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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

7th annual Continental Chess Cleveland Open

     This event was played over Labor Day weekend last month in Cleveland, Ohio. A few weeks ago I almost decided to return to over the board play and enter this one which would have been my first tournament since I can’t remember when. Instead, I decided not to play when I remembered how much I disliked the grind of having to play chess 10-12 hours a day for 2-3 days. Also, since it was Labor Day weekend, the last holiday of the summer, I decided I’d rather stay home, spend it with the family and grill a lot of food. Looking at the crosstable I realize just how out of touch with tournament chess I am; I recognized only two names in the whole event; IM Calvin Blocker who finished tied for 13-17th with 3-2 and one other player, an expert.
     The event was won by IM Ron Burnett with +3 -0 =2 on tie breaks over IM Jay Bonin, Walker Griggs (2335), Gabriel Petesch (2379), IM Florian Felecan, John Ahlborg (2227), John Marcsik (2205) and Ben Li (2170).
     Unfortunately I could not find any games from the tournament online, but the winner, IM Ron Burnett, is a 47-year old IM from Tennessee with a USCF rating of 2472. Here is a Burnett win against IM Danny Kopec from a tournament in 2006. Kopec has been a semi-professional player since 1976. He lived in Canada for several years during the 1980s. He has written numerous books on chess, produced eight chess instructional DVDs, and has run chess camps since 1994. Kopec has also worked out a popular variation against the Sicilian, the Kopec System: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bd3. Outside of chess, he has published notable academic pieces in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine error reduction, intelligent tutoring systems, and computer education. In the following game they got into a position containing, as Botvinnik used to say, head whirling complications. In the end Burnett kept his head better than Kopec. A fascinating and complicated game.

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