World Open: Yip and Norovsambuu Win Women’s Open; Kovalyov Is Action Champion

Carissa Yip at the 2017 US Women's Championship. Photo: Austin Fuller
After the Philadelphia International, the next event in the World Open series is the Women’s Championship.  The last rounds of the International actually overlap with the Women’s Championship, so several players had to make a choice.  The top three seeds in the Women’s Championship chose both as they played the first seven games in the International and then moved to the Women’s.  They were the three favorites to win the top three prizes, and that is exactly what happened – though perhaps not exactly how one might have predicted. FM Carissa Yip was having an average International at 3 ½ out of 7 and was unlikely to make a norm, so she withdrew from that event and entered the Women’s as the top seed.  She was over 200 points higher rated than second seeded Tsogsaikhan Saikhanchimeg.  However, Saikhanchimeg is fresh off winning the US Women’s Open with a 5-0 score, and these players drew in round two of the international, so the result was not a foregone conclusion. The third seed in the Women’s event is Badamkhand Norovsambuu.  Saikhanchimeg and Norovsambuu always planned on playing in the Women’s and signed up for half point byes in the International.  In addition to these three, there were three other well known women over 2000:  Angelica Chen, Sandhya Goli, and Aasa Dommalapati as well as WIM Shernaz Kennedy and Rachael Lee among the 19 Women. The 19 entries is roughly the same as last year’s 18 players.  With a $2500 guaranteed prize fund, this is certainly a good value for those who are eligible. In the first round, there were several surprises.  Second seeded Saikhanchimeg lost to Aviva Smith, and 5th seed Sandhya Goli drew with Katherine Chen. Perhaps because of results like that, Carissa Yip must have been confident in winning the event because she signed up for a last round half point bye, even though she had no other conflict as far as travel or tournament.  In round two, there were more surprises as Saikhanchimeg drew with Rachael Lee and Norovsambuu drew with Michelle Morris.  Carissa Yip played 6th seeded Aasa Dommalapati and won so there were only 2 players t 2-0:  Yip and Angelica Chen.  These two played in round three with Yip winning to be the only 3-0.  At this point, everything was going according to plan for Carissa.
[pgn][Event "World Open Women's"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.02"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Chen, Angelica"]
[Black "Yip, Carissa"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B76"]
[WhiteElo "2056"]
[BlackElo "2408"]
[PlyCount "40"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. Kb1 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 Be6 14. c4
Bf5+ 15. Kc1 Bxd4 16. Qxd4 Qa5 17. g4 Rad8 18. Qc3 Qxa2 19. Bd3 Bxd3 20. Rxd3
Qa1+ 0-1[/pgn]
In round four, Carissa ran into a slight problem.  Carissa was 3-0 and was paired with the top 2 1/2: Badamkhand Norovsambuu.  Unfortunately for Carissa, the game ended in a draw.  With Carissa having a last round bye and only being a half point up, Carissa no longer controlled her own destiny.  Any of four players could now win the tournament: Yip, Norovsambuu, Sandhya Goli or Gracy Prasanna.
[pgn][Event "World Open Women's "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.03"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Yip, Carissa"]
[Black "Norovsambuu, Badamkhand"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B18"]
[WhiteElo "2408"]
[BlackElo "2067"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. N1e2 e6 7. Nf4 Bd6 8.
Ngh5 Kf8 9. Be2 Qc7 10. Be3 Nd7 11. Qd2 Ngf6 12. Nxg6+ hxg6 13. Nxf6 Nxf6 14.
c4 Rd8 15. O-O-O b5 16. cxb5 cxb5+ 17. Kb1 Nd5 18. h4 b4 19. h5 gxh5 20. Bxh5
Rb8 21. Bf3 Rxh1 22. Rxh1 Nxe3 23. Qxe3 Bf4 24. Qb3 Bh6 25. d5 exd5 26. Bxd5 a5
27. g3 Qd7 28. Qd3 Rd8 29. Rd1 a4 30. Qh7 Rc8 31. f4 Qg4 32. Bf3 Qg6+ 33. Qxg6
fxg6 34. Rd5 a3 35. Be4 Re8 36. Bxg6 Re1+ 37. Kc2 Ke7 38. bxa3 bxa3 39. Rd2 Kf6
40. Rd6+ Ke7 41. Rd4 Rg1 42. Rd3 Bxf4 43. gxf4 Rxg6 44. Rxa3 {The game was
eventually drawn after the kingside pawns were exchanged.} 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
In the penultimate round, both Yip and Norovsambuu won.  Yip defeated Sandhya Goli while Norovsambuu defeated Gracy Prasanna.  With the half point bye, Yip was now guaranteed a tie for first, but Norovsambuu could catch her by winning the last round. Norovsambuu won in one of the first games to end, so there would be a tie for first.  The only question would be who would win the plaque on tiebreaks.  Unplayed games normally kill one’s tiebreaks, so I thought for sure Badamkhand would get the plaque.  Badamkhand entered the last round with a big tiebreak edge because of Yip’s unplayed game.  In order for Yip to win on tiebreaks, her opponents would have to all win, and Badamkhand’s opponents would have to all lose.  Amazingly, that is what happened and Yip edged Badamkhand by half a tiebreak point!  Each player though won $750. Three players tied for third with 4-2.  Gracy Prasanna is under 2000 and took the $300 Under 2000 prize.  Saikhanchimeg Tsogtsaikhan and Angelica Chin split third place winning $125 each.  Diana Suralik and Sarah Yan scored 3-3 to split the under 1700 prize winning $125 each.  Karen Boyd won the $200 Under 1400 prize also with 3 points.  Elena Shtyker won the Under 1200 plaque with 2 points. Bob Messenger directed for Continental Chess Association.  He was assisted by David Hater, Brian Yang, and  Andy Rea. The World Open Action Championship was held on July 3rd.  Attendance was disappointing as the prize fund was based on 100 entries, but there were only 45 players.  However, 2/3rd of the prize fund was guaranteed, so there would still be a very good prize fund. There were four sections: Premier, U2200, U1800, and U1400.  The Premier section round one had 15 players, but 7 were GMs and 1 IM!  This meant in round two GMs were being paired up and from round two on GMs were playing other GMs.  In the last round, GM Max Dlugy got the full point bye! GM Anton Kovalyov scored a perfect 6-0 to take the $667 first prize.  He had to beat IM Justin Sarkar, GM Bilel Bellahcene, GM Tigran Petrosian, and GM Max Dlugy enroute to his payday.  GMs Tigran Petrosian and Thal Abergel scored 5-1 to win $266.50 each. In round two, GM Ballahcene turns in a nice miniature versus Nikhil Kalyanraman.
[pgn][Event "World Open Action"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.03"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Kalyanraman, Nikhil"]
[Black "Bellahcene, Bilel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "1948"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[PlyCount "32"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 e5 4. d3 h5 5. O-O Be7 6. c4 d4 7. a3 a5 8. e3 dxe3
9. fxe3 h4 10. d4 hxg3 11. hxg3 Bg4 12. dxe5 Qc8 13. Qd5 Nh6 14. e4 Be6 15. Qd3
Ng4 16. Bf4 Bc5+ 0-1[/pgn]
However, Ballahcene was not as fortunate in round 3 versus Kvalyov.
[pgn][Event "World Open Action"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.03"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Kovalyov, Anton"]
[Black "Bellahcene, Bilel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2694"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. c4 e6 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Qa4+ c6 6. Qxc4 b5 7. Qc2 Bb7 8.
O-O Nbd7 9. Nc3 a6 10. d3 c5 11. a4 b4 12. Nd1 Be7 13. a5 Nd5 14. e4 Nc7 15.
Ne3 O-O 16. Nc4 Nb5 17. Be3 Rc8 18. Rfd1 Qc7 19. Bf4 Qc6 20. Rac1 Bf6 21. Qe2
Nd4 22. Nxd4 Bxd4 23. Be3 Bxe3 24. fxe3 Nf6 25. e5 Qxg2+ 26. Qxg2 Bxg2 27. exf6
Bf3 28. fxg7 Kxg7 29. Rd2 Rfd8 30. Kf2 Bd5 31. Ke2 Bxc4 32. Rxc4 Rd5 33. d4 e5
34. dxe5 Rxe5 35. Rd6 Rce8 36. e4 f5 37. Rxa6 Rxe4+ 38. Rxe4 Rxe4+ 39. Kd2 f4
40. gxf4 Rxf4 41. Rc6 Rf2+ 42. Kc1 Rxh2 43. Rxc5 b3 44. Rb5 Rh1+ 45. Kd2 Rh2+
46. Kc3 Rh3+ 47. Kb4 1-0[/pgn]
By round six, half the players withdrew.  Virtually all the players who were not in contention for a prize didn’t play the last round.  That coupled with a 15 player, five round section made for tricky pairings.  In the last round, Kovalyov faced NM Arthur Macaspac and completed his perfect score with this game.
[pgn][Event "World Open Action"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.03"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Macaspac, Arthur"]
[Black "Kovalyov, Anton"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2218"]
[BlackElo "2697"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be6 8. Bg2
Nbd7 9. a4 Qc7 10. O-O Rc8 11. a5 Be7 12. Be3 O-O 13. h3 Bc4 14. Re1 Rfe8 15.
Qd2 h6 16. Nc1 Nc5 17. Bxc5 dxc5 18. b3 Be6 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. exd5 Bd6 21. c4 e4
22. Ne2 Re7 23. Nc3 Rce8 24. Nd1 h5 25. Ne3 g6 26. h4 Re5 27. Bh3 Kh7 28. Nc2
Rg8 29. Ne3 Ree8 30. Kg2 {The position is equal here and the gamescore stops
as the player is under 5 minutes. From this point, the GM outplays his
opponent and goes on to win.} 0-1[/pgn]
Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess Association.  He was assisted by Brian Yang and  Andy Rea. Most of the side events had sub-par attendance this year (perhaps because July 4 falls on a Wednesday), but the side event that typically draws well is the Under 13 year old tournament.  This event was held in four sections: Open, Under 1400, Under 1000, and Under 600.  There were a total of 162 players in these four sections, which was actually an increase from last year.  Part of the reason for the popularity of this event is the winner of each section receives free entry in all CCA events for six months! The section winners were:

Evan Park on tiebreak over Hersh Singh and Advaith Vijaykumar, 5-1

Under 1400

Indus Boddu, 6-0

Under 1000

Roland Adam, 5 ½ - ½,

Under 1600

Joanna Hou, 6-0

Bob Messenger directed for Continental Chess Association.  He was assisted by Harold Stenzel  and  Harold Scott. Another small side event is the Monday Quads held on July 2, as a side event which were won by:  Quad 1 Jonathin Chin with 2-1 $60, Quad 2 Kaden Pollard 2 ½ - ½ $60, and Small swiss John Sprague 2 ½ - ½, $60. The top section of the main event of the World Open begins on July 4th.  You will be able to follow the games on          Full tournament details including a list of all winners can be seen at Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at