written by Theo Slade, CFCC contributor
The Orlando Autumn Open was a very well-organized tournament, with the rounds starting promptly. It was held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive, which I think is a great venue since the playing room is spacious and centrally located. As usual, there were not many entrants in the three-day schedule, even though personally I prefer it.
Heading into the tournament, John Ludwig was the top seed by 261 rating points, so all eyes were on him. On Friday night, Master Abhimanyu Banerjee defeated Cindy Jie with white very quickly in a Kingside attack. Meanwhile, the only other game that night was an uneventful draw between Dr. Jeremy Mandelkern and yours truly.
In the two-day schedule, John and second seed Martin Hansen beat Juan Eduardo Marquez Pereira and Kai Tabor respectively. Meanwhile, rising star Bach Ngo caused an upset by taking down Raghav Venkat, another promising junior.
Bach did come off second best the following round to John, but that is nothing to be ashamed of for the youngster. Abhimanyu continued his fine form, this time reeling in the full point against Arthur Xu. Meanwhile, Martin split the point with Joshua Harrison.
Martin, as usual, took a half point bye on Saturday evening. I have asked him why he does this before: he does not like to play Fridays because he works and he likes the quicker game on Saturday morning. Bach was the victor in his game against Cindy, after which she withdrew!
On Sunday morning, John bounced back with a win against Raghav, and Abhimanyu continued his great run with another W against Dr. Mandelkern. Martin defeated Juan whilst Bach beat Joshua.
Going into the last round Abhimanyu only needed a draw as white against Martin to win the tournament outright, whereas Martin needed to win to catch up to Abhimanyu. John was paired against Goran Markovic, who can be a difficult opponent because he plays very quickly and spends little time at the board.
It was no surprise that John’s game was the first to finish. According to John himself, he "crushed" Goran, which meant that John finished on 4/5. On board one, Martin looked to be pressing for the win, so the question was: Could Abhimanyu take advantage of the wide drawing margin in chess to hold the draw and take first place outright? In the end, Martin broke Abhimanyu’s resistance, doing extremely well to win!
At the end of the fifth round, Bach finished with a standout tournament, gaining an amazing fifty rating points and winning $46.67, tying with Raghav and Goran, who won the same amount. Dr. Mandelkern finished fourth, winning $210, and the results on the top two boards ensured a three-way tie at the top.
Congratulations to Martin, John, and Abhimanyu, who tied for first place, winning $443.33 each!
Other section winners:
Anthony Coleman (4.5/5)
Christopher Fashek (4.5/5)
Charles Bell (5/5)
Andrew Tiansay (4.5/5)
2017 Autumn Open Slideshow
-Central Florida Chess Club