2015 Southern Open (Orlando, USA)

Florida is a long state. From Tallahassee to Miami is 7-8 hours drive. Thus, many of the major tournaments are held in the central part of Florida, the state’s tourist capitol of Orlando. The Southern Open took place as the Wyndham International Resort July 24th-26th and attracted a trio of Grandmasters. Julio Becerra was joined by fellow GMs Cuba’s Isan Ortiz Suarez and India’s Tejas Bakre for a top heavy Open Section. Approximately 250 players participated in the four sections.

2015 Southern Open

Steve Emmitt making his pre-round announcements… assertively!

2015 Southern Open

Playing venue at Wyndham International Resort.

Apart from the GMs in the open section there was an interesting mixture of players with talented juniors and wily veterans. In the end, both Cubans (Becerra and Ortiz) vanquished the field and had a short draw in the penultimate round. Both beat Bakre to keep him out of contention. Nicky Rosenthal had a solid result and ended on 4/5. Ben Silva (1970), who recently moved from Tallahassee to Palm Beach County, scored 3/5 and netted 50 rating points to make Expert for the first time!

Intensity in the Open Section!
FM Fabio LaRota (center) was amongst the titled players.

GM Isan Ortiz Suarez vs. GM Julio Becerra

Christoher Yu-Shou Shen and Kevin Wang were amongst the juniors competing in the open section.

GM Isan Ortiz Suarez vs. GM Julio Becerra

GM Isan Ortiz Suarez vs. GM Julio Becerra was quickly drawn.

In other sections Gordon Randall and Truman Hoang tallied 4.5/5 to take the under-2100 section and $1150.00 each. Daniel Rhenals emerged atop the under-1700 section with a perfect 5/5 and a $1200.00 prize. The under-1300 ended with tense moments as Varun Chalwa and Kojo Ackah battled in tense affair.

Kojo Ackah

Kojo Ackah and Varun Chalwa in a tense battle.

Kojo Ackah

Ackah, a Ghanaian international student, attends Florida State University.

Kojo Ackah

Kojo Ackah

Ackah was on 4/4 and appeared to be much better in the game. As he entered time pressure, he walked into a fatal pin of his queen. Ackah, a student at Florida State University, was playing in only his 4th tournament. Chalwa was ecstatic after the game stating that it has been his best result to date. Chalwa took home $600.00 with Paul Lemay who also got 5/5.

Plenty of bughouse afterwards.

Plenty of fun in Orlando… come out next year!
Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

Standings: https://www.southernopen.com/

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

3 Comments

  1. Photos from 2015 Southern Open
    Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

    2015 Southern Open

    Steve Emmitt making his pre-round announcements… assertively!

    2015 Southern Open

    Playing venue at Wyndham International Resort.

    2015 Southern Open

    GM Isan Ortiz vs. Christopher Shen, 1-0

    2015 Southern Open

    Cool glasses!

    2015 Southern Open

    FM Eduardo Franco, Cuban living in Texas.

    2015 Southern Open

    GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez

    2015 Southern Open

    Checkmate on the back rank!

    2015 Southern Open

    Zoe Zelner

    2015 Southern Open

    Ben Silva

    2015 Southern Open

    Under-1700 section

    2015 Southern Open

    Inspiration from Bob Marley

    2015 Southern Open

    GM Julio Becerra (2621) vs. GM Isan Ortiz Suarez (2663), 1/2

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open

    George Eason

    2015 Southern Open

    Under-1300 section

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open

    GM Tejas Bakre vs. GM Isan Ortiz

    2015 Southern Open

    Christopher Yu-Shou Shen (2178)

    2015 Southern Open

    Toby Boas (2322)

    2015 Southern Open

    Ben Silva (1970) beating Darcy Linde (2132) to eclipse 2000 rating barrier!

    2015 Southern Open

    GM Julio Becerra (2621) vs. John Duggan (2265)

    2015 Southern Open

    Youth vs. experience… one of many cases in tournaments these days.

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open

    Varun Chalwa

    2015 Southern Open

    Under-2100

    2015 Southern Open

    This game ended as a queen ending with black looking for a crosscheck to escape the white queen checks, and…

    2015 Southern Open

    …he eventually did it.

    2015 Southern Open

    Delbert Saa and J.E. Blackwood analyzing encounter.

    2015 Southern Open

    Bughouse fun!

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open

    2015 Southern Open


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button