GM Corrales and IM Katz win Eastern Class

By John Hartmann |  April 11, 2019  |   News

The 28th Annual Eastern Class Championship was held April 5-7th at the Host Hotel in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  This year’s event drew 230 players in seven sections.  The 29 player master section drew six titled players to headline the field and compete for their share of the $20,000 prize fund.  When all was said and done, GM Fidel Corrales and IM Alexander Katz (who tweeted about his victory) tied for first at 4-1, with each winning $1500. Corrales received an extra $100 for having better tiebreaks.

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The tournament had many upsets and surprises and they started in round 1! Merric Hu kicked things off by defeating NM Aviram Hinenzon.  Hu is ranked number 22 in the country among 12-year olds, and his only losses in this event were to GM Jianchou Zhou and GM Alexander Ivanov.  In the two day schedule there was significantly more bloodletting on the top boards.  NM Lawyer Times defeated GM Ivanov on board one in the two-day section and SM Lev Paciorkowski was held to a draw by NM Nithin Kavi. Hu was rewarded for his first round win by being paired “down” (by points, not by rating) with the tournament’s first overall seed GM Zhou, who had a first round bye after registering late.  Even with the white pieces, Hu couldn’t overcome the experienced GM.  The rest of the titled players also all took care of business as GM Corrales defeated NM Chris Williams, IM Katz defeated NM Raj Shanmugasundaram and GM Sergey Kudrin defeated NM Danila Poliannikov.  Meanwhile, on the two day side FM Kim defeated NM Times to emerge as the only perfect score. The critical game of the tournament occurred in round four.  GM Kudrin had a half point lead on the field and was paired “down” to GM Corrales.  Both GMs were due white, but Kudrin got white because he was in the higher score group.  Corrales needed to win and that is exactly what he did.  Here he provides some notes.

[pgn] [Event "Eastern Class"] [Site "?"] [Date "2019.04.07"] [White "Kudrin, Sergey"] [Black "Corrales Jimenez, Fidel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B66"] [WhiteElo "2450"] [BlackElo "2563"] [Annotator "Corrales"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2016.04.12"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceVersionDate "2006.10.04"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. Be2 Bd7 9. f4 Rc8 10. Nf3 Be7 11. Rd1 h6 (11... Qb6 $1 12. e5 Ng4) 12. Bh4 g5 $2 13. fxg5 Ng4 14. h3 (14. g6 Bxh4+ 15. Nxh4 Qxh4+ 16. g3 Qg5 17. gxf7+ Kxf7 18. Qxg5 hxg5 19. Bxg4 Ke7 20. Be2 Ne5 21. h4 $14) 14... Nge5 (14... hxg5 15. Bxg5 Qb6 16. Nd4 (16. Rf1 Bxg5 17. Qxg5 Ne3 18. Rxd6 Nxc2+ 19. Kd2 N2d4) 16... Bxg5 17. Qxg5 Nxd4) 15. O-O hxg5 16. Bg3 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 f6 18. Na4 Qc7 19. b3 (19. Nc3 Nxf3 20. Bxf3 Ne5 21. Be2 Qb6) 19... b5 20. Nb2 g4 (20... Nxf3 21. Bxf3 e5 22. Qe2 Nd4 23. Rxd4 exd4) 21. Nxe5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 fxe5 23. Bxg4 (23. c4 $1 gxh3 24. g3 Qb7 25. Qe3 h2 26. Rf2) 23... Qxc2 24. Rf2 Qxe4 25. Bf3 Qh4 26. Re2 Rf8 27. Qd3 $6 (27. Re4 Qh8) 27... Qg5 28. Bb7 Rc1 29. Rc2 Rxd1+ 30. Qxd1 d5 31. Bxa6 e4 32. Bc8 Bd6 33. Qg1 (33. Qe1 Qf4 34. g3 Qf5 35. Bxd7+ Kxd7 36. Rh2) 33... Qg3 34. Rc1 (34. Bxd7+ Kxd7 35. Qa7+ Bc7 (35... Kd8 36. Qb6+ Ke7 37. Qa7+ Kf6 38. Qg1 (38. Qf2+ Qxf2 39. Rxf2+ Ke5 40. Rc2 d4 41. Kg1 d3)) 36. Rxc7+ Qxc7) 34... Rf2 0-1 [/pgn]
With this win, Corrales now moved in to sole possession of first place going into the last round at 3.5-0.5.  He was followed by five players at 3-1: GMs Ivanov & Kudrin, IM Katz, FM Kim and NM Treger.  The Corrales and Ivanov game ended in a repetition, giving Corrales at least a share of first place, but allowing others to catch up. IM Katz defeated NM Treger to join the tie for first, and on board two FM Kim and GM Kudrin drew, creating a five-way tie for third place at 3.5-1.5.  NM Alan Song and NM Poliannikov were part of this pack at 3.5, and they shared the Master prize for their efforts. NM Song upset GM Zhou in the last round, and the game is presented here:
[pgn] [Event "Eastern Class"] [Site "?"] [Date "2019.04.07"] [White "Song, Alan"] [Black "Zhao, Jianchao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2225"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2019.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2006.10.04"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Na5 Qc7 13. c4 Bg7 14. Rc1 e4 15. b4 exf3 16. gxf3 O-O 17. Be2 Rfe8 18. O-O Rxe3 19. Qxe3 Re8 20. Qd2 Kh7 21. Kh1 Bh6 22. f4 Ne4 23. Qc2 Qb6 24. Bd3 Ndf6 25. a3 Qe3 26. Qe2 Qd4 27. Qc2 Ng4 28. Bxe4 Rxe4 29. Rcd1 Qe3 30. Qd3 Qf2 31. Rxf2 Nxf2+ 32. Kg2 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 b6 34. Nb7 Bxf4 35. c5 Re7 36. Nxd6 Bxd6 37. cxd6 Rd7 38. Kf3 Kg7 39. Ke4 Kf6 40. Rf3+ Kg5 41. Ke5 Kg4 42. Rg3+ Kh4 43. Rc3 Rd8 44. Rc7 f5 45. d7 f4 46. Kxf4 Kh3 47. Ke5 Kxh2 48. Ke6 h4 49. Rc8 Rxd7 50. Kxd7 1-0 [/pgn]
There were six class sections at the Eastern Class, and the winners were: Expert Sarvadh Sathiaram, Roman Rychkov, & Anton Barash, 4-1,  $866.67 Class A Benjamin Amar & Janell Warner, 4.5-0.5, $1100 Class B Richard Hubbard II, 4.5-0.5, $1500 Class C Terence Mooney & Jeffrey Gugliotta, 4.5-0.5, $1000 Class D Elizabeth Smith, 4.5-0.5, $700 Class E Matthew Chin, 4.5-0.5, $600 Mixed Doubles Elizabeth Smith & Joseph Bihlmeyer, 7.5 points, $300 each player Blitz Tournament NM Yefrim Treger, NM Lawyer Times, and NM Yelfrey Torres, 6.5-1.5, $87.50

NTD Bill Goichberg directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Bob Messenger. Full tournament details can be found at Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at

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