Holiday Chess Kicks Off
December 26, 2008
The North American Open is held in Bally's Las Vegas.
Now that the presents have been unwrapped, chessplayers on both coasts can rush to their nearest massive Open: The Eastern Open in D.C (Dec.27-30) and the North American Open in Las Vegas (December 26-29) both start this weekend. There's also the Pan-American Championships in Dallas, Texas, which was previewed on CLO by Miami University student Chris Dobbs.

To follow the North American Open, go to the official website, which will also broadcast the live games. You can also check out a list of preregistered players. The longest, 4-day schedule begins on Friday, December 26 at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. 

Eastern Open tournament director Michael Atkins writes below about what to watch out for in D.C. 

Christmas in Washington means that the Eastern Open must not be too far behind. This year the tournament is again held at the luxurious Westin Hotel, 14th and Thomas Circle. This is not too far from The White House which will have a new resident in about three weeks. Don’t try to visit during the inauguration period unless you already have paid reservations because the hotel rates for 50-75 miles in every direction have reached historic heights.

We have some interesting advance reservations, with two GMs, Sergey Kudrin and Alex Ivanov, sitting in first and second place in the Grand Prix going into the final weekend. In an eight round event, they are almost sure to play in the second half so it might not be anything close to the normal GM draw. The newest GM in the country is also playing, Larry Kaufman, fresh from winning the World Senior Championship in Germany last month. Placed above Larry in the pre-registration wall chart is IM Ray Robson, who we hope will soon join Larry in the GM club.

This tournament is special because of the incentive for juniors to play in a higher section. Playing up here will get them $40 off the entry fee, which tends to be expensive to the organizer but good for the kids. Look for CLO updates during the tournament and check out the tournament homepage.