The third Berkeley International features some of the Bay Area's top masters against competitors from around the country. The 19 player field put together by organizer IM David Pruess (see photo at right) includes Grandmasters, International Masters and foreign players so that GM and IM norms may be possible. In fact, there are six GMs: Zviad Izoria and Giorgi Kacheishvili, both representing the country of Georgia, Dashzegve Sharavdorj from Mongolia plus the three locals Jesse Kraai, Josh Friedel and Vinay Bhat. They are joined by five IMs and one WIM. For more, read the thorough preview by GM Friedel for Chess Life Online.
The rounds take place daily at 2:00pm in the Berkeley Chess School building at 1581 Le Roy Avenue. However, the best way to follow the action is to log onto ICC and check the events list using either BlitzIn or Dasher interface. Type "/finger EastBay08" for information or "/liblist EastBay08" for completed games.
Standings after round 2:
- 2.0 M.Esserman
- 1.5 Z.Izoria, G.Kacheishvili, I.Krush, D.Pruess, D.Rensch, D.Haessel
- 1.0 J.Sarkar, D.Sharavdorj, B.Evans, I.Zenyuk
- 0.5 J.Kraai, J.Friedel, V.Bhat, L.Milman, D.Naroditsky, S.Kustar, S.Shivaji
- 0.0 S.Jahedi
There have been numerous upsets so far. That's obvious just by looking up the leader, FM Marc Esserman, who started out rated #15 out of 19. He defeated a pair of Grandmasters in the first two rounds, including an entertaining tactical slugfest against GM Sharavdorj, but faces top rated GM Izoria in round 3. All told, the six Grandmasters have combined for more losses than wins after the first two days!
The local norm candidates, IM David Pruess and FM Daniel Naroditsky, both were paired against two GMs but with mixed results. The difference was that Pruess drew with GM Izora and won with a deep Bxh7 sacrifice against GM Kraai while 13-year old Naroditsky, easily the youngest player (see photo at left), lost to GM Kacheishvili and drew GM Bhat. Go David and Danya!
Also check out Dana Mackenzie's chess blog for an on-site report from the first round.