Gabor Papp Wins World Open on Tiebreak

Josh_Colas(2015) (1) Josh Colas, Photo Tim Hanks
Philadelphia — One of the things that 17-year-old Joshua Colas wanted to achieve shortly after he graduated from high school this past spring was to attain the rank of International Master. Colas accomplished that goal* here over the Fourth of July weekend at the World Open, which drew approximately 1200 players from around the globe — including 33 GMs and members of 34 different chess federations — to compete in the grueling, nine-round, high-stakes tournament that organizers said offered the biggest cash payout in its 44-year history. “It’s amazing. It feels good,” Colas said of making his second IM norm, which — along with an IM and GM norm he earned at the North American Open this past December — he can now invoke to lay claim to the IM title. The distinction comes at a particularly salient time in Colas’ life as he prepares to join chess powerhouse Webster University this fall to play under the tutelage of GM Susan Polgar. Colas said his Round 9 game against GM Gergely Antal proved critical in his IM quest. “I was actually worse the whole game,” Colas said. “I was kind of feeling down. I thought I would not have a norm. I thought I had to wait until the next tournament.” But Colas kept fighting. And even though he was down on material, Colas managed a promotion threat that provoked Antal to give sacrifice material himself. “I had a deadly passed pawn on the sixth rank and his pieces were passive. My king was active as well as my rook and knight,” Colas explained. “He had to sack his Bishop.”

[Event "44th World Open"]
[Site "Philadelphia, PA"]
[Date "2016.07.04"]
[White "Antal, Gergely"]
[Black "Colas, Joshua"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B50"]
[WhiteElo "2545"]
[BlackElo "2387"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2016.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. b3 d6 4. Bb2 Nf6 5. e5 dxe5 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O
Qc7 9. f4 Nc6 10. Na3 a6 11. Nxc6 Qxc6 12. Rf3 g6 13. Qe1 Ne8 14. f5 Bf6 15.
Bxf6 Nxf6 16. fxg6 fxg6 17. Qg3 Qd5 18. Raf1 Kg7 19. Nc4 Bd7 20. Qf2 Qd4 21.
Qxd4 cxd4 22. Rf4 Bb5 23. Rxd4 Rad8 24. Rdf4 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Nd5 26. Rxf8 Kxf8
27. Be4 b5 28. Rc5 Nf6 29. Bd3 Ke7 30. Rc6 Rd6 31. Rc8 e5 32. Rc7+ Ke6 33. Ra7
e4 34. Be2 Rxd2 35. Rxa6+ Ke5 36. Bxb5 e3 37. g3 Rxc2 38. Ra5 Rc5 39. b4 Rc1+
40. Kg2 Kd4 41. Ra8 Rc2+ 42. Kg1 e2 43. Bxe2 Rxe2 44. b5 Rb2 45. Ra4+ Ke5 46.
Ra5 Nd5 47. a4 Ke4 48. Ra8 Ne3 49. Rc8 Rg2+ 50. Kh1 Ra2 51. Rc1 Rxa4 52. Rb1
Ra7 53. Kg1 Rb7 54. Kf2 Nd5 55. g4 Nc3 56. Rb4+ Ke5 57. b6 Nd5 58. Ra4 Rxb6 59.
Kg3 g5 60. Ra3 Rc6 61. h4 Rc3+ 62. Rxc3 Nxc3 63. hxg5 Ke6 0-1[/pgn]
“I feel very accomplished,” Colas said of achieving IM on the cusp of his college career. “I just feel blessed and I have more things to look forward to when I’m out there,” he said of Webster. *Contrary to what was reported earlier this month, National Master Joshua Colas still has to secure one more IM norm in order to be eligible for the IM title, according to an arbiter and Colas. US Chess regrets the error. Interestingly, several players in the winner’s circle of the open section of the tournament also have ties to Polgar.
_DSC0199 GM Illia I. Nyzhnyk, Photo Jim Doyle
They included GM Illia I. Nyzhnyk, a Webster University player and computer science major, and GM Gabor Papp, who flew in from his native Hungary to play in the World Open, as well as the Philadelphia International this week (July 5-10), and then to teach chess to kids at a summer camp run by Polgar in St. Louis. Papp also played for Polgar for a year back when she coached at Texas Tech and Papp attended the school on a yearlong scholarship. Nyzhnyk — who sported a Webster University polo-style shirt — also counted his last game as his most critical. “I was able to get an advantage with the white pieces,” Nyzhnyk said. “It actually surprised me because I couldn’t get any advantage in any of the other eight games I played. Getting an advantage for the opening was great.” He said the game went downhill for his opponent after his opponent blundered a pawn.

[Event "44th World Open"]
[Site "Philadelphia, PA"]
[Date "2016.07.04"]
[White "Nyzhnyk, Illia"]
[Black "Suarez, Isan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2622"]
[BlackElo "2578"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2016.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 O-O 6. Nf3 Bxc5 7. Bg5 h6 8.
Bh4 Be7 9. e3 b6 10. Be2 Bb7 11. Rd1 Na6 12. O-O Nc5 13. Rd4 Nh5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7
15. b4 Na6 16. a3 Nf6 17. Rfd1 Nc7 18. Ne5 d6 19. Rxd6 Ncd5 20. Nb5 Rfc8 21.
Qb2 a6 22. cxd5 Bxd5 23. Rxb6 axb5 24. Bxb5 Rc7 25. f3 Rac8 26. Ba6 Rc2 27. Qd4
Nd7 28. Nxd7 Bxf3 29. gxf3 Qg5+ 30. Qg4 Qxe3+ 31. Kh1 f5 32. Qg3 Rc1 33. Rbd6
R8c6 34. Nf6+ Kf7 35. Rd7+ 1-0[/pgn]
_DSC0225 (1) Gabor Papp, Photo Jim Doyle 
Papp said one of his most complicated and interesting games was the Round 5 game he drew against GM Tamaz Gelashvili.

[Event "44th World Open"]
[Site "Philadelphia, PA"]
[Date "2016.07.02"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Gelashvili, Tamaz"]
[Black "Papp, Gabor"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D03"]
[WhiteElo "2557"]
[BlackElo "2596"]
[PlyCount "170"]
[EventDate "2016.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[WhiteClock "0:00:03"]
[BlackClock "0:00:03"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Bf4 e6 4. e3 Bd6 5. Nbd2 c5 6. Ne5 O-O 7. c3 b6 8. Qf3
Qc7 9. Bd3 Ba6 10. Bxa6 Nxa6 11. O-O cxd4 12. exd4 Nc5 13. Rae1 Nce4 14. Nb3
Nd7 15. Qh3 Bxe5 16. dxe5 Qc4 17. Qg4 g6 18. Re3 Rae8 19. Qe2 Qxe2 20. Rxe2 Rc8
21. Rd1 Rc4 22. Nd4 Rfc8 23. f3 Nec5 24. Bh6 a6 25. g4 b5 26. a3 Nb8 27. Re3
Na4 28. Rd2 R4c7 29. f4 Nc6 30. Nb3 Nb6 31. Rh3 Nc4 32. Rf2 a5 33. Bg5 a4 34.
Bf6 g5 35. Nc1 d4 36. Rff3 Nd2 37. Rd3 Ne4 38. Rh6 dxc3 39. bxc3 Ne7 40. Ne2
Ng6 41. f5 Nf8 42. Rhh3 Nd7 43. fxe6 fxe6 44. Rde3 Ndxf6 45. exf6 Nxf6 46. Rxe6
Rc6 47. Rhe3 Nxg4 48. Rxc6 Rxc6 49. Re4 Rc4 50. Nd4 Nf6 51. Re5 Rxc3 52. Rxg5+
Kf7 53. Nxb5 Rb3 54. Rc5 Ne4 55. Rc4 Nd2 56. Rc5 Kg6 57. Kg2 h5 58. Rd5 Nc4 59.
Rc5 Ne3+ 60. Kg1 h4 61. h3 Nf5 62. Kg2 Rb2+ 63. Kg1 Ng3 64. Nc3 Rb3 65. Kg2
Rxa3 66. Rc6+ Kf7 67. Rc4 Nf5 68. Kf2 Nd6 69. Rf4+ Ke6 70. Nxa4 Ke5 71. Rb4
Rxh3 72. Nc5 Kd5 73. Nb3 Ne4+ 74. Kg2 Rc3 75. Rb8 h3+ 76. Kh2 Ke5 77. Re8+ Kf4
78. Rf8+ Kg4 79. Rg8+ Ng5 80. Nd4 Re3 81. Rg7 Re4 82. Nf3 Re2+ 83. Kh1 Kxf3 84.
Rxg5 h2 85. Rg3+ Kxg3 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
_DSC0210 GMs Gelashvili and Durarbayli, Photo Jim Doyle
Gelashvili said the main reason he competed in the World Open was to prepare for the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku this September. “This is like preparation for that,” Gelashvili said. “The Georgia federation invited me to play, so I decided to practice by playing in the World Open and then I will play two or three more tournaments just to stay in shape.” Gelashvili said one of his most critical games was his Round 4 game against GM Varuzhan Akobian, a former first place winner of the World Open. Gelashvili said he decided to play the well-known Lasker sacrifice — a 19th-century double Bishop sacrifice meant to expose the enemy King. “I’m pretty sure he knew this idea but he just kind of forgot,” Gelashvili said. Besides Nyzhnyk, Papp and Gelsashvili, the other GMs who tied for first place were GM Victor Bologan, of Moldova (corrected from an earlier version of this article); GM Vasif Durarbayli of Azerbaijan; GM Gil Popilski, of Texas; and GM Alex Shimanov, of Russia. They all won $5800. Papp won an extra $500 on tiebreaks. Besides Colas, nine other players earned norms at the 2016 World Open. Specifically, Andrey Gorovets and Razvan Preotu, earned GM norms; and Nicolas Checa, Vignesh Panchanathan, Kevin Wang, William Morrison, Levy Rozman, Nasir Akylbekov, and Atulya Shetty all achieved IM norms. The World Open proved quite fruitful for 9-year-old Prince Eric Guipi Bopala, of Quebec. CLO readers might recall that we introduced Bopala during last year's World Open when tournament directors bumped him up from the 1400 to the 1600 section because they  deemed his 1390 rating from Quebec to be “deflated.” While Bopala wasn’t quite ready for the U1600 last year, scoring just 2.5 points out of 9, this year, he scored an impressive 7 points out of 9 in the U1800 section, finishing in the top three under 1700 players in the section. Prince — a native French speaker — said he puts in about two hours per day of chess play and study. He attributes his success in the World Open to doing defense problems and playing and doing exercises on While the World Open inspired a lot of players to put in a lot of hard work and preparation, the $225,000 prize fund also attracted a few individuals who tried to take shortcuts. One of the most egregious incidents involved a player in the U2200 section who got caught in the tournament bookstore peering at the pages of Parimarjan Negi’s 1.e4 vs The Sicilian II during a game in which — lo and behold — he was playing with the white pieces against an opponent who was playing the Sicilian. Tournament directors were made aware of the situation by the father of the cheater’s opponent, who snapped a photograph of the cheater reading the Sicilian book and presented the evidence to tournament directors, who forfeited his game and disqualified him from winning any prizes. Tournament officials say the cheater admitted to his misdeeds and apologized. “You get those in every big money tournament,” said assistant tournament director David Hater of the Continental Chess Association, which organized the event. “When you put a quarter of a million dollars on the table, you’re going to get some unethical people,” Hater said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people here are ethical people. One percent are not. The problem is we don’t know which one percent until they do something wrong.” But once alleged wrongdoers are identified, Hater said, CCA officials promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims, and, if they prove factual, they lay down the law. Look for more comprehensive coverage of the 2016 World Open — and the bookstore cheating incident involving the Sicilian — in an upcoming edition of Chess Life Magazine. Jamaal Abdul-Alim can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter @dcwriter360.

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