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31st World Open

Philadelphia June 28th - July 6th 2003

The 31st World Open takes place in Philadelphia June 28th - July 6th 2003. There are many different schedules before they combine for the final few rounds. $180,000 guaranteed prizes. Players include: Boris Gulko, Jaan Ehlvest, Alex Yermolinsky, Maurice Ashley, Artur Yusupov, Roland Schmaltz, Ivan Morovic, Alexander Onischuk and Alex Stripunsky .... and Graeme Kafka (pictured right at World Open, good shirt)!



THE business of chess tournaments in the USA is big money, and none come bigger than the Continental Chess Association (CCA), the organization behind the running of the world's largest tournament, the World Open, which runs this week at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Philadelphia.

The CCA was founded in 1964 by the legendary figure of Tournament Director Bill Goichberg. Together they have held over 2000 chess tournaments in 25 states coast to coast, and has awarded over $12,000,000 in prize money without ever reneging on a guaranteed prize.

For many years, more players have competed in CCA tournaments than those of any other chess organizer in the USA - and their tournaments always generate a cosmopolitan field, as top grandmasters from around the world fly in at a moments notice on the lure of the big pots on offer.

With a guaranteed prize fund of $180,000 at the World Open, entry into the tournament however is not cheap as it covers the prize fund and running costs - as Scotland's top junior Graeme Kafka discovered! On holiday nearby, he found out about the tournament by accident and, after his strong showing at the recent Scottish Championship, opted to play.

His entry fee came to $250, but before that, he first had to pay a fee of $32 to become a member of the United States Chess Federation (no one can play in a US tournament without first being a USCF member!). And, as he sat down to play his opening round game against Israeli GM Victor Mikhalevski, his financial plight deepened on discovery a further fee of $40 needed when it was explained to him he also had to provide a set and clock to play the game.

V Mikhaleviski - G Kafka 31st World Open, (1) Slav Defence 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 a4 Bf5 6 Ne5 Nbd7 7 Nxc4 Qc7 8 g3 e5 9 dxe5 Nxe5 10 Bf4 Nfd7 11 Bg2 g5 12 Ne3 gxf4 13 Nxf5 fxg3 14 hxg3 0-0-0 15 Qc2 Nf6 16 a5 a6 17 Kf1 Nc4 18 Rh4 Ne5 19 Rf4 h5 20 Rh4 Ng6 21 Rc4 Qd7 22 Rd4 Qc7 23 Nb5 axb5 24 a6 Rxd4 25 Nxd4 bxa6 26 Qf5+ Kd8 27 Nxc6+ 1-0

The Liberty Bell pictured right is one of Philadelphia's major tourist attractions. "A chime that changed the world occurred on July 8, 1776, when the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence"

Photos and article by JBH in Philly



Follow up September 12, 2003 New in Chess magazine were so taken with one of Graeme Kafka's T-Shirts at the World Open that he was featured in their 2003 Nr 6 issue in the NIC Cafe. GK (famous initials) was sporting a T-Shirt with some wisdom from the me generation: "an undisguised attempt to intimidate your opponent," or "an attempt at humour," asks NIC.

NIC readers are now invited to submit further material for the "Bad T-Shirt Contest"


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