The Weekend in Chess: MLK Weekend

National holidays and chess tournaments go hand in hand. This weekend is no exception. Here are a few of the major events taking place across the U.S.:

East

Chesapeake Open

Rockville, MD

The Chesapeake Open is known for its pleasant environment and unique features, such as score-based prizes and complimentary breakfast. In fact, last year, the organizers created a word map based on players’ favorite aspects of the tournament:

unique features

GM Sergey Erenburg was the 2016 Chesapeake Open champion. GM Julio Sadorra is the current top seed.

GM Sergey Erenburg, last year's Champion

GM Sergey Erenburg, last year’s Champion

View Michael Regan’s report on the 2016 event and look for Jamaal Abdul-Alim’s article on this year’s event.

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U.S. Women's Champion, IM Nazi Paikidze, won 4th place last year

U.S. Women’s Champion, IM Nazi Paikidze, won 4th place last year

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Liberty Bell Open

Philadelphia, PA

The Liberty Bell Open is one of the longest-running events in the country—with this year being the 49th annual tournament. Last year, three-time NY State Champion, Alexander Ostrovskiy, tied for 1st along with four-time U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov, IM Thomas Bartell, and IM Igor Khmelnitsky.

For more details on the 2016 tournament, read David Hater’s report, IM Ostrovskiy Pulls Off Comeback at Liberty Bell.

Three-time NY State Champion, Aleksander Ostrovskiy. Photo: St. Louis Chess Club.

Three-time NY State Champion, Aleksander Ostrovskiy. Photo: St. Louis Chess Club.

This year’s top seed is GM-Elect Ruifeng Li. The tournament also features a free lecture by one of the 2016 Co-Champions, IM Alex Ostrovskiy, on Monday, January 16th at 9 a.m.

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West

Golden State Open

Concord, CA

The Golden State Open draws numerous strong players to the San Francisco area every year. Last year’s victors were GM Andrey Stukopin, GM Eugene Perelshteyn, and IM Andrey Gorovets. Co-Champion Stukopin is also this year’s top seed with nine more GMs entered in the tournament.

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GM Alejandro Ramirez is ranked 5th in this year’s field. He recently led the Saint Louis University team to a spot in the Final Four of College Chess

View Tournament Director David Hater’s report on the 2016 tournament, Grandmasters and Hopefuls Seek Gold in the Bay, and look for his upcoming article on this year’s event.

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Dreaming King Open

San Diego, CA

Although the Dreaming King Open has only been around for a few years, it draws a fairly impressive field. Last year, the event featured six grandmasters, with Timur Gareyev, Enrico Sevillano, and John Bryant tying for first place.

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GM Timur Gareyev at his record-breaking blindfold simul in Las Vegas last month

The current top seed is GM Carlos Matamoros. The event features special prizes, such as a Best Game Prize for the open section and a book prize for the Best Unrated Player in any section.

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