Washington Chess Congress 2015

2nd Washington Chess Congress
October 7-12, 2015

The 2nd Annual Washington Chess Congress was held from October 7-12, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia.

GM Felipe El Debs wins Washington Chess Congress, By David A. Hater

GM Felipe El Debs won the Washington Chess Congress with an undefeated score of 7½-1½. He took home $3100. He ceded only three draws to IM Michael Mulyar and GM Leonid Yudasin before sealing the deal with a draw with FM Nicolas Checa in the last round. El Debs counts his third round win against FM David Brodsky as one of his best games of the tournament. Another critical game was El Debs 6th round win over GM Sergey Erenburg. El Debs was leading the tournament and Erenburg offered a draw on move 6. El Debs had the normal advantage of playing white and turned down the draw because he wanted to play a strong player and doesn’t often get the chance to pay 2600 rated GMs. His decision was rewarded with a full point on move 25.

One of the more interesting things was the appearance of R+N versus R endings in two successive rounds. Both occurred with seconds on the clock. In round 8, IM Steven Zierk obtained a very promising but complicated position against Erenburg. Erenburg though managed to come out of the complications up an exchange and was likely winning with an advanced passed pawn. In severe time pressure, Erenburg blundered the pawn and now Zierk had winning chances. Erenburg gave up a rook for Zierk’s dangerous passed pawn to force the R+N versus R ending. At the end of the game Erenburg had 4 seconds and Zierk had 12 seconds (with 10 second delay). Zierk was trying to win and thought too long using his delay and 12 seconds and lost on time – a heart breaking way to lose a game. In the very next round, GM Larry Kaufman had R+N versus the R of Andrews Samuelson. Kaufman had 8 seconds on his clock to Samuelson’s hour. Kaufman tried for 46 moves to win the game, but the game was drawn on move 119! Both games are in the PGN file.

In the Under 2100 section, there was also a clear winner. Milad Memarian drew the first round then won his next 5 games. He signed up for a last round half point bye before the tournament. His 6-0 score was worth $2000. Because Memarian was not playing the first round, first board was occupied by Paul Yavari (a fixture at local CCA events) and Chris Brooks. Brooks was leading with 5-1 and had a chance to catch Memariam. Yavari played a nice game and defeated brooks to finish at 5½ and tie for second with Daniel Levkov. Yavari and Levkov each won $750. Yavari’s game against Brooks is in the PGN file. Take a look at the game after white’s 32nd move. Can you spot the winning tactic?

In the Under 1700 section, Vernon Mcneil and Andrew Wu tied for first winning $1500 each. Neither played all 7 rounds! McNeil forfeited his round 3 game due to car trouble, but he went 6-0 in the other games. Wu took a half point bye in round 1, then scored 5½ out of 6 for his path to the winner’s circle.

In the Under 1300 section, Jason Zipfel scored 6-1to win clear first place and $1000.

The US Chess Online article focuses on these two sections. The article is at http://www.uschess.org/content/view/13230/141/.

The Mixed Doubles Team prize was Zipfel and Rose Dreizen with a combined score of 9. Each won a $500 bonus for the mixed doubles prize. There were many interesting mixed doubles storylines. First, Dreizen actually played up a section. There were a total of 13 mixed doubles teams. The winning score was only half point ahead of second and third place teams. One has to wonder if it would have been this close if Dreizen played in the lower section. One of the second place teams was Lauren Kleidermacher and Alexander Velikanov. The interesting thing is Lauren came to the tournament with Justin Kleidermacher, but chose to abandon him to play with FM Velikanov. That decision was a smart decision as Velikanov scored 4½, but Justin Kleidermacher only scored 3!

The blitz tournament was won by IM Justin Sarkar and FM Rostislav Taborsky each with 6½ out of 8. They took two very different routes. Sarker went 1-1 in the first round (losing one game to a 1900 player!) and then had to win 5½ out of 6. Taborsky went 2-0 in his first 3 rounds but then had to play Sarker in the last round and could only manage ½ point.

The tournament was directed by Steven Immitt assisted by David Hater and Andrew Rea.

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

Please use the following links to obtain more information regarding the 2015 Washington Chess Congress:

Washington Chess Congress Archives

2016 | 2015 | 2014


For results of the Continental Class Championships, held over Columbus Day weekend from 2010 through 2013, see www.continentalclass.net.