Gata Kamsky to Play In Rochester!

Hello everyone, breaking news here in Rochester: Current US Champ Gata Kamsky is going to be playing in the Marchand! Gata Kamsky is the second highest rated player in the US and the 40th highest rated player in the world. In 1996 Kamsky challenged Anatoly Karpov in a 20 game match for the FIDE championship losing +3 =9 -6. In 2007 he won the Chess World Cup by defeating Carlsen and Shirov which allowed him to challenge Veselin Topalov in a match to determine the right to challenge Viswanathan Anand (weird situation back then, FIDE was still consolidating the championship).

Now some of you may be wondering (like I was), “Why would Gata play in a tournament like this?” Rochester cannot possibly offer to him the sort of conditions he is probably used to playing in international events in Europe. We also cannot offer a strong field of super GM’s (although this year we seem to have a plethora of GM’s who have preregistered) or a larger than usual prize fund (top prize is $2000). Perhaps he needs a few more games in order to qualify for the US Championship this year? I tried doing some research on the┬áprerequisites to play in the US Championship but was unable to find ANY information regarding the requirements for candidate selection (obscurity seems to be the USCF’s middle name USoCF) UPDATE: Found some info, apparently he doesn’t need to play any games at all to qualify because he is the former US Champ.

I recall a few years back that I read that each player in the tournament must have had at least [arbitrary number of games] played in the US to qualify for the US Championship. I like this prerequisite; it makes sure that if you are playing for our national championship that you are actually playing in the US and supporting tournaments like ours (unlike a certain now deceased British GM who merely had a PO box here and was somehow allowed to play in our championship).

The only other thing I can think of is that he didn’t like some of my posts about the world cup and would like to speak with me about them. The implication is of course that someone other than me actually reads this blog, an inference I have serious doubts of regardless of what Google Analytics tells me (I get the sense they sometimes lie to make you feel good about yourself). Whatever the reason he chose us we are happy to have him in our tournament! I can already tell that I am playing better chess and look forward to seeing him walk around the room and stare at my board disapprovingly as he walks off chuckling to himself (as most GM’s do). I would caution any GM not to stare at my game too long, it tends to degrade the play of those around me (and blindness in some rare cases).

Similar phenomena have been observed with my chess game.
Similar phenomena have been observed with my chess game.

With any luck he won’t make me look like a more of a jackass than I already am by not showing up. Here is the list of GM’s who have preregistered (and their photo in case you don’t know what they look like):

(L-R;T-B) Gata Kamsky, Aleksandr Lenderman, Mark Paragua, Mikheil Kekelidze, Alexander Ivanov, Sergey Kudrin
(L-R;T-B) Gata Kamsky, Aleksandr Lenderman, Mark Paragua, Mikheil Kekelidze, Alexander Ivanov, Sergey Kudrin

1. GM Gata Kamsky (USCF: 2778; FIDE:2709)

2. GM Aleksandr Lenderman (USCF: 2693; FIDE:2580)

3. GM Mark Paragua (USCF:2644; FIDE: 2499)

4. GM Mikheil Kekelidze (USCF: 2594; FIDE: 2489)

5. GM Alexander Ivanov (USCF: 2590; FIDE: 2510)

6. GM Sergey Kudrin (USCF: 2588; FIDE: 2521)

A Bit About Dr. Marchand and the Tournament:

Dr. Erich Marchand was a mathematician who worked for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY. He won the NY State Championship on a number of occasions and was the most active tournament player in the US for many years. He was also a skilled writer and wrote a column for Chess Life for a number of years. Dr. Marchand requested that his friends “play chess in his memory”. Here are a list of former Marchand Open Champions (dating back from 1992). I’ve used the modified median tiebreaker to determine a sole winner although first place may have been shared at that time.

Year Name Rating Score Rating Avg. Top-10 Rating Avg. Total
1992 John Russel Stopa 2307 3.5/4 2153 2136
1993 IM Bryon Nickoloff 2500 5.0/5.0 2216 2068
1995 Eric Grabowski 2205 4.5/5 2267 2042
1996 FM Nelson Castaneda 2331 4.5/5 2295 2009
1997* FM Alex Dunne 2343 4.5/5 2269 2022
1998** GM Pavel Blatny 2656 4.5/5 2361 2012
1999 Lionel Davis 2324 4.5/5 2196 2017
2000*** FM Igor Nikolayev 2324 4.5/5 2271 2017
2001+ GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz 2676 4.5/5 2363 1992
2002 GM Ildar Ibragimov 2645 4.5/5 2357 2010
2003 GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz 2613 4.5/5 2313 2024
2004++ GM Jaan Ehlvest 2704 4.5/5 2276 2024
2005 GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz 2605 4.5/5 2287 2040
2006 Craig LaSalle 2123 4.5/5 2162 1941
2007 GM Eugene Perelshteyn 2608 4.5/5 2280 2071
2008+++ GM Eugene Perelshteyn 2620 4.5/5 2328 2041
2009# IM Aleksandr Lenderman 2597 4.5/5 2355 2032
2010## GM Eugene Perelshteyn 2607 4.5/5 2362 2033
2011### GM Timur Gareev 2677 4.5/5 2326 2033
2012& GM Sergey Kudrin 2634 4/5 2375 1992
2013&& GM Mikheil Kekelidze 2599 4.5/5 2448 2074

* – In 1997 Lionel Davis also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Dunne scored 13.5 and Davis scored 11.5.
** – In 1998 Alexander Ivanov also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Blatny scored 16 and Ivanov scored 14.5.
*** – In 2000 Elvin Wilson also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Nikolayev scored 15 and Wilson scored 14.
+ – In 2001 Enrico Sevillano also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Wojtkiewicz scored 14 and Sevillano scored 13.5.
++ – In 2004 John Rouleau also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Ehlvest scored 13 and Rouleau scored 12.5.
+++ – In 2008 Thomas Bartell also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Perelshteyn scored 14.5 and Bartell scored 14.
# – In 2009 Bryan Smith also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Lenderman scored 14.5 and Smith scored 12.5
## – In 2010 Ben Dean-Kawamura also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Perelshteyn scored 14 and Kawamura scored 12.5.
### – In 2011 Mark Paragua also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Gareev scored 15.5 and Paragua scored 13.
& – In 2012 There was a 7-way Tie! The tiebreaks are as follows: Kudrin – 15.5, Gelashvili – 15, Perelshteyn – 14, Kekelidze – 13, Aaron – 12.5, Parry – 12.5, Nikolayev – 11.5.
&& – In 2013 Bryan Smith also finished with 4.5/5 however using the modified median tiebreaker Kekelidze scored 13 and Smith scored 12.5.

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