Hovhannes Gabuzyan Wins the 7th Annual Washington International

Washington International Champion, GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan. Photo: Michael Regan
GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan (ARM) won the Masters section of the 7th Annual Washington International by a full point. The Masters section, with 71 total players, included 22 GMS and 15 IMs. Gabuzyan moved into sole first place after winning his first four games. After that, no one could catch him, and he finished with a final score of 7.5 out of 9, earning the first place prize of $4500. Gabuzyan's most interesting game was his second round win over GM Gil Popilski. You don't often see a player sacrifice a queen twice in one game and win!
[pgn][Event "7th Annual Washington International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.11"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Popilski, Gil"]
[Black "Gabuzyan, Hovhannes"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E73"]
[WhiteElo "2491"]
[BlackElo "2491"]
[PlyCount "68"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6
5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qd2 e5 8. d5 a5 9. Bd1 Nc5 10. Bc2 c6 11. Nge2 cxd5
12. exd5 Bd7 13. Ng3 Qb6 14. Rb1 Ng4 15. h3 f6 16. hxg4 fxg5 17. f3 e4 18.
Ngxe4 Rae8 19. Kd1 Rf4 20. Re1 Be5 21. b3 Rc8 22. Nxc5 Qxc5 23. Ne4 Qa3 24. Bd3
a4 25. b4 h5 26. gxh5 g4 27. Bf1 gxf3 28. Re3 Bg4 29. Rxa3 fxg2+ 30. Kc2 g1=Q
31. Rg3 Qh1 32. Bd3 Qxe4 33. Bxe4 Rxc4+ 34. Kd3 Rd4+ 0-1[/pgn]
IM Nicolas Checa. Photo: Michael Regan
Despite there being five players in the running for norms going into the last round, only Nico Checa earned a norm. He actually didn't need to score any points going into the last round to earn the GM norm but still drew his last game. He also went over 2500 during the tournament, leaving him just one norm short of the GM title. Nico showed signs of being in good form from the start when he won the blitz event by a full point ahead of seven GMs. One of his best games was his win against the top seeded player in the tournament, GM Sam Sevian.
[pgn][Event "7th Annual Washington International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.11"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Checa, Nicolas"]
[Black "Sevian, Samuel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D36"]
[WhiteElo "2478"]
[BlackElo "2478"]
[PlyCount "107"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 Be7 7. e3
O-O 8. Bd3 c6 9. Qc2 h6 10. Bh4 Re8 11. O-O Nf8 12. Ne5 N6d7 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14.
Nf3 Nf6 15. Ne5 c5 16. Rfe1 a6 17. f4 c4 18. Be2 b5 19. Bf3 Bb7 20. a3 Rac8 21.
b4 cxb3 22. Qxb3 Qd6 23. Rac1 Rc7 24. Qb4 Qxb4 25. axb4 Rce7 26. Kf2 N8d7 27.
Nxd7 Rxd7 28. g4 g5 29. Ne2 Kh7 30. h3 Re6 31. Ng3 Ne8 32. Rc5 Ng7 33. Rec1 Re8
34. f5 Red8 35. Rh1 Ne8 36. h4 Kg8 37. hxg5 hxg5 38. Rh6 f6 39. Nh5 Rd6 40. Bd1
R8d7 41. Bb3 Re7 42. Rc1 Rh7 43. Rxh7 Kxh7 44. Rh1 Kg8 45. e4 Kf8 46. e5 Rc6
47. Nf4 gxf4 48. Rh8+ Kf7 49. Rh7+ Ng7 50. Bxd5+ Kf8 51. Rh8+ Ke7 52. Bxc6 Bxc6
53. exf6+ Kxf6 54. Rh6+ 1-0[/pgn]
The tournament ran from August 11th - 15th in Rockville, MD just outside of Washington, DC with a total of 142 players competing in the Masters, Experts, and Contenders sections. The Experts section (under 2201 US Chess) ended with a five-way tie at 6.5/9.0 between Akshay Indusekar, Noah Thomforde-Toates, Richard Tan, David Siamon, and Daniel Pomerantz, while the Contenders section (Under 1800 US Chess) ended in a three-way tie between Barzin Badiee, Duane Smith, and Ariel Joshi. The tournament was organized by the Maryland Chess Association, and the Chief Arbiter was Michael Regan. Full Crosstable Photos from the Tournament


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Interesting highlights, nice piece, and new faces! Thanks for that. Maryland chess is growing strong.

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