GM Bryan Smith and FM Gabriel Petesch each scored 4-1 to win the 110 player Pittsburgh Open held March 3-5th at Wyndham Pittsburgh Airport hotel. The Pittsburgh Open is one of the smaller Continental Chess (CCA) events at a based on prize fund of $10,000 and just over 100 players, but it still draws strong players and produces fighting chess.
Smith and Petesch met in round 4 with Smith in clear 1st at 3-0, leading the field by half point. In order to win the tournament, Petesch would need to beat Smith. At least, Petesch had the white pieces. He did win the game—to become the tournament leader going into the last round. In the last round, Petesch assured himself of at least a tie for first by drawing with FM Akshita Gorti. The draw allowed Smith to catch up by beating NM Mark Eidemiller.
Here is the critical game of the tournament where Petesch defeats Smith.
The Under 1800 section had a repeat customer. The previous weekend Jason Zipfel went 5-0 at the George Washington Open Under 1800 section. This week, he gives up two draws, but his 4-1 score is still good enough to tie for first in the Under 1800 section. Since he has now gained nearly 150 points in two weekends and is slightly over 1800, he can move up a section.
The section winners were:
Maxim Yaskolko, 4 ½ – ½ $732
Jason Zipfel & Jeff Hohn, 4-1, $549
Rohan Padhye, 4 ½ – ½, $586
Ivan Voinov 5-0, $293
FM Akshita Gorti & Vasishta Malisetty, 7 ½ – 2 ½, $110 each player
Alexander Heimann, 7 ½ – ½, $80
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