Three Wise Men at the King’s Island

IM Kannappan, Photo STL Chess Club IM Kannappan, Photo STL Chess Club
The 24th Annual King’s Island Open was held in Cincinnati, Ohio November 13-15th.  This tournament is now Ohio’s largest tournament with a based on prize fund of $30,000 and attendance in the 300 player range.  This year there were 293 players (more if you count re-entries, less if you take out house players).  This total meant that just slightly more than the $24,000 minimum guarantee was paid out. The tournament was very strong with a 39 player Open section headlined by two GMs, four IMs, two FMs and 22 total players rated over 2200. There was much fighting chess in the top section and there were many GM vs IM and IM vs IM pairings starting as early as round 3.  When the dust settled the trio of IM Priyadharshan Kannappan, GM Alexandr Lenderman, and IM Justin Sarkar all finished with an undefeated 3 wins and 2 draws to share first place.  Each player earned $1396.67 with Kannappan taking an extra $81 for his superior tiebreaks.  Kannappan started 3-0 with wins over CM Christopher Shen, WCM Maggie Feng and GM Alexander Shabalov.  He then “coasted” in to first place with two draws on Sunday.  Many times the coasting is quick draws – this was not the case with Kannappan.  He played 105 moves versus Lenderman and 74 moves versus IM Goran Vojinovic. Here is Kannappan’s key third round victory over GM Shabalov.
[pgn] [Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.14"]
[White "Kannappan, Priyadharshan"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B03"]
[WhiteElo "2564"]
[BlackElo "2631"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 cxd6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Be3 Bg7 8. Rc1
O-O 9. b3 Nc6 10. d5 Ne5 11. Be2 h5 12. h3 e6 13. dxe6 Bxe6 14. Nf3 d5 15. Bxb6
Qxb6 16. cxd5 Rfd8 17. O-O Qa5 18. Ng5 Rac8 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Na4 Rxc1 21. Qxc1
exd5 22. Qg5 Rf8 23. Rd1 b5 24. Nc5 Qxa2 25. Qe3 Re8 26. Bxb5 Re7 27. Qg5 Qc2
28. Rxd5 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Qe1 30. Qd2 Qxd2 31. Rxd2 Rc7 32. Ne6 Rb7 33. Rd5 Bf6 34.
f4 Nf7 35. Bc4 Kh7 36. Bd3 Kh6 37. g4 hxg4 38. hxg4 Be7 39. g5+ Kh7 40. f5 Nxg5
41. fxg6+ Kh6 42. g7 1-0

Originally hailing from India, Kannappan is currently a student at Lindenwood University in St Louis.  He was one of the founding members of the chess team there, but says that he is the only remaining titled player.  He graduates next year and plans to pursue graduate studies at Webster University and then a full time career as a professional chess player. Lenderman deserves the energizer bunny award.  His games just keep going and going!  His three wins were 60, 49, and 62 moves. His draws were 105 and 79 moves. He modestly said he did not play any great games, but I think even most GMs would be satisfied with a first place tie, $1396, and a performance rating of 2654.  Still, Lenderman actually lost rating points, so maybe there is something to his comment.  Here Lenderman keeps squeezing IM Anatas Kizov.
[pgn] [Event "Kings Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.15"]
[White "Kizov, Atanas"]
[Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E05"]
[WhiteElo "2480"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4
Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bg5 Nbd7 11. Nc3 h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Rfd1 a5 14. Ne5 Bxg2
15. Kxg2 c6 16. Qb3 Qc7 17. e4 Bb4 18. f3 Rfd8 19. Rac1 Rac8 20. Ne2 Re8 21.
Nd3 Bf8 22. Nc5 Rb8 23. Nd3 Red8 24. Ne5 Ra8 25. Nf4 Re8 26. Ne2 Rad8 27. Nd3
Nd7 28. h4 Be7 29. f4 Nf6 30. Nf2 h5 31. Ng1 g6 32. Nf3 Kg7 33. Ne5 Bb4 34. Nf3
Qb6 35. Qc4 Be7 36. b3 Qb4 37. Qxb4 Bxb4 38. Ne5 Re7 39. Kf3 Rc7 40. Rc4 Nd7
41. Ke3 Nxe5 42. fxe5 Rcc8 43. Nd3 Be7 44. Nf4 Ba3 45. Ra1 Bb4 46. Rd1 Re8 47.
Nd3 Be7 48. Ne1 Rcd8 49. Nd3 Rd7 50. Nc5 Rc7 51. Nd3 Rd8 52. Nf4 Rcd7 53. Rd3
Kf8 54. Rc1 Bb4 55. Rc4 Ke8 56. Rd1 Bf8 57. Nh3 c5 58. d5 exd5 59. exd5 Rxd5
60. Rxd5 Rxd5 61. Ke4 Rd1 62. Nf4 Re1+ 0-1

Sarkar is a fixture on the US Swiss circuit. At this event, he was “just” consistent.  He did not play anybody over 2400, but his 3 draws and 2 wins was good enough for a 2501 performance rating and a share of first place.   There were not many Sarkar games to choose from.  Here Sarkar methodically converts his advantage in a knight ending. When his opponent plays on, Sarkar underpromotes to deliver the checkmate.

[Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.13"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Sarkar, Justin"]
[Black "Davidovich, Millos"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D32"]
[WhiteElo "2491"]
[BlackElo "2200"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. dxc5 d4 7. Na4 b5 8.
cxb6 axb6 9. e3 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 d3 11. Bxb4 Nxb4 12. Nd4 Nf6 13. Nc3 O-O 14. Bxd3
Nxd3+ 15. Qxd3 Ba6 16. Ncb5 Qd5 17. O-O Rac8 18. Rfd1 Bb7 19. f3 Rfe8 20. Nf5
Qxd3 21. Rxd3 Ba6 22. Rb3 Re5 23. Nbd4 Bc4 24. Rc1 Rec5 25. Ne7+ Kf8 26. Nxc8
Bxb3 27. Rxc5 bxc5 28. Nxb3 c4 29. Nd2 c3 30. bxc3 Nd5 31. c4 Nxe3 32. a4 Nc2
33. a5 Nb4 34. Nb6 Ke8 35. Ne4 f6 36. Nc5 Nc6 37. a6 Kd8 38. Ne6+ Ke7 39. Nd4
Na7 40. Nb5 Nc6 41. Kf2 Kd8 42. Ke3 g6 43. a7 Nxa7 44. Nxa7 Kc7 45. c5 Kb7 46.
Nbc8 f5 47. Kd4 g5 48. c6+ Kc7 49. Kc5 g4 50. fxg4 fxg4 51. Nd6 h5 52. Nf7 h4
53. Nb5+ Kb8 54. Nfd6 h3 55. gxh3 gxh3 56. c7+ Ka8 57. c8=R# 1-0

Here is an amusing position from the open section.  Black was worse or losing most of the game.  White allows black to queen.  If he captures the queen it is a stalemate, but instead he delivers checkmate using only minor pieces. Rohan Talakdar John Randolph  2216
  1. … g1=Q  56.  Bf6+  1-0
Randolph also had the distinction of being the last game of the tournament to end.  With his opponent having 27 seconds and Randolph having 56 seconds, his opponent made an illegal move.  As the chief floor TD, my decision was easy as there were four witnesses (including two TDs) who observed the illegal move.  For a variety of reasons, the situation escalated into a more contentious dispute, with an apparently easy decision dragging on for over an hour, delaying the paying of prizes.  While it's necessary to ascertain all the facts in a dispute, it's also important to make every effort to sift out the minutiae from the important factors.  We apologize for the delay and thank all who waited for their patience during the long night. This tournament started on Friday the 13th.  I should have observed the omen!  There was significantly more contention and animosity in this tournament involving several players.  No dispute was all that interesting – it just seemed like several players were in argumentative moods this weekend! The Under 2100 section had a clear winner.   Hafez Tari scored 4 ½ to take clear first and $1611.  There was a 5 way tie for 2nd at 4 points.  Two players in this tie deserve mention.  Omar Cunningham has been on a tear in the last 3 Continental Chess Association (CCA) tournaments.  He was on board 1 in the last round of the Boardwalk Open, and only a last round loss prevented him from winning the tournament.  He would have been on board 1 in the last round of the Eastern Congress, but before the start of the tournament, he opted for an irrevocable half point bye in the last round (he won the Eastern Chess Congress clear first).  He was on board 2 in the last round at the King’s Island Open.  Cunningham won his way into the Boardwalk Open and Eastern Chess Congress by winning a team and individual prize at the New York City Scholastics (the Kings Island Open has a based on prize fund and was not part of the prize that Cunningham won).  He made the most of his opportunity.  In these three tournaments he scored 10 wins, 3 draws and 1 last round loss.  He won a total of $1154.60 in these three events.  Grant Oen started the tournament at 4-0, and only a last round loss to Tari prevented him from winning an even greater prize.  Grant is the owner of Southeast Chess and is the manager of the Atlanta Kings of the US Chess League.  It is nice to see an organizer have success over the board! The Under 1900 section was the largest section and ended in a three way tie for first between Vladis Turns, Richard Mercer, and William Stewart.  Each won $940.  While we are used to seeing youth at the top of the crosstable, we should give special mention to Vladis Turns.  At over 80 years young, it is nice to see an octogenarian in the winner’s circle.  Occasionally it is nice to feature games of class players.  Lou Friscoe has been a fixture in Ohio chess for many decades. He is known for a swashbuckling gambit style.  While the games may not always be technically correct with best moves, they are usually entertaining.  Here is a position from his last round game: Black to move, mate in 10:
Show Solution
45.  … Rxg2  46. Kxg2 Qh3+  47. Kg1 g3  48. Qe3 Qh2+  49. Kf1 Rxe3  50. Rxe3 g2+  51. Ke2 g1Q  52. Rf3 Qhh1  53.  Rb1 Qxf3  54. Kd2 Qxf2# 
Here is the entire game which started as a Latvian gambit.   While Lou could have checkmated faster, and he did miss gxh3 many times in the middle game, the game is still entertaining.
[pgn] [Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.15"]
[White "Sunkad, Ayush"]
[Black "Friscoe, Lou"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A04"]
[WhiteElo "1510"]
[BlackElo "1721"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nc3 d6 4. d3 Be7 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. Bg5 Be6 8. Qe2
h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. O-O g5 11. exf5 Bxf5 12. Nd5 Kd7 13. Nxf6+ Qxf6 14. Rfe1
Rae8 15. c3 Rhf8 16. Nd2 g4 17. Ne4 Qe6 18. h3 b6 19. Rad1 d5 20. Nd2 h5 21. d4
e4 22. Qb5 Kc8 23. a4 Kb7 24. Ra1 a6 25. Qb3 Na5 26. Qd1 c6 27. b4 Nc4 28. Nxc4
dxc4 29. Rc1 Qf7 30. Ra1 Bg6 31. Qd2 Qd5 32. Qe3 Rh8 33. Rab1 h4 34. b5 cxb5
35. axb5 a5 36. Rb2 hxg3 37. Qxg3 Bf5 38. Kh1 Reg8 39. Kg1 Rxh3 40. Qf4 Rf3 41.
Qc1 Qd6 42. Re3 Rh8 43. Kf1 Rh2 44. Kg1 Qh6 45. Re1 Rxg2+ 46. Kxg2 Qh3+ 47. Kg1
g3 48. Qd2 (48. Qe3 Qh2+ 49. Kf1 Rxe3 50. Rxe3 g2+ 51. Ke2 g1=Q 52. Rf3 Qhh1
53. Rb1 Qxf3+) 48... g2 49. Qh6 Qxh6 50. Kxg2 Bh3+ 51. Kh1 Bf1+ 52. Kg1 Bd3 (
52... Qh3 53. Rxf1 Qg4+) 53. Rxe4 Qg5+ 54. Kh2 Bxe4 55. Re2 Qh4+ 56. Kg2 Qg4+
57. Kf1 Bd3 58. Ke1 Bxe2 59. Kxe2 Rxc3+ 60. f3 Qg2+ 61. Kd1 Rxf3 62. Ke1 Rf1#

The Under 1700 section was won by David Wallach.  He won $1450 plus he won $161.50 for his mixed doubles team finish.  That made him the biggest money winner of the weekend – 50 cents ahead of Hafez Tari! The Under 1500 section was won by Delondon Hawthorne and Rothan Trenton with 4 ½ points which earned them each .  Hawthorne lost his 1st game in the 3 day schedule and re-entered.  Normally re-entries don’t win tournaments, but Hawthorne showed it could be done. The Under 1250 section was won by Alan Hodge and James Allen-Polley.  Each scored 4 ½ points and won $725. The Under 1000 section had a clear winner. Jacob Rosenthal was the only 5-0 in the tournament and won $645. William Stewart and Katherine Lin scored a combined 8 points to win the first mixed doubles prize.  They split the $806 prize. The blitz tournament was won by Walter Griggs with 7-1.  He started the event with a half point bye in round 1 and then won all his remaining games!  Another player who made good use of a bye was Robert Tims.  Rated only 833, he started with a full point bye.  Even though he scored only 2-4 in his remaining games, he won the Under 1500 prize outright!  What was humorous was that there was a late entry rated over 1000 points higher than Tims.  The late entry wanted Tims to give up his bye, but Tims would not do so – looks to be a good decision! The tournament was directed by Steve Immitt assisted by David Hater, Wayne Clark, and Grant Neilly. For full details on the event including many games see Past CCA tournaments can also be found at    

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