World Open Preview

When most people think of the World Open they naturally think of the main event – the 9 round Swiss that ends July 4th weekend.  However, the World Open is more like a festival and actually includes fifteen separate events over 12 days and features events with prize funds from $500 to the $225,000 main tournament. This past weekend the events kicked off with the World Open Senior and the World Open Women’s Championships.  Both events are weekend 5 round swiss events.
GM Alexander Ivanov. Photo: St. Louis Chess Club
The Senior was held in two sections featuring a $5000 guaranteed prize fund.  That was enough money to draw two GMs:  Alexander Ivanov and Sergey Kudrin among the tournament’s 39 participants.  Since there were no other masters in the field, it is not surprising that the two GMs tied for first a full point ahead of the field.  The GMs played a polite draw in round three and each defeated their other four opponents.  Each won $800 and Ivanov won the $100 bonus for the better tiebreaks.  In the last round, Ivanov defeated the tournament’s third seed Marty Frank.
[pgn][Event "World Open Senior"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.25"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Frank, Marty"]
[Black "Ivanov, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A41"]
[WhiteElo "2169"]
[BlackElo "2574"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. e4 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. h3 Bh5 6. g4 Bg6 7. Qe2 Be7 8. h4 h5
9. g5 Nfd7 10. Bh3 c6 11. d5 cxd5 12. exd5 e5 13. Be3 O-O 14. O-O Na6 15. Nb5
Nb4 16. Bxa7 Nxd5 17. Be3 Nc5 18. Rfd1 Nxe3 19. fxe3 Qb6 20. c4 Ne4 21. Nd2 d5
22. Nxe4 Bxe4 23. Nc3 Bc5 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Qxh5 Bxe3+ 26. Kh1 g6 27. Qe2 Kg7
28. Rf1 Bf4 29. Rad1 Rxa2 0-1[/pgn]
Kudrin defeated Andy Rea in round two.
[pgn][Event "World Open Senior"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.24"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Rea, Andy"]
[Black "Kudrin, Sergey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D75"]
[WhiteElo "2063"]
[BlackElo "2567"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. c4 O-O 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Bg2 c5 8. O-O
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 a6 11. Qb3 Qc7 12. Ba3 Re8 13. Rab1 Nd7 14. Rfc1 e6
15. Qa4 Rb8 16. e3 b5 17. Qb3 Bb7 18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. Bd6 Rbc8 20. a4 e5 21. Nc2
Qc6 22. Rd1 bxa4 23. Qb7 e4 24. Qxc6 Rxc6 25. Nb4 Rxc3 26. Nxa6 Rb3 27. Nb4 Nb6
28. Bc5 Nc4 29. Nc2 Reb8 30. Rbc1 Bb2 31. Rb1 a3 32. Nd4 a2 33. Rbc1 Rd3 34.
Nc6 Bxc1 35. Rxd3 exd3 36. Nxb8 a1=Q 0-1[/pgn]
Rea finished with an even score, but he had this nice ending.  White is up an exchange, but black has some threats with the passed e pawn.  Can black push his passed pawn through or can white defend and/or win?  How should play proceed?

Andy Rea vs. John Keaton

White to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "World Open Senior"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.24"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Rea, Andy"]
[Black "Keaton, John"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D13"]
[WhiteElo "2063"]
[BlackElo "1861"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5r2/5pk1/8/1N4p1/PK1P1bPp/2R1p1nP/2R5/8 w - - 0 43"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]{The position is actually equal, but both sides have winning (and losing)
chances. White continued with the correct move} 43. Ra3 ({Other moves give
black an advantage. For instance,} 43. Rb3 e2 44. Rb1 f5 45. gxf5 g4 {and
black has multiple dangerous passed pawns.}) {The game continued} 43... e2 44.
Ra1 {and now black went wrong with} Be3 ({However, black could have again
continued with the variation of f5, creating multiple passed pawns. For
instance,} 44... f5 45. gxf5 g4 46. hxg4 h3 47. Nc3 Re8 48. a5 h2 49. Nxe2 Nxe2
50. Rh1 {and while the position is very materially unbalanced, it is still
roughly equal.}) 45. Re1 Bf2 46. Rexe2 Nxe2 47. Rxe2 Bg3 48. a5 {and white
goes on to win:} Rb8 49. a6 Kf8 50. a7 Ra8 51. Kc5 Bb8 52. axb8=Q+ Rxb8 53. d5
Rc8+ 54. Kd4 Rb8 55. Nd6 Rb3 56. Re3 Rb1 57. Nf5 f6 58. d6 Rd1+ 59. Kc5 Rd2 60.
Nd4 Ra2 61. d7 Ra5+ 62. Nb5 Ra8 63. Nc7 1-0[/pgn]
Class A player Richard Pugh started the tournament seeded 13th of 22 players in the Open section, but finished in clear 3rd behind the two GMs.  He scored 50% against the three experts he played and won both games against the players in his own rating class.  In the U1810 section, Antonio Pena scored 4 ½ to take clear first and $600.

World Open Women's Championship

The Women’s Championship was not as well attended as the Senior.  Despite trying many different formats, the tournament can’t quite seem to attract a significant following.  This year’s event drew 18 players in two sections.  The top section had only six players, but there were 5 guaranteed prizes!  The winner of the event was never in doubt.  WFM Ramya Inapuri out-rated the second seed by nearly 300 points.  She cruised to a 5-0 score and clinched clear first with a round to spare.  In the last round, she was 4-0 and played the tournament’s lowest rated player who only had half a point because she had already beaten everybody else.  In this game, Inapuri dominates the tournament’s second highest rated player.
[pgn][Event "World Open Women"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.24"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Inapuri, Ramya"]
[Black "Wong, Katrina"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2254"]
[BlackElo "1975"]
[PlyCount "45"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 e6 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 f5 4. Nh3 Nf6 5. O-O b6 6. c4 Bb7 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. d5
exd5 9. Nxd5 Be7 10. Bf4 d6 11. Ng5 Nxd5 12. Ne6 Qd7 13. cxd5 Ne5 14. Nxg7+ Kf7
15. Ne6 Ng6 16. Qd3 Bf6 17. Qxf5 Qe7 18. Rac1 Rac8 19. Rc2 Ba6 20. Rfc1 c5 21.
dxc6 Rhe8 22. Bd5 Nf8 23. Nxf8+ 1-0[/pgn]
The U2300 tournament was essentially a weekend swiss.  Twenty players (plus two house players) played in the event.  Surprisingly, there was not a single master and only one expert.  When the expert withdrew after only two rounds (when he was 2-0), the field was wide open. In the last round, any of ten different players on the top 5 boards had at least a mathematical opportunity to tie for first!  Four of those boards ended in draws,  boards one and two both went to king and pawn endings. On board one, Madhavan Narkereen only needed a draw to tie for first.  His opponent, Sharvil Trifale trailed by a point, but could tie for first with a win. Narkereen got the draw he needed, but it could have ended much worse for him.  Trifale had a winning rook ending, but transitioned into a drawn pawn ending.

Shanvil Trifale vs. Madhavan Narkeeran

White to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "World Open U2300"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.25"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Trifale, Shanvil"]
[Black "Narkeeran, Madhavan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A36"]
[WhiteElo "1891"]
[BlackElo "1966"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2k5/1R2p2p/2P3p1/1P6/4p2P/6P1/3K4/1r6 w - - 0 47"]
[PlyCount "3"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]{White can win with} 47. Kc2 ({The game continued:} 47. Ke3 Re1+ 48. Kd2 Rb1
49. b6 Rb3 50. Ke2 Rb5 51. Rc7+ Kb8 52. Rb7+ Kc8 53. Kd2 Rb3 54. Rc7+ Kb8 55.
Rxe7 Rxb6 56. Rb7+ Rxb7 57. cxb7 Kxb7 58. Ke3 Kc6 59. Kxe4 Kd6) 47... Rf1 ({If
} 47... Rb4 {then the white king advances with} 48. Kc3) 48. g4 {and White can
prevent the black rook from getting back via f5 and either c5 or b5 while
white is threatening to play b6 or to play Rxe7.} 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
On board 2, both players tried to win, but the result transitioned to a pawn ending with no breaks for either side.
[pgn][Event "World Open U2300"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.25"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Milliern, David"]
[Black "Hemingway, Kevin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C64"]
[WhiteElo "1854"]
[BlackElo "1792"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 d6 5. h3 Bd7 6. O-O h6 7. Ba4 Nge7 8. d3
O-O 9. Nbd2 a6 10. Re1 b5 11. Bc2 a5 12. Nf1 b4 13. d4 Bb6 14. d5 Na7 15. c4
Nac8 16. Ng3 Bc5 17. Nf5 Nxf5 18. exf5 Qf6 19. g4 Qd8 20. Qd3 f6 21. Nd2 Ne7
22. Ne4 Bb6 23. Ng3 c6 24. Kg2 cxd5 25. cxd5 Qc7 26. Be3 Bxe3 27. fxe3 Qc5 28.
Rac1 Bb5 29. Qd2 Rfc8 30. Ba4 Qb6 31. Bxb5 Qxb5 32. e4 Qb7 33. Re2 Rxc1 34.
Qxc1 Rc8 35. Rc2 Kh7 36. Rxc8 Qxc8 37. Qxc8 Nxc8 38. b3 Na7 39. Ne2 Kg8 40. Kf3
Kf7 41. Ke3 Nc8 42. Kd3 Nb6 43. Ng3 Ke7 44. Nf1 Kd7 45. Nd2 Kc7 46. Nc4 Nxc4
47. Kxc4 Kb6 48. h4 Ka6 49. Kd3 Kb5 50. Kd2 a4 51. Kc2 a3 52. Kd2 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Board four continued the theme of all games going to pawn endings, but this result was very surprising.   In the following position, white accepted black’s draw offer.  The material is equal, but white has two separate ways to win!

Kai Mai vs. Avery Hood

White to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "World Open U2300"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.25"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Mai, Kai"]
[Black "Hood, Avery"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "1686"]
[BlackElo "1710"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3k4/8/p1P1P3/1p4p1/1P4Kp/P7/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "7"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. Kxg5 {and both sides queen, but black gets mated:} ({If} 1. Kh3 {White wins
from zugzwang.}) ({Even after} 1. Kf3 {White wins from zugzwang.}) 1... h3 2.
Kf6 h2 3. e7+ Ke8 4. c7 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
The side events were directed for CCA by Bob Messenger assisted by David Hater and Harold Scott. In addition to the side events that are concluded, the Philadelphia International is also ongoing.  It will end on June 28th and many of the players will then play in the World Open.  Top seeded GM Yuniesky Quesada Perez has the only 4-0 score.  He leads a 78 player field that includes 10 GMs and 11 IMs from 14 different countries.  You can follow the tournament including live games at  Here is Perez’ fourth round victory over GM Ruifeng Li.
[pgn][Event "Philadelphia International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.25"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Perez, Yuniesky"]
[Black "Li, Ruifeng"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B81"]
[WhiteElo "2624"]
[BlackElo "2571"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 Nfd7 8. Be3
b5 9. a3 Bb7 10. g5 Be7 11. h4 O-O 12. Rg1 Nc5 13. f3 Nc6 14. h5 Na4 15. Nxa4
bxa4 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. O-O-O d5 19. h6 dxe4 20. Qc3 e5 21. Bc4 g6
22. Rd7 Bxd7 23. Bxf7+ Rxf7 24. Qxc7 exf3 25. Qxd7 Bxg5 26. Qd3 Bxe3+ 27. Qxe3
Rf5 28. Qe4 Raf8 29. Qc4+ Kh8 30. Rd1 Rh5 31. Qc5 Rg8 32. Qe7 1-0[/pgn]
You can still enter many of the events at the World Open including the main tournament.  See for the complete schedule. Look for more coverage of the Philadelphia International and other events later this week. For more information, visit:

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