2010 Copper State International Recap — Halftime Report

Posted: June 7th, 2010 by Daniel Rensch

The 2010 Copper State International, presented by Abstrax Inc, has reached the midway point of the tournament. It has certainly been an exciting few days of chess in Arizona, with many ups and downs for both our top seeds and our “Norm Hunters”. Since our last recap (following the opening ceremonies and the first couple rounds) we have witnessed some brilliant attacks, incredibly tough defenses, and of course a fierce water fight…

Amanov and Fridman

Grandmaster Mesgen Amanov (playing black) is now among the leaders of the B-Group after holding a draw agaisnt GM Daniel Fridman -- a draw which he followed up with a victory of IM Bercys...

Pruess and Amanov in Water

Mesgen also took on all comers (including IM Pruess captured here) in an all out water fight on Saturday! Many of the players gathered at John Lalonde's (Abstrax owner) home for a BBQ and Pool Party. See our gallery at the end of this article for more pictures!

When the players did get back to playing chess we saw two incredible upsets from young FM Conrad Holt (now nickname in Daniel Rensch’s Chess.com/TV coverage as “Thunder-Holt”). After taking down the reigning champion of Serbia, GM Nikola Sedlak, in round three, Conrand beat GM Kacheishvili with the black pieces. “Thunder-Holt’s” run did finally come to an end when he met up with Fridman in round five. Also in the B-Group and in search of his last IM-Norm is FM Robby Adamson. He heads into round six against GM Kekelidze of Georgia having scored three and a half out of his last four games, including a victory of IM Drasko Boskovic and a draw agaisnt GM Sedlak. Stay tuned to their live games tonight at this link.

Back in the A-Group we have seen many ups and downs, and it doesn’t seem like a clear leader wants to break free of the pack just yet. GM Alejandro Ramirez of Costa Rica has played the most consistent chess, and leads the field with three and a half out of five.

Krush and Ramirez

GM Ramirez prepares to make his move agaisnt International Master Irina Krush...

On the flip side, IM Jacek Stopa (many people’s top pick to earn a GM-Norm) got off to a very rough start, scoringĀ  just a half point out of his first four games. However, his first victory of the tournament did finally come, and it came in brilliant fashion against IM John Bartholomew. Check out the game for yourself by going to this link, and clicking on the replay games drop down (see Round 5).

Players in A

IM John Bartholomew (white hat) faces off against Sam Shankland, while Mackenzie Molner (playing white) battles Jacek Stopa in the background...

To see the full standings click here, and be sure to check out IM Rensch’s live broadcast of round six on Chess.com/TV!!!!