Results from the 2005 World Open

Players from around the world trekked to the World Open to usher in a new era in the tournament's 33 years. The new site would be the Wyndham Hotel after 20 years at the Philadelphia Adams Mark on City Line. A total of 1025 players (down from 1208 in 2004) assembled in the spacious hotel to vie for the $180,000 prize fund.

The tournament would be graced by the presence of 32 GMs, 16 IMs and a contingent of Indians who had endured a 24-hour plane ride including a six hour layover in Paris.
GM Hikaru Nakamura would be a the top of the chart with a 2756 USCF rating and there would be many sharks in the tournament's waters.

Last Round Battles!    Shabalov-Panchanathan, 0-1 (left)  Miton-Nakamura, ½-½ (right) Copyright © 2004, Daaim Shabazz.

Last Round Battles!

Shabalov-Panchanathan, 0-1 (left)
Miton-Nakamura, ½-½ (right)

Over the period of five days, the turbulent waters produced some exciting games, but it would be the last couple of rounds that would result in some gladiator battles. In round eight, GM Kamil Miton had won a key game against GM Ildar Ibragimov (who had beaten Nakamura in the previous round) while IM Magesh Panchanathan of India beat Jaan Ehlvest clinching his 3rd GM norm.  Going into the final round put Miton at 7-1 while Nakamura, Shabalov and Panchanathan had 6½-1½. Thus the last round pairing were: Miton-Nakamura (board #1) and Shabalov-Panchanathan (board #2).

Both games were tense as the first board contest featured a closed position with minor pieces. After shuffling pieces around for 20 moves, Nakamura tried breaking with 65…c5, but there was nothing left in the R+R+B ending and he had to concede his championship chances. Nakamura tried maneuvering his pieces, but couldn't create imbalances to earn chances. A draw was agreed.

In Shabalov-Panchanathan the middlegame offered tactical chances for both sides, but the game entered a rather imbalanced endgame with a better position for black. Panchanathan's knight dominated Shabalov's bishop and eventually he was able to usher a passed pawn up the board for a queen. The fleet-footed queen was able to pick off the three white pawns and it would be queen versus the rook.

Final Position: Shabalov-Panchanathan

Final Position: Shabalov-Panchanathan

A couple of strong players have failed to win such an endgame, but Panchanathan showed fine technique to force a mating attack on the king. After his win, Panchanathan was congratulated by the Indian players in a touching scene. To break the tie, Miton agree to take five minutes against Panchanathan's seven. If Panchanathan holds (with black), he'd be declared the winner. Miton won the game convincingly and pocketed the $20,000 check. After Panchanathan's 2nd place finish, a four-way tie included GMs Nakamura, Varuzhan Akobian,  Ildar Ibragimov and Sandipan Chanda of India… all finished with 7-2.

Five qualified for the 2006 U.S. Championship:  GMs Akobian,
Alexander Fishbein and Sergey Kudrin. For the women, WFM Laura Ross and Natasha Christiansen will be going to the "big show." Players earning norms were: Panchanathan (GM), FMs Josh Friedel (IM), Alex Lenderman (IM), Emilio Cordova of Peru (IM) and John Bartholomew (IM).

On the Black Front

Players of African descent were conspicuously absent. Only five players entered the Open Section of 204 players, but
FM Emory Tate scored a good result with 6-3. FM Norman "Pete" Rogers finished with a plus score of 5-4,  Glenn Bady was on 3-5 (eight rounds) and Ernest Colding had 2½-4½ (seven rounds).  Medina Parrilla, the 14-year old star from the Bronx, missed getting the 2nd women's qualifier spot for the U.S. Championship, losing on  tiebreaks.

In the under-2200 "Expert" Section, Lawyer Times scored his best result ever on the strength of a seven-game winning streak. The Boston native finished joint 1st with Felix Radutman and Alexander Mirtchouk each with 7½-1½. This result was not without controversy. Mirtchouk had been the subject of an investigation at the HB Global Chess Challenge.

It was alleged that he had been conversing via cell phone with a friend who had access to Fritz database. After winning five straight at the World Open,
Bill Goichberg disqualified him  after getting note about the pending case. However, after a lengthy conference, he decided to reinstate the player with a zero-point bye in the sixth round. He summarily won his next two games before drawing with Times in the last round.

Scores of 50% or greater were:
Okechukwu Iwu and Peter Roberts, 6-3; David Paulina, Alan Price and Calvin Marshall, 5½-3½; Ervin 'Maliq' Matthew, Daaim Shabazz, Adekunle Ogunmefun, 5-4; Tony Davis, 4½-4½. Roberts had started 6-1, but lost his last two rounds; Times lost his first game and won seven in a row! The Chess Drum's Shabazz lost his final round to Ayvaz Erturan. Erturan is a former 7-time Turkish junior champ and now at 25, runs

Standings (all sections)

In the under-1200 Section, Reece Brown IV of Central City H.S. in Philadelphia scored 7-2 to win a share of 3rd place ($900.00). Copyright © 2004, Daaim Shabazz.

In the under-1200 Section, Reece Brown IV of Central City H.S. in Philadelphia scored 7-2 to win a share of 3rd place ($900.00). Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Selected Games


GM Giorgi Kacheishvili - GM Hikaru Nakamura, 0-1
GM Ildar Ibragimov - GM Kamil Miton, 0-1
GM Hikaru Nakamura - GM Joel Benjamin, 1-0
GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly - GM Alexander Onischuk, ½-½
GM Alexander Shabalov - IM Magesh Panchanathan, 0-1
GM Sandipan Chanda - GM Gata Kamsky, 1-0
GM Kamil Miton - GM Hikaru Nakamura, ½-½
GM Kamil Miton - IM Magesh Panchanathan, 1-0


Lawyer Times - Peter Roberts, 1-0
Lawyer Times - Alexander Mirtchouk, ½-½
Daaim Shabazz - Richard Francisco, ½-½

World Open Website

Photo Gallery (The Chess Drum)

Back to World Open Information Center

Posted by The Chess Drum: 7 July 2005