The Washington Times

Congratulations to IM Daniel Ludwig, who took clear first Sunday night in the 2012 Eastern Open downtown at the Westin Washington Hotel with an undefeated 61/2-11/2 score, a full point ahead of a quartet of challengers. The 22-year-old Texas Christian University student defeated local GM Lawrence Kaufman and master Andrew Samuelson in the sixth and seventh rounds to break clear of the field, securing a quick draw with FM Ralph Zimmer in the eighth and final round to lock down first place.

Kaufman still managed a tie for second with IMs Emir Husyenov and Bryan Smith and FM Thomas Bartell. We will have full details on all the Eastern sectional winners and some action from the board in next week’s column.

Congratulations to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which finished in a first-place tie with a 5-1 team score at the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship on Sunday, earning yet another berth for the Retrievers in the Collegiate Chess Final Four this spring in Herndon.

Also qualifying were top-seeded Webster University (boasting a lineup for its “A” squad of just under 2700), 2011 winner University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Illinois.

The UMBC team included GMs Giorgi Margvelashvili and Niclas Huschenbeth, WGMs Sabina Foisor and Nazi Paikidze, IM Sasha Kaplan and NM Adithya Balasubramanian.

There is a sharp division in talent in the college chess game, with a few elite schools, including UMBC and Webster, boasting multiple grandmasters and some schools whose top board barely breaks the 2000 rating mark. So it’s nice to see a real upset now and again, as when the University of Washington master Victor Feldberg took a well-deserved point from Webster GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez in the event’s second round.

Feldberg’s Petroff Defense is a good choice against the higher-rated Corrales, as White must take more chances than usual against a solid defense in order to gin up interesting play. White chooses a rarely seen side variation, and with the kings castled on opposite wings, slowly prepares a kingside pawn push.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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