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Georgia Represents at Millionaire Chess Tournament in Vegas

By Davide Nastasio

GM Maurice Ashley had the great idea of revolutionizing chess and making it more into a spectator sport by using what typically attract crowds—a huge money prize. This is the first chess tournament in history to offer a total of $1,000,000!

In the main forums on the internet there has been a big debate whether such amounts of money would help to promote chess or not—and we are not here to repeat all the arguments pro and con. Instead we are here to celebrate one of the Georgian Players who went to fight in such a hard tournament and was able to return with the huge prize of $40,000! Congratulations to FM Kazim Gulamali, who, with 4 points out of 9, earned 77th place in the Open section, which consisted of 129 players. He won first prize for the Under 2300 players!

The tournament began on October 9th and ended October 13th. The maximum number of players allowed in this tournament was 3,000, but the total amount of players who actually participated was a little above 550, and hailing from 44 different countries. The tournament was 9 rounds, with a different format for time controls and number of games played, which would decide the winner of the different sections.

The playing hall had huge photos of numerous Chess World champions throughout the years and flags of all the countries represented in this world event. In this tournament there were top players, like Wesley So from the Philippines and one of the gold medalist of the Olympiads, GM Yangyi Yu.

I’ve selected a few games from Georgian players who participated in this tournament. While the results of the games are often negative, I’d like to remind everyone that it was a tough tournament, where players who trained very hard went to fight for a chance to win an ultimate prize. In some cases the result is more foreseeable because of a 300-400 rating point difference, where a lower amateur player was fighting against a professional.

This first game shows how a Grandmaster can break the empirical rules that are given in most textbooks and still come out winning, especially after a long endgame in which Black demonstrates an amazing technique. If this is representative of the Chinese school of chess, then I’m definitely impressed!

(2) Perdomo, Carlos Andres (2331) – Bu, Xiangzhi (2710) [A33]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (1.2), 09.10.2014

In this game we see how black repositions his pieces to begin an amazing attack on the kingside, and then once he fixes the enemy army on the kingside, he starts to attack on the queenside to reach a favorable winning endgame.

(12) Gulamali, Kazim (2271) – Gareev, Timur (2612) [C63]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (1.12), 09.10.2014

The following selection of games from the Millionaire tournament include one game not by a player from Georgia, but we see him often playing in our tournaments. IM Ron Burnett’s game is very nice because, I believe, if we would all walk as much as he makes his king walk around the chessboard, we wouldn’t have weight problems in the entire United States! As always in these high level games, the endgame technique decides the result of the game.

(23) Burnett, Ronald (2357) – Stancil, Kimani A (2071) [A10]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (1.57), 09.10.2014

Alissa Melekhina doesn’t need an introduction since she is a famous player and writes chess articles and has videos for all major chess sites.

(55) Perdomo, Carlos Andres (2331) – Melekhina, Alisa (2190) [A21]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (3.54), 10.10.2014

(157) Gulamali, Kazim (2271) – Drozdowski, Kacper (2458) [B21]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (7.26), 12.10.2014

The White player in this game has surely read Nimzowitsch and shows a fine example of centralization, space advantage, and prophylaxis.

(188) Perez Avendano, Paul Omar (2251) – Perdomo, Carlos Andres (2331) [B42]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (7.60), 12.10.2014

Now here are the games played on Monday, which decided who would win the prizes.

(7) Gulamali, Kazim – Karatorossian, David [A67]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (1.1), 13.10.2014

In this game the White player enters a difficult endgame of Queen vs Rook and pawn–and wins!

(9) Karatorossian, David – Gulamali, Kazim [B63]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (2.1), 13.10.2014

(11) Gulamali, Kazim – Karatorossian, David [A85]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (3.1), 15.10.2014

This game was a crucial win for FM Gulamali in order to pass from the semi-finals to the Final.

(12) Karatorossian, David – Gulamali, Kazim [A06]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (4.1), 15.10.2014

Here we start the final match between FM Gulamali and IM Burnett. This match is really exciting and in it we can see two great fighters, each hitting the other with all they have. This battle has the same flavor of the Gladiators in ancient Rome or martial arts fighters in China. Enjoy the games. We are really lucky to be able to witness such struggles!

I’d like to point out how flexible FM Gulamali is in his opening repertoire. In this first game against IM Burnett, it is possible to see how Black, by move 20, has developed harmoniously and how Black has a good pawn structure compared to White. Then chaos follows and we find both players in a difficult endgame.

(59) Gulamali, Kazim – Burnett, Ronald [C41]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (1.1), 15.10.2014

(61) Burnett, Ronald – Gulamali, Kazim [A81]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (2.1), 15.10.2014

In this game we see FM Gulamali, from his opening preparation, trying to take out his opponent. In the end White looks like a mastiff who has bitten the prey and doesn’t give up until he has devoured it.

(63) Gulamali, Kazim – Burnett, Ronald [A04]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (3.1), 15.10.2014

(65) Gulamali, Kazim – Burnett, Ronald [C41]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (5.1), 15.10.2014

(65) Gulamali, Kazim – Burnett, Ronald [C41]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (5.1), 15.10.2014

(66) Burnett, Ronald – Gulamali, Kazim [B20]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (6.1), 15.10.2014

And this is the game that gave FM Gulamali the 440,000 prize!

(67) Gulamali, Kazim – Burnett, Ronald [B00]
Millionaire Chess U2500 Finals Las Vegas, NV (7.1), 15.10.2014

Here the games from another strong player from Georgia: James Herbert Canty, who placed 88th with 4 points out of 9.

(24) Canty, James H – Pourkashiyan, Atousa (2332) [B23]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (1.62), 09.10.2014

(89) Canty, James H – Bartholomew, John (2446) [B23]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (5.24), 11.10.2014

(170) Canty, James H – Inants, Aghasi (2305) [B23]
Millionaire Chess Open 2014 Las Vegas USA (7.41), 12.10.2014

The following are games from the semi-final.

(13) Schwartz, Ylon – Canty, James [A04]
Millionaire Chess U2350 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (1.1), 13.10.2014

This is a nice attacking game, like many played in the end of the 1800’s.

(15) Canty, James – Schwartz, Ylon [B06]
Millionaire Chess U2350 Semi Finals Las Vegas, NV (2.1), 13.10.2014

And now here are the games for the Final. In this first game Mr. Canty seems to deviate from his usual repertoire against the Sicilian and the game is doing well, up to a certain moment in the middlegame, when Black is able to attack successfully, create a passed pawn, and dismantle the enemy castle.

(68) Canty, James – Wang, Qibiao [B23]
Millionaire Chess U2350 Finals Las Vegas, NV (1.1), 15.10.2014

(69) Wang, Qibiao – Canty, James [B35]
Millionaire Chess U2350 Finals Las Vegas, NV (2.1), 15.10.2014

These are the main places in the tournament.

Open 1st: Wesley So
Open 2nd: Ray Robson
Open 3rd: Yangyi Yu
Open 4th: Jianchao Zhou

Open U2500 1st: Kazim Gulamali
Open U2500 2nd: Ronald Burnett
Open U2500 3rd: Dagur Arngrimsson
Open U2500 4th: David Karatorossian

Open U2350 1st: Qibiao Wang
Open U2350 2nd: James H Canty
Open U2350 3rd: Joshua Sheng
Open U2350 4th: Ylon Schwartz

U2200 1st: Rustam Bunyatov
U2200 2nd: Matthew Meredith
U2200 3rd: Mbugua Bo Githoro
U2200 4th: Danyul Lawrence

U2000 1st: Sushrutha Reddy
U2000 2nd: Aderemi Adekola
U2000 3rd: Coel Tadas Oshiro
U2000 4th: Joshua K Bromberg

U1800 1st: Zhiji Li
U1800 2nd: Fred Williams
U1800 3rd: Pierre Damis
U1800 4th: Dean Mitrovich

U1600 1st: George Terarakelian
U1600 2nd: Artem Verdiyan
U1600 3rd: Benjamin V Franco
U1600 4th: Richard Pointer

U1400 1st: Christian Silvestre
U1400 2nd: Keith Brown
U1400 3rd: Marcus Matthews
U1400 4th: Adnan Al Joubi

U1200 1st: Anton Butenko
U1200 2nd: Varun Kumar
U1200 3rd: Zhenjiang Li
U1200 4th: James Gettinger

U1000 1st: Steven E Owlett
U1000 2nd: Herbert Antoine

 

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