GM Fidel Corrales and IM Jay Bonin tied for first in the Cleveland Open August 10th to 12th at the Crowne Plaza Cleveland Airport Hotel. Each scored 4 ½-½ and won $1350 with Corrales taking the $100 bonus for the better tiebreaks. Corrales was the only GM at Cleveland, but with three IMs and three FMs, there would be competition for the top prize. Two of the IMs, IM Jay Bonin and IM Ron Burnett, are also past Cleveland Open Champions.
Round one started with some surprises and a few upsets. The fourth overall seed did not show up and would be out of the tournament. The second overall seed IM Burnett surrendered a draw to NM Chuck Diebert. The one true full point upset was FM Lester Van Meter losing to Xavier Paginini. With an Under 2100 section and only a few players playing up the round one rating difference in the matchups was as little as just over 100 points so there were not as many mismatches, and the top players were immediately tested.
Round two featured numerous master vs master matchups. The only real upset was not really much of an upset as there was only a 40 point rating difference between NM Thomas Riccardi and NM Ryan Clayton. Clayton did win to get to 2-0, and, at the merge, there were nine players with perfect scores: GM Corrales, IMs Bonin and Justin Sarkar, FMs Gabriel Petesch, Aravind Jayaraman, and NMs Scott Raymer, John Ahlborg, Vincent Baker, and Ryan Clayton.
In round three, IM Bonin drew with Baker and Ryan Clayton lost to IM Burnett, so there would be three perfect scores entering the final day: GM Corrales defeated FM Jayaraman, IM Sarkar defeated NM Ahlborg, and FM Petesch defeated NM Ramer.
Sunday morning’s boards 1 and 2 would be the critical games. GM Corrales defeated FM Petesch to emerge as the sole 4-0 score as IM Sarkar drew with IM Burnett. Corrales annotates his critical win.
In the last round, Corrales just needed a draw to tie for first. That is eventually what happened, but it was not a quick draw. Corrales had an advantage and was up a pawn in a rook ending, but IM Sarker defended valiantly and held the draw. This left only one plyer who could catch Corrales. Bonin could join the tie if he could defeat IM Burnett. The board two matchup was Bonin with white and 3 ½ points versus Burnett with black with 3 points. Bonin won a nice game against Burnett to become co-champion.
IM Sarkar and NM Ahlborg tied for third. Both had fine tournaments. Sarkar drew with Corrales and Burnett and defeated NMs William Wright and Ahlborg. Ahlborg only lost to Sarker and upset FM Petesch in the final round and defeated NMs Wright and Nabil Felichi in earlier rounds. Ahlborg picked up nearly 30 rating points which is a significant number at that level.
In the class section, a major story was two brothers sharing first place. In the Under 2100 section Destyn Keuchel and Connor Keuchel would certainly be two of the favorites as they were seeded 4th and 6th respectively. They both scored 4 ½ – ½ and each won $900.
The section winners were:
Destyn Keuchel and Connor Keuchel, 4 ½ – ½, $900
Allen Stern, 5-0, $1200
Cory Mclean, Madison Loftis and Michael Slosson, 4-1, $700
Vaughn Wampole, 4 ½ – ½, $1000
Joseph Riccardi, 4 ½ – ½, $700
Larrance Xing, 4 ½ – ½, $100 (limited to $100 as unrated)
Charisse Woods & Andrew Friedman and Meena & Madhaven Narkeeran, 7-3, $450 each team
GM Fidel Corrales, 8-0, $180
NTD David Hater directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Joe Yun.
Full tournament details can be found at www.clevelandopen.com.
Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.