By Lubomir Kavalek
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, October 5, 2009; 8:19 AM

The SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Tex., saw a three-way tie for first place in both groups. In the A group, Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine, Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan scored one win and nine draws each. Kuzubov won the blitz playoff and the trophy.

The B group was dominated by U.S. players. IM Ben Finegold made his final grandmaster norm, sharing first place with grandmasters Vinay Bhat and Eugene Perelshteyn. They finished with a 6-3 score. IM Ray Robson, 14, just missed his last GM norm by a half point, scoring 5 1/2 points. The event is the brainchild of the former women’s world champion Susan Polgar.

Source: Washington Post

A Long Overdue Promotion After a Strong Finish in Texas


Published: October 3, 2009
NY Times

Benjamin Finegold has finally shed the label that has haunted him for more than a decade: that he was the strongest international master in the United States.

Finegold, 40, was named an international master 20 years ago, and it seemed only a matter of time before he would become a grandmaster, the highest title awarded by the game’s governing body, the World Chess Federation. While Finegold’s rating consistently hovered above 2,500, the level needed to become a grandmaster, he struggled to earn the norms — performances in tournaments at a grandmaster level — that are also requirements for the title.

Last weekend, his struggle came to an end. He tied for first in the B section of the Spice Cup Chess Festival in Lubbock, Tex. The tournament was organized by Texas Tech University’s Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, also known as Spice.

Daniel Rensch, 23, of Arizona, who had a been a promising junior player before a debilitating ear illness set him back for two years, also had a breakthrough, earning the international master title. He did it in dramatic fashion by holding Ray Robson, a 14-year-old international master, to a draw in the last round. Robson needed a win to become a grandmaster, so the stakes were high for both players.

Here is the full article.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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