Long Train Running: Four Perfect 3-0s as US Masters Revs Up

John Burke (left) at the 2017 Match of the Millennials. Photo: Lennart Ootes
Now in its 7th year in Greensboro, North Carolina, the US Masters, a national championship event, kicked off on August 17. With 3 rounds in the books in this 9-round event, four players still have a perfect score: GMs Sergey Erenburg, Julio Sadorra, and John Burke, and IM Djurabek Khamraulov. This year, the US Masters worked closely with the just-concluded Washington International so that players could conveniently compete in both tournaments. Dr. Walter High (organizer of the US Masters) and Michael Regan (organizer of the Washington International) coordinated a train run on Amtrak from D.C. to Greensboro on the “rest day” (August 16) between the two events. High and Regan shared the considerable cost of transporting about 20 GMs and IMs in this manner. Additional elements of coordination between the two events included a $25 entry-fee discount to each event (for players for whom there were entry fees) for anyone playing in both events.
GM Julio Sadorra
With 28 GMs and numerous other titled players among the 86 competitors, it is well recognized that the US Masters is one of the premier training tournaments in the country. And with conditions provided to various groups of players, the tournament continues to gain strength and popularity with established professionals and improving young players. The US Masters also runs contemporaneously with the North Carolina Open (state championship) and scholastic chess events, making for an entire chess festival for players of all strengths who wish to immerse themselves in late-summer chess. Below are the four games which generated perfect scores at the conclusion of round 3. John Burke grinds out an endgame win against Timur Gareyev.
[pgn][Event "2018 US Masters and North Carolina Open"]
[Site "US Masters Board 102"]
[Date "2018.08.17"]
[White "GM John Michael Burke"]
[Black "GM Timur Gareyev"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2572"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Source "ChessStream.com"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 a6 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nb4 6. Be2 Nf6 7. Bg5 dxe4 8. Nxe4 Be7 9. Nxf6 Bxf6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. O-O O-O 12. Re1 Rd8 13. c3 Nd5 14. Nd2 Bd7 15. Ne4 Qe7 16. Nc5 b6 17. Nd3 Be8 18. Bf3 Rab8 19. Qb3 c6 20. Rad1 Qc7 21. Ne5 c5 22. dxc5 bxc5 23. Qa3 a5 24. g3 Nf6 25. c4 h6 26. Nd3 Rbc8 27. Ne5 Rxd1 28. Bxd1 Qb6 29. Nd3 Bc6 30. Qxc5 Qxc5 31. Nxc5 Ba8 32. Na4 Rxc4 33. Nb6 Re4 34. Rxe4 Bxe4 35. a3 Bd3 36. f3 Nd5 37. Nxd5 exd5 38. Kf2 d4 39. Ke1 Kf8 40. Kd2 Ba6 41. Be2 Bb7 42. Bc4 Bxf3 43. Kd3 Ke7 44. Kxd4 a4 45. b4 axb3 46. Bxb3 f6 47. Kc5 g5 48. a4 Kd7 49. a5 Kc7 50. a6 Kb8 51. Bd5 Be2 52. Kb6 Bxa6 53. Kxa6 Kc7 54. Kb5 Kd6 55. Kc4 Ke5 56. Bc6 h5 57. Kd3 f5 58. Be8 h4 59. Bd7 f4 60. g4 Kd5 61. Bc8 h3 62. Bb7 1-0[/pgn]
Julio Sadorra’s 16 Nb5 is surprisingly decisive against Magesh Panchanathan; earlier Magesh had unseated Jeffery Xiong from first board by defeating him.
[pgn][Event "2018 US Masters and North Carolina Open"]
[Site "US Masters Board 105"]
[Date "2018.08.17"]
[White "GM Julio Sadorra"]
[Black "GM Magesh Chandran Panchanathan"]
[WhiteElo "2555"]
[BlackElo "2486"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Source "ChessStream.com"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. g3 b6 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. O-O O-O 8. Nc3 d6 9. Qc2 c5 10. d4 Nc6 11. Rad1 Qe7 12. e3 cxd4 13. exd4 d5 14. Rfe1 Rac8 15. Qe2 Na5 16. Nb5 Rfd8 17. Ba3 Qe8 18. Nd6 Rxd6 19. Bxd6 dxc4 20. b4 Qd8 21. Bf4 Nc6 22. Ne5 b5 23. Nxf7 1-0[/pgn]
Early complications are featured in Djurabek Khamrakulov’s victory against Hovhannes Gabuzyan.
[pgn][Event "2018 US Masters and North Carolina Open"]
[Site "US Masters Board 104"]
[Date "2018.08.17"]
[White "IM Djura Khamrakulov"]
[Black "GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan"]
[WhiteElo "2489"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Source "ChessStream.com"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 b6 3. d4 Bb7 4. Nd2 e6 5. Ngf3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. a3 d5 8. e5 c4 9. Bxc4 dxc4 10. exf6 gxf6 11. Nxc4 Rg8 12. Bf4 Rxg2 13. Bg3 Ne5 14. Nfxe5 fxe5 15. Qa4 Qd7 16. Qxd7 Kxd7 17. Nxe5 Ke7 18. Ke2 Bh6 19. Rag1 Ba6 20. Kd1 Rxg1 21. Rxg1 f6 22. Bh4 Rf8 23. b3 Bb7 24. Ke2 Be4 25. Ng4 Bg7 26. Ne5 Bh6 27. c4 Ke8 28. Ng4 Bg7 29. Ne3 Kf7 30. f3 Bb7 31. d5 exd5 32. Nxd5 Re8 33. Kd3 Rd8 34. Rxg7 1-0[/pgn]
The Spanish bishop ruled in Sergey Erenburg’s win against Michael Brown.
[pgn][Event "2018 US Masters and North Carolina Open"]
[Site "US Masters Board 103"]
[Date "2018.08.17"]
[White "GM Sergey Erenburg"]
[Black "IM Michael W Brown"]
[WhiteElo "2564"]
[BlackElo "2514"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Source "ChessStream.com"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 b4 9. a5 O-O 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Nc4 Rb8 12. h3 h6 13. Re1 Qc8 14. Bd2 Qb7 15. Qe2 Rfd8 16. Qf1 Nd7 17. Be3 Nf8 18. g3 Bf6 19. Nfd2 d5 20. exd5 Bxd5 21. Ne4 Be7 22. Ncd6 cxd6 23. Bxd5 Qd7 24. f4 exf4 25. Qxf4 Ne6 26. Qf5 Ne5 27. Rf1 Rf8 28. Bb3 Rbc8 29. Rf2 Ng5 30. Qxd7 Nxd7 31. Bxg5 hxg5 32. Raf1 Nf6 33. Nxg5 Rc5 34. Nf3 Rxa5 35. Nd4 Bd8 36. Nf5 d5 37. Re2 Rc5 38. g4 Re8 39. Rxe8 Nxe8 40. d4 Ra5 41. h4 Kf8 42. g5 g6 43. Ne3 Bb6 44. c3 bxc3 45. bxc3 Nc7 46. Rf6 Rb5 47. Bc2 Ke7 48. h5 Ba5 49. hxg6 fxg6 50. Rxg6 Ne6 51. Nf5 Kd7 52. Ba4 Bxc3 53. Kf2 Nxd4 54. Rxa6 Nxf5 55. Bxb5 Ke7 56. Bd3 Ng7 57. Kf3 Bd4 58. Kg4 Bc3 59. Bc2 Be5 60. Ra5 Bc3 61. Rxd5 Ke6 62. Bb3 Ke7 63. Rc5 Bb2 64. Rc6 Bd4 65. Kf3 Kd7 66. Bd5 Bb2 67. Ke4 Ba1 68. Ra6 Bb2 69. Bc4 Bc3 70. Kd5 Ke7 71. Ra7 Kd8 72. Bb5 Bb2 73. Rf7 Bc3 74. Kd6 Bb4 75. Kc6 Bc3 76. Kb7 1-0 [/pgn]
Patrolling the action at the US Masters is a dedicated team of four IAs: Thad Rogers, Corey Cormick, Rudy Abate, and Grant Oen, and everything is running smoothly as usual. Find full information here and follow live games during the nine round, FIDE rated, norm eligible tournament August 17-21 at chessstream.com.

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