Results from the 2002 World Open

There were some new faces at the top of the World Open cross charts! America's largest Open tournament attracted some top players from Europe and of course from other regions. This is the second year the World Open has been a U.S. qualifying tournament, so of course much is at stake besides the $175,ooo guaranteed prize fund.

players tied for 1st place with 7-2! They were: GM Ilya Smirin (ISR), GM Alexander Onischuk (UKR), GM Artur Yusupov (GER), GM Jaan Ehlvest (RUS), GM Alek Wojtkiewicz (POL), IM Benjamin Finegold (USA), GM Jonathan Rowson (SCO)IM Varuzhan Akobian (ARM), IM Kamil Miton (POL). GM Miton beat Akobian in a confusing tiebreak system where many players did not participate.

GM Artur Yusupov vs. IM Benjamin Finegold. Copyright  2002, Jerome Bibuld.

The super-tough GM Artur Yusupov vs. IM Benjamin Finegold in the last round of the World Open. This game was drawn and both players got a share of 1st. Photo taken by Jerry Bibuld. All rights reserved.

In other news, five players qualified for the U.S. Championship. They were: IM Eugene Perelshteyn (2515), IM Ronald Burnett (2472), FM Enkhbat Tegshsuren (2483), IM Boris Kreiman (2552), and FM Yury Lapshun (2450). In addition, at least two players earned norms. According to Bill Goichberg, IMs Finegold, Miton, and Akobian unofficially earned GM norms. IM Burnett was also close. FM Stephen Muhammad earned an IM norm (see story).

Players of African descent are beginning to fight their way onto the top 20 boards of major tournaments. Throughout the tournament, GM Maurice Ashley (2543), FM Emory Tate (2397) FM Muhammad (2337), IM Oladapo Adu (2289), and NM Norman Rogers (2324) held their own against the world's elite. In the super-tough Open Section, here are players in the order of points scored: Muhammad with 6; Ashley with 6; Rogers with 5; Tate and Adu with 5 points; NM Jerald Times (2262) with 4;  NM David Allen (2202) with 4;  Expert Kimani Stancil with 3. FM William Morrison played but did not complete the schedule.

GM Maurice Ashley vs. IM Oladapo Adu. Copyright  2002, Daaim Shabazz.

GM Maurice Ashley vs. IM Oladapo Adu in a 6th round encounter. The game ended in a draw. Adu had defeated FM Emory Tate earlier.

In other news, Nathaniel Lynch scored a blistering 7-1 to tie for 1st in the Under-2200 (Expert) Section. Nigerian native Thomas Oparaugo repeated last year's performance of 5. Sylvester Smarty had 5 points; Daaim Shabazz and Leonard Dickerson were  even at 4; Peter Roberts and Zachary Perry scored 4 points; Keith Eubanks had 3 points.  Others such as Ahmoad Ware, Thomas Murphy, Paul Obiamiwe, Antoine Hutchinson, Herbert Carswell, and Adekunle Ogunmefun entered, but did not finish.

In the
Under-2000 Section, Adeoye Dasaolu tied for 1st by tallying an impressive 8 points! Both David Nichols and Bernard Parham, Jr. scored a solid 6 points. Ervin (Maliq) Matthew started out 5-1, but then dropped his last three games and finished in the middle of the pack. Jones Murphy, a material witness in the Enron scandal found time in his busy schedule to play, but had to withdraw to handle business matters.

In the Under-1800 Section, Peter Moss regained his composure after a bitter controversy to place joint 3rd with 7-2.  The controversy centered around Moss' Russian opponent and his brother discussing the game between moves. Moss followed the players and caught them discussing the game (in Russian) and then went "ballistic." It was not a pretty sight. Read more about the incident here. In the Under-1400 Section, the Jamaican youth contingent was led by Brandon Wilson with 6; Camille Casserly  with 4; Andrew Robinson with 2. Ian Wilkinson also from Jamaica scored a respectable 5 points after having just learned the moves three years ago.

The Jamaicans. (pictured L-R) NM Geoffrey Byfield, Brandon Wilson, Phillip Pyrce, and Andrew Robinson. Copyright  2002, Daaim Shabazz.

The Jamaicans. (pictured L-R) NM Geoffrey Byfield, Brandon Wilson, Phillip Pyrce, and Andrew Robinson.

In the Unrated Section, Phillip Pyrce  of Jamaica scored 4 points in the unrated section.  Euca Solomon and Josephine Frazier of Philadelphia's MasterMinds Club scored 3 points each.

This World Open was historic in the sense that Black players have gained a sense of chess activism and the ideas flowed. The Renaissance has begun and there appears to be momentum that will hope to carry into next year's World Open. The tournament had it's usual electricity in the skittles room and new friends and acquaintances were made and old friendships were rekindled.  Apart from the two incidents concerning Peter Moss and
Akeem Gregory-Thompson, it was a great event! We hope to see you next year!

World Open Website

Download PGN games from the World Open... Open Section

Photo Gallery

Selected Games

GM Maurice Ashley-IM Oladapo Adu, -.
IM Oladapo Adu-FM Emory Tate, 1-0.
NM William Wright-GM Maurice Ashley, 0-1.
GM Maurice Ashley-IM Guillermo Rey, 1-0.
IM Igor Zugic-FM Stephen Muhammad, -.
FM Stephen Muhammad-IM Eugene Perelshteyn, 1-0.
NM Jerald Times-FM Miles Ardaman, 1-0.

Thomas Oparaugo-Nathaniel Lynch, 0-1.
Nathaniel Lynch-Igor Schneider, 1-0.
Everest Tucker-Daaim Shabazz, 0-1

David Nichols-Adeoye Dasaolu, 0-1.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 10 July 2002