North Carolina Open and US Masters

By Davide Nastasio

From August 27th to August 31st, two prestigious tournaments have been held in Greensboro, North Carolina. The US Masters is a very strong tournament. This year 87 players participated; these are some of their famous names: GM Gata Kamsky, GM Alexander Shabalov, and the young GM Kayden Troff. This tournament is important because it gives young players a chance to improve their game, and of course to make a norm, since more than 15 countries were represented with players ranging from FM to GM. Our own state was well represented by FM Kazim Gulamali, Daniel Gurevich (now IM-elect), LM Michael Corallo, LM Damir Studen, NM Sanjay Ghatti, CM Arthur Guo, CM Benjamin Moon, Expert Shanmukha Meruga, Kapish Potula, and NM Tom Kayma.

The new strict FIDE rules were applied during the U.S. Masters and the North Carolina Open; they will surely become more and more present in tournament life.




One of these rules states that players are not allowed to have a cell phone on them in the playing venue. Cell phones, the organizer said, should be left in the hotel room or in the car. Despite the announcement of this rule, some players claimed that they were not aware of it. Others may have simply forgotten about it.  In the second round, Sabrina Chevannes, a WIM from England, forgot that her cell phone was in her back pocket.  When the phone was discovered, the game was forfeited. Evidently more efforts by the national federations and FIDE must be made in order to educate professionals and amateurs alike to avoid losing games for not following the rules.

Strict rules about taking photos were also enforced, an apparent disregard for the many different types of media which work in the chess world.  Only during the first five minutes of the round in the U.S. Masters were spectators and chess press allowed to take photos.  Our sport needs to be better publicized, so the organizers should allow those who work in chess news to have wider access to take photos at different times during the event.  Generally, prizes in big tournaments are offered by sponsors, and sponsors surely would want their brands to be visible.


Here are the results for the US Masters:


Our GM Alonso Zapata, a great coach, finished 4th with 6.5 points out of 9, ahead of big names like GM Kamsky and GM Shabalov.
FM Gulamali finished 24th with 5.5 points out of 9. Sanjay Ghatti and Shanmukha Meruga were in 60 and 61st position respectively with 4 points out of 9. Damir Studen had a bad tournament, with 3 points out of 9; he finished in 72nd position.  Thomas Kayma, a NM from Georgia, also had a bad finish: 2.5 out of 9, in 79th position.




Here some of the games of our Georgia players which were quite interesting:



The following game has a very interesting endgame, which begins around move 20.



In this game we see a brilliant performance by GM Zapata in which GM Zapata outplays the opponent in calculation!



Zapata’s games are really great. He plays foreseeing the endgame that he wants to be in.  When the opponent discovers that he has entered the wrong endgame, it is too late.



The following two games are an example of short draws. Sometimes it is wise to save energy for later battles.



Instead the following draw is a battle between titans!



Some young Georgia players need more experience against 2200+ rated players, as can be seen in the following game:




Related Posts

Leave a Reply