Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Texas Tech Attracts Top Players to SPICE Cup

November 2, 2010, 7:00 pm
Texas Tech Attracts Top Players to SPICE Cup
New York Times

When Texas Tech University in Lubbock started the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, known as Spice, in 2007, one of the program’s goals was to organize and promote tournaments, particularly for top-level players.

The program has been very successful in that regard.

The first Spice Cup in November 2007 had six grandmasters, but the best, Kamil Miton of Poland, was only ranked around No. 100 in the world. There have been three Spice Cups and three Spring Invitationals since then, and the quality of the players has improved over the years. The Spice Cup has also expanded to include two sections.

This year’s competition began Thursday with a strong field in the A section, including Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, ranked No. 25 in the world; Alexander Onischuk of the United States, No. 53; Wesley So of the Philippines, No. 73; Georg Meier of Germany, No. 89; Ray Robson of the United States, No. 499; and Eugene Perelshteyn of the United States, No. 514.

The B section has 10 players, including four grandmasters, five international masters and a master, Darwin Yang of the United States, whose rating, the system used to rank players, is the level of an international master.

The A section is a double round robin, meaning that each competitor plays the others twice. After five rounds — the halfway mark — Meier is leading with 11 points (using a scoring system in which a win is 3 points and a draw is 1); followed by So and Onischuk with 8 each; Almasi, 7; and Perelshteyn and Robson, with 2 each.

In the B section , Anatoly Bykhovsky, an Israeli grandmaster, leads with 4.5 points, followed by Gergely Antal, a Hungarian grandmaster, and Davorin Kuljasevic, a Croatian grandmaster, who each have 3.5 points.

Tuesday, Bykhovsky beat Bryan Smith, an American international master, in a game with an amazing final position, while Kuljasevic beat Yang, who is having a good tournament nonetheless.

The A section was idle on Tuesday, but on Monday, Meier beat Perelshteyn after a long endgame and Onischuk beat Robson who, at 16 years old, is the youngest player in the field.

Source: NY Times

Here is the link to 178 pictures from the 2010 SPICE Cup Blitz Championship at the SUB.

Here is the link to over 430 pictures from the SPICE Cup 2010 at the SUB.
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