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Najer Wins World Open

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... along with the absentee Hikaru Nakamura, who exhibited the highest possible efficiency in reaching his 7/9 score. He played the three-day schedule, which means the first five games are 45 minutes per player, all played on the same day. For some reason this year the three-day schedule was relatively weak and except for a draw with GM Yudasin Nakamura buzzed through his heavily outrated opponents to reach 4.5/5. Then he played two regular games Saturday: a 14-move draw against Smirin and an insane win with black over Najer, who must have wondered if the rules of the game had been repealed as his excellent position came crashing down around him. And then he was gone! Nakamura is playing in the Donostia San Sebastian tournament that begins on the 7th in Spain and so had asked in advance for two half-point byes in the final two rounds of the World Open! Wild.

That left the rest of the field starting Sunday knowing they'd have to reach his 7/9 score and only Najer, making an admirable comeback, managed to do it. He beat Shabalov in round eight and then he beat Ehlvest's dreary opening into the dirt in the final round to take his second consecutive title by default since Nakamura wasn't around for the traditional blitz playoff, something he no doubt would have enjoyed. But he'll enjoy his half of the first prize ($15,000) for two day's work! Mikhailevski was tied with Nakamura going into the final day with 6/7 but lost his last two games. He beat Kamsky in the 7th round in an fine game.

Akobian had white and six points going into the final round but played just 16 moves against Smirin. All of them theory (from an old game by... Smirin). Strange. It looks like five players finished with 6.5: Kamsky, Akobian, Smirin, Stocek, Yudasin. Alex Lenderman got a GM norm, apparently his final one. Congrats!


>>>>> Nakamura is going to win San Sebastian <<<<<<<<<<< He's going to destroy all of his opposition. You read it here first.

My sources can't be wrong.

There wasn't a tournament with some Capablanca some years ago?

>>>>> Nakamura is going to win San Sebastian <<<<<<<<<<< He's going to destroy all of his opposition. You read it here first.

My sources can't be wrong.

There wasn't a tournament with some Capablanca some years ago?

Sorry for the repetition, I thought it wasn't posted, D'oh

You can't really blame Nakamura for taking 2 bye's to finish out the tourney. His San Sebestian tourney starts on Tuesday and he wanted a day to rest after traveling. I believe he would have normally traveled arrived 2 or even 3 days before if the World Open wasn't place right before it.
Jet-lag sucks.

It would have been funny if Ehlvest didn't crap out last round and managed to draw Najer. Then Nakamura would have won clear first, haha. I imagine if Nakamura stuck around for Rounds 8-9 he would have scored AT LEAST 1.0/2.0 and thus have a decent enough chance at 7.5/9.0 or even GASP 8.0/9.0.

I wonder if any strong player will now choose the "Nakamura Swiss Gambit" by taking bye's in the last 2 rounds of a big Swiss.

I also think Nakamura will do well at San Sebastian and probably finish T-1st.

Btw I am PISSED OFF at ICC for not relaying World Open games. I messaged an admin on there about it, and got no response. WTF's up with that.

Note - this isn't a rest issue, Hikaru flew out yesterday, got into San Sebastian this afternoon, and had to be at the opening ceremony today for Round 1 tomorrow. If he left Monday, he wouldn't have made it for Round 1, so he had to leave Sunday, no matter what.

McLovin - Wake and be mc-leavin' ICC! ICC sucks. Playchess.com (Chessbase) is the absolute best and only way to go.

I believe CCA rules usually ban half-point byes in rounds 8-9, even if requested in advance.

My guess is they made an exception this time for Hikaru.

Under the circumstances it was justified in my opinion, but I hope it won't set a precedent. In general, even top GMs shouldn't be eligible for automatic points, or half-points in the final rounds of major events. (Case in point: An infamous instance several years ago where Lev Alburt told the organizer he could only arrive at the US Open halfway through - and they obliged by giving him FULL-POINT byes for the first FIVE rounds!)

On the ICC non-relay: Might the heavy hand of Monroi have played a part in that?

Flyonthewall wrote:

"I believe CCA rules usually ban half-point byes in rounds 8-9, even if requested in advance.

My guess is they made an exception this time for Hikaru."

Blatantly untrue.

From: http://www.chesstour.com/wo09.htm
"Half point byes OK all, limit 4 (limit 2 in last 4 rounds); must commit before round 3, having under 2 points when requesting byes. (Players with 1-0 scores and round 2 games in progress cannot request byes.)"

Note, this is the same bye schedule as in 2008: http://www.chesstour.com/wo08.htm "Half point byes OK all, limit 4 (limit 2 in last 4 rounds). Open byes must commit before rd 2, other sections before rd 5."

And heck, the same as in 2003: http://www.chesstour.com/wo03.htm "1/2-pt byes OK all rounds, limit 4. Rounds 6-9 byes: limit 2; must commit before round 5."

Love the fact that people live for posting such lies as hypothesis. Yeesh.

"On the ICC non-relay: Might the heavy hand of Monroi have played a part in that?"

Not at all. ICC programmed a bot that took advantage of a game file that was located on the MonRoi site, which meant they could automate the process without needing manual relayers. Unfortunately, it appears that the bot would query the file too often for MonRoi's system to handle (or at least too often for their liking) and so MonRoi have since "tidied up" their system, basically removing the file, to prevent this from causing problems with their service. (I can certainly understand that.)

ICC would have been more than welcome to manually relay the moves as permission would have definitely been granted by the World Open people, who would have had the final say despite the games being broadcast using the MonRoi system. Unfortunately there is just nothing that can be done to help them automate the process, apart from using DGT.

I saw over on TWIC that Mark Crowther, thinking to himself about Nakamura's rather idiosyncratic schedule in the World Open and the fact that people can re-enter [and re-re-enter and even occasionally re-re-RE-enter], is moved to ask "What kind of tournament is this?" I found that amusing. It is a worthwhile question, I think. :) Seeing that there are folks that re-entered up to three times (at least one of whom, I believe, ended up placing pretty well), it does start to seem a little ridiculous at some point. This is starting to become another reason why I prefer the "smaller big" CCA events.

I have for some time tried to identify a rule in any other organized competition that's analogous to, or as stupid as, the re-entry rule: You lose games but are then allowed to pay a fee to wipe out your losses.

Full rant:

That aside, congrats to Najer & Naka.

Someday I hope a strong player will annotate Kamsky's last-round win, which is quite baffling.

Iwould like to see all ims andgms take byes inthe last two rounds next year andplay the 3day schedule...what a farce theworld open was. Akobian is a coward in thelast round as well, his pay off wqas over 6 to 1 if he could beat a lovwer rated player with white, waht a lil punk.

I don't believe a voluntary bye in the final round should be allowed -- for prize purposes -- whether or not it is requested far in advance.

IMHO the final round should always be played.

Indeed, there was a time when you had to complete your schedule to win a prize - you couldn't drop out (essentially zero point bye) and still get a prize. That has changed so that once you "earn" a prize you should still receive it...though some events still require a completed schedule.

At our club, you must be present to receive your prize -- absent players who leave the premises for our one-day events forfeit their prizes to the club treasury. Of course, our prizes are small :)

But really, locking up the final two rounds -- whether permitted by the tourney rules or not -- just isn't right.

I mean, it strikes me that it is the ideal choice. You play the fast schedule, if you do well, you have locked in your (high/untouchable score. If you do poorly, you go home early. Essentially, you are guaranteeing an extreme score either way.

It would be like a golf tournament where, after the first round, Tiger Woods "locks in" a par round for round 4. Totally goes against the "ethos" of the event....but I bet that it would tend to win more golf events than it would keep you from winning, as being "in the clubhouse" is more advantageous than being on the greens (golf, like chess, is hard to play).

I find it humorous...given all the debate over rules designed for sponsors (i.e. you cannot be even a minute late for the start of the round, no draws in under 30 moves), that you can essentially "no-show" your way to win the tourney.

Check the TLAs and you will find that often the smaller events do not allow a bye in the final round. I think that is the reason some posters assumed that they were an exception at the World Open (not some tendency toward "lies" as John F. seems to believe).

Stay tuned! I took lots of nice pics. Should have them on tomorrow along with a number of different stories.

I interviewed Nakamura after round #7... minutes before he hit the road. He was in good spirits... and looking very fit and trim. His extreme workouts have apparently been favorable to him and his play. He told me about his workouts on Facebook, but to see it is evidence.

Hopefully, he'll do well in Spain.

great plan by the one who said hw was giving up chess lol...he played 2 plersin the top 50 and won 15,000 in two day...yeah the worldopen is a real tournament...what a joke,45 minutes per game andbyes inthe last round...whoever directs this crap should be barred from chess .

Is that you, Paul (or Susan)...posting as "kim lawly"?

(Or, is the USCF ballotting deadline already past, which would make such typical "Chesspromotion"-style campaign posts moot?)

RE: Nakamura's byes

Please consider the following.

(1) Nakamura had to play Black in Rounds 6 & 7 against GM opposition at 40/2. That's a large disadvantage to him. A loss in either game, and he's getting Happy Meal money at best. Even a draw is rather expensive.

(2) I remember past years where the 3-day Open section schedule was absolutely brutal. This year's appears to have been a little softer than normal. But that's a matter of chance.

(3) Like him or not, Nakamura is a big draw. I worked the floor in the Open this year. I don't think the huge crowds that thronged his games (at either time control) were sad to see him make a 2-day appearance.

(4) Nakamura is known for being ultra-competitive. Exhibit A: his ambition to win the US Championship "straight up", with no playoff. With 6/7 going into Sunday's games, I'm sure he'd rather have played and taken a shot at 7.5 or 8. He'd have been guaranteed White in Round 8, probably against Mikhalevski (can't remember offhand if they'd played earlier).

(5) The guy wins his second US Championship, wins the World Open, and starts off 2-0 in San Sebastian after arriving there maybe a day before the first round. This isn't someone who tries to manipulate section entries. I don't think he deserves to have his motivations questioned, as he clearly takes on all comers.

For my money, anyone criticizing him for taking the byes needs a serious reality check. His mere appearance in Philly was a large net positive for the tournament.

NOTE: I say all this even after he got angry at me for refusing to set a digital clock without delay for him prior to Round 7. :)

I dont care about uscf it is a joke...so lets go on to the world open, no player should tie for first plaing only 3 of the top60 players in the field in a 9999999...thats right 9 round robin event...that is cheating...btw i am a Nakamura fan but this is preposterous for all those players who played soooo many difficult games, except Akobian who is just a tool.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 6, 2009 12:28 AM.

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