Steven Vigil, CFCC Chief Tournament Director
The 2019 Sunshine Open was held on May 31 – June 2. The tournament had 113 players who competed in the 3-day event held at the Westin Lake Mary. It was the second consecutive year that the tournament returned to this comfortable and luxurious venue. The tournament featured four sections: Premier, U2000, U1600, and U1200/Scholastic.
The Premier section attracted a few titled players including Armenian GM Karen Grigoryan (2712), Cuban GM Carlos Hevia (2576) and IM Noe Tutisani (2529) visiting from Georgia.
Congratulations to GM Grigoryan, who swept through the field winning the $650 first place prize. GM Grigoryan, impressive to watch in his form, was the only player in the entire tournament, regardless of section, with a perfect score of 5 points.
IM Tutisani, who recently scored a draw against super GM Fabiano Caruana at the chess Olympiads, took clear second and $455 with 4 points. GM Grigoryan and IM Tutisanu met in round 2 on Saturday morning in what ended up being a de facto first place game in which GM Grigoryan, ahead a doubled pawn, was able to convert the complicated queen and pawn endgame into a win.
Meanwhile in an upset, GM Hevia blundered and lost to Ryan Hamley (2126), who remained calm and fought valiantly while in time pressure. Unfortunately, GM Hevia withdrew on Sunday morning due to a family emergency. Also losing in an upset in round two was 2019 CFCC Club Champion FM Dalton Perrine (2270) against up and coming youngster Vincent Stone (1984).
Dalton, however, ended the tournament strongly with a streak of three victories. His 3.5 points were good enough to win him clear third place and a check for $260. Also winning $260 were Vincent Stone and Benjamin Chen (2141) who tied for the first place U2200 prize.
The U2000 section was uber competitive with four players tying for first place with 4 points each. Congrats to Brandon Sibbitt (1977), Jason Shen (1894), Robert Wagner (1908) and, Akarsu Celik (1768) who each took home a check for $325. With 3 points, Evan Waters (1702) won $195 and the U1800 prize.
Congratulations to Camille Sibbitt (1473) who finished with 4.5 points and won clear first place and $455 in the U1600 section. Four players finished with 4 points, and shared second place honors (as well all 3rd place and under prize prizes) and received $260 each. Congrats also goes to Steven Morgan (1517), Jonathan Cirillo (1414), Advait Nair (1440), and Kyle Paul Knapp (1367).
The Scholastic U1200 section saw a tie for first place. Congratulations to Keyes Rodriguez (996) and Aadarsh Arul (958) who finished undefeated with 4.5 points and won $227.50 each. Four players finished with 4 points to share the $48.75 third/under prizes. Congrats to Arthur Hernandez-Visbal (1199), David Rodriguez (1003), Mike Yang (942) and Anthony Soligny (537).
Saturday Night Blitz Tournament
Saturday night featured a 4 round, double-round blitz tournament. 15 players competed in the blitz. No one was even able to get even a draw against GM Carlos Hevia, who scored a perfect 8 points to win the tournament.
Mixed Doubles Prize
Mixed doubles prizes were also awarded to the top male/female team. Congratulations to the team of Camille and Brandon Sibbitt who took first place with an impressive combined score of 8.5 points winning them $66 each. The team of IM Noe Tutisani and Akarsu Celik scored 8 points to win second place mixed doubles and $33 each.
Tournament Side Events
A crowd of 40 or so people gathered to see FM Alex Zelner give an entertaining lecture on Saturday morning about traps and tactics in the Scotch Opening. Thank you also to FM Alex and Dr. Catherine Zelner who also provided a nice selection of chess books/merchandise sales for the weekend.
Steven Vigil, Harvey Lerman and Terrance Washington served as Tournament Directors for this event. CFCC’s next weekend tournament will be the Autumn Open September 13-15, 2019. We hope to see you there!