The 2020 World Open Goes Online

The COVID- 19 pandemic has certainly brought changes to nearly every part of our lives. What was once far-fetched is now commonplace, and the chess world is no exception. Who would have ever predicted a World Open in August, and one played entirely online? And yet…

Continental Chess was forced to delay the start of this year’s 48th Annual World Open from the traditional July 4th weekend to work out a number of technical issues. We had only entered the online chess environment in June, leaving insufficient time to play over the 4th. Key systems needed to be developed and tested in live environments and with real players.

The format of the online version of the Open also had to be developed. Some things were similar and some not. The event was still held as a nine-round event, but the number of days was compressed, with time controls shortened, sections compressed, prizes and entry fees lowered. Alternate schedules and re-entries were not permitted.

It was also decided to keep prizes modest, especially in the class sections. Online cheating is already a substantial problem, and large class prizes only exacerbate this. As a way of making up for these smaller cash prizes, there were many merchandise and free entry prizes offered. The value of these prizes was actually more than the value of the cash prizes.  

Still, even with reduced prizes and stringent anti-cheating measures, there were players who decide to try to obtain an unfair advantage through cheating. Three players were ejected during the tournament, and the expectation is that many more will be disqualified once more thorough fair play analysis is complete. The results in this article should be considered unofficial until the official results are announced.

This year’s World Open was run with four sections: Open, U2200, U1800, and U1400. Three rounds were played per day from Friday August 7th through Sunday August 9th. The tournament had a guaranteed prize fund of $20,000, but the value of non-cash prizes pushed the total prizes well beyond that $20,000.

There were over 900 entries across all sections. A typical over-the-board World Open draws between 1200 and 1400 players, determined in part by what day of the week July 4th occurs. CCA didn’t anticipate that an online event would draw as close to over-the-board as it did. One thing we note is the presence of a lot of foreign players who would never travel to our over-the-board events. This is especially true for titled players who are not required to have US Chess memberships.

With 122 players in the open section – 30 GMs, 7 IMs, and 8 FMs, more than a third of the field titled in all! – this was a very strong tournament! In the first round there were already significant upsets as the GMs were playing masters and a few of them did not survive. The eventual tournament winner even surrendered a draw and it was the GM who chose to repeat the position!

GM Panneerselvam Iniyan turns 18 next month and has already been a GM for over a year. He achieved his third GM norm at age 16, but did not cross 2500 FIDE until he was 17 years old. Interestingly, if you try to research him via Wikipedia, you will find a typo on his page. Wikipedia states he earned his first GM norm in 2007 (when he would have been four years old.) It was actually in 2017, when he was 14 years old. He is definitely on an upward trajectory and he tied for first in last year’s Dubai Open as well as won last year’s Commonwealth Championship with a perfect 7 out of 7 score!

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.07"] [Round "1"] [White "Xu, Arthur"] [Black "Iniyan, P."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C95"] [WhiteElo "2106"] [BlackElo "2506"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. c4 Bb7 12. Nc3 c6 13. d5 Nc5 14. Bg5 bxc4 15. Bxc4 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bxg5 17. b4 cxd5 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Ne6 20. Nxg5 Qxg5 21. Qxd6 Nf4 22. g3 Nxh3+ 23. Kg2 Nf4+ 24. Kf1 Qh5 25. gxf4 exf4 26. Nd5 f3 27. Ne7+ Kh8 28. Kg1 Rab8 29. Qe5 Qg4+ 30. Qg3 Rxb4 31. Qxg4 Rxg4+ 32. Kf1 h5 33. Re3 Rh4 34. Kg1 Rg4+ 35. Kf1 Rh4 36. Kg1 Rg4+ 37. Kf1 Rh4 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

The first GM vs. GM pairing occurred in round two, but probably should not have. One of the struggles of online chess is signing foreign GMs up for a membership and linking their FIDE rating before play starts, and that is what happened here. The eventual tournament winner GM P. Iniyan from India was still showing as unrated and as the lowest half point dropped to play the highest zero point, which was GM Sergey Erenburg. Iniyan won in a game in which Erenburg sacrificed material for an attack that didn’t quite materialize. That a strong GM like Erenburg started at 0-2 shows just how strong the field was!

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Iniyan, P."] [Black "Erenburg, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2506"] [BlackElo "2559"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. Na3 Nec6 8. c4 Be4 9. Nb5 a6 10. Bg5 f6 11. exf6 gxf6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Nc7+ Kd8 14. Nxa8 Rg8 15. g3 cxd4 16. cxd5 exd5 17. Nd2 Bc5 18. Rc1 Ba7 19. Qb3 Rg5 20. Qxb7 d3 21. Bg4 h5 22. Qc7+ Ke8 23. Bd7+ Nxd7 24. Rxc6 Qf5 25. Qxa7 1-0 [/pgn]

By round three the top boards would essentially be GM versus GM for the rest of the event. Here is a game from the top boards with two Ukrainian GMs who had perfect scores entering the round.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.07"] [Round "3"] [White "Nyzhnyk, I."] [Black "Sumets, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2546"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 e6 5. g3 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O b6 8. Nbd2 Bb7 9. e4 Na6 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. e5 Ne4 12. a3 Qd7 13. Ne1 Rac8 14. Qd1 Nxd2 15. Bxd2 Nb8 16. f4 Ba6 17. Rf2 Nc6 18. Bc3 Na5 19. Bh3 g6 20. Ng2 Nc4 21. f5 exf5 22. g4 f6 23. gxf5 fxe5 24. dxe5 Bc5 25. Bd4 gxf5 26. Bxc5 Rxc5 27. Bxf5 Qg7 28. Qh5 Kh8 29. Bxh7 Rxf2 30. Bf5+ Kg8 31. Kxf2 Nd6 32. Rg1 Nxf5 33. Ne1 Qxg1+ 34. Kxg1 Ng7 35. Qg6 d4 36. Nf3 Rc1+ 37. Kf2 Rf1+ 38. Kg2 d3 39. Ng5 1-0 [/pgn]

At the end of the first day, the number of perfect scores had been whittled down to four: GMs Illia Nyznyk, Baadur Jobova, Jaime Santos Latisa and Robert Hungaski all stood at 3-0.  Nyznyk and Santos Latisa drew in round 4, but Jobava defeated Hungaski to stand alone at the top. Here is a game from round 4 where GM Aleksander Mista uses a nice tactic to convert his winning advantage against NM Rajesh Shanmuga. Can you find the winning continuation?

Solution: 19. Rxf7! Kxf7 (19. … Ke8 20, Qxg7) 20. Rf1+ Ke8 (20. .. Kg8 21. Nf6+ Kf7 22. Nxd7+ and 23. Nxc5)  21. Qxg7 Rf8 22. Rxf8+ 1-0

In round 5 Jobava was paired to the 3½ scoregroup , facingGM Gadir Guseinov who had taken a half point bye. One interesting thing we noticed is that with differing time zones in online play, the number of requested byes dramatically increased. GM Jobava won to continue to stand alone at 5-0.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.08"] [Round "5"] [White "Jobava, Ba"] [Black "Guseinov, G."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E76"] [WhiteElo "2603"] [BlackElo "2665"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f4 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. fxe5 dxe5 8. d5 Na6 9. Be2 c6 10. O-O Nc5 11. Nd2 a5 12. Kh1 a4 13. Rb1 cxd5 14. cxd5 Bd7 15. b4 axb3 16. axb3 b5 17. b4 Na4 18. Nxa4 Rxa4 19. Bd3 Ng4 20. Nf3 Ra2 21. Qb3 Rf2 22. Bg5 Bf6 23. Bd2 Qb6 24. h3 Rxd2 25. Nxd2 Nf2+ 26. Kh2 Rc8 27. Be2 Bg5 28. Qf3 Bxd2 29. Qxf2 Bf4+ 30. g3 Qxf2+ 31. Rxf2 Be3 32. Rf3 Bd4 33. Bd3 Ra8 34. Rc1 Ra7 35. g4 Kg7 36. Kg3 Bb6 37. g5 Bd8 38. h4 Ra4 39. Rcf1 f6 40. gxf6+ Kf7 41. Bc2 Rxb4 42. Ra1 Rc4 43. Bb3 Rxe4 44. d6+ 1-0 [/pgn]

Two players remained a half point back of the leader – both GM Jaime Santos Latisa and GM P Iniyan had 4½ out of 5.

Round six again had Jobava paired down a scoregroup and this time he faced Santos Latisa. The two played a non-eventful quick draw. This draw allowed GM Iniyan to catch up and he took advantage of the opportunity by defeating GM Illia Nyznyk.

Going into the last day Jobava and Iniyan led with 5½/6. There were three players close behind at 5-1: GMs Jaime Santos Latisa, Evgeny Postny, and Sanan Sjugirov. GM Iniyan defeated GM Jobava to become the new leader at 6½ out of 7. Santos Latisa and Postny drew relatively quickly and Sjurgirov defeated GM Gawain Jones.

Going into the penultimate round, Jobava was in clear first at 6½/7, and there was only one player at 6-1 – GM Sanan Sjugirov.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Iniyan, P."] [Black "Nyzhnyk, I."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2506"] [BlackElo "2665"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 g5 7. Bg3 Ne4 8. e3 Nxg3 9. hxg3 Nd7 10. Qc2 Bg7 11. Bd3 Qe7 12. O-O-O dxc4 13. Bxc4 b5 14. Bd3 a6 15. g4 Bb7 16. Kb1 Rc8 17. Rd2 c5 18. d5 c4 19. Be4 Bxc3 20. Qxc3 Nf6 21. d6 Bxe4+ 22. Ka1 b4 23. Qe5 Nd7 24. Qxh8+ Qf8 25. Rxh6 Rc6 26. Nxg5 c3 27. Rd1 c2 28. Rc1 Bg6 29. Qxf8+ Kxf8 30. Nxe6+ fxe6 31. Rxg6 Rxd6 32. b3 Nc5 33. Rf6+ Ke7 34. Rf4 1-0 [/pgn]

GM Sjurgirov may not be well known in the USA since he has never played in the USA, but the 27-year old from Russia competed in both the 2009 and 2015 World Cups and was a World Youth Champion twice – in 2003 (Under 10 years old) and 2007 (Under 14 years old.)  He is currently ranked 66th in the latest FIDE rating list.

Perhaps the most amusing game of this year’s Open occurred in round seven, and it was not on the top boards. NM Linden Li and Ajitesh Nair played a 319 move game (a draw of course). My understanding is that one of the players has submitted the game to the Guinness Book of World Records because the current record is apparently 269 moves. My guess is that Guinness will not accept the record because the last two hundred moves were random wood shuffling and not a real game.

Under the Laws of Chess (FIDE) the game was over on move 203 due to the 75-move rule. The last pawn move or capture was on move 128. This game was not under FIDE rules, but even under US Chess rules we would have intervened and declared the game a draw at move 203. But the TDs were otherwise occupied and unaware, and since neither player claimed a draw the game continued. This is one of the curious things about online chess! In OTB a TD likely would have noticed the game, but it is impossible in online chess to see all the games. Some online platforms automatically declare a draw under the 75-move rule, but the parameters of this tournament were not set that way.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Nair, Ajitesh"] [Black "Li, Linden"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "1392"] [BlackElo "1825"] [PlyCount "600"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. Bd3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. c4 Nd7 12. Qc2 g6 13. f4 a6 14. Nc3 f5 15. fxe5 Nxe5 16. Be2 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Bd7 18. a4 a5 19. Bf4 Bf6 20. Rae1 Rac8 21. Bh6 Rf7 22. Nb5 Bxb5 23. axb5 Qc5 24. Qa4 b6 25. Qb3 Re8 26. Bf4 Rfe7 27. Be3 Qc7 28. Bd2 Nd7 29. Bf3 Nc5 30. Rxe7 Qxe7 31. Qc2 Be5 32. Re1 Ne4 33. g3 Nc5 34. b3 Qf6 35. Bd1 Rf8 36. Rf1 Bd4 37. b4 axb4 38. Bxb4 Ra8 39. Be2 Qe5 40. Bxc5 Bxc5 41. Kg2 Re8 42. Bd3 h5 43. Qd2 Kg7 44. Rd1 h4 45. gxh4 Qd4 46. Kh1 Re3 47. h5 Qg4 48. Rf1 Rf3 49. h6+ Kh7 50. Qe2 Rxf1+ 51. Qxf1 Kxh6 52. Qc1+ f4 53. Be4 Be3 54. Qf1 Qh4 55. Qe2 Qf6 56. Qg4 Bc5 57. Qh3+ Kg5 58. Qg2+ Kh4 59. h3 Kh5 60. Qg4+ Kh6 61. Kh2 Bf2 62. Qe2 Bg3+ 63. Kg2 Qd4 64. Bd3 Bh4 65. Bb1 Qf6 66. Be4 Qc3 67. Bf3 Bf6 68. Qe4 Be5 69. Bg4 Qg3+ 70. Kf1 Qc3 71. Kg2 Qd2+ 72. Qe2 Qc1 73. Qd3 Bc3 74. Qd1 Qe3 75. Qf3 Qe5 76. Qd3 Bd4 77. h4 Bc5 78. Qe2 Qd4 79. Kf3 Qf6 80. Qe4 Be3 81. Qe8 Bg1 82. Qe2 Qxh4 83. Kxf4 Bd4 84. Kf3 Be5 85. Qe3+ Kh7 86. Qg1 Qf6+ 87. Ke2 Bd4 88. Qf1 Qe5+ 89. Kf3 Be3 90. Be6 Qf4+ 91. Kg2 Qg5+ 92. Kh3 Bf4 93. Qf2 Kg7 94. Qh4 Qxh4+ 95. Kxh4 Kf6 96. Kg4 Ke5 97. Kf3 g5 98. Bh3 Kd4 99. Bf1 Bc1 100. Be2 Kc3 101. Bf1 Bf4 102. Be2 Kd4 103. Bf1 Bd2 104. Be2 Ke5 105. Bf1 Kf5 106. Bd3+ Ke5 107. Bf1 Bf4 108. Bd3 Bc1 109. Bf1 Kd4 110. Be2 Kc3 111. Bf1 Kd2 112. Kg4 Ke1 113. Bd3 Kf2 114. Kh3 Kf3 115. Bf1 g4+ 116. Kh2 g3+ 117. Kh1 Kf2 118. Bg2 Bf4 119. Be4 Be5 120. Bg2 Ke2 121. Kg1 Bd4+ 122. Kh1 Bf2 123. Bh3 Kf3 124. Bg2+ Ke2 125. Bh3 Bc5 126. Kg2 Bf2 127. Bd7 Kd3 128. Bc6 Kxc4 129. Kf1 Kd4 130. Kg2 Ke4 131. Bb7 Be1 132. Bc6 Bf2 133. Bb7 Kd4 134. Bc6 Kc4 135. Kf3 Be1 136. Kg2 Kc5 137. Kf3 Bf2 138. Kg2 Kd4 139. Bb7 Ke5 140. Bc6 Kf4 141. Bb7 Kg4 142. Bc6 Bd4 143. Bd7+ Kf4 144. Bc6 Be5 145. Bb7 Ke3 146. Bc6 Kd3 147. Bb7 Kc3 148. Bc6 Kc4 149. Kf3 Kc5 150. Kg2 Kc4 151. Kf3 Kc5 152. Kg2 Kd4 153. Kf3 Kd3 154. Kg2 Ke4 155. Bb7 Bf4 156. Bc6 Ke5 157. Bb7 Kf5 158. Bc6 Kf6 159. Kf3 Be5 160. Kg2 Kg6 161. Kf3 Kh6 162. Kg2 Kg6 163. Kf3 Kf5 164. Kg2 Kg4 165. Bb7 Bd4 166. Bc6 Be3 167. Bd7+ Kf4 168. Bc6 Bf2 169. Bb7 Ke3 170. Bc6 Ke2 171. Bb7 Kd2 172. Bc6 Kc2 173. Bb7 Kc3 174. Bc6 Kb3 175. Bb7 Kb2 176. Bc6 Kc2 177. Bb7 Kc3 178. Bc6 Kb3 179. Kf3 Kc4 180. Kg2 Kc5 181. Kf3 Kb4 182. Kg2 Kc3 183. Kf3 Kd4 184. Kg2 Ke3 185. Bb7 Be1 186. Bc6 Kf4 187. Bb7 Ke4 188. Bc6 Kd4 189. Bb7 Kd3 190. Bc6 Kc3 191. Kf3 Kd3 192. Kg2 Ke2 193. Bb7 Bf2 194. Bc6 Ke3 195. Bb7 Kf4 196. Bc6 Kg4 197. Bb7 Be3 198. Bc6 Bf4 199. Bb7 Kf5 200. Bc6 Ke5 201. Bb7 Kd4 202. Bc6 Be5 203. Kf3 Kc5 204. Kg2 Kc4 205. Kf3 Kc3 206. Kg2 Kb3 207. Kf3 Kc4 208. Kg2 Kb4 209. Kf3 Kc3 210. Kg2 Kd3 211. Kf3 Kc2 212. Kg2 Kd2 213. Kf3 Kd3 214. Kg2 Kd2 215. Bb7 Kc3 216. Bc6 Kc4 217. Kf3 Kc5 218. Kg2 Kd4 219. Kf3 Kd3 220. Kg2 Kc4 221. Kf3 Kc5 222. Kg2 Kb4 223. Kf3 Kc3 224. Kg2 Kd2 225. Kf3 Ke1 226. Kg2 Ke2 227. Bb7 Ke3 228. Bc6 Ke4 229. Bb7 Kf5 230. Bc6 Kf6 231. Bb7 Kg6 232. Bc6 Kg7 233. Bb7 Kf8 234. Bc6 Ke7 235. Bb7 Kd8 236. Bc6 Kc7 237. Ba8 Kc8 238. Bc6 Kd8 239. Kf3 Ke7 240. Kg2 Kf6 241. Kf3 Kg5 242. Kg2 Kf5 243. Kf3 Kf6 244. Kg2 Kg5 245. Kf3 Kf5 246. Kg2 Bf4 247. Kf3 Ke5 248. Kg2 Kd4 249. Kf3 Be5 250. Kg2 Kc5 251. Kf3 Kc4 252. Kg2 Kc3 253. Kf3 Kd2 254. Kg2 Ke1 255. Bb7 Ke2 256. Bc6 Ke3 257. Bb7 Kd4 258. Bc6 Kc5 259. Kf3 Kc4 260. Kg2 Kb4 261. Kf3 Kc3 262. Kg2 Kb3 263. Kf3 Kc2 264. Kg2 Kb2 265. Kf3 Kc1 266. Kg2 Kc2 267. Kf3 Kd1 268. Kg2 Kd2 269. Kf3 Kd1 270. Kg2 Ke1 271. Bb7 Ke2 272. Bc6 Ke3 273. Bb7 Ke4 274. Bc6 Kd3 275. Kf3 Kc3 276. Kg2 Kc2 277. Kf3 Kc3 278. Kg2 Kd2 279. Kf3 Kd3 280. Kg2 Kd2 281. Kf3 Ke1 282. Kg2 Ke2 283. Bb7 Ke3 284. Bc6 Ke4 285. Bb7 Kf5 286. Bc6 Kg4 287. Bb7 Kf4 288. Bc6 Ke4 289. Bb7 Kd4 290. Bc6 Kc4 291. Kf3 Kc5 292. Kg2 Kb4 293. Kf3 Kc4 294. Kg2 Kb3 295. Kf3 Kc3 296. Kg2 Kb2 297. Kf3 Kc2 298. Kg2 Kb1 299. Kf3 Kc1 300. Kg2 Kd1 {Kf3 Ke1 Kg2 Kd2 Bb7 Kd3 Bc6 Kc4 Kf3 Kc5 Kg2 Kd4 Kf3 Kc4 Kg2 Kb3 Bb7 Kb2 Bc6 Kc1 Kf3 Kc2 Kg2 Kc3 Kf3 Kc4 Kg2 Kc5 Kf3 Kc4 Kg2 Kd4 Kf3 Kc3 Kg2 Kc2 Kf3} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

In round 8, Iniyan and Sjurgirov played a quick non-eventful draw.  GM Gawain Jones had a nice miniature versus FM Nico Chasin.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.09"] [Round "8"] [White "Jones, G."] [Black "Chasin, Nico"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B40"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2303"] [PlyCount "33"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. O-O Nxb5 6. Nxb5 Nf6 7. d4 a6 8. Nc3 cxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Rd1 Qc7 11. Bf4 e5 12. Nxe5 dxe5 13. Bxe5 Qe7 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. e5 Qe7 16. Nd5 Qc5 17. Nf6+ 1-0 [/pgn]

Heading into the last round, Iniyan was in clear first place at 7-1. Sjurgirov was the only player at 6½-1½.  And there was a very hungry crowd at 6 -2 who could conceivably tie for first if both leaders lost (possible since they had already played and could not face each other): GM Gadir Guseinov, Aleksander Mista, Baadur Jobava, Brandon Jacobson, Jaime Santos Latisa, Nicolas Checa & Evgeny Postny, FMs Max Lu & Jason Wang and NM Andrew Teerapat. As things transpired, Postny opted for a last round bye and was not in the calculations.

Guseinov faced Iniyan and after some opening fireworks the game fizzled to a draw which gave Iniyan at least a tie for first. Sjurgirov defeated Mista to join Iniyan and the two would be co-champions earning $3000.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.09"] [Round "9"] [White "Sjugirov, S."] [Black "Mista, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B40"] [WhiteElo "2675"] [BlackElo "2574"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. Qe2 Nge7 6. Bg2 g6 7. h4 h6 8. O-O Bg7 9. c3 b6 10. a4 Ba6 11. e5 Qc7 12. Re1 g5 13. hxg5 hxg5 14. Bxg5 Ng6 15. Na3 Ncxe5 16. Nb5 Qd7 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. Qf3 f6 19. Rxe5 fxe5 20. Qf6 Rg8 21. Nc7+ Qxc7 22. Qxe6+ Kf8 23. Bxd5 Kg7 24. Bf6+ Kh7 25. Qh3+ 1-0 [/pgn]

GM Jobava defeated Jacobson in a drawn position when Jacobson, with only seconds on the clock, did not defend accurately. GM Santos Latisa defeated NM Teerapat and FM Lu defeated GM Checa. The three players in the third place tie – GMs Jobava, Santos Latisa, and FM Lu all receive $866.67 for their efforts.

[pgn][Event "48th Annual World Open"] [Site "ICC INT"] [Date "2020.08.09"] [Round "9"] [White "Jacobson, Brandon"] [Black "Jobava, Ba"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2487"] [BlackElo "2603"] [PlyCount "138"] [EventDate "2020.08.07"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1344"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.08.10"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. Qb3 Qc7 9. g3 Nbd7 10. Bg2 Rd8 11. O-O Be7 12. Bd2 Nb6 13. cxd5 exd5 14. Rfc1 Qd7 15. Be1 g5 16. a4 Kf8 17. a5 Nc8 18. a6 b6 19. e4 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Nxe4 21. Bxe4 Rh6 22. Qf3 g4 23. Bxc6 Qxd4 24. Qe4 Qxe4 25. Bxe4 Nd6 26. Bg2 Nb5 27. Rc4 f5 28. Rac1 Re6 29. Kf1 Kf7 30. Rc8 Red6 31. Rxd8 Rxd8 32. h3 gxh3 33. Bxh3 g6 34. Bg2 Bf6 35. b4 Ke7 36. f4 Rd3 37. Rc8 Rd1 38. Bc6 Nd4 39. Bb7 Ra1 40. Kf2 Ra2+ 41. Kf1 Ra1 42. Kf2 g5 43. Bc3 Ra2+ 44. Ke3 gxf4+ 45. gxf4 Ra3 46. Kd2 b5 47. Rc7+ Kd6 48. Rc8 Nb3+ 49. Kc2 Bxc3 50. Kxc3 Nc5+ 51. Kd2 Ne6 52. Ra8 Nxf4 53. Rxa7 Nd3 54. Bc8 Nxb4 55. Bxf5 Kc5 56. Ra8 Nc6 57. Be4 Ne5 58. Bb7 Nc4+ 59. Kc2 b4 60. Rc8+ Kb5 61. Rb8 Nb6 62. Kb2 Kc5 63. Rh8 Nc4+ 64. Kb1 b3 65. Rh4 Nd2+ 66. Kc1 Ra2 67. Rh5+ Kb6 68. Rh6+ Ka7 69. Be4 Nxe4 0-1 [/pgn]

The section winners were:

Under 2200

Joel Ganta 8-1, $600

Under 1800

Shrey Anand and Ravindra Lakkireddy, 8-1, $550

Under 1400

Austin Xiao, 8½-½, $500

The World Open was directed by NTDs Steve Immitt and David Hater, assisted by Aris Marghetis, Tom Brownscombe, Harold Scott, Karl Heck, Maya McGreen, Bill Buklis, Martha Underwood, Korey Kormick, Danny Rohde, Marty Grund, Ruy Mora, Charles Darnell, Terry Winchester, Bill Scott, Marvin Martzell Daniel Bell, and Alonzo Barrow.

Crosstables and all games in the online events are at

Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments


Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.