Thursday, November 27, 2008



The Rounds Begin: Introduction to Players and Rounds 1 & 2!


Yesterday Wednesday 26th gave start to another edition of the prestigious UTD GM invitational. This time, due to changes in the academic calendar, the tournament is 9 rounds instead of 11 and the tournament is now split into two sections! The first section (GM section) is as follows:

1 2602 USA GM Becerra, Julio 35 N/A N/A
2 2553 USA GM Kudrin, Sergey 49 N/A N/A
3 2533 CRC GM Ramirez, Alejandro 20 Sr Arts & Technology
4 2521 CRO IM Kuljasevic, Davorin 22 Sr Business Administration
5 2465 SRB IM Zivanic, Marko 24 Sr Computer Science
6 2461 POL IM Stopa, Jacek 21 Jr International Political Economy
7 2453 USA IM Bartholomew, John 22 Sr Business Administration
8 2452 SRB IM Boskovic, Drasko 25 Jr Business Administration
9 2450 NZ IM Wang, Puchen 18 Fr Business Administration
10 2428 USA IM Bercys, Salvijus 18 Sp Finance/Science

This is of course an incredibly strong field, averaging almost 2500 FIDE rating points! I will post the necessary amount of points for our players to make a GM norm as soon as I get the calculations right

The IM section (named because you can make an IM norm) also boasts a field full of talent:

USA GM Kraai, Jesse 36
USA GM Annakov, Babakuli 36
USA FM Shneider, Igor 20 Jr Finance
USA FM Kiewra, Keaton 21 Sr Psychology
LTU Vedrickas, Tautvydas 18 Sp Political Science
USA Guadalupe, Francisco 20 Sp Electrical Engineering
MGL WFM Zorigt, Bayaraa 20 Jr Business Administration
IND Vaidya, CN 22 Sp Economics
SRB Bantic, Mihail 21 Jr Computer Science
USA Lopez, Nelson 21 Jr Telcomm Engineering

The average rating of this tournament is of 2301.

Rounds 1 & 2 GM

You are able to follow the games live through the Internet Chess Club, on or on our own UTD site at

Rounds 1 and 2 saw very exciting games, some time trouble issues and a lot of action! Let's start with the GM tournament:

1 IM Davorin Kuljasevic (2537) 1/2:1/2 IM John Bartholomew (2510)

2 IM Salvijus Bercys (2502) 0:1 IM Marko Zivanic (2518)

3 IM Jacek Stopa (2522) 1:0 IM Drasko Boskovic (2502)

4 GM Alejandro Ramirez (2592)1:0 IM Puchen Wang (2531)

5 GM Sergey Kudrin (2592) 1/2:1/2 GM Julio Becerra (2644)

Probably the most heartbreaking game of the first round was the one played between BERCYS and ZIVANIC. Sal obtained what seemed to be a crushing advantage from the opening and into the middlegame, but became his own worst enemy when he consumed too much time and allowed Marko to create tactical melees that were hard to keep up with. Eventually, low on time, Sal made a decisive mistake and Marko took the victory.

STOPA proved to have excellent knowledge of the Sicilian type positions, first stopping any counterplay by BOSKOVIC and letter penetrating over the kingside with a very pretty rook sacrifice.

My own game was very one sided, as I managed to out prepare the young New Zealand IM WANG and obtained an overwhelming initiative out of the first few moves, which I managed to convert. BARTHOLOMEW proved once more how solid he is and put a stop to any attempts by KULJASEVIC to break through, ending in a peaceful result.

The battle of the GMs KUDRIN vs BECERRA was hard fought, to the surprise of some of the spectators, and after a long game it was actually Sergei who seemed to be happy with the half point.

1 IM John Bartholomew (2510) 1/2:1/2 GM Sergey Kudrin (2592)

2 GM Julio Becerra (2644) 1/2:1/2 GM Alejandro Ramirez (2592)

3 IM Puchen Wang (2531) 1:0 IM Jacek Stopa (2522)

4 IM Drasko Boskovic (2502) 1/2:1/2 IM Salvijus Bercys (2502)

5 IM Marko Zivanic (2518) 1/2:1/2 IM Davorin Kuljasevic (2537)

Round two definitely saw more draws, mainly due to the close encounters and to the players strategically not taking risks in an afternoon round (many of the games in the morning were hard fought, and players only have that much energy). BARTHOLOMEW solidly held KUDRIN to a draw in a Gruenfeld Defense, out of which nothing really ever happened. My game against BECERRA was quite different, I have to say I was suffering through the 4 hours of the game, but in the end my defense proved sufficient and a draw was agreed. WANG seemed to play a nice game against STOPA, keeping the initiative from start until finish. BOSKOVIC, BERCYS, ZIVANIC, and KULJASEVIC pacted very quick draws. Next round looks as follows:

1 IM Marko Zivanic (2528) : IM John Bartholomew (2510)

2 IM Davorin Kuljasevic (2537) : IM Drasko Boskovic (2502)

3 IM Salvijus Bercys (2502) : IM Puchen Wang (2531)

4 IM Jacek Stopa (2522) : GM Julio Becerra (2644)

5 GM Alejandro Ramirez (2592) : GM Sergey Kudrin (2592)


1 Tautvydas Vedrickas (2289) 1/2:1/2 Chaitanya Vaidya (2170)

2 FM Igor Shneider (2426) 0:1 Mihail Bantic (2234)

3 FM Keaton Kiewra (2347) 1/2:1/2 GM Babakuli Annakov (2490)

4 GM Jesse Kraai (2573) 1:0 Nelson Lopez (2214)

5 Francisco Guadalupe (2254) 0:1 WFM Bayaraa Zorigt (2244)

1 Chaitanya Vaidya (2170) 1:0 WFM Bayaraa Zorigt (2244)

2 Nelson Lopez (2214) 1:0 Francisco Guadalupe (2254)

3 GM Babakuli Annakov (2490) 1/2:1/2 GM Jesse Kraai (2573)

4 Mihail Bantic (2234) 1:0 FM Keaton Kiewra (2347)

5 Tautvydas Vedrickas (2289) 0:1 FM Igor Shneider (2426)

With lots of fighting spirit, the first two rounds of the IM invitational started. The most important thing is probably the some what surprising start of serbian super star Mihail Bantic, who is now 2/2 and in clear first! Bantic needs 4.5 more points for a GM norm, out of 7 more games. All the games in the IM section are being broadcasted live as well, and they are proving to be sometimes more exciting than the GM section themselves! For example is LOPEZ vs GUADALUPE, where Nelson tried the ultra agressive King's Gambit and was rewarded with a full point after a complex struggle.

Check out every day for updated info on the games and for photos!

Your blogger,

Alejandro Ramirez

Blog Archive:

UTD vs Belgrade: UTD retains the title! (November, 2008)

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