Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Wrap Up

Classes have just recently started and most of our players have returned to UTD. Here is a quick summer wrap up for everyone:

UTD had a fantastic participation in Europe, where many of our players had good results. The most outstanding results were accomplished in the city of Kavala, Greece. Congratulations to Davorin and Keaton, who are now one step closer to achieving the maximum goal in chess (besides world champion!): Grandmaster

KAVALA 2008:
GM norm: FM Keaton Kiewra
GM norm: IM Davorin Kuljasevic

In another prestigious tournament, the World Open, one of our players took the first place! Congratulations to:
WORLD OPEN 2008, U2400 Section
1st place (shared): FM Igor Schneider
Igor being congratulated by the Igorites after having an amazing summer, where he gained over 40 fide rating points!

Not so far from here the strong US Open was held, and despite the fact that many players from around the world came to play this event, UTD was able to retain the title in Dallas, although it was not one of our players that accomplished this, but our very own coach!

US OPEN 2008
1st place (shared): IM Rade Milovanovic

In New York, I was able to take first place in the prestigious New York Invitational

New York Invitational:
1st place (shared): GM Alejandro Ramirez

I believe those are the most important accomplishments of our players this summer, congratulations to everybody for an amazing couple of months! Our next stop will be the SOUTHWEST OPEN, where many UTD players will participate, and the new faces of the UTD Chess Team will have a shot of proving their talent. This event will start next weekend, August 29th.

Until then,

Alejandro Ramirez

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lots of exciting news around the world

First of all, the biggest news of all is the following:

Keaton Kiewra and Davorin Kuljasevic, both UTD seniors have just scored a GM norm in Kavala!

For the uninitiated, a GM norm is one of the steps in becoming a Grandmaster, the requisites are completing three norms and obtaining a 2500 FIDE rating.

This means that Davorin is only one GM norm away from completing his title!

Keaton has not only scored a GM norm, but also his first IM norm! Such a feat is almost unheard of! Normally it takes people years after they achieve their IM title to obtain the first GM norm.

I apologize for not keeping up with my own tournament, the internet in Turkey is only usable after 1 am.

In other events, the US Open is being held in Dallas and a lot of UTD players are playing, heres a summary from our very own Bayaraa Zorigt:

2008 US Open Championship is being held in Westin hotel in Dallas, TX from August 2nd to 10th. The players in the traditional option have played 5 rounds so far, and the UTD chess team player Christopher Toolin has 4.5 points, Francisco Guadalupe (picture included) has 4 points, Nelson Lopez has 4 points, Yashodhan Gogte has 3.5 points (i think he won the last game), and Karina Vazirova has 3 points. (video on youtube)
Also the 5-day schedule of the U.S open began today evening. 73 players have played 2 games today with 1 hour+5 seconds delay and sudden death time control. UTD players, Chaitanya Vaidya , Mihail Bantic, and Bayaraa Zorigt, won their 2 games, and Martin Charles (picture included) got one point today. UTD chess team coach Rade Milovanovic's brother Dragan Milovanovic is playing in 5-day schedule and he has 2 points so far. Mr. Rade (picture included) is playing in the quick schedule, and he is leading his section with 5 out of 5 points. All the schedules are going to merge tomorrow night. (video on youtube)

Karina Vazirova in the US open

Mihail Bantic in the same tournament

The video that bayaraa is talking about can be found here:

At least I hope that is the video, youtube is blocked in Turkey...

For my self I am currently 4.5/6 in Turkey and will be playing in board 2 against English GM David Howell. The tournament is being led by Chinese GM Li Chao with 5.5/6. I am currently tied for fourth, which is quite excellent seeing how I started out with a loss!

Here I am pictured with GMs Leon Hoyos and Iturrizaga, from Mexico and Venezuela respectively.

I will try to upload photos as soon as possible...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 1: Turkey and reports from other places

Hello everyone!

I am now blogging from the Met Gold Hotel, in Gaizantep, Turkey! I am here playing the World Junior Chess Championship, which will start August third.

For now I have been doing little else than sleeping, trying to shake off my jet lag. The flight from Dallas to Turkey was as follows:

Dallas - JFK (NY) 4 hours
4 hour layover

JFK - Istanbul 10 hours
4 hour layover

Istanbul - Gaziantep 2 hours

For a total of 24 hours to get here! This was quite exhausting! I will be updating this blog as soon as I go out, take some pictures and learn about the locals. The only things I know are that the city is very hot and dry (doi), people don't seem to speak english but do seem friendly.

On news from other of our players:

UTD has a contingency currently playing the Kavala Open in Greece. Wish them best of luck! The players are, from UTD:

Andrei Zaremba
Igor Schneider
Davorin Kuljasevic
Marko Zivanic
Keaton 'sexy' Kiewra
Peter Vavrak (alumni)
Drasko Boskovic
Lee Gardner

So far our players Zaremba, Kuljasevic, Zivanic and Kiewra all have 2/2 perfect score! Let's hope one of them can take home a GM/IM norm for UTD.

On the other side of the globe, our strong female players Bayaraa Zorigt, Lilia Doibani and Karina Vazirova will be playing the US Open that is being held in Dallas! It is quite ironic that our strongest players are playing in Europe this summer when the US Open returns to Dallas. However I'm sure our girls will represent us quite well, and hopefully we will be have blogging and picture reports by WFM Bayaraa!

That is all for now, I'm off to find myself a Kebab.
p.s. no videos this tournament, apparently youtube is blocked in Turkey due to the Armenian video controversy.