July 8, 2007 — Chess THE final round of a big-bucks, Swiss-system tournament is supposed to be one of the most dramatic events in chess, for players and spectators alike.
But the finale of the 35th World Open on Wednesday was a letdown, not a showdown – a quick anti-climax of grandmaster draws.
Eight players were tied at 6-2 in the top section going into the last game in King of Prussia, Pa. A win for any of them guaranteed a share of the top prize, which was upward of $25,000.
But within minutes after the round began, draws suddenly appeared on the top boards – and only on the top boards.
Varuzhan Akobian and Evgeny Najer drew in eight moves after just a few minutes. Then Leonid Yudasin and Julio Beccera shook hands after 11 moves. Sandipan Chanda made it to move 17 before drawing with Alexander Stripunsky.
That meant the winner of the Hikaru Nakamura-Viktor Mikhalevski pairing on Board 1 would have taken all the marbles – and the other GMs would have lost thousands of dollars each by their timidity. But that game, too, was drawn, at move 19.
In the end the top prize was shared by the eight drawing masters, plus Alexander Shabalov, who won his final game. He, at least, came to play chess.
Here is the full article.