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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 GM Alexander Ivanov wins 80th Massachusetts Open
 George Mirijanian
  April 2011

Grandmaster Alexander Ivanov performed the "classic hat trick" this past Memorial Day weekend, winning for the third consecutive year the Massachusetts Open. The 55-year-old GM from Newton tallied 5-1 (four wins, two draws) in an Open section field of 34 players to claim first place in the 80th Mass. Open, held May 28-30 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough. It was Ivanov's 11th state championship victory since 1988. Tying for 2nd-3rd place with scores of 4.5-1.5 were 2007 Mass. Open winner IM David Vigorito of Somerville (who lost to Ivanov in round 4), six-time Mass Open winner IM Igor Foygel of Brookline (who drew Ivanov in round 5 and Vigorito in round 6), as well as Matthew Derek Meredith of West Hartford, Connecticut, who - as an expert - was also the top-scoring Under 2300 player and gained a master rating of 2205 for the first time in his tournament career. Posting 4-2 scores and sharing the 2nd Under 2300 prize were national master Stuart Finney of Barrington, Rhode Island and experts Libardo Rueda of Winthrop, Mika Brattain of Lexington and Grant Xu of Shrewsbury. Also scoring 4-2 but finishing out of the prize money was 2008 Mass. Open winner, USCF life senior master Denys Shmelov of Pepperell, who drew Ivanov in round 3, lost to Vigorito in round 5, and drew Meredith in round 6, as well as FIDE master Charles Riordan of Somerville, who lost to Vigorito in round 2 and to Ivanov in the final round. A total of 123 players competed in the MACA-sponsored four-section tournament, which was directed by USCF senior TD Bob Messenger of Nashua, New Hampshire. He was assisted by national TDs Ken Ballou of Framingham and George Mirijanian of Fitchburg. Additional assistance was provided by Brian Mottershead of Carlisle. Roughly one out of four players - 32 in all - won prize money. Because of the increased attendance, the prize fund was totally guaranteed and raised to more than $5000 - a record for a Mass. Open tournament. Many thanks are given to MACA life member Walter Champion of Wellesley, who made generous donations to the tournament to assure that all the top place prizes in the Open section were guaranteed and that participants were eligible for an additional $750 in special game prizes for the "Most Interesting Games" in each section as well as a 3-DVD set of GM Patrick Wolff's Improve Your Chess. 


80th Massachusetts Open prize winners  

UNDER 2100 SECTION (23 players)

  • 1st-2nd: Jason Rihel of Cambridge and Scott Didham of Sharon, 4.5-1.5
  • 3rd: Alonzo Ross of Shrewsbury, 4-2 
  • 1st-2nd U1950: George Winsor of South Easton and Valentin Levin of Lynn, 4-2

UNDER 1800 SECTION (38 players)

  • 1st-2nd: Mateos Sahakian of Medford and Cornel of Osadsa of North Grafton, 5-1
  • 1st U1650: Jesse Klimov of Waban, 4.5-1.5
  • 3rd/2nd U1650: Brian Smith of Connecticut, Thomas Sifter of Quincy, Kevin Hu of Sharon, Cory Silva of Fall River, Jason Tang of Belmont, 4-2

UNDER 1500 SECTION (28 players)

  • 1st: Robert E. King of Plymouth, 5.5-0.5
  • 2nd/1st U1350: Jenny Qiu of Acton, Eric Hu of  Sharon, 4.5-1.5
  • 3rd: Anton Barash of Brighton, Sean Blaisdell of Revere, Eric Soli of Westford, 4-2
  • 3rd/2nd U1350: Brian Santiago of Springfield, Brandon Wu of Littleton, 4-2
  • 1st U1200: Adam Weiss of Natick, 4-2
  • 2nd U1200: Justin Lin of Lexington, Samuel Qiu of Acton, 3.5-2.5