Manhattan Open attracts surprise entries!

2011 Manhattan Open at the posh New Yorker Hotel.
All photos by Adia Onyango.

The Manhattan Open is in full swing and some surprise entrants are competing. Besides U.S. Open Aleksandr Lenderman, GM Maurice Ashley is playing in his first major tournament since the 2003 U.S. Championship.

GM Maurice Ashley in action.

Poker star FM Ylon Schwartz is also playing as well as US Chess League Commissioner IM Greg Shahade. All eyes will be on these three players to see how they fare against the young lions like FM Alexander Ostrovskiy and FM Kassa Korley. German GM Jan Gustafsson is the top seed.



  1. Rounds #4 and #5
    (Friday, 19 August 2011)

    Crushing attack by Ashley!

    Korley gets finesse win in ending… nice finish

    Sarkar bumrushes the queenside, but ends with a kingside attack

    Parker Zhao puts a damper in Ashley’s comeback

  2. Rounds #6 and #7
    (Saturday, 20 August 2011)

    Parker Zhao beats another GM!

    Ashley topples young phenom

    Beautiful attacking game by Kudrin

    Nice shot at the end!

    Garcia slays Ashley’s Dragon

    Nice win for Kassa Korley

  3. Round #8
    (Sunday, 21 August 2011)

    Going into the last day, Ukrainian IM Vladimir Romanenko still leads the field by half-point with 6/7 over GMs Sergey Kudrin and Alexander Shabalov. Within striking distance are six players with 5/7. Parker Zhao who nearly won this spring’s U.S. Junior Championship has scored an undefeated 3-1 against four Grandmasters, but lost his round seven encounter with Romanenko. Zhao may be looking at least an IM norm. GM Eltaj Safarli, the Azerbaijani junior, was a surprise entrant. He took three half-point byes and is playing FM Kassa Korley. The game has already reached complications.

    Round #9

    Last Round Battles!

    IM Vladimir Romanenko vs. GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (1/2)
    GM Alexander Shabalov vs. GM Aleksandr Lenderman (1-0)

    Ukrainian IM Vladimir Romanenko drew his last game while Alexander Shabalov won giving both a share of 1st place. Shabalov got a very nice mating attack without the queens to vanquish Lenderman who was looking for his second major win since winning the U.S. Open.

    Shabalov wins exciting game versus U.S. Open Champ, ties for 1st!

    Impressive win by Kassa Korley!

    Wild game!

    Azeri phenom ends on high note

  4. Report on ChessVibes about Manhattan Open. Some very crass comments made in the article such as…

    “It started with a speech by the tournament director. She said that instead of the USCF rules, the FIDE rules were in effect, which meant that you couldn’t touch your rook first when castling. A lot of players didn’t like this.”

    Huh??? The players were obviously not objecting to the rule, but objecting to being told this simple rule.

    More gems like… “GM Joel Benjamin pocketed only $70.” I’m sure there were a lot better photos/captions than that! There is also the photo of the homeless person on a Manhattan street being described as a “typical” scene. Taking pictures of homeless picture and showing their shame to the world is a big no-no.


  5. Daaim, very good coverage. I am surprise to see Maurice playing again; the Dragon and Caro-Kann were interesting games. I really hope the brothers keep tuning in and sharing their thoughts and games.

    1. William,

      On Facebook, Maurice gave some comments on each round. After round seven, he made the remark,

      Lost a quick one in round 7. Missing simple moves like I never have, even as a lower rated player. I know this comeback will have its brutal moments. I will bend, but not break. One small step closer to top form.

      Round eight…

      Won my round 8 game. Only one round to go. I’m totally engaged in this process of my return to chess. Slow but sure wins the race.

      Round nine…

      Lost the last game of the event. My opponent offered me a draw after 12 moves, which I rejected on principle, even if I’m out of form. I personally think those kinds of draws are despicable. Glad the tournament is done, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. All you chess players out there: Tell me what your favorite fall event is (anywhere in the world). You just might see me there!

  6. I wonder what Ashley’s goal is. Perhaps when he retired he didn’t think so-called “super” grandmasterdom was important. His highest rating I know of was just shy of 2600. Is he now on a quest for elite status? dare I say 2700?

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