Thursday, August 7

US Open Merge Is Tonight

All schedules of the US Open are now underway. At the time of this post, the Traditional and Quick schedules have both completed round 5, the 6-day players are in the middle of round 5 and the 5-day players are finishing their fourth of five G/60 contests. All four schedules will merge tonight for round 6 at 5pm Pacific, at which time it will become easier to see who has performed well and who has not.

By my count, there are roughly 380 entries in the entire tournament, including two Grandmasters and eight International Masters. The turnout is quite disappointing compared to other US Opens that I have attended, such as the 2006 event in Chicago that attracted a whopping 534 participants and an impressive slate of titled players.

I have 3.5 out of 5, a score that I cannot be pleased with considering that I reached winning positions in all five of my games against experts and A players. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a knockout blow in round 3 against Kalin Nonchev (2177) and continued to play too optimistically, thereby losing control of the endgame. In the next round, I essayed the closed Sicilian as white against Daniel Rohde (1972) and spent half an hour on the critical position, but failed to calculate the decisive rook and king fork at the end of a deep combination. That game ended in a draw. On the bright side, I did win a short and sweet Rossolimo opening as black in round 5 against Vanessa West (2011) of Los Angeles.

Top row of photos from left to right:
  • Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky has 4.5/5 after a short draw in round 5.
  • Southern California IM Enrico Sevillano took the draw with the Yermonator.
  • Grandmaster Alex Shabalov, who appears to have broken his left arm, has 4.0/5.
Bottom row of photos:
  • IM Daniel Fernandez of University of Texas at Brownsville won the Collegiate Tournament of Champions before entering into the 5-day schedule.
  • Chess Life Online reporter NM Jonathan Hilton and IM Emory Tate both have perfect scores after four rounds in the 5-day schedule.
  • FM Joel Banawa and his brother Jouaquin came all the way from Los Angeles.
You may watch the action live on either the MonRoi website or on the Internet Chess Club beginning tonight at 5pm Pacific time. Click here for complete standings and pairings.

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