The 3rd, and perhaps final, edition of the Millionaire Chess Open was held from October 6 -10 at Atlantic City.

I had the good fortune of being able to participate this time, after being unable to play last year in the 2nd edition of Millionaire Chess. The tournament has been organized for the last 3 years by GM Maurice Ashley and entrepreneur Amy Lee. The duo has strived to introduce an element of high-stakes into the chess world through a very novel format, in order to elevate the stature of the game, assist the players to earn prizes which were unheard of before in the chess world, and attract sponsors.  This year, the prize fund had been considerably reduced as the tournament did not achieve the requisite number of entries. Nonetheless, the prizes were still the largest for an Open Chess Tournament on US soil, and most likely the world, with the exception of the earlier two Millionaire Chess editions which had shattered all global records.

As I entered the hall, I saw the familiar purple color of the Millionaire Chess Tournament rippled across the giant hall and cascading down the playing tables.
It felt good to be back.

I managed to win my first two games against lower rated players without any problems. In round 3, I found myself paired against Polish GM Darius Swiercz, who would go on to win the tournament. He opted for the Najdorf, and I decided to play an interesting knight jump which Anand had used against Nakamura in the 2016 Sinquefield Cup.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire Chess Op 2016”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.07”]
[Round “3.5”]
[White “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Black “Swiercz, D.”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B90”]
[WhiteElo “2490”]
[BlackElo “2636”]
[PlyCount “83”]
[EventDate “2016.10.06”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[EventRounds “9”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1144”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.10”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 8. Nd5
Nxd5 9. Qxd5 Nc6 10. Qd1 Be6 11. Nc3 Be7 12. Nd5 Rc8 13. c3 Bg5 14. h4 Bxc1 15.
Rxc1 Ne7 16. Nxe7 Qxe7 17. g3 g6 18. Be2 O-O 19. O-O Rc6 20. a3 Rd8 21. Bf3 b5
22. Re1 Qf6 23. Bg2 Kg7 24. Qe2 Bb3 25. Qe3 Rcc8 26. Re2 a5 27. Rce1 Qe7 28.
Rd2 Qc7 29. Bf3 Qc5 30. Bd1 Be6 31. Bf3 Rb8 32. Qxc5 dxc5 33. Rxd8 Rxd8 34. Rd1
Rb8 35. Rd6 b4 36. axb4 axb4 37. Rc6 bxc3 38. bxc3 c4 39. Be2 Rb3 40. Bxc4 Rxc3
41. Bd5 Rxc6 42. Bxc6 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Overall, it wasn’t a very good game from my side as I was suffering for most of the game after a few imprecisions in the opening. But Darius made some imprecise moves as well, and I was able to Draw the game.

In R4, I played a fellow youngster, GM Jeffery Xiong as Black. The game began as a quiet London, but soon evolved into a strategical battle over critical central squares. Unfortunately, I missed a key move in a variation which would have maintained equality, and ended up losing rather rapidly after that.

[pgn height=550 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]
[Event “2016 Millionaire Chess”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.07”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Xiong, Jeffery”]
[Black “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “D02”]
[WhiteElo “2647”]
[BlackElo “2490”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “3qb1k1/pp3pp1/5n1p/P2p1N2/1P1Nn3/3BP1P1/5PP1/2Q3K1 b – – 0 29”]
[PlyCount “22”]
[SourceDate “2014.11.26”]

29… Nd6 $2 {This move felt wrong to me during the game, and indeed it was.} (
29… g6 $1 30. Qc8 Qxc8 31. Ne7+ Kf8 32. Nxc8 a6 33. f3 {is why I rejected
this variation, but I missed the intermediate move} Bd7 $1 {and Black is
completely fine. The game will probably end in a draw after} 34. Nb6 Nxg3 35.
Kf2 Nh1+ 36. Kg1 Ng3 37. Kf2 Nh1+ 38. Kg1 Ng3 $11) 30. Qc5 {Now White
infiltrates.} Nxf5 31. Nxf5 g6 $2 (31… b6 {would have offered more
resistance, although things are still grim after} 32. axb6 axb6 33. Qc8 Qxc8
34. Ne7+ Kf8 35. Nxc8 $16) 32. Qd6 Bd7 $2 {The decisive mistake.} (32… Qxd6
33. Nxd6 Kf8 34. Nxb7 Ke7 {was the last chance to fight on.}) 33. Ne7+ Kg7 34.
Nxd5 Ne8 35. Qc5 Be6 36. Nf4 b6 37. Qe5+ Qf6 38. Nxe6+ fxe6 39. Qb8 bxa5 40.
Qxe8 1-0 [/pgn]

A frustrating loss considering the position had been fairly balanced throughout, but I only had myself to blame for not seeing the intermediate move  33…Bd7!, in the variation starting with 29…g6.

I bounced back in the next round with a solid win against Hungarian GM Denes Boros. He surprised me with the Alekhine’s Defence, and although I wasn’t aware of the theory I was able to execute a crisp strategical win.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “2016 Millionaire Chess”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.08”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Black “Boros, Denes”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B05”]
[WhiteElo “2490”]
[BlackElo “2447”]
[PlyCount “87”]
[SourceDate “2014.11.26”]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 e6 6. c4 Nb6 7. exd6 cxd6 8. Nc3
Be7 9. h3 Bh5 10. d5 e5 11. g4 Bg6 12. h4 h5 13. g5 N8d7 14. Be3 Bf5 15. Nd2
Rc8 16. b3 Nc5 17. Bxc5 Rxc5 18. Nde4 Rc8 19. Ng3 g6 20. Nxf5 gxf5 21. Rg1 Nd7
22. Qd3 Qa5 23. Rc1 e4 24. Qh3 f4 25. Qf5 f3 26. Bf1 Rc7 27. Kd1 Ne5 28. Rc2
Qc5 29. Nb5 Rd7 30. Qxe4 f5 31. gxf6 Bxf6 32. Nd4 Rf7 33. Bh3 a6 34. Bf5 Ke7
35. Nxf3 Rg7 36. Rxg7+ Bxg7 37. Ng5 Bf6 38. Re2 Bxg5 39. hxg5 Kd8 40. f4 Re8
41. fxe5 Rxe5 42. Qf4 Qg1+ 43. Kd2 Rxe2+ 44. Kxe2 1-0 [/pgn]

In Round 6, it was again a game with a fellow youngster, GM Samuel Sevian. I surprised him in the opening with an offbeat variation and, thanks to some good preparation, became an hour ahead on the clock. We agreed to a draw shortly after in a more or less equal position.

[pgn height=480 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire Chess Op 2016”]
[Site “Atlantic City USA”]
[Date “2016.10.08”]
[Round “6.10”]
[White “Sevian, Samuel”]
[Black “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “C17”]
[WhiteElo “2591”]
[BlackElo “2490”]
[PlyCount “63”]
[EventDate “2016.10.06”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[EventRounds “9”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1144”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.10”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4 7. Qg4 Kf8 8. Nb5
Bb6 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Nge7 11. Bd3 Ng6 12. Qg3 f6 13. Bxg6 hxg6 14. Nbxd4 Nxe5
15. Nxe5 fxe5 16. Qxe5 Rh5 17. Nxe6+ Bxe6 18. Qxe6 Qe8 19. Qxe8+ Rxe8+ 20. Kd1
Rg5 21. g3 Bxf2 22. Kd2 Rf5 23. Rad1 Re4 24. Rhf1 g5 25. Kc1 g6 26. Kb1 Ke7 27.
Rd2 Bb6 28. Rfd1 Ke6 29. h3 g4 30. hxg4 Rxg4 31. Re2+ Re4 32. Rde1 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

It was now time for the fateful 7th round – this was the round which would decide which players advanced to “Millionaire Monday,” where these select players would compete for high stake prizes. At this stage it was not possible for me to compete for 1st overall in the tournament, but I had my eye on the prize for the rating category 2400-2549. If I won my 7th round, I would almost certainly secure a slot for this category’s prize on Millionaire Monday. But I was only able to draw against the strong and seasoned GM Alex Stripunsky. This put me at 4.5/7. What hurt the most was that, due to severe time trouble, I had missed a win. I had returned to my hotel and given up hope that I could qualify for Millionaire Monday, as there were several players in the rating threshold 2400-2549 on 5/7.

But while casually reading the Millionaire Chess regulations on the official website, I noticed the following rule:

[feature_box style=”7″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]

The 3rd Millionaire Chess Open will utilize each player’s highest post-event rating1 for events rated between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016. This applies to any rating system. Tournaments played in September or October of 2016 will not be considered (unless deemed to be absolutely necessary by the Chief Arbiter).

[/feature_box]

Suddenly, the standings were plunged into chaos. Due to this rule, few players who had seemingly qualified for this rating category prize were deemed ineligible, as their peak FIDE ratings had been higher than 2549 during that time period. This meant that only 3 players were guaranteed their spot on Millionaire Monday.

1 spot still remained, and a tiebreak was to be held to determine who would be the 4th player.

It was going to be no walk in the park, however, as there were a total of 6 hungry and determined players vying for that 1 spot.

My heart began pumping, and I felt a rush of adrenaline course through my body. I was nervous, yet confident that I would be the one to emerge victorious.

The arbiters divided the 6 players into 2 groups of 3.  Each group would first play amongst itself, with the winner of each group then playing for the final spot.

The groupings were:

[feature_box style=”7″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” top_margin=”0″ bottom_margin=”0″ top_padding=”0″ bottom_padding=”0″ alignment=”center”]

Group 1                                                                   Group 2

GM Alexander Fishbein                                  GM Mark Paragua

       IM Akshat Chandra                                      GM Eugene Perelshteyn

 IM Aman Hambleton                                   GM Pontus Carlsson

[/feature_box]
Here’s how it went down:

[feature_box style=”7″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” top_margin=”0″ bottom_margin=”0″ top_padding=”0″ bottom_padding=”0″ alignment=”center”]

Game 1 – Chandra 1-0 Fishbein                    Game 1  – Carlsson 1/2 Perelshteyn

Game 2 – Hambleton 1/2 Chandra              Game 2 – Paragua 1-0 Carlsson

Game 3 – Fishbein 1/2 Hambleton              Game 3 – Perelshteyn 1-0 Paragua

[/feature_box]

 

So GM Perelshteyn and I won our groups, which meant that we would face off to decide who would secure the 4th and final spot for Millionaire Monday.

We were going to play 2 games at a 5 minute time control, no increment or delay. So time management was off the essence! In the 1st game I built up a promising position, but after some miscalculations I was completely losing. But Eugene also miscalculated, and I was able to escape with a draw.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire Chess Playoffs”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.09”]
[Round “7.4”]
[White “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Black “Perelshteyn, Eugene”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “E92”]
[PlyCount “77”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 Na6 7. Be3 e5 8. d5 Nc5
9. Nd2 a5 10. g4 c6 11. Be2 Bd7 12. g5 Ne8 13. h4 f5 14. a3 Nc7 15. b4 axb4 16.
axb4 Rxa1 17. Qxa1 N5a6 18. Qa5 cxd5 19. Bb6 Qc8 20. b5 d4 21. Na4 Na8 22. bxa6
Bxa4 23. Qd5+ Rf7 24. Qxd6 Bf8 25. Qd8 Nxb6 26. Qxb6 bxa6 27. c5 Bxc5 28. Qa5
Bb5 29. Bxb5 axb5 30. Qxb5 Bb4 31. Qxb4 Qc1+ 32. Ke2 Qxh1 33. Qb8+ Rf8 34. Qxe5
fxe4 35. Qe6+ Kg7 36. Qe5+ Kg8 37. Qe6+ Kg7 38. Qe5+ Kg8 39. Qe6+ 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

I took a deep breath and composed myself before sitting down for the potentially decisive 2nd game. Strangely, this game ended up being rather one-sided as my opponent blundered a pawn early on, and was unable to recover. In the end, he lost on time, although the position was completely winning for me anyways.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire Chess Playoffs”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.09”]
[Round “7.5”]
[White “Perelshteyn, Eugene”]
[Black “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A37”]
[PlyCount “94”]

1. c4 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O e6 7. e3 Nge7 8. b3
O-O 9. Bb2 e5 10. d3 h6 11. Nd2 Be6 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. cxd5 Nb4 14. Nc4 Nbxd5 15.
Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Qf3 Nb4 17. Qxb7 Re8 18. a3 Re7 19. Qg2 Nxd3 20. Qd5 Nxb2 21.
Nxb2 e4 22. Rab1 Bxb2 23. Rxb2 Re5 24. Qb7 Qc8 25. Qxc8+ Rxc8 26. Rc1 Rb8 27.
b4 cxb4 28. axb4 Reb5 29. Ra2 R8b7 30. Rc6 Rxb4 31. Rxd6 R4b6 32. Rd4 Re6 33.
Rda4 Ree7 34. Ra6 Kg7 35. h4 Red7 36. Ra1 h5 37. Kg2 Kf8 38. R6a4 Re7 39. Ra6
Ke8 40. Rf6 Rb6 41. Rxb6 axb6 42. Ra8+ Kd7 43. g4 hxg4 44. Kg3 Kc6 45. Kxg4 b5
46. Kf4 b4 47. Ra2 Kb5 0-1 [/pgn]

I was ecstatic to have gone through a trial by fire and emerge victorious. But my job was only half done, as the real fireworks were set to begin the next day.

[headline style=”8″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h4″ top_margin=”0″ bottom_margin=”0″] October 11, 2016 – It was Millionaire Monday time [/headline]

The 4 players, in rating order, that would compete for the 2400-2549 rating categeory prize were as follows:

[feature_box style=”7″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” top_margin=”0″ bottom_margin=”5″ top_padding=”0″ bottom_padding=”0″ alignment=”center”]

GM Ioan Christian Chirila – Romania

GM Barbosa Oliver – Phillipines

IM Akshat Chandra – USA

IM Awonder Liang – USA

[/feature_box]

In the 1st match, I was paired against GM Chirila. We would play 2 games at a time control of 25 minutes with a 5 second delay. I was Black in the first game, and decided to repeat the opening move which brought me victory against Eugene. But victory was not to be, as I fell into a much worse position after a big mistake on move 11. I tried to defend as tenaciously as I could, but in the end my position was just too difficult to overcome.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire KO U2550”]
[Site “Atlantic City USA”]
[Date “2016.10.10”]
[Round “1.1”]
[White “Chirila, I.”]
[Black “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A04”]
[WhiteElo “2526”]
[BlackElo “2490”]
[PlyCount “91”]
[EventDate “2016.10.10”]
[EventType “k.o.”]
[EventRounds “2”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1145”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.17”]

1. Nf3 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. O-O Ba6 8.
Nc3 Rb8 9. Qd2 Nf6 10. b3 Nd5 11. Nxd5 cxd5 12. Rb1 e6 13. Ba3 Bb7 14. c4 d4
15. Bd6 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rc8 17. c5 f5 18. b4 Kf7 19. b5 e5 20. a4 Qf6 21. a5 Bf8
22. Bxf8 Rhxf8 23. Rfc1 Qe6 24. Qb4 Qd5+ 25. f3 a6 26. b6 Rc6 27. Rc2 Rfc8 28.
Rbc1 g5 29. Qa3 g4 30. Qd3 e4 31. fxe4 fxe4 32. Qxa6 e3+ 33. Kg1 Kg7 34. Qc4
Qe4 35. Qd3 Qd5 36. b7 Rf8 37. Rc4 Rcf6 38. Qxd4 Qxb7 39. Qxe3 h5 40. Re4 R8f7
41. Re5 Rf5 42. Rxf5 Rxf5 43. Qd4+ Kf7 44. Rd1 Ke8 45. Qh8+ Ke7 46. Qg7+ 1-0  [/pgn]

I was now in a must-win situation, and the fact I had the White pieces was somewhat comforting. After a ~30 minute break, we sat down and shook hands for our 2nd game. As expected, we went for a Ruy Lopez. But instead of going for the main line, I decided to play the relatively rare 8.a4, hoping to catch him off guard. This strategy worked exactly as I hoped, as he began consuming time trying to figure out the nuances and subtleties of the position. I built up a sizeable lead on the clock, which was the main factor for me in this game. But I forgot my preparation a few moves later, and made an inaccuracy which allowed him to equalize. Equality was not an option for me, considering the match situation, and so I decided to launch a speculative assault on his kingside. I knew that objectively it probably wasn’t very good, but I had to try something. Changing the nature of the game turned out to be the right decision, as GM Chirila made a serious mistake. I capitalized immediately, and managed to win an exchange. Still, things were not so easy. I had to play precisely in order to keep my advantage. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that and slowly my advantage began to dissipate. To GM Chirila’s credit, he found some nice defensive resources and managed to completely turn the tables on me.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire KO U2550”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.10”]
[Round “1.2”]
[White “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Black “Chirila, I.”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C88”]
[WhiteElo “2490”]
[BlackElo “2526”]
[PlyCount “82”]
[EventDate “2016.10.10”]
[EventType “k.o.”]
[EventRounds “2”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1145”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.17”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4
Bd7 9. c3 O-O 10. d4 h6 11. h3 Re8 12. Bc2 Bf8 13. Nbd2 exd4 14. cxd4 Nb4 15.
Bb1 c5 16. e5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Nfd5 18. Ne4 Be6 19. Nh2 c4 20. Qf3 Nd3 21. Bxd3
cxd3 22. axb5 Nb4 23. Bxh6 Bd5 24. Qg3 Re6 25. Nf6+ Rxf6 26. exf6 Qxf6 27. Bg5
Qg6 28. Red1 Bd6 29. Qg4 f5 30. Qh4 Be7 31. f4 Bc5+ 32. Kh1 axb5 33. Rxa8+ Bxa8
34. Qe1 Nc2 35. Qe5 Ne3 36. Qxc5 Nxd1 37. Qc8+ Kh7 38. Nf1 Be4 39. Qc1 Qh5 40.
Kg1 Qe2 41. Qd2 Bxg2 0-1 [/pgn]

I was eliminated from playing for 1st prize now, and had to be content with playing for 3rd. It sucked losing after going through so much to get there, but now was not the time to think about that – I had another match to play.

The 3rd place match had a happier ending for me, as I smoothly beat IM Awonder Liang in the first game.

[pgn height=550 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire KO U2550”]
[Site “Atlantic City, USA”]
[Date “2016.10.10”]
[Round “2.1”]
[White “Liang, Awonder”]
[Black “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C07”]
[WhiteElo “2478”]
[BlackElo “2490”]
[PlyCount “116”]
[EventDate “2016.10.10”]
[EventType “k.o.”]
[EventRounds “2”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1145”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.17”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. O-O Nf6 8.
Nb3 Nc6 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Re1 Qc7 12. Bf1 Be7 13. Qf3 O-O 14. Bf4
Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Rad1 Qc7 17. c4 Bd7 18. g4 h6 19. h4 Rae8 20. Bg2 Bc8 21.
b3 e5 22. Nf5 e4 23. Nxh6+ Kh8 24. Qe3 Nxg4 25. Nxg4 Bxg4 26. Rd5 f5 27. Qg5
Qc6 28. Re3 Qh6 29. Kf1 Qxg5 30. hxg5 Kh7 31. Bh3 f4 32. Rc3 Bxh3+ 33. Rxh3+
Kg6 34. Ke2 Rd8 35. Rc3 Rxd5 36. cxd5 Rd8 37. Rc4 Kf5 38. Rc7 g6 39. Rxb7 Rxd5
40. Rb6 a5 41. a4 f3+ 42. Ke1 Rd3 43. Rb5+ Kf4 44. Rxa5 Rxb3 45. Ra8 Rb1+ 46.
Kd2 Rb2+ 47. Ke1 e3 48. Rf8+ Kg4 49. fxe3 Kg3 50. e4 f2+ 51. Kf1 Rb1+ 52. Ke2
Re1+ 53. Kd3 f1=Q+ 54. Rxf1 Rxf1 55. Kc4 Kf4 56. Kd5 Rd1+ 57. Ke6 Kxe4 58. a5
Rd5 0-1 [/pgn]

The 2nd game was a more tricky affair, and in the end I played it safe by allowing a repetition since I only needed a draw to clinch the match and 3rd place.

[pgn height=550 initialHalfmove=0 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “Millionaire KO U2550”]
[Site “Atlantic City USA”]
[Date “2016.10.10”]
[Round “2.2”]
[White “Chandra, Akshat”]
[Black “Liang, Awonder”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “C70”]
[WhiteElo “2490”]
[BlackElo “2478”]
[PlyCount “121”]
[EventDate “2016.10.10”]
[EventType “k.o.”]
[EventRounds “2”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[SourceTitle “The Week in Chess 1145”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2016.10.17”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nge7 5. c3 g6 6. d4 exd4 7. cxd4 b5 8. Bc2
d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. O-O Be6 11. Re1 Bg7 12. Bg5 Qc8 13. Be4 O-O 14. Nc3 Qd7 15.
Ne5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 c6 17. Qf3 Rae8 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Qf4 Qe6 20. Nxd5 Qxd5 21.
Bf6 Bxf6 22. exf6 Re6 23. Re3 Qd6 24. Qh6 Rxf6 25. Rh3 Rd8 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27.
Re3 Qd1+ 28. Re1 Qh5 29. Qxh5 gxh5 30. Rad1 Rxd1 31. Rxd1 Ke7 32. Kf1 Rf4 33.
Ke2 Rc4 34. Kd3 c5 35. Re1+ Kd6 36. Re8 Rf4 37. f3 c4+ 38. Ke3 Rf6 39. Rh8 Re6+
40. Kd2 Rg6 41. g3 Rf6 42. f4 Rf5 43. Ra8 h4 44. Rxa6+ Kc5 45. a4 hxg3 46. hxg3
Rd5+ 47. Kc2 bxa4 48. Rxa4 Rd7 49. g4 Re7 50. g5 Re2+ 51. Kc3 Re3+ 52. Kc2 Re2+
53. Kc3 Re3+ 54. Kc2 Rf3 55. Ra5+ Kd4 56. Rf5 Rf2+ 57. Kb1 Rf1+ 58. Kc2 Rf2+
59. Kb1 Rf1+ 60. Kc2 Rf2+ 61. Kb1 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

And so ended my rollercoaster of an experience at the 2016 Millionaire Chess Open.

I was pretty happy to have had the chance to compete on Millionaire Monday, and even though I wasn’t able to come 1st, it was still a pretty memorable experience.

Thanks to Maurice and Amy for providing chess players from all over the world the chance to compete for high stake prizes, something which isn’t synonymous with chess.
Their vision will provide inspiration to other organizers, and help lead chess to eventually attract the sponsors it deserves.
I truly believe that the enterprising duo have successfully bent the arc of chess towards a new path.

Undoubtedly, it was a Million Dollar Show.

 

Below is a brief video clip of an interview in Atlantic City by Jennifer Shahade, Senior Digital Editor of US Chess Federation.

Since the official photographer missed taking my picture during the 7 rounds and Millionaire Monday, and private cameras were not allowed, I have no relevant pictures to upload from the tournament. Official event photos can be viewed here.

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″ border_size=”2″ border_color=”#826A21″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNjQwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjM5MCIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC9qamZsVGNQLTRFWQo/c3RhcnQ9MTE5JmVuZD0xMzMiIGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyPSIwIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW49IiI+PC9pZnJhbWU+[/video_player]

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