He came, played, and conquered
He came. He played. He conquered. That was what seventeen-year-old international master Robert Hess from New York did over Spring Break at the 2009 SPICE Spring Grandmaster Invitational. This very strong six-player double-round-robin tournament took place March 16-22 in the Southwest Collection building at Texas Tech.
For his spectacular play, Robert impressively earned his second grandmaster norm with three rounds to spare and clinched at least a tie for first with two rounds to go. He clinched clear first the day before the tournament ended. I expect Robert to earn his final grandmaster norm and title before the end of this year. His future is very bright.
The other young phenom in this tournament was fourteen-year-old Ray Robson of Florida. He also showed incredible promise by scoring four remarkable victories, including three against grandmasters. After a rough start with just half point in the first four games, Ray stormed back by scoring four and a half points in his final six games to finish with an even score! I am very impressed by the performance of this young man and I believe that the sky is the limit for him in chess.
Here are the final standings:
IM Robert Hess (USA) 7.0
GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (Georgia) 6.0
GM Timur Gareev (Uzbekistan) 5½
IM Ray Robson (USA) 5.0
GM Dashzegve Sharavdorj (Mongolia) 3½
IM Gergely Antal (Hungary) 3.0
More than 150 pictures from the 2009 SPICE Spring Invitational have been uploaded. You can view them here.
Click here to see the game analysis.