Saturday, October 29, 2005

11th annual BU Open

The Boston University Open is the BU Chess Club's premier event. The idea of having an inexpensive convenient rated event was suggested by the club President Allan Ong to promote playing serious tournament chess among college players, though all chess players are welcomed. Since the first BU Open in 1995, players ranging from beginners in their first rated tournament (e.g. the club advisor Robert Oresick) to strong players from around the East Coast (and in the Frenklach years, from California) have tried their hand at winning the top prize (including former US Chess Champions GM Joel Benjamin, GM Alexander Ivanov and former US Women's Champion WIM Esther Epstein (who works at Boston University).

After 10 years, the BU Open is still inexpensive, convenient, and competitive. The BU Open is an all-day with four rounds of non-stop chess action. From the first round at 10AM to the end of the last game at around 7-PM each player gets a full day of exciting chess action. There is no elimination. In the Swiss tournament system each person plays all four games – pairings at each round are based on results, so as one wins one plays against others also having a good day. One of the delights of a rated chess event is that competition is fierce, especially during the latter rounds. No quarter is given or offered between those in contention of the top prize. Not only does the winner receive cash (usually around $300 based on entries) for his efforts, but s/he is immortalized (!?) by having his/her name inscribed on the perpetual plaque. (This tournament has received media coverage in the Boston Globe and in Chess Horizons, published by the Massachusetts Chess Association.)

The first BU Open was held on November 18, 1995 and was won by Prof. Timothy Sage of Northeastern University, outscoring FM Bill Paschall who was a BU student and BUCC member at the time.

Then, in 1996, the four-way tie included Daniel Bartley, Andrey Shlyakhter, Ray Sayers, and Mike Henroid of Boston College.

In 1997 Harvard student NM Jacob Chudnovsky won.

The 1998 tournament honors were shared by FM Bill Kelleher and National Master (NM) Klaus Pohl. FM Kelleher's win was a milestone in itself as it marked him as the first BU (graduate) student to win the tournament.

The 1999 BU Open was to date, the largest in the tournament's history. A record 93 players attended, including former US Champion GM Alexander Ivanov, current US Champion GM Joel Benjamin,and former US Women's Champion WIM Esther Epstein, and FM Bill Kelleher (a BU alum) who scored 4 points and won a clear first place and $350, helped by the drawn result when the two GMs faced one-another. Ivanov and Benjamin shared 2nd place, and they each received $90.

In year 2000, the new millennium marked the return of IM "Buccaneer Bill" Paschall to the BU Open, as he cruised to a perfect 4-0 to finish clear first.

Three persons shared the top spot in 2001, New York's FM Ronald Young tied with local masters FM William Kelleher and NM Alex Cherniak. FM Ron Young was also the first player outside of MA to win the tournament.

In 2002 FM Ronald Young of New York and expert Niman Kenkre shared top honors.

In 2003 GM Alexander Ivanov took the first place prize of $300, after some very exciting games, including a tense, time-pressured match with IM Bill Paschall

In 2004 GM Ivanov won four games rather easily for a repeat. [Crosstables are available at the]

We cordially invite you to consider playing this year.

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