Reunions and Victories at the Chesapeake Open

GMsJulio Sadorra and GM Mark Paragua, the Chesapeake Open Co-Champions Julio Sadorra and Mark Paragua, the Chesapeake Open Co-champions
Rockville, Md. — When GM Julio C. Sadorra discovered that two childhood friends from the Philippines were registered to play in the 2017 Chesapeake Open, he decided to travel from Texas and surprise them at the tournament. The trip ended up being fruitful in more ways than one. Not only did Sadorra get to catch up with his fellow Filipino GMs, but he ended up tying for first place with one of them — GM Mark C. Paragua — after they both scored 6 out of 7 points. “It’s exciting. It’s nostalgic in a good way because no one knew that we would end up playing together, winning tournaments together, when we were just ten years old, twelve years old, playing the international kiddies,” Sadorra said. “I just said I’m going to show up and see them. I wanted to surprise them,” Sadorra said. “We ended up playing.” Sadorra said one of his most interesting games from the Chesapeake was his Round 4 game against his childhood buddy, GM Oliver Barbosa.
[pgn][Event "9th Annual Chesapeake Open"]
[Site "Rockville, Maryland"]
[Date "2017.01.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Sadorra, Julio"]
[Black "Barbosa, Oliver"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D10"]
[PlyCount "79"]1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bf5 7. Qb3 Na5 8.
Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qc2 Rc8 10. Bd3 e6 11. Nf3 Be7 12. h3 O-O 13. O-O h6 14. Ne5 Be8
15. Qe2 a6 16. Rac1 Bb4 17. Rfd1 Bxc3 18. bxc3 b5 19. f3 Qe7 20. e4 Qa3 21. Qd2
Nc4 22. Nxc4 bxc4 23. Bb1 Nd7 24. exd5 exd5 25. Bxh6 gxh6 26. Qxh6 f5 27. Qg5+
Kh8 28. Bxf5 Rxf5 29. Qxf5 Qf8 30. Qxd5 Nf6 31. Qg5 Rc7 32. Re1 Rg7 33. Qf4 Bd7
34. Rb1 Kh7 35. Rb8 Qf7 36. Qh4+ Kg6 37. Re5 Bf5 38. Rh8 Rh7 39. Qg3+ Kh6 40.
Rxf5 1-0[/pgn]
For Sadorra — who entered the tournament as the highest rated player at 2703 — the win at the Chesapeake Open marks a continuation of an impressive record of winning in 2016 — a year in which he won first place in no less than nine tournaments. Sadorra has also been doing well abroad. For instance, he drew against World Champion Magnus Carlsen when Sadorra played him as a member of the Philippine team at the 2016 Chess Olympiad.
[pgn][Event "Chess Olympiad"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.08"]
[Round "6.12"]
[White "Magnus Carlsen"]
[Black "Julio Catalino Sadorra"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2857"]
[BlackElo "2560"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. d4 Bd6 5. c4 Nf6 6. c5 Be7 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be3
b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ng4 11. Bf4 Re8 12. Be2 axb4 13. axb4 Rxa1 14. Qxa1 bxc5 15.
bxc5 Bxc5 16. dxc5 d4 17. O-O dxc3 18. Bc4 c2 19. Qa4 Bf5 20. Nd4 Bg6 21. Nxc2
Re4 22. Bg3 Ne5 23. Bxe5 Rxe5 24. Ne3 Rxc5 25. f4 h6 26. Qb4 Nd7 27. f5 Bh5 28.
Qd2 Qg5 29. Qd4 Re5 30. Qxd7 Qxe3+ 31. Kh1 Qc5 32. Qd3 Re3 33. Qc2 Qe5 34. Qd2
Kh7 35. h3 Qe4 36. Kg1 c6 37. Rc1 Qe5 38. Bf1 Rg3 39. Qf2 Qd6 40. Rc4 f6 41.
Rxc6 Qxc6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
“It shows us that he [Carlsen] is also human,” Sadorra said while chatting with IM Tegshsure Enkhbat after the post-mortem of their final round game, which Sadorra won. “We have chances,” Sadorra said in reference to the possibility of beating Carlsen.
GM Sadorra during his post-mortem with IM Enkhbat GM Sadorra during his post-mortem with IM Enkhbat
When Sadorra — a 2013 University of Texas at Dallas graduate in business administration — isn’t playing professionally, he gives private lessons or trains talented young players at the North Texas Chess Academy in Carrollton, Texas. Sadorra said he was drawn to the Chesapeake Open in part because he likes the point-based prize structure — a system in which prize money is based on how many points one scores, not which place one wins. “I think this point-based system is great for encouraging players of all kinds to play fighting chess,” Sadorra said. “It can reduce the amount of draws.” For instance, when Sadorra played Paragua, the game lasted well into the night until they drew. “It was just a good game, a very tactical game,” Paragua said. “In the opening, I think Julio was better.” Paragua — a chess instructor at Chess NYC — said he last saw Sadorra at the Manhattan Open and wasn’t entirely surprised to see him when he showed up at the Chesapeake. “I knew that Julio is playing in many tournaments,” Paragua said. Like many players in the Chesapeake Open, Sadorra had commendatory remarks for how TD Mike Regan ran the Chesapeake Open. Boards and pieces — including many wooden boards and pieces — were provided to the players and clocks were provided in the U1800 sections and higher. “I’d like to play in this event again,” Sadorra said. “I hope to do better, and I’m looking forward to (one of) Mike’s next tournaments, the Washington International.” Sadorra said he also liked the fact that the venue — the Rockville Hilton — was spacious and peaceful, and how pairings were posted about a half hour or so in advance, which enabled him to look up opponents’ games online to briefly study their styles. Did it pay off? “I think so,” Sadorra said. He said it paid off in a particular part of his Round 7 game against Enkhbat. “Because I knew he’s a strong defender, it forced me not to relax, not to let up, when I got a good position, to play my best until the end,” Sadorra said. Sadorra said he and his childhood friends all grew up idolizing Eugene Torre, Asia’s first grandmaster. “He’s a living legend in the Philippines,” Sadorra said. “We have him to look up to and the culture was great growing up.” Since Sadorra brought up Philippine chess greats, this US Chess News writer thought it only made sense to ask Sadorra about GM Wesley So, who recently achieved a 47-game no-loss streak. So switched from the Philippine Chess Federation to the US Chess Federation in 2014. “We grew up together as well. We support him. We’re happy for him,” said Sadorra, who said he remains in the Philippine Chess Federation out of love for his birth country. “No doubt, he’s going to be a world championship contender. More power to him. I hope he keeps reaping the fruits of his hard work.”
Ferdinand Supsup, 1st place in the U1800 section Ferdinand Supsup, 1st place in the U1800 section. Photo: Maryland Chess Association
Speaking of hard work, Ferdinand Supsup, of Ontario, who played in the U1800 section, was the only player at the Chesapeake Open to come within half a point of a perfect score. Supsup joined three friends — Eugene and Gary Hua and Joey Orozco — to make the trip to the Chesapeake Open. He said the tournament ended up being the first time he played on wooden boards. Supsup won $1,200 for scoring 6.5 out of 7 points, plus a $200 bonus for being in clear first place. “The point system you really have to try to win all your games because you win more,” said Supsup. Of his prize, he said, “I never expected it, but I think I’m lucky.” For complete standings, visit the Maryland Chess Association Website.
  Jamaal Abdul-Alim - thumbnail   Jamaal Abdul-Alim is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers higher education and chess. You can follow him on Twitter @dcwriter360.    


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well-written article, Jamaal. GM Sadorra is the Board 1 player of the Philippine team in the last Olympiad. The GM and his childhood friends, GMs Paragua and Barbosa are making their mark in the United States by teaching chess to future masters of this nation.

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