19th Eastern Chess Congress
November 6-8, 2015
The 19th Annual Eastern Chess Congress was held from November 6-8, 2015, at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel, 700 Main St, Stamford, Connecticut.
Last minute decisions and half point byes are keys to winning Eastern Chess Congress – Report by David A. Hater
This year 121 players participated which was slightly more than last year’s total. The open section was not as strong at the very top (only 1 GM), but was very deep – 16 of the 20 players were masters including 1 GM, 2 IMs, and 3 FMs. Every section had a clear first place winner!
IM Jay Bonin was a last minute decision to play. He started as the 4th seed, but started with a round one half point bye. He won his games in rounds two through four and then played a quick draw in round five to secure at least a tie for first. FM Steven Winer had a chance to catch Bonin, but he would have to beat GM Kudrin and Winer had the black pieces . Kudrin made the most of the white pieces and won. Bonin received $1000 for clear first with 4-1. Second place was a four way tie with GM Kudrin, IM Svetlin Mladenov, Yoon-Young Kim, and Michael Isakov. Isakov started the tournament rated 2066 (he could have opted for the Under 2100 section) and was seeded 18th of the 20 players. He started with a first round loss and then received a full point bye in round two but finished with 2½ out of 3 including two upsets over masters.
In the Under 2100 section most of the leaders had opted for last round half point byes before the tournament started. There was only one perfect score. Omar Cunningham was 4-0 and his half point bye assured him at least a tie for first. This was nice to see because in the Boardwalk Open the previous weekend, Cunningham was on board one the last round and lost and walked away empty handed. I was also a last minute decision to play. I was not scheduled to direct or play. CCA needed a director, but only for two rounds. I agreed to play three rounds and direct two rounds. I entered the last round with 3½ out of 4. I was committed to first and last round byes in order to help run the tournament. The only tournament leader who played was Alex Eydelman. He had a chance to catch Cunningham if he could win. Eydelman lost to Shelly Mays who entered the round with 3. This gave Cunningham clear first and $800. Mays, myself and Robert Beatty shared second place with each receiving $200.
The Under 1700 section had a clear winner. William Xia started 4-0 and was a half point ahead of the field going into the last round. He played a quick draw to assure at least part of first place. Board two drew which gave Xia clear first and $700.
In the Under 1300 section, Long Hua entered the last round leading the field by a point. He drew quickly to take clear first and $500.
The blitz tournament was won by senior master Joshua Colas with 7½ out of 8. He finished 1½ points ahead of the second place winner.
The mixed doubles team prizes were profitable for the Gorti girls. Although neither won a prize in their section, they were both on winning mixed doubles teams. FM Akshita Gorti paired with William Hu and her sister Atmika Gorti paired with GM Sergey Kudrin. Both teams finished with 6 points. Each team won $300.
The tournament was directed by Steven Immitt assisted by Jabari McGreen and (part time) David Hater.
The final standings, with prizes, are now posted for all sections. The next event will be held October 28-30, 2016.
Please use the following links to obtain more information regarding the 2015 Eastern Chess Congress:
- Tournament Information: Sections, schedules, entry fees, prize funds, hotel info, etc.