Blitz Tournament of the Americas: Bringing Cultures and Communities Together Through Chess

The Blitz Tournament of the Americas, organized by the Mechanics’ Institute in partnership with Kmada Chess and Chess Sin Fronteras, was held on Chess.com on Saturday, Aug. 15. The free event aimed to showcase the talents of titled men and women players from across the Americas, bringing our diverse communities together and building new partnerships. 

Through these collaborative partnerships and word of mouth, the 9-round open Blitz (G/3+2) battle registered 91 players and represented 15 different countries, including 9 Grandmasters, 13 International Masters and 20 titled women. 

The tournament was streamed"> by the Mechanics Institute on Twitch, as well as several other streamers from participating countries, including WIM Ivette Garcia Morales and GM Josh Friedel. It was a phenomenal event in its simplicity of message and the strength of the participating players: When it comes to efforts to unite people through chess, chess players are generous with their time and come out in full force. 

Cuban GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero won with a score of 8/9. GM Conrad Holt took second place with a score of 7.5/9, while IM Andrew Hong and FM Kyron Griffith tied for third with 7/9. Cuban WGM Lisandra Teresa Ordaz Valdes finished as the top female with 6/9, and Peru’s Ann Lindsay Chumpitaz Carbajal also posted an excellent performance with 5.5/9.  

Three players remained with perfect scores after three rounds, including Obregon Rivero, Columbian GM Andres Gallego and two-time U.S. Champion GM Patrick Wolff. Wolff is a Mechanics’ Institute Trustee who is not an active chess player, but he definitely showed he has the fire and skill to match up against some of the very best. He faced off against Holt in round four and delivered this win against a very strong blitz player. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.15"] [Round "?"] [White "PGW-in-SF"] [Black "dretch"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C01"] [WhiteElo "2535"] [BlackElo "2772"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. Re1 Bg4 10. Be3 Qc8 11. h3 Bh5 12. Rc1 a6 13. a3 Rd8 14. Bf1 Bc5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Bg2 Ba7 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. Red1 Ne4 19. Nxe4 Bxe4 20. Ng5 Bg6 21. Be4 Qd7 22. Bxg6 hxg6 23. d5 Na5 24. Qc3 Bxe3 25. Qxe3 b5 26. Qg3 Nc4 27. Qh4 Ne5 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qxg7 1-0 [/pgn]

Obregon Rivero beat Wolff in round five, setting up this round 6 matchup with Gallega between the only two players left unbeaten. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.15"] [Round "?"] [White "afgano29"] [Black "theredking89"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E90"] [WhiteElo "2643"] [BlackElo "2653"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. Be2 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4 Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. f3 a5 13. Rfc1 Nd7 14. Bf2 Nc5 15. b3 Qb6 16. Rab1 Qb4 17. Rc2 Rfc8 18. Qc1 Qb6 19. a3 Qd8 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 Na4 22. Nd5 e6 23. Ne3 Bd4 24. Qd2 e5 25. Ng4 Bxf2+ 26. Kxf2 Qe7 27. Ne3 Nb6 28. Rd1 Ba4 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Bxc2 31. Rxb6 Ra2 32. Nd5 Kf8 33. Nc3 Rb2 34. Rxb7 Bd3 35. c5 Bxe2 36. Nxe2 Rxc5 37. Rxf7+ Kxf7 38. bxc5 Rc2 39. Ke3 Rxc5 40. Kd3 Ra5 41. Nc3 Ke6 42. g3 Ra1 43. Ke3 Re1+ 44. Ne2 Kd6 45. h4 Ra1 46. Nc3 Kc5 47. Nd5 Ra3+ 48. Kf2 Kd4 49. g4 Ra6 50. Nb4 Rb6 51. Nd5 Rb7 52. g5 Kd3 53. Nf6 Rb2+ 54. Kg3 Ke3 55. Ng4+ Ke2 56. Nxe5 Rb5 57. Ng4 Rb3 58. Ne5 Rb5 59. Kf4 Ra5 60. Ng4 Ra3 61. Ne5 Ra5 62. Nc4 Ra8 63. e5 Ra4 64. e6 Rxc4+ 65. Ke5 Kxf3 66. Kf6 Rxh4 67. Kg7 Re4 0-1 [/pgn]
  

After his loss to Wolff, Holt went on a tear with three consecutive victories, setting up this eighth-round matchup with Obregon Rivero. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.15"] [Round "?"] [White "dretch"] [Black "theredking89"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E90"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2652"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. h3 e5 7. d5 Nh5 8. g3 Qe8 9. Be2 f5 10. exf5 gxf5 11. Nh4 Nf6 12. Qc2 Na6 13. a3 Nc5 14. Be3 a5 15. g4 e4 16. Nxf5 Nd3+ 17. Bxd3 exd3 18. Qxd3 Bxf5 19. gxf5 Qh5 20. Kd2 Nd7 21. Rag1 Ne5 22. Qe2 Qxf5 23. Bh6 Nf3+ 24. Kc1 Nxg1 25. Rxg1 Rf7 26. Qe6 Qxe6 27. dxe6 Kf8 28. exf7 Bxh6+ 29. Kc2 Kxf7 30. Nb5 Re8 31. Kd3 Re7 32. Rg4 Rd7 33. Rh4 Kg6 34. Rg4+ Kf7 35. b3 c6 36. Nd4 d5 37. c5 Bc1 38. Nc2 Re7 39. Ra4 Re5 40. Rxa5 Rf5 41. Ke2 Kg6 42. Ra7 Rf7 43. Ne1 Re7+ 44. Kf1 Bb2 45. Nd3 Bd4 46. Ra4 Bf6 47. Rg4+ Kf7 48. Rf4 Kg6 49. a4 Re4 50. a5 Rxf4 51. Nxf4+ Kf5 52. Nd3 Ke4 53. Ke2 Kd4 54. Kd2 Be7 55. f4 Bxc5 56. Nxc5 Kxc5 57. Kd3 Kd6 58. Kd4 c5+ 59. Kc3 Ke6 60. b4 cxb4+ 61. Kxb4 Kf5 62. Kc5 Kxf4 63. Kxd5 Kg3 64. Kc5 h5 65. Kb6 Kxh3 66. Kxb7 Kg3 67. a6 h4 68. a7 h3 69. a8=Q h2 70. Kc8 Kf2 71. Qh1 1-0 [/pgn]
<holt-vs-obregon-rivero.pgn></holt-vs-obregon-rivero.pgn>

Heading into the final round, Obregon Rivero needed only a draw to win the event, though he had to get passed young phenom IM Christopher Yoo, whose amazing tactical ability in blitz could pose a danger to any player in the world. But the GM closed the show like a champion, taking the final round and winning in clear first place. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.15"] [Round "?"] [White "theredking89"] [Black "ChristopherYoo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A49"] [WhiteElo "2664"] [BlackElo "2852"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d4 d5 6. c4 dxc4 7. Na3 a5 8. Nxc4 Be6 9. b3 Bd5 10. Bb2 a4 11. e3 Nc6 12. Rc1 e6 13. Qe2 Ra6 14. Rfd1 Qa8 15. Ne1 Bxg2 16. Nxg2 Nd5 17. e4 axb3 18. axb3 Ndb4 19. d5 exd5 20. Bxg7 Ra2 21. Qe3 dxc4 22. Bxf8 Qxf8 23. Rxc4 Nc2 24. Qc3 Na3 25. Ra4 Rc2 26. Qd3 Ne5 27. Qd8 Nf3+ 28. Kh1 Qxd8 29. Rxd8+ Kg7 30. Ne3 Rxf2 31. Ng4 Ra2 32. Raa8 f5 33. Rd7# 1-0 [/pgn]
  

Girl power was definitely present in this event, as women and girls made up more than 20% of the field. Here is a nice win from Valdes against IM Abhimanyu Mishra. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.15"] [Round "?"] [White "KnightCheckShadow"] [Black "lisychess"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2450"] [BlackElo "2404"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bb4+ 5. c3 Bc5 6. Be3 Bb6 7. Nf5 g6 8. Bxb6 axb6 9. Ne3 Nf6 10. f3 d6 11. c4 O-O 12. Nc3 Nd7 13. Be2 Nc5 14. O-O f5 15. exf5 Bxf5 16. f4 Qe7 17. Ncd5 Qg7 18. Nxf5 gxf5 19. b4 Ne4 20. Bf3 Rae8 21. Qd3 Nd4 22. Bxe4 fxe4 23. Qh3 c6 24. Ne3 Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Nxf4 26. Qh4 Ng6 27. Qg3 Rxf1+ 28. Rxf1 Qe5 29. Rd1 Qxg3 30. hxg3 Re6 31. Nf5 e3 32. Re1 e2 33. Nd4 Re4 34. Nxe2 Ne5 35. Kg1 Nxc4 36. Rc1 Rxe2 37. Rxc4 Rxa2 38. Rd4 d5 39. b5 Rc2 40. bxc6 bxc6 41. Rb4 b5 42. Rf4 Rc4 43. Rf6 b4 44. Rf3 Rc3 45. Rf4 c5 46. Rg4+ Kf7 47. Kh2 b3 48. Rf4+ Ke6 49. Rf2 Rc2 50. Rf8 d4 51. Rb8 b2 52. g4 c4 53. Kg3 c3 0-1 [/pgn]

The Blitz Tournament of the Americas showed how passion and love for the game can bring out the best in people. Players came out not for prizes or titles, but for competition, for the opportunity to play new players and make new connections. It was an event people could follow from their homes and enjoy, knowing that it was all done in the spirit of giving.  

We would like to thank the teams from Kmada Chess and Chess Sin Fronteras for their collaboration and partnership for this historic free event, as well as all the players for being generous with their time, all the streamers who helped promote the event, and the chess community at-large for rallying together during the pandemic to keep chess going. 

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