Tate @ the 2013 North American Open

IM Emory Tate

We are into another year of chess and the U.S. circuit has already begun, but 2012 ended with a bang. The North American Open in Las Vegas had a strong open section with 80 players (16 GMs, 13 IMs) and perhaps a number of chess-turned poker players. World Series of Poker champion Ylon Schwartz was in that number.

However, most were hard-core chess players trying to make it big in Vegas. One surprise entrant was Li Chao of China was was top seed, but Emory Tate’s appearance was also a bit unexpected since his play has been irregular for the past couple seasons. Tate has been based out in California even though his state affiliation says “AL” for Alabama.

While GM Timur Gareev won the tournament with 8/9, Tate got a respectable 5/9 losing against IM Lukas Cernousek, GM Alexander Shabalov and GM Tamaz Gelashvili while beating GM Nikola Mitkov and GM Arthur Chibukhchian. The latter game was a Tate classic…an attacking gem with a king hunt. The moves are not revealed here, but below are the key positions.

In diagram #1, Tate shatters black’s position with 20.Nxg7! (which Tate gives a quadruple exclam) Kxg7 21. Qf6+ Kf8 22. e6! In diagram #2, black has just played 26…Qg7. There are many ways to win this position but the cleanest is Tate’s 27.Bxh7+! Kxh7 28. Qh5+ Kg8 29. Rg3 1-0.

Following are a couple of his other games against GMs during the tournament. He beats GM Nikola Mitkov, but then falls on the sword against GM Alexander Shabalov. Good to see his fighting spirit on display.


  1. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links February 1, 2013 | blog.chesscafe.com
  2. I had a chance to chat with Mr. Tate and he appeared in good spirits and good form. Just a feeling even at his age he will eventually make the breakthrough to GM with his dedication.

  3. I wanted to introduce my son to Tate at this tournament, but for some strange reason I couldn’t approach him. He was very focused and when he walked by, it felt like he was in his own world. Too bad, cause Josh wanted to meet him.

  4. Guy,

    I wish I were there. I could have arranged an analysis session. Tate is phenomenal in this realm. He’s a great conversationalist as well. Maybe we will have another chance.

  5. I suspect Tate’s road to GM would be streamlined if he had a sponsor. Guy, Tate’s focus most likely comes from his military background and the personal battles he has experience.

  6. However, Tate is usually very personal if you catch him in his relaxed moments… usually after tournaments or in between rounds. I introduced my older brother and my nephew to him at a Chicago Open one year. He was very nice to my nephew. An analysis session with Tate would be good for Josh. Tate has some amazing ideas.

  7. I also think that Josh would really profit from an analysis session with someone like Tate. When kids talk and get something tangible from an older person who has already established a name in the chess circle, I believe those small talk bumps up their self-confidence. When they find that kind of big-brother (sister) look out, later on they’ll return that act of kindness to someone else.

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