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GM Timur Gareev wins chess tournament in ‘Sin City’

1/2/2013 – Las Vegas plays host every year to one of America's biggest class opens, the North American Open (NAO). Chess enthusiasts of all strengths from all over the world flock to the entertainment metropole for these tournaments, with hopes of winning relatively big prizes ($80,000 guaranteed for this year's NAO) and experiencing all that the city has to offer. Report by Beau Mueller.
 

In November 2012 Frederic Friedel and his wife Ingrid toured the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, the lakes, etc. in a single-engine Cessna piloted by the Unix-inventor Ken Thompson. On the trip they flew over Las Vegas, and took the following aerial pictures.

Las Vegas was founded in 1905 and incorporated as a city in 1911. It is located in an arid basin on the desert floor of Nevada and is surrounded by dry mountains. Much of the landscape is rocky and dusty, but the area is subject to torrential flash floods. The city's tolerance for gambling and various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and made it world famous.


The gambling and entertainment industry is mostly focused in the "Las Vegas Strip", where the
largest and most notable casinos and buildings are to be found


In this aerial photo you can see the Eiffel Tower, next to the chess venue, Bally's Casino Resort,
which is in the top centre of the blow-up image above


This is what the area looks like on the ground, when Las Vegas wakes up – at night!


You can explore the location of the Las Vegas chess tournament in Google Maps here


Bally’s Casino billboard with Caesar’s Palace visible in the background


The Eiffel Tower, reconstructed in the Nevada Desert

This year's North American Open, held at Bally's Casino Resort on December 26th-December 30th, drew a whopping 633 players competing in seven sections. There were some special anti-cheating rules in place: "In round 3 or after, players with scores of 80% or more and their opponents may not use headphones, earphones, or cellphones or go to a different floor of the hotel without Director permission, and must submit to a search for electronic devices if requested by Director."

North American Open 2012 final standings (after nine rounds)

The open section featured 16 GMs and was won in convincing fashion by the Uzbekistani Grandmaster Timur Gareev.

# Name Rtng State
Pts
Prize
1 GM Timur Gareev 2660 TX
8.0
$9690.00
2 FM John Daniel Bryant 2416 CA
7.0
$4704.00
3 GM Chao Li 2670 CHN
6.5
$1474.00
4 GM Sam Shankland 2595 CA
6.5
$1474.00
5 GM Alejandro Ramirez 2554 TX
6.5
$1474.00
6 IM Zhanibek Amanov 2359 KAZ
6.5
$2352.00
7 GM Sergey Erenburg 2637 ISR
6.0
$715.40
8 GM Gior Kacheishvili 2602 NY
6.0
$715.40
9 GM Joshua Edward Friedel 2494 NH
6.0
$715.40
10 GM Dmitry Gurevich 2485 IL
6.0
$715.40
11 GM Arthur Chibukhchian 2448 ARM
6.0
$715.40
12 FM Yian Liou 2352 CA
6.0
$715.40
13 GM Jon Ludvig Hammer 2633 NOR
5.5
$47.00
14 GM Aleksandr Lenderman 2619 NY
5.5
$47.00
15 GM Tamaz Gelashvili 2566 GEO
5.5
$47.00
16 GM Mikheil Kekelidze 2491 GEO
5.5
$47.00
17 IM Mackenzie S Molner 2479 AZ
5.5
$47.00
18 IM Lukas Cernousek 2450 CZE
5.5
$47.00
19 IM Bindi Cheng 2397 CAN
5.5
$47.00
20 Kayden W Troff 2365 UT
5.5
$47.00
21 FM Michael H Bodek 2316 NY
5.5
$47.00
22 Kyron W Griffith 2230 CA
5.5
$47.00

GM Timur Gareev finished with an undefeated 8.0/9, a full point ahead of his nearest rival, to claim convincingly the title of North American Open Champion along with a prize of nearly $10,000 for his efforts throughout the week. FM John Bryant finished in second place with 7.0/9, scoring a GM norm in the process, to claim a prize of $4,704.

IM Zhanibek Amanov also scored a GM norm, finishing in a group of four players with 6.5/9, as well as taking the Under 2500 prize. FMs Yian Liou and Michael Bodek both scored IM norms.

The “Uzbek Dragon” Timur Gareev, is exceptionally talented; right before playing in Vegas, he visited Hawai’i, where he gave a chess camp and played a blindfold simultaneous exhibition against 27 players. His score? 24 wins, two draws and one loss! At some point, GM Gareev wants to break the world record for the most boards in a blindfold exhibition, and has set a personal goal of 64 boards.


In third place: Chinese GM Chao Li, 2670, with 6.5/9 points


GM Dmitry Gurevich from Illinois, 2485, who has won or tied for
first in the US Open four times, in 10th place with 6.0/9


55th: FM Ylon Schwartz from Texas, , rated 2239, with 3.5/9

Why do we mention him especially? Ylon Schwartz may not have scored a spectacular result in the chess tournament, but this man, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, is definitely more successful as a professional poker player:


Ylon Schwartz has won over US $4.6 million and a WSOP bracelet playing poker

Another very interesting player: nine-year-old FM Awonder Liang who, besides being an U8 World Champion, currently holds records for being the youngest player ever to defeat an IM in a tournament game and the youngest to reach a US Expert rating, attained when he was only eight years and seven days old.


Biker guy: a player from the Under 2100 section

Photos by Beau Mueller, aerial pictures of Las Vegas by Ingrid Friedel


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