Dlugy, Ehlvest, Kharlov and Milov Triumph In NY City Blitz:
4-Way Victory Over 66-Player Field

For the third consecutive year, New York City's venerable Marshall Chess Club saw chess history being made. The strongest New York Open ever held had just ended the day before, and many of the stars from that record-making event ventured downtown the following night to take part in one more Caissian Classic. A true international event was in the making, as over 66 players (12 more than 1996) representing 14 countries on four continents converged on the historic Greenwich Village brownstone Monday April 7th, comprising the strongest blitz tournament held in the U.S. in several years. The talent assembled that night included over forty-two (!) Chess Masters-- no less than fourteen Grandmasters and four International Masters among them. The turnout was actually more than the expected number of entries, and consequently all the prizes were raised over what was advertised!

In contrast to the rigors of traditional tournament games, which can often last up to six hours, in blitz each player has just five minutes for the whole game-- invariably leading to exciting, and often incredible time-scramble climaxes. Such was the case here too, and the difference between winning and losing was often no more than a few seconds.

Despite some noteworthy upsets (such as 17-year-old Jorge Zamora's double shellacking of GM Ilya Smirin in Round 2), it was the favorites who finished in the money. Four GM's tied for First, each scoring 10-3 to pocket $244: Jan Ehlvest of Estonia (Number 2 on the wallchart at 2695); third-seed Max Dlugy of Englewood, NJ; sixth-ranked Vadim Milov of Israel; and Andrei Kharlov of Russia (ranked ninth at the start). Carlos Perdoma of Columbia scored 9-5 to clinch the $217 Under 2400 Prize, while Jerry "Poe" McClinton and 16-year-old Jennifer Shahade tied for Top Under 2220 (WBCA), each winning $109 for finishing with 7-6. Sam Sloan's even score was good enough for $109 too, as the Top Under 2000.

The tournament was a 7-round, double-round Swiss (each player played 2 games vs. each opponent). The double-round format was very popular, eliminating all "color-problems" (everyone plays one White and one Black), resulting in "pure" pairings. The event was rated by the World Blitz Chess Association (WBCA), with financial support from long-time blitz aficionado Eric Horsboll. Steve Immitt, International Arbiter Sophia Rohde and FM Ron Young directed the tournament for the Chess Center of New York.

The Marshall Chess Club also runs a somewhat less formidable blitz tournament every Friday at 7:30 pm.

TO: Mike Franett, Editor, "Inside Chess"
(206-448-1066, FAX: 206-441-4736)

FROM: Steve Immitt, Marshall Chess Club, New York City
(212-477-3716, FAX: 212-995-9281)

DATE: May 8, 1997

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