Checa, Amburgy, and Sethuraman Win at Weeramantry Blitz

The historic series of 2020 US Chess National Tournament of State Champions events kicked off on Friday night with the inaugural edition of the “FM Sunil Weeramantry National Blitz Tournament of State Champions” on chess.com.

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FM Sunil Weeramantry
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FM Sunil Weeramantry

Named for FM Sunil Weeramantry, a longtime scholastic coach in New York and the current US Chess Scholastic Committee co-chair, the Weeramantry Blitz was open to all participants in any of the five Invitationals – the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller, Haring, and Senior tournaments. Spread across three sections – “2200+,” “1600-2199,” and “u1600” – competitors were scheduled to play nine round of G/3+2 blitz, chasing cash prizes for the first five places along with USCF Sales vouchers for class victors.

While the u1600 section ran into technical problems and will be restarted next weekend, winners were crowned in both the 2200+ and 1600-2199 tournaments.

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Nico Checa, Photo IM Rosen

GM Nicolas Checa was the clear winner in the 2200+ section, scoring 7/9 to take clear first place over GM Alex Fishbein, IM Praveen Balakrishnan, and IM Andrew Hong, all of whom finished a half-point back at 6.5/9. Here is Checa’s key Round 6 win over Hong.

[pgn][Event "2020 Weeramantry Blitz - 2200+"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.07.24"] [Round "6"] [White "Hong, Andrew"] [Black "Checa, Nicolas"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C00"] [WhiteElo "2716"] [BlackElo "2702"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 b6 5. g3 Bc5 6. Bg2 dxe4 7. dxe4 Ba6 8. c4 Qd3 9. Bf1 Qd7 10. Bg2 Qd3 11. Bf1 Qd7 12. Bg2 Nc6 13. O-O Ng4 14. a3 Nxf2 15. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 16. Kxf2 Bxc4 17. b4 O-O 18. Bb2 Rad8 19. Qc2 Bd3 20. Qc3 f6 21. Rd1 Bb5 22. Rc1 Ne5 23. Kg1 Nd3 24. Rb1 Nxb2 25. Qxb2 Rc8 26. Nd4 Rfd8 27. Nxb5 Qxb5 28. Qc3 Qd3 29. Qxd3 Rxd3 30. Nf1 Rxa3 31. Rd1 Rb3 32. Bh3 Re8 33. Rd7 Rxb4 34. Rxc7 a5 35. Nd2 Rd4 36. Nc4 a4 37. Nxb6 Rxe4 38. Ra7 f5 39. Nxa4 Rb8 40. Bf1 h5 41. Kf2 h4 42. Kf3 Rb3+ 43. Kf2 Rd4 44. Nc5 Rd2+ 45. Ke1 Rbb2 46. Nxe6 Rd6 47. Nxg7 hxg3 48. hxg3 Rc6 49. Be2 Rh6 50. Bf3 Rhh2 51. Nxf5 Rb1+ 52. Bd1 Rh1+ 53. Kf2 Rbxd1 54. Ne3 Rb1 55. Kf3 Rb3 56. Re7 Rf1+ 57. Ke2 Rf6 58. g4 Kf8 59. Rd7 Re6 60. Rd3 Rb4 61. Kf3 Kg7 62. Ng2 Rf6+ 63. Kg3 Rg6 64. Nh4 Rgxg4+ 65. Kf3 Rxh4 66. Rd5 Rh3+ 67. Kg2 Ra3 68. Re5 Rb2+ 69. Kf1 Ra1+ 70. Re1 Rxe1+ 71. Kxe1 Kf6 0-1 [/pgn]

Checa’s only loss came in Round 4 to Fishbein.

[pgn][Event "2020 Weeramantry Blitz - 2200+"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.07.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Checa, Nicolas"] [Black "Fishbein, Alex"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E94"] [WhiteElo "2702"] [BlackElo "2608"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O exd4 8. Nxd4 c6 9. f3 Nbd7 10. Kh1 d5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Bf4 a6 13. Rc1 dxe4 14. fxe4 Re8 15. Bc4 Ne5 16. Bb3 Bg4 17. Qd2 Qd7 18. h3 Bxh3 19. gxh3 Qxh3+ 20. Qh2 Qxh2+ 21. Bxh2 Neg4 22. Bf4 Nxe4 23. Nf3 Nef2+ 24. Kg2 Nd3 25. Ng5 Re7 26. Rcd1 Nxf4+ 27. Rxf4 Ne3+ 28. Kf3 Nxd1 29. Nxd1 Rf8 30. Nf2 Bh6 31. Rg4 Bxg5 32. Rxg5 Kg7 33. Rc5 Rd8 34. a4 Rd2 35. Rc4 Rxb2 36. Bc2 b5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Rc6 b4 39. Bd3 b3 40. Rb6 Rd7 41. Be4 f5 42. Bc6 Rd6 43. Rb7+ Kf6 44. Ba4 Ra6 45. Bb5 Raa2 46. Nd1 Rd2 47. Nc3 Rac2 48. Ne2 b2 49. Ba6 Rd6 0-1 [/pgn]

There was a two-way tie at the top of the 1600-2199 tournament, with Ryan Amburgy and Sandeep Sethuraman both scoring 8/9 to win the event by a whopping 1.5 points. Shreya Mangalam and Anne-Marie Velea shared third place with 6.5/9.

Sethuraman may find himself the moral victor of the event, having defeated Amburgy in their individual Round 4 matchup.

[pgn][Event "2020 Weeramantry Blitz - 1600-2199"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.07.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Sethuraman, Sandeep"] [Black "Amburgy, Ryan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "2190"] [BlackElo "2514"] [PlyCount "123"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. c4 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e3 d6 6. Nge2 e5 7. O-O Nge7 8. a3 O-O 9. Rb1 a5 10. Nd5 Bd7 11. Nec3 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Be6 13. d3 Kh8 14. Bd2 a4 15. b3 axb3 16. Qxb3 Ne7 17. Qxb7 Bxd5 18. cxd5 Rxa3 19. Rb3 Ra2 20. Rb2 Rxb2 21. Qxb2 e4 22. Bc3 Bxc3 23. Qxc3+ Kg8 24. Bxe4 Qb6 25. h4 Rb8 26. Qf6 Qc7 27. h5 gxh5 28. Qg5+ Ng6 29. Qxh5 c4 30. Kg2 Kg7 31. Rh1 Rh8 32. Qh6+ Kg8 33. Rc1 c3 34. Qg5 Kg7 35. f4 h6 36. Qg4 c2 37. Qe2 Rc8 38. d4 Qe7 39. Bd3 Qb7 40. e4 Qb2 41. Rxc2 Rxc2 42. Bxc2 Qxd4 43. Qd3 Qc5 44. Bd1 Qb4 45. Bg4 Qb2+ 46. Kh3 Qf2 47. Bf5 h5 48. e5 Qg1 49. Qf3 dxe5 50. Bxg6 fxg6 51. fxe5 Qd4 52. Qf6+ Kh6 53. Qf4+ Qxf4 54. gxf4 Kg7 55. d6 Kf7 56. Kh4 Ke6 57. Kg5 Kd7 58. f5 gxf5 59. Kxf5 Ke8 60. Kg5 Kd7 61. Kxh5 Ke6 62. Kg5 1-0 [/pgn]

Meanwhile, the Denker, Haring, and Senior Tournaments are underway, with the Denker and Haring crowns being awarded on Sunday. The Senior tournament continues next weekend, when the Barber and Rockefeller will also be played. Live coverage of every round will be available at twitch.com/uschess - see the links below for the schedule of commentators!


Quick Links:

Weeramantry Blitz

When: July 24, 7:00-10:00 pm EDT

Streamers: GM Robert Hess and WGM Katerina Nemcova 

Where: chess.com/tvtwitch.tv/chesscom, and twitch.tv/USChess
     

Denker/Haring/Senior 

When: July 25 and July 26, 11:00 am-1:30 pm; 3:00-5:30 pm; 7:00-9:30 pm EDT

Streamers:  

Saturday: GM Robert Hess and WGM Jennifer Shahade with special guest WGM Katerina Nemcova. Watch on chess.com/tv

Sunday: GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Danny Rensch. Watch on twitch.tv/GMHikaru , chess.com/tv, or twitch.tv/USChess

 

All the Details

For detailed information on all of the events, please follow these links:

2020 Online Invitationals: Overview, Schedule, & Prizes

2020 Online Invitational: Rules 

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