Manhattan Open 2015

14th Manhattan Open
August 21-23, 2015

The 14th Annual Manhattan Open was held from August 21-23, 2015, at the Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Ave. (32nd-33rd St, across from Penn Station), New York, NY.

Manhattan Open sets attendance record with 12 GMs and nearly 500 players
By David A. Hater

The 14th annual Manhattan Open was the largest non-scholastic tournament held in New York in seventeen years. Twelve grandmasters headlined the 73 player Open section. In all 478 players competed in six sections. This year the tournament moved from the New Yorker to the Hotel Pennsylvania. The new venue was moderately priced (by Manhattan standards) and had a well lit beautiful spacious playing area, but the guest rooms were lower quality compared with the other venues CCA normally uses. While the hotel was a bit lower, attendance in terms of quality and quantity definitely was not!

Round one was fairly routine as the higher rated generally had their way, particularly in the Open section. However, in round two there were multiple GM versus GM pairings. These first occurred in the smaller two day schedule. The time control of the first two rounds is G/60. Perhaps due to the fast time control, GMs Gata Kamsky and Zviad Izoria took a quick draw. The other GM pairing was not so peaceful as GM Tomaz Gelashvili defeated GM Maxim Dlugy. In the slower 3-day schedule, the GMs were still paired down in round 2 and several emerged with 2-0 scores. Going into round three, GMs Gelashvili, Alex Lenderman, Sergey Kudrin, Vadim Zvjaginsev, Hendin Steingrimsson, Alexander Stripunsky and Yaroslav Zherebukh were joined by IMs Akshtat Chandra and IM Joshua Ruiz, FM Nicolas Checa and USCF master Zachary Tannenbaum as the only perfect scores. The GM pairing of the round was Lenderman-Steingrimsson which ended in a draw. Chandra defeated Zherebrukh to emerge at 3-0 and he was joined by Gelashvili who defeated IM Ruiz, Stripunsky who defeated Checa and Zvjaginsev who defeated Tannenbaum.

Going into the final day only the top two boards had perfect scores. Gelashvili was paired with Zvjaginsev while Chandra faced Stripunsky. Both games ended in draws. The excitement from the round was on board 3. Kamsky playing white faced Lenderman. At one point, Lenderman was up a pawn, but his pieces were tangled. I thought Lenderman was better (Fritz disagreed – it was equal or unclear). Kamsky sacrificed an exchange and ran Lenderman’s king to its fifth rank and delivered mate. The game drew a huge crowd and the TDs were doing their best to keep the spectators at a respectful distance. How unusual is it for two 2700 players to play to mate!

Kamsky was the only one to join the tournament leaders at 3½. So five players entered the final round with 3½ out of 4: Chandra had white versus Kamsky, Gelashvili had white versus Stripunsky and Zvjaginsev had black against the highest 3 pointer Zherebrukh. All the top boards were decisive! Kamsky, Gelashvili, and Zvjaginsev all won to finish with 4½ out of 5. Each won $1200 with Gelashvili taking an extra $100 for first on tiebreak.

In the Under 2200 section there was a two way tie for first. Justin Chen and Sam Barsky finished with 4½ and each won $1150.

The biggest money winner of the weekend was Stanley Lui who went 5-0 in the Under 1900 section and pocketed $1500.

The other perfect scores were in the Under 1000 section. Jonathan Bolounduro and Stan Wang both finished 5-0. Because there was a trophy involved and because tiebreaks don’t work well for perfect scores, they played a 5 minute game as a tiebreaker. Bolunduro won the tiebreak and the first place trophy. However, because he was unrated, he was limited to a $200 prize. Wang won the remainder of first place which was $500.

There was a 3 way tie in the Under 1600 section. Ethan Zornow, Dari Castro, and Lope Williams all finished with 4½. As an unrated, Williams was limited to $500. The other two won $900 each. Both Williams and Castro were on the third place mixed doubles teams and got a little more for that.

In the Under 1300 section, 4½ points was also needed for first place. Four players achieved this result all drawing with each other! Anthony Francis, John Ciardi, Eric Li, and Viran Sawant all won $375.

As mentioned CCA sponsors mixed doubles prizes in most of its tournaments. Teams are one male and one female and can be in different sections so long as their average rating is below 2200. The first place mixed doubles prize of $800 was won by the team of Isaac Barayev and Vanessa Sun with 8 points. They each won place money in their respective sections, but their mixed doubles prize was larger! The second place mixed doubles team was won with 7 ½ points.FM Arthur Shen and Sarah Yen shared the $400 prize. The third mixed doubles team was won with 7 points. The team of Lope Williams and Michael Hehir and the team of Loreshyl Cuizon and Dari Castro each won $100.

The blitz tournament was won by Life Master Levy Rozman with 7 1/2 out of 8. His two hours of work earned him $130.

Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by four other NTDs: Sophia Rohde, Harold Stenzel, Jabari Mcgreen, and David Hater.

The final standings, with prizes, are now posted for all sections.

Please use the following links to obtain more information regarding the 2015 Manhattan Open:

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