Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hess came, played and conquered

Polgar: Hess came, played and conquered the 2009 Grandmaster Invitational

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Story last updated at 3/29/2009 - 2:09 am

He came. He played. He conquered. That was what 17-year-old International Master Robert Hess from New York did over spring break at the 2009 SPICE Spring Grandmaster Invitational. This very strong six-player double round robin tournament took place from March 16-22 in the Southwest Collection building at Texas Tech.

For his spectacular play, Robert impressively earned his second Grandmaster norm with three rounds to spare and clinched at least a tie for first with two rounds to go. He clinched clear first the day before the tournament ended. I expect Robert to earn his final Grandmaster norm and title before the end of this year.

The other young phenom in this tournament was 14-year-old Ray Robson of Florida. He also showed incredible promise by scoring four impressive victories, including three against Grandmasters. After a rough start with just half point in the first four games, Ray stormed back by scoring four and a half points in his final six games to finish with an even score.

Here are the final standings:

1. International Master Robert Hess (USA) 7.0 points in 10 games

2. Grandmaster Giorgi Kacheishvili (Georgia) 6.0

3. Grandmaster Timur Gareev (Uzbekistan) 5.5

4. International Master Ray Robson (USA) 5.0

5. Grandmaster Dashzegve Sharavdorj (Mongolia) 3.5

6. International Master Gergely Antal (Hungary) 3.0

More than 150 pictures from the 2009 SPICE Spring Invitational have been uploaded. You can view them at

Here are some interesting statistics about the SPICE Spring Invitational:

• Out of the 30 games played - more than 10 rounds - 60 percent were decisive while only 40 percent were drawn.

• Surprisingly, Black won more than White, 18 versus 12.

• Mongolian GM Dashzegve had the biggest fighting spirit with 484 total moves in 10 games, followed by Hess with 381 moves, Robson with 349 moves, Kacheishvili 339 moves, Antal with 310 moves and Gareev with 306 moves.

1. e4 was played 17 times while 1.d4 was played 11 times. Only two games were started with other moves (one with 1.c4 and one with 1.Nf3).


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