Hot summer in July! Again we find ourselves in the throes of summer heat and the World Open promises to be even hotter this year. Philadelphia has been home to 34 World Open tournaments and this is the second year at its new home in the downtown area. The Adams Mark hotel became a fixture for the annual event and a lot magic had occurred in the now defunct hotel.
This year's version will draw the usual cadre of U.S. Grandmasters led by Gata Kamsky. Lars Bo Hansen of Denmark will make his presence felt as will Frenchman Laurent Fressinet and Brazilian Giovanni Vescovi. The tournament generally will produce new stars and last year it was Magesh Panchanathan who stole the show after tying for 1st place with Kamil Miton. Panchanathan earned his 3rd GM norm and has since become one of India's newest Grandmasters.
There will be many other players attempting to win fame and fortune and also a spot in the next U.S. Championship. This year, fees are not required for qualification and there are other rules that will ensure that the qualifiers have to score a decent result. Last year, lower-rated players were able to advance with less than stellar results making the championship the butt of jokes. The lower sections will also be fighting for lucrative prizes and most certainly young scholastic players will be trying to win tons of rating points as well. This year's World Open hopes to prevent controversies which seem to occur annually and make it the best yet!
World Open coverage (official website)
Drum Coverage (stories, interviews, photos)