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Istvanyi Open Round 1 - Time for a Little Bonding

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Michael Bond (right) in his draw with Jesse Victoria.
Michael Bond (right) in his draw with Jesse Victoria.
The Istvanyi Open tournament got underway Monday, August 20 with an impressive turnout of 50 players for the first round. This number was higher than expected, since all the kids are returning to school and the number of players usually drops off around this time of year. Indeed, we have several more players to come, with seven people taking byes in round one.

On top board, Craig Faber (2202) was white against David Munoz (1634) and played the London System. Black seemed to have some play, even when losing a piece, as he had a couple of pawns by way of compensation. Unfortunately, once one of the pawns fell, black's position crumbled and he had to resign.

On board 2, Gregg Fritchle (2075) took on Bertram Buggs 1618) with the black pieces. Fritchle won the game relatively quickly to get off to a smooth start in the tournament.

Board 3 produced the first (but by no means the last) upset of the evening as Michael Bond (1617) pulled out a superb draw against expert Jessie Victoria (2065). This is one of Bond's best results in Arcadia and not the start Victoria would have wanted, although with five rounds to go there is plenty of time to make up lost ground.

Michael Cooper (2057) had black against Cory Chen (1586) on board 4. The game was a Sicilian Najdorf which Chen played quite well, however an interesting combination by Cooper proved to be his undoing. A piece sacrifice opened up white's king and, at a glance, it looked pretty decisive. The computer was able to find a defense for white which may not have won (black would have still had a couple of pawns for his sacrificed piece) but would have at least prolonged the game considerably. Alas, white was unable to find the defense and resigned just a couple of moves later.

There were also wins for experts Matthew Hayes (2051), David Argall (2012) and Dane Hinrichsen (2000), as well as high class A players Dave Matson (1987), Wendell Salveron (1941) and Gordon Brooks (1900).

The first round of a new tournament frequently doesn't produce many upsets, probably due to the large rating gaps in most all of the pairings. However, this time we had no fewer than six shock results, including the aforementioned Victoria - Bond draw on board 3. Justin Chang (1570) picked up an excellent draw against Randy Hough (2022) in a position where several pieces came off and neither side could make much progress. Joey Perez (1510) beat John Anderson (1944) in easy his best ever result in Arcadia. Jeffrey Chou (1330) had black against class A player Asatour Dovlatyan (1872) but that didn't stop him from earning a terrific draw. Danny Machuca (1569) had an overwhelming victory over Ron Morris (1836) where he opened up black's king and seemingly had multiple ways to win. Finally, Hector Valdez (1452) kept up his recent fine form by dispatching with Bill Kiplinger (1774).

The Istvanyi Open will continue Monday, August 27.