The 42nd annual Lipkin/Pfefferkorn Open was held on the weekend of September 26th-27th in Greensboro, North Carolina. The weather was perfect for playing chess, since in that weekend they had 5 inches of rain! This tournament is one of longest running events in North Carolina–42 years! Probably only exceeded by the North Carolina Open. Thad Rogers, one of the best chess tournament organizers, placed it in a very nice hotel. The prize fund was $14,500. The Championship section was FIDE rated, which is another improvement to the tournaments held in North Carolina. Chacha Nugroho was the main broadcaster with his DGT boards, plus the one added by Thad Rogers.
Let’s review the performance of the Georgia players.
The Championship section, for players over 1900, was FIDE rated. The Chief TD was Thad Rogers. The winner was the candidate master Aaron Balleisen from North Carolina, with 4 points out of 5. Georgia was represented by the talented Arthur Guo, who made 2 points out of 5, and placed seventh. We must remember that for some of our players it is a long trip, and some didn’t play the final round in order to be able to return to Georgia in the evening instead of late night, because we must all go to school or work on Monday!
In the U2000 section, Samhitha Dasari is the first of the Georgia players with 3 points out of 5, placing her in 9th position, closely followed by Vignesh Sekar, also at 3 out of 5.
It wan an unsuccessful result for Stephen Eisenhauer with 1.5 out of 5, which placed him 22nd out of 26 players. An unlucky performance also for Miss Avirneni, with 1 point out of 5.
In the U1800 section, the first Georgia player is Aviva B. Smith, who, with 3.5 out of 5, placed fourth! Srihitha Dasari also had a good performance with 3 out of 5 placed in 12th position, and gaining over 70 points! Jayashree Sekar, Patrick Leary, and Shyam Dasari are all at 2 points out of 5 in 16th position. Mr. Dasari had a good rating improvement, showing he had a hard tournament, but was able to win against stronger opposition.
In the U1600 we have only 3 Georgia players: In 6th position Sudhakar Avirneni has a nice performance, which made him improve his rating of over 60 points! Also from Georgia: Anshul Gokul, and Dhruv Rajaganesh made 2 and 1.5 points respectively.
It is amazing to see that the U1400 section also attracted many Georgia players, and for some it was a five hour drive! Dominic Michael Colombo was able to place 10th with 3 points, following also at 3 points was Varun Gadi, and Samuel Smith also from Georgia.
More Georgia players followed toward the end of the section.
The first one is obviously dedicated to a great fighter: Arthur Guo, who battled so valiantly against a stronger player–and with the Black pieces!
The following game teaches us the importance of learning the endgames, because the final position is a classic of knight with pawn vs knight endgames.
In October 2015 at the Millionaire Chess tournament in Las Vegas, there was a controversy, because two top GMs agreed to a draw in 9 moves. Here we see that such behavior is not restricted to 2700+ rated players, since two 2200+ rated players did even better!
In this game we have an exciting attack on the kingside (initiated by Black) which didn’t go well.
Davide Nastasio is a novel chess aficionado, who has made of chess his spiritual tool of improvement and self-discovery. One of his favorite quotes is from the great Paul Keres: “Nobody is born a master. The way to mastery leads to the desired goal only after long years of learning, of struggle, of rejoicing, and of disappointment…” He has contributed previously to Georgia Chess Magazine in 2013 and is now a contributing writer in this new exciting media format.