GM Elshan Moradiabadi won the 2019 Continental Class (June 14-16, Falls Church, VA) with a score of 4-1. Moradiabadi started the event as the top seed, but he had to navigate an early setback to take the title.
This year’s Continental Class drew 261 players which is slightly above average. The 30 player Master section had 1 GM, 1 IM, 6 FMs, 1 WGM, and a total of 22 Masters vying for their share of the $20,000 prize fund.
One surprise of the event was that board one ended in a draw the first three rounds. GM Moradiabadi drew NM Marcelino in round one, as alluded to above. Then in round two IM Balakrishnan drew with NM Ridvan Sakir. In round three, SM Daniel Cremisi and FM Joshua Colas drew, which ended the perfect scores. Moradianadi’s win over Eidemiller in round three enabled him to catch up with the leaders and retake board one.
Going into Sunday’s rounds, there were four players with 2.5/3: GM Moradiabadi, IM Balakrishnan, FMs Colas, Justin Paul and SM Cremisi. Moradiabadi defeated FM Colas, but IM Balakrishnan drew with SM Cremisi and FM Paul lost to FM Yip. This left Moradiabadi going into the last round in clear first with 3-1. Four players were just a half-point point behind the leader: IM Balakrishnan, FM Yip, WGM Foisor, and NM Sirkar.
WGM Foisor won a long struggle against NM Black. The game was back and forth for quite a while, though NM Black was better for a long time. In an equal R + P ending, Black blundered and Foisor took advantage.
In the last round, Moradiabadi was white versus Balakrishnan, but still took a relatively quick draw. That gave him at least a tie for first as either boards 2 or 3 could have been decisive to join the first place tie. Both boards ended in fighting draws which left Moradiabadi in clear first and winning $2100.
I’m sure Elshan would have been happy to have his fiancé WGM Foisor tie for first with him. She had a good chances and actually missed a late win over FM Carissa Yip.
The Moradiabadi/Foisor “team” did very well in the mixed doubles standings. Moradiabadi’s team won first mixed doubles and Foisor’s team won clear second mixed doubles. Elshan won $2100 plus $300 mixed doubles and Sabina won $428.57 plus $200 mixed doubles. These two players took 15% of the total prize fund!
The draws on boards two and three allowed FM Colas and Paul to catch up to second place. This left a giant seven way tie for 2nd/3rd/1st Under 2400/2nd Under 2400. Each player won $428.57: IM Balakrishnan, FMs Colas, Yip, & Paul, WGM Foisor, SM Cremisi, and NM Sakir.
The section winners were:
Madhavan Narkeeran, 4.5/5, $1400
Barzin Badiee, 5-0, $1400
Noah O’Neill, 4.5/5, $1400
Asorjon Tohirjonov, 5-0, $350 (prize limited as unrated)
Grant Peed & Tariq Amin, 4-1, $1000
Justin Trey, 4.5/5, $800
Zachary Bensky & Anton Janezich, 4.5/5, $600
Carla Naylor & GM Elshan Moradiabadi, 8 points, $300 to each player
Justin Paul & Isaac Chiu, 7/8. $116.50
NTD Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Andy Rea, Adam Chrisney, F. Prestia, and R. Prestia.
Full tournament details can be found at www.continentalclass.com.
Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.