GM Perez and FM Jayaraman Win the Southern Class Championship

GM Yunieskiy Quesada Perez. Photo: Harvey Lerman
The 15th Southern Class Championship was held March 24th to 26th at the Wyndham Resort in Orlando, Florida.  There were 218 players in seven sections.  The master section was small at only 14 players, but featured two GMs, two FMs, and a total of seven over 2200.  The surprises started in round one.  In the three day schedule, there were almost not enough players to have a round.  There were three advance entries, but one requested a bye for round one.  Also, prior to registration closing, another player notified us that he was stuck in traffic and would change to the 2 day schedule. This left one player, FM Jayaraman, who was the top seed in the three day schedule. Fortunately, another player registered, and we had one game!  The player who registered presented us with an interesting case. The rules of the tournament provide that a player can play up one section.  Victor Rodriguez claimed to have been an expert in the Puerto Rican Chess Federation rating system, but that rating system no longer exists.  He player has a very small number of games both in USCF and FIDE playing somewhat strong players, but losing them all.  We accepted his claim of being an expert 20 years ago and allowed him to play in the top section. While he lost all his games, he played competitively in all of them.  It looks like he really is just a somewhat out of practice former expert. In the two day schedule, the top seeded GM Yunieskiy Quesada Perez  gave up a draw to Corey Acor while the second seeded GM Aryam Abreu lost to Carlos Andretta, an expert who was playing up.  Fourth seeded John Ludwig surrendered a draw to Carter Peatman while fifth seeded Deepak Aaron lost to Goran Markovic.
[pgn][Event "Southern Class"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.03.25"]
[Round "1"]
[White "GM Quesada Perez, Yunieskiy"]
[Black "Acor, Corey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C26"]
[WhiteElo "2706"]
[BlackElo "2364"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bc5 5. d3 a6 6. Be3 Bxe3 7. fxe3 d6 8. Nf3
Ne7 9. O-O Ng6 10. d4 O-O 11. Qd3 c6 12. Nd2 Qe7 13. a4 b6 14. b4 Bb7 15. Nc4
b5 16. Na5 Qc7 17. axb5 cxb5 18. Nxb7 Qxb7 19. Rxf6 gxf6 20. Nd5 Rac8 21. Bh3
Rc4 22. c3 f5 23. exf5 Qxd5 24. Bg2 e4 25. Bxe4 Rxc3 26. Qxc3 Qxe4 27. fxg6
fxg6 28. Qd2 h5 29. Re1 Kg7 30. Re2 Rf3 31. d5 Rf5 32. Qb2+ Kh6 33. Qc3 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
[pgn][Event "Southern Class"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.03.25"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Andretta, Carlos"]
[Black "GM Abreu, Aryam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2161"]
[BlackElo "2513"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 d6 6. d3 e6 7. O-O Nge7 8. Rb1
b6 9. a3 Bb7 10. Bd2 Qd7 11. b4 Nf5 12. Nb5 O-O 13. Bc3 e5 14. Bd2 Rad8 15. Nc3
Nfe7 16. Ne1 Nd4 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 18. Nc2 Nxc2 19. Qxc2 h6 20. bxc5 dxc5 21. a4
Nc6 22. Nd5 Nd4 23. Qd1 Rxd5 24. cxd5 Qxd5 25. Bc3 e4 26. Bxd4 Bxd4 27. dxe4
Qxe4 28. e3 Be5 29. Qd7 h5 30. Qxa7 h4 31. Rxb6 Kg7 32. Qb7 Qxa4 33. Qd5 Bf6
34. Qxc5 Qg4 35. Rxf6 1-0[/pgn]
The second round pairing in the three day schedule was forced---Jayaraman had to play Ravindra Wijesundera who took the bye in round one, and Rodriguez had the bye.  The pairings for round two in the two day schedule were unusual. There were four players who won, and three of them were experts who chose to play up a section!  FM Yans Barrios drew with Goran Markovic in round two.  They played to K and R versus K and R and played several more moves before agreeing to a draw!  Andretta got paired down even though he was playing up a section and beat a GM in round one.  Andretta played expert Jackie Liu, who had the bye in round one.  Andretta won and emerged as the only perfect score in the two day schedule! In round three, Jayaraman and Andretta drew.  Quesada Perez beat Girones Barrios in round three to join the leaders.  Perez maneuvers around, gets to an opposite colored bishop ending, then transitions to a queen and pawn ending, and eventually wins in 94 moves.
[pgn][Event "Southern Class"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.03.26"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "FM Girones, Yan"]
[Black "GM Quesada Perez, Yunieskiy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E24"]
[WhiteElo "2470"]
[BlackElo "2630"]
[Annotator "Y.Quesada"]
[PlyCount "188"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. e4 c5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Nc6 8. Nf3
e5 9. d5 Ne7 10. Bd3 Ng6 11. g3 h6 12. h4 Bd7 13. Nh2 Qa5 14. Nf1 O-O-O 15. Ne3
Ne7 16. Bd2 Ng4 17. O-O Nxe3 18. Bxe3 f6 19. f3 Rdf8 20. f4 Kb8 21. f5 h5 22.
Rf2 Ka8 23. Kh2 Rfg8 24. Be2 Ba4 25. Qd2 Nc8 26. Rb1 Nb6 27. Qb2 Rb8 28. Bd2
Nc8 29. Rg2 Ne7 30. Kg1 Qd8 31. Be3 Qe8 32. Rf1 Rg8 33. Bd3 g6 34. fxg6 Qxg6
35. Qf2 Rbf8 36. Kh2 Rf7 37. Bd2 Bd7 38. Qe3 Qg4 39. Kg1 a6 40. Be2 Qg6 41. Kh2
Bg4 42. Bd3 Rh7 43. Rgf2 Rf8 44. Bc2 Ng8 45. Qe1 Rg7 46. Rg2 Qe8 47. Qe3 Rff7
48. Bd3 Rg6 49. Qe1 Rfg7 50. Rff2 Bc8 51. Rf3 Bg4 52. Rff2 Ka7 53. Be3 Qa4 54.
Bc1 Qa5 55. Rg1 Qd8 56. Be3 Qe8 57. Rgg2 Bc8 58. Rf3 Rg4 59. Bc2 Qg6 60. Qf2
Kb8 (60... Rxe4 61. Bxc5+ dxc5 62. Qxc5+ Kb8 63. Qd6+ Ka8 64. Qf8 Rxh4+) 61.
Bd2 Rxe4 62. Bxe4 Qxe4 63. Rxf6 Nxf6 64. Qxf6 Rd7 65. Qf1 Rg7 66. Bg5 (66. Rf2)
66... Bf5 67. Rf2 Rf7 68. a4 Qg4 69. a5 Bd3 70. Qg1 Rxf2+ 71. Qxf2 Qe2 72. Qxe2
Bxe2 73. Kh3 Kc7 74. Be7 Kd7 75. Bf8 Bf1+ 76. Kh2 Bxc4 77. g4 hxg4 78. h5 Bxd5
79. h6 Be4 80. Kg3 Bf5 81. Kh4 Ke6 82. Kg5 g3 83. Bxd6 Kxd6 84. Kxf5 g2 85. h7
g1=Q 86. h8=Q Qf2+ 87. Kg6 Qg3+ 88. Kf7 Qf4+ 89. Kg7 Qg4+ 90. Kf7 Qe6+ 91. Kg7
e4 92. Qb8+ Kc6 93. Qa7 Qe7+ 94. Kg6 Qd8 0-1[/pgn]
Andretta now was leading the tournament with a 2700+ GM and an FM all with 2 ½ out of 3!  On Sunday morning, Andretta was on board one against Perez---an over 500 point rating difference that you hardly ever see in a class tournament.  Perez won to maintain the tournament lead.  Amazingly, Andretta then withdrew even though he was still in contention for a prize!  Jayaraman also won, defeating John Ludwig.
[pgn][Event "Southern Class"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.03.26"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "FM Jayaraman, Arvind"]
[Black "Ludwig, John"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A67"]
[WhiteElo "2321"]
[BlackElo "2491"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+
Nfd7 9. Nf3 a6 10. Bd3 b5 11. a3 O-O 12. O-O Re8 13. Kh1 Ra7 14. Be3 Rc7 15.
Qd2 Nf6 16. f5 Nbd7 17. Bg5 Ra7 18. Rae1 Qb6 19. Qf4 b4 20. axb4 Qxb4 21. Re2
gxf5 22. Bh6 Bxh6 23. Qxh6 Ng4 24. Qxd6 Qb6 25. Qf4 Qh6 26. Qg3 Qg7 27. exf5
Rxe2 28. Nxe2 Ne3 29. Re1 Nxd5 30. Qd6 N5f6 31. Nc3 Bb7 32. Re7 Bxf3 33. gxf3
Qf8 34. Bc4 Ne5 35. Bxf7+ Nxf7 36. Qg3+ Kh8 37. Rxa7 Qe8 38. Rb7 1-0[/pgn]
Perez and Jayaraman faced off in round five.  Both were due black, but Perez got his due color.  Perez outrated Jayaraman by 400 points, but a draw secured a tie for first and a quick draw occurred.  Corey Accor had a chance to join the first place tie, but he would have to beat Abreu with the black pieces. That didn’t happen, so Acor, Abreu, Ludwig and Barrios all tied for third with 3 points. The expert section also ended in a two way tie for 1st at four points.  Theodore Slade and Martin Hansen have identical ratings 2150 and finished with identical records three wins, two draws (though one of Hansen’s was a half point bye).  The two players drew each other in round four.  Slade has been racking up wins in CCA tournaments in Orlando.  He won the Under 2100 section of the Southern Open last year and tied for 2nd in the Southern Class last year.  His rating has been steadily climbing and is approaching master.  In round 3, he defeated Vedic Panda.  Slade offered a draw on move 19, which was declined.  Panda offered on move 28 and, this time Slade declined and went on to win.
[pgn][Event "Southern Class"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.03.25"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Panda, Vedic"]
[Black "Slade, Theo"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2120"]
[BlackElo "2150"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. Qe2 Bd6 8.
d4 Nd7 9. c3 O-O 10. O-O Qe7 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. f4 Bd6 14. b4 f6
15. Bb2 Bf7 16. Rae1 Rfe8 17. a3 a5 18. Nc4 axb4 19. cxb4 Bxb4 20. axb4 Qxb4
21. Ne3 Ra2 22. Rf2 Rxb2 23. Qxb2 Qxe1+ 24. Nf1 b5 25. Re2 Qd1 26. Rd2 Qe1 27.
Re2 Qd1 28. Rd2 Qg4 29. Ng3 Qxf4 30. Rd7 Qe3+ 31. Qf2 Qc1+ 32. Qf1 Qxf1+ 33.
Kxf1 Bg6 34. Rxc7 Bxe4 35. Nh5 Bg6 36. Nf4 Be4 37. Nh5 Bg6 38. Nf4 Rb8 39. Nxg6
hxg6 40. Rxc6 b4 41. Rc2 g5 42. Ke1 Kf7 43. Kd1 Kg6 44. Kc1 b3 45. Rf2 Ra8 46.
Rf3 Ra1+ 47. Kb2 Ra2+ 48. Kxb3 Rxg2 49. Rh3 Rd2 50. Kc3 Rd8 51. Rg3 f5 0-1[/pgn]
Class B had an unrated player tie for 1st.  Qinggu Zhu finished with 4 ½ points and tied for first with Thomas Suh.  Zhu was limited to a prize of $500, so Suh was able to take the entire first prize of $1000 and Zhu got the entire second prize of $500.  Suh played the Swiss gambit, as he drew in round one and then went 4-0.  He almost played the USCF membership gambit as he somehow slipped through our automated registration process with an expired USCF membership!  However, this was discovered, and he dutifully renewed, so his rating points are safe! In Class E, there were two 5-0 scores. There was a chance that there would be two 5-0 scores that would be brothers.  Joshua and James Alton both started 4-0.  They were joined by Jacob Parker.  Fortunately, in the last round the brothers would not play. Parker played Joshua Alton, while James Alton played Kevin Liu, who was the only player at 3 ½.  James won, but Parker beat Joshua, preventing the Alton sweep. There were two prizewinners who I will not mention by name, but who almost didn’t make it to the winner’s circle.  One friend typed the words “Illegal Move” on his cellphone and then showed it to his friend who was on move!  Obviously the opponent didn’t think highly of this and complained to the TD!  After some investigation, it was determined that there was no illegal move.  The player transmitting the information didn’t know any better!  Both players got a dressing down from the TD who explained the rules and the potential consequences.  It was an honest, innocent mistake, but it could have cost both players dearly!  They both were remorseful, learned a valuable lesson, and everybody had a good laugh when they picked up the check.  The player receiving the unhelpful advice wound up losing that particular game anyway.  I pointed out to both players that they were very lucky that their violation of the rules didn’t cost them anything, and that relying on luck is not a good plan! The section winners were:

Theodore Slade & Martin Hansen, 4-1, $750

Class A

Dylan Todfiels, 4 ½ - ½, $1000

Class B

Thomas Suh $1000 & Qingyu Zhu $500, both 4 ½ - ½

Class C

Teodor Malendevych & John-Gabriel Diego Bermudez, 4-1, $750

Class D

Brian Serve, 5-0, $800

Class E

James Alton & Jacob Parker, 5-0, $375

Mixed Doubles

GM Yun Quesada Perez & Vi0leta Atseva, 7 ½ - 2 ½, $200 each

Blitz Tournament

Corey Acor & Joshua Harrison, 7-1 $91.88

            NTD David Hater directed for CCA assisted by Harvey Lerman & Krista Alton. For more information, visit:

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