeping their stride, including top seed IM Douglas Root. Jerry Hanken faced Root in round three, and reported on the game and his short-lived lead in the Open for the bulletin and CLO:

Hanken's Corner

After two rounds due to incredible dumb luck, YHR is tied for first in the 2008 US Open. That won’t last long but I will savor it as I can. It looks like I will be playing Mark Taylor Arnold, a soon to be IM this round if the colors are right. I won a game from this really nice kid a few years ago when he was an 11-year-old expert. I ran into him again last month in the World Open and he gave me clear evidence that a king side attack usually trumps one on the queenside. Like it has taken me 53 years of tournament chess to figure that out? I think I am a slow learner. Anyway, Mark cleaned my clock good last month so if we play, it will be the “rubber match.” Do not bet your house and Ferrari on me.  I will try to put up some resistance if I can. More on that later.

The class of the traditional schedule is IM Doug Root. He played In Southern California in the early nineties before settling down to a great job in a Texas University. He married former woman’s champion Alexei and they are raising a family. It must have been the lure of a close to home US Open which brought him back onto the National scene. When Doug was growing up in the LA area, no one could touch him in strength. He could have easily been a GM had he gone down that road and still carries a hefty 2550 or so rating. I know there are some GMs coming in for the fast schedules later but I make Doug even money to win the whole shebang. We will see how good a prognosticator the old guy is here. I played Doug at least once while he lived in my home town. I was well over 2300 in those days but he outplayed me both positionaly and tactically. He uncorked a pretty combo to finish me off . I don’t have the score of that game, but wish I did. IRONY OF IRONIES- I just got a call from a friend telling me I mis read the standings and I will either playing down OR I might be playing Doug!! Either way, that will be fun and I will report on the game later.

A Quiz question, a quiz question, my kingdom for a quiz question! OK, here it is:  The year and place of the US Open when a lot of the players were housed in a merry-go-round! It's easier than it looks and some old timer will get it fast. Gosh, I hope SOMEONE is reading this drivel besides YKE who gets paid to do it?!   Later, a little more. Mysteries will be solved. “Oh that a man might know the end of this days business ‘ere it come. But it sufitheth that the day will end, and then the end is known”  Brutus (the stoic) in Shakespeare’s’ Julius Caesar.

 Indeed, the day did end. I WAS privileged to play Doug Root. I put up a good fight for about 20 moves but failed to play a timely c5, which our post game analysis showed as being equal. I got in time pressure and tried to get cute by offering an exchange. Doug had the obvious B.-b5, threatening to take BOTH of my Rooks with bishops. That was too much and I resigned shortly afterward. Mr. Root was very gracious and spent more than an hour in the post mortem.


I was amazed to learn that he is 45. He looks just as I remember him as a kid. My conviction remains that he will win the tournament. There is a tradition that whomever beats YHR in an early round, wins or ties for first. This has happened three times in the last year and many times before. GO GET ‘EM Dougie!

Meanwhile, U.S. Class Champion Daniel Fernandez leads the Collegiate Championship and Matt Parry of New York leads the Denker. Jonathan Hilton will wrap up the high school action in his second Denker blog. Check out his first here.  University of Texas at Brownsville student Daniel Fernandez won against University of Texas at Dallas WIM Bayaraa Zoright in an entertaining round five game. Can you find the right move for Black in the following position?

Position after 17.Qxd4, Black to Move

Show Solution

Here is the full game.


Keep up to the minute on the U.S. Open by
bookmarking the results and pairings page and watching live games on Monroi.com.