The Las Vegas Chess Festival Kicks Off!

Photo courtesy of Jason Luu

Photo: Jason Luu

The Las Vegas Chess Festival kicked off with the U.S. Women’s Open. WGM Vera Nebolsina won the tournament with an undefeated score of 4.5 out of 5.

Here is her victory over second place finisher WGM Carla Heredia.

The next exciting event was the No Limit Holdem poker tournament hosted by Jennifer Shahade. The winner was Greg Shahade.


Last year’s National Open Champion, Alexey Dreev, played a 24 board simultaneous exhibition and mercilessly won every game.

Aleksey Dreev, Photo Tim Hanks

Aleksey Dreev, Photo Tim Hanks

The Walter Browne Memorial Blitz Memorial was won by GM Axel Bachmann. He scored an impressive 12 out of 14 points. Here is his victory against GM Timur Gareev.

The centerpiece of the Las Vegas Chess Festival, the National Open, is currently underway. After day one, the tournament leaders are GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami, GM Yaroslav Zherebukh, GM Daniel Fridman, IM Ruifeng Li, and GM Joshua Friedel, all tied with 2 points.

There was also a chess camp, featuring some of the GMs and WGMs in the tournament.


US Chess Digital Editor Jen Shahade teaching some young talents. Photo Daniel Meyrom

Upcoming festival events

Youth Puzzle Contest – Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Paradise South Ballroom

Youth Simul – Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in the Paradise South Ballroom

Post-Game Analysis by GM Var Akobian – begins 2 hours after every round in Conference Room 5

Blitz Sectionals – Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m. in Ballroom D

Lecture by GM Ron Henley, “Chess Strategy: The Bishop Pair in the Endgame” – Sunday at 1 p.m. in Conference Room 1

U.S. Game/10 Championship – Monday at 10 a.m. in Ballroom F-G


For more information on the Las Vegas Chess Festival, visit the Official Website.


  1. Would love to know what the last 16 moves of the 1st game was. Not clear to me how to win that close endgame.

  2. So would I: I was the one who entered the PGN, and I couldn’t decipher the scoresheet after several attempts. 🙂

    Sorry about that!

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