2009 Foxwoods Open

Foxwoods Casino

The Foxwoods Open is now at 12 years and it is a tournament that always brings memorable moments. This year the field only seats 17 GMs, but the competition has been fierce. The tournament has the usual GMs such as US Champion Yury Shulman, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Shabalov, Alexander Ivanov, but also added to the field are Darmen Sadvakasov and the Netherlands’ Loek van Wely. Young stars such as GM Josh Friedel, IMs Justin Sakar and Alex Lenderman are playing and even younger stars such as IMs Robert Hess and Ray Robson will be looking for GM scalps. IM Emory Tate is also slated for the billing.

Main Site: https://chesstournamentservices.com/cca/


  1. Here’s a first round upset sent in from Glenn Bady. Kenneth Odeh of Nigeria faces the legendary FIDE Master “Pete” Rogers. This was a Modern Defense which tends to bring a lot of maneuvering and usually black will trade his bishops for knights. However that is not the case in this game. Rogers had chances to draw in the end, but misplayed the ending and Odeh cashed in. Notes are from Kenneth Odeh.

    I believe Pete missed his chance. For example, after white’s 48.Ke1, black should play 48…Kc3. I had looked at this position and thought there must be a way to force white to give way and lose his rook. Meanwhile the white pawns are frozen. What it amounts to is an ending with a rook against three pawns. Pete wasted several tempi and should have queened the pawn immediately with 49.Ke2 Kb2 50.Re1 c1(Q) 51.Rxc1 Kxc1 52.Ke3. Notice in the actual game, on 59…Kxc1, white is already playing 60.Kd4. Here is the sequence…

    … this is a win for black as the king will front the h-pawn and the rook will attack the f-pawn and/or g-pawn. It was a difficult ending. Good game by Odeh!

  2. Pete Rogers is still “da man” in my book. I remember re-uniting with this brother and NM Elvin Wilson after my Katrina experience. I know of no one person who has meant more to the encouragement of African American players participation in rated chess events. during a conversation with Michael Williams he gave testimony that during several years of dry spells of brother’s in Philliy participating in rated chess events, Pete Rogers was the only participant. It became apparent that Pete Rogers played during those dry spells because he felt the urgency of African Americans having some presence in rated play. Blitz is cool, skittles at the bar among friends is all right, but competing under USCF sanctioned tournament rules and conditions is the mecca! Pete was already a cool brother in my book for his efforts in rallying the players in Philly in the relief efforts of me and my family after Katrina. Hence the example the brother has set in playing in tournaments consistently giving a competitive presence in USCF events has encouraged me. NM Alfred Carlin who now lives in Dallas and along with IM Emory Tate, and IM Stephen Muhammed are other noteworthy mentions who play and put “it” on the line regularly. Shouts out to Pete, Glen Elvin, Jeff Johnson, Michael Williams, Peter Moss, Keith Thompson and all my Philly brothas!

  3. IM Robert Hess got his 3rd GM norm after drawing quickly with Japan’s Toshiyuk Moriuchi. Hess needed to meet the requirement of playing three players from international federations. He becomes the newest American GM.

    I’m glad to see this because I remember him when he was about 12 years old. We played and I’ll never forget the disappointed look on his face after losing. I felt horrible. I’d certainly be fighting to draw with him these days. 🙂

    The U.S. has created a crop of home-bred GMs with includes GM Josh Friedel. IM Ray Robson is a future-GM, but he was crushed by Zimbabwe’s FM Farai Mandihza in an exciting game! Take a look!

  4. Rene,

    Yep… Pete is a class act. He has supported The Chess Drum more anybody I can think of. He has purchased a truck-load of my shirts, booklets and anything I put out. He allowed me to stay in a house he owns a couple years ago during the World Open.

    What I like about him most is the fact that he loves to analyze… as I do! Blitz is fine, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to get you as many rating points as critically analyzing games.

  5. Yes, Farai played an exciting game against Robson. He has more great that he played in Foxwood. Maybe he will send them in.

  6. Hi Daaim,
    Hope you had a great Easter holiday. Just wanted to comment that if Norman Rogers had played Kc3 which is the correct move he would have gotten a draw. He is unable to stop me queening one of my Kingside pawns and would have to give up his rook leading to a draw. I checked this position using a computer and analysed it with pete after the game.
    Thank you for pointing out my error! Below is the analysis after 47. Rc1 Kc3!
    48.Ke2 Kb2 49.Rh1 C1Q 50. Rc1 Kc1 51.Ke3 Kc2 52. Ke4 Kb3 53. Ke5 Kb4 54. Kf6 Ka5 55. Kg6 Kb6 56. Kh5. This is the critical position and white intends to g4…Kg6..h5…h6..h7 lets look at a line 56…..Rg8 57. g4 Kc6 58. g5 Rf8 59.g6 could happen if black does not play carefully.

  7. Kenneth,

    Black doesn’t play 57…Rg8 and 59…Rf8. Those are wasted tempi. There are a couple of different techniques in Encyclopedia of Chess Endings book and shows several ways to win this position. The black king has to front the pawns in order to blockade, but the rook has to be active.

    The correct line may be 57… Kc6! 58. Kg6 Kd7 59.h5 Ke7 60.h6 (On 60.Kg7 Rb5! wins. If 61.h7 then 61…Rg5+ forces the king in front of the pawn and the other two will be lost.) 60…Kf8! and black wins.


    On 61.h7, then the check 61…Rb6+ decides. On 61.g4 then 61…Rb6+ and 62…Kg8 again. White cannot let the black king blockade the white pawns. The pawns will be picked off.

    If white tries to push the g-pawn, it’s a bit too slow. Let’s play some moves. On 57… Kc6! 58. Kg6 Kd7 59.h5 Ke7 60.g4 Rg8+! 61.Kf5 Rf8+ 62.Kg6 Rxf2 63.g5 Kf8 64.Kh7 Rf7+ 65.Kg6 Kg8


    White will allow a blockade and loss the remaining pawns. Pete merely missed it, but it took some familiarity with this type of ending which doesn’t happen often.

  8. Hi Daaim,
    I really enjoy this type of analysis. Black is not going to allow your king to get to f8. I will send in the analysis shortly.

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