With all playing three schedules now in full swing, the competition at the 120th U.S. Open is ramping up. At stake for the 350 competitors is a $40,000 prize fund and, for the winner, a seat in the 2020 U.S. Championship to be held in Saint Louis.
Tonight sees the fabled “Merge of Schedules,” and live streaming coverage with IMs Kostya Kavutskiy and Eric Rosen starts tonight at 7pm EDT. Check it out at the US Chess Twitch channel! On-site fans can also drop by Salon 7 to participate in the stream “IRL.”
Also be sure to come by the Staff Forum / General Membership Meeting this afternoon at 4pm in Grand Ballroom C. You can meet all of your favorite (!) US Chess staff and personalities, including your humble reporter, and get answers to your most pressing US Chess related questions.
The choice of playing schedule, it seems, is a fine art, and those hoping to earn a seat in the U.S. Championship have a lot to consider. The 9-Day has just five titled players (three GMs) and games are played at a leisurely pace of one round a day, allowing for deep preparation. It also comes with nine days of hotel bills and hotel food.
The 4-Day requires the least financial outlay, but perhaps for that reason, it tends to attract the most titled players. 10 GMs, one WGM, one IM, and two FMs are playing this year’s 4-Day schedule, all hoping to replicate GM Timur Gareyev’s path through the 4-Day last year that lead to his appearance in the 2019 U.S. Championship. With two G/60 games to play before the Merge tonight, section leaders will have to navigate multiple GM vs GM encounters to get to the merge with a shot at top prizes.
The 6-Day might be seen as a middle path, balancing playing conditions with financial concerns. This year’s 6-Day has three GMs, five IMs, one WIM, and one FM playing, and after last night’s perfunctory draw between GMs Illia Nyzhnyk and Elshan Moradiabadi, it appears that none of the GMs will have to play one of their colleagues before the Merge.
While chess pundits might debate these kinds of decisions for hours, what really matters is what happens over the board. With that, let’s take a look back at what happened yesterday in Orlando.
Dan Brashaw and Dariusz Swiercz (photo Hartmann)
4-Day Round 3
The 4-Day schedule got underway yesterday, with its first four games played at noon, 3pm, 7pm, and 10pm. Four players are at 4/4 as we head to today’s round five at noon: GMs Dariusz Swiercz, Lazar Bruzon Batista, Robert Hungaski, and IM Daniel Fernandez.
Right behind them at 3.5/4 are GMs Timur Gareyev, Rogelio Barcenilla Jr, WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia, and 1533 rated Andy Wu. After a first round half-point bye, Wu has been on fire, defeating players rated 1991 and 1993 in last night’s rounds three and four. Will the magic continue? We’ll find out today!
Top board pairings for Round 5 in the 4-Day: Fernandez – Swiercz, Bruzon Batista – Hungaski, Belakovskaia – Gareyev, Wu – Barcenilla.
Five players are tied at 4.5/5 after five rounds of play in the 6-Day Schedule. GMs Illia Nyzhnyk and Elshan Moradiabadi quickly drew last night to get to 4.5, as did IM Bryce Tiglon (against GM Mackenzie Molner). IM Justin Sarkar defeated Howard Zhong to stay with the leaders, and Matthew O’Brien took down IM Elliott Winslow to do the same.
Moradiabadi-Nyzhynk (photo Hartmann)
Jim Tarjan and Mac Molner check in on the top board (photo Hartmann)
Moradiabadi-Nyzhnyk (photo Hartmann)
Pairings for today’s sixth round in the 6-Day: Nyzhnyk – Sarkar, Tiglon – Moradiabadi, Burnett – O’Brien, Jain – Molner. Games from the 6-Day will be broadcast live at uschess.live.
Six rounds are in the books in the 9-Day, and six players are at 5/6: GMs Kamil Dragun and Victor Mikhalevski, Julian Proleiko, Martin Hansen, Vyom Vidyarthi, and Randas Burns. Another five, including GM Jim Tarjan and FMs Macon Shilbut and Josef Friedman, are half a point back at 4.5.
Kamil Dragun (photo Hartmann)
Shilbut-Mikhalevski (photo Hartmann)
Both Dragun and Mikhalevski pushed for wins in round 6, but came away with split points.
Pairings for tonight will not be posted until the Merge just before 7pm.