2011 FIDE Continental Americas Amateur Chess Championship
- Written by Sevan A. Muradian
Over the 4th of July holiday, over 100 players representing 5 countries from the Americas participated in the 2011 FIDE Continental Americas Amateur Chess Championship. The event was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Rosemont.The event was a 7R-SS with a time control of 90 30 (Game-90 with a 30-sec increment).
The event had many twists and turns but in the end we finished with the following results:
1st place - Carl Haessler
2nd place - Prashantha Amarasinghe
3rd place - Jim Mundy
Top 2199-2100 - Christopher Hueng
Top 2099-2000 - Sam Schmakel and Isiah Gadson
Top 1999-1800 - Andres Hortillosa
Top 1799-1600 - Jordan Pamatmat
Top 1599-1400 - Gregory Peterson
Top U1400 - Max Villarreal
Top Female - three way tie - Apruva Virkud, Rachel Ulrich, Shayna Provine
Since there were non-cash prizes, tie breaks were used where needed. Apruva Virkud won both the Texas Tech University Scholarship along with free accommodations to the World Amateur in Turkey for the female players. Prashantha Amarasinghe won the Texas Tech University Scholarship for the male players, while Jim Mundy won the free accommodations to the World Amateur in Turkey for the male players. The reason neither Carl nor Prashantha won the World Amateur prize is because their FIDE ratings are above the 2000 rating threshold to participate in that event.
As with all events organized by the North American Chess Association, all equipment (boards, pieces, clocks) were provided. The $15,000 guaranteed prize fund was made possible by the sponsors of the event: Forseva, Gazelle, SenseAgility, and Cajun Chess.
Just as the World Amateur in 2010 was the first time the event was held in the US, the same was true for Americas Amateur. Traditionally this event has been held in South America in conjunction with the Americas Absolute championship but this year we were able to convince FIDE Americas to split the events and allow them to be held separately. Additionally we were able to convince FIDE Americas on the definition of 'amateur' as being rated under 2200 with no FIDE title. This allowed for additional competition by experts and some USCF masters who did not have FIDE ratings. Being that this was a FIDE championship event, some tournament aspects that US players are accustomed to were not available such as 1/2 point byes and re-entries. While this may have discouraged some participation, the general feeling from those that did participate was that it did not make a difference to them but they understood why those guidelines were in place.The event was rated by USCF by 8pm on the day the tournament was completed. Here is the cross table. The event was rated by FIDE during the week. That cross table can be found here.
We will shortly begin compiling a list of where players sit in terms of achieving their first FIDE rating, not only through this event but since the North American Chess Association began organizing events to bring FIDE ratings for the amateur chess player.
While this event must rotate throughout the different FIDE Americas countries in the following years, the North American Chess Association will once again organize a $15,000 guaranteed prize fund tournament over the 4th of July weekend and make it a Chicago-based chess tradition. Next year we will make some slight changes to the event - it will become a 9R-SS event, 90 30 time control again, byes will be allowed (up to 4), an re-entries will be allowed. Once again all equipment will be provide to the players and we will additionally provide analysis boards in the skittles room (lesson learned that when people know they don't need to bring equipment, they don't have anything to analyze on either after the game!) We will shortly announce the site as we are in negotiations with 5 hotels. We additionally may hold a separate and parallel round robin event for aspiring Grandmasters and International Masters. To keep up to date with this information make sure to follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nachess and also stay up to date through our website at http://www.nachess.org
Finally I would like to thank my staff of Deputy Chief Arbiter FA Manuel Nieto and his wife Sandra who came from Columbia along with their 2 boys. Also the every present FA/NTD Wayne Clark who patrolled the floors and NTD Tim Just that controlling the pairings. Thanks to also all of the those that helped with the setup and tear down of the event to make the process as smooth as it could be.