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.
Tied for first with @ficorrales at Eastern Class this weekend with 4/5 (+4 =0 -1). Took a long sequence of miracles to get there, but tournament wins are nice even in small weekend events 🙂
— Alexander Katz (@IMCryptochess) April 8, 2019
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.
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:
There were six class sections at the Eastern Class, and the winners were:
Sarvadh Sathiaram, Roman Rychkov, & Anton Barash, 4-1, $866.67
Benjamin Amar & Janell Warner, 4.5-0.5, $1100
Richard Hubbard II, 4.5-0.5, $1500
Terence Mooney & Jeffrey Gugliotta, 4.5-0.5, $1000
Elizabeth Smith, 4.5-0.5, $700
Matthew Chin, 4.5-0.5, $600
Elizabeth Smith & Joseph Bihlmeyer, 7.5 points, $300 each player
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 www.easternclass.com.
Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.