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Report: It’s Damir Again at 2013 State Championship

Setting a new attendance record, 130 played in this year’s state championship tournament. Only the new unrated section was underrepresented. The GCA paid out over $10,000 in prize money—one of the richest prize funds in a while. (The GCA is appreciative of the generosity of Philip O. Taylor in augmenting the prize fund.) Because the championship section was FIDE-rated, the time control used was G90 +30s, whereas all other sections used G/120 d/5.

Georgia’s new resident GM Alonso Zapata finished in clear first. He had not yet, however, established his residency in Georgia and thus he was not eligible for the title. Nonetheless he did pocket $1000 for his efforts, which should have helped him get settled in. If all goes as planned, next year he can play as a Georgian. He is the first GM to take up residence in the stater and is already taking an active part in Atlanta chess life.

Georgia resident and 2009 state champion Damir Studen tied with young Texan, Li Ruifeng at 3.5 points  to clinch the championship title. Stalwart former state champions FM Todd Andrews, IM Carlos Perdomo, IM Ron Burnett, and NM Richard Francisco could only muster three points each.

If a new GM and a visiting strong master from Texas wasn’t enough, former Atlantan resident Andrew Cherepanov returned to play. Older GCA members will remember that Cherepanov was a strong and frequent player in the Atlanta chess scene earlier in this millenium

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