Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson is closing play at the Curacao Chess Festival. This was his debut playing in the Caribbean region and he has expressed interest to play in the World Open next year. This tournament has become popular over the years and has been able to attract some strong Grandmasters.
The top seed is Latvian-born Daniel Fridman, who is now representing Germany and is the reigning German Champion. Jan Werle (Netherlands), Larry Christiansen (USA) and Joel Benjamin (USA) round out the quintet of GMs.
One very interesting characteristic of the Curacao Open is its heavy sponsorship. Catering to the tourist community, it is populated by all the hoteliers and dining establishment making it a popular place in the Netherlands Antilles. It is surprising that more Caribbean players are not present. Christopher Raphael of Trinidad is the only other Caribbean player outside of the Antilles competing.