World Open Stories - All Years
Stories or Experiences by or about those who've attended the World Open in the Past.
1979, 1981, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
|John says his best
result was in 1979. It was a ten round event and he scored a 7 - 3. A score
of 8 - 2 won the event. John earned the whopping amount of $18.19 for his
In 1997 John didn't play. He got married on July 5th with a honeymoon in Pittsburgh, PA. John says "to quote W.C. Fields: On the whole I'd rather be in Philadelphia (his epitaph)"
This year his wife Carol and Stepson Geoffrey will spend July 5th at the World Open together!
1992 (U2000): 4-4
1997 (U1800): 7-2
1998 (U1800): 5-3-1
1999 (U1800): 5-3-1
at its then-floor of 1800, so I was a "fish" in the U2000 section. The
tournament was eight rounds. I went 0-3, but stormed back to finish 4-4 -- a good result
considering my rating and section. I gained a lot of rating points, but no money.
1997: Rating 1785, so I was a contender in the U1800 section. The tournament was nine rounds. I started 2-0, lost the next two, then won five straight games to finish 7-2 and in the money. Two guys won the section at 8-1 each, there were a couple of 7 1/2s, then about five or six of us tied at 7. I got $467 in prize money.
1998: I started off even better than the previous
year with 2.5 points after four rounds (two wins, a loss, and a draw). Of course I knew I
wasn't likely to go 5-0 down the stretch as I had a year earlier, but if I could, I'd be
in the big money. And indeed, I reeled off three in a row to reach the final day with 5.5
out of 7. But alas, I lost my last two games to finish out of
|Joel Johnson||I attended the First, Fourth, Seventh, and
Eighth World Opens.
The First World Open was held in the McAlpin Hotel right across from Madison Square garden in New York City. It was the summer of 1973, I had just graduated from High School and was only 17 years old. To this day, I'm still not sure why my parents let me go to the tournament all by myself. Anyway, I really thought that I had done a great job in advance of figuring out everything that I would need and how much money that I would need. I really learned a lot on this trip. Those cartons of milk that we got in school for a nickel (I'm really dating myself) cost 75 cents in the Hotel coffee shop. What a shock! In the tournament, I finished 5-4-1 in the Under 1800 section. I was rated about 1600. At the end of the event, everything started to unravel. First of all, I didn't realize that they charged tax on the hotel room. Oooppps, there goes almost all my extra cash (all but two bucks). Then, I show up at the Bus Terminal in Times Square and find out that the next bus to Lowell, Mass wasn't until the next morning because I was leaving on a holiday (July 4th) and they were using the holiday schedule. Oooopps. Needless to say, I stayed awake all night in the Port Authority Bus Terminal till I could board my bus back to Lowell. I was so exhausted when I got on the bus, that I fell asleep and didn't wake up until the bus driver woke me up at the last bus stop in Lawrence, Mass. My aunt had to come get me at the bus terminal and drive me to Lowell. What a learning experience! As for the event, GMs Pal Benko and Walter Browne really left an impression on me. Walter Browne would get into time pressure every game, then proceed to dismantle every opponent.
My best performance was in the 7th World Open (Open Section) where I scored 6-3 (5-2-2). The winners tied with 8-1. In the first round, I beat IM Larry Kaufman in 19 moves. Larry went on to win 7 straight games before drawing with Norman Weinstein in the last round which cost him a share of first. Six of my nine games were against the top thirty players and I went 3-3. My rating went from 2100 to 2320, as a result of this tournament and two other events around the same time.
My worst performance was in the 8th World Open where I withdrew after 4 rounds with a 1-3 score in the Open Section. My rating was about 2320 and I had only lost 3 games in the entire last year, finishing first or second in nearly every event. My roommate for the event was Jim Rizzitano. He was also rated around 2300 (probably 2290). We were up nearly every night till very late. Our room was a 24 hour chess/backgammon play house! Jim also withdrew from the tournament after about 4 rounds. Jim was young and very small. However, he was (and still is) a phenomenal blitz chess player. GM Roman Dzinji offers to play him with 5 to 1 time odds and Rizz totally dismantled him for some serious money. Roman could not believe that this little and very young looking kid could be whipping him so badly. A lot of people have learned that lesson over the years.
1986: (U1600) 4-4-0
1996: (U1800) 0-6-0
1998: (U1600) 5-3-1
1999: (U1800) 5-4-0
I had been averaging about ten rated games a year for the previous 5 years but had been
teaching and playing during lunch at work for several months. I figured, hey, I've
got some vacation time. I think it would be neat to say that I once played in the
World open, so I went. My rating was 1542 and I had a grand total of 45 rated games
under my belt. I remember well that all I did after every game was go to sleep, get
up and eat and go play another game. It was brutal. It didn't matter if it was
day or night, morning or evening. Gotta eat, gotta sleep, get up and play.
Well, I beat everyone from NewEngland and lost to everyone else. I got 4 1/2
points. Not too shabby.
1998: Rating of 1534. I've always considered my play better at the short time controls but this event changed my thinking around. I played in the three day event. The first five games were game 50. I won one game that should have been a loss and lost two games that should have been win to end up with 1.5 for five rounds. Not a very good showing at this point. The next four games were all at 40/2, SD/1, a time control that normally drives me to boredom. Well, I managed to win all four games to give me a 5.5 out of 9 rounds. In the end, not too bad a showing. I finished half a point out of the money.1996: Rating of 1625. I figured it had been ten years since I last went, I've been playing regularly at the club and I've got 179 games under the belt now. Well, for a 9 round tournament, I lost 10 games. The first 5 games were G/75. I prefer the shorter time controls but it didn't help. I played some good games but just couldn't manage a win. So, I figure I'm out of the running and faced with only long time controls so I withdrew after round 6 and entered a four round-robin. Some of the worse chess I've ever played and all in the space of a few hours. The end result, tanked my rating but good. The first time I ever need a rating floor and they move the floor to 200 points. Great, thanks a lot.
Despite my poor performance, I decided to return every other year to see how I'm doing and take another shot at the big bucks. It's 1998 and time to go back. This time will be different, I've already got my rating near my floor.
1999: Rating of 1612. I was very excited about this years World Open until I got a rude surprise in the June supplement. It seems that a tournament I had played in was not sent to the USCF within the required time which in turn made it miss the June supplement. So, instead of having an 1585 rating for the World Open, I ended up with 1612. The section break was at 1600 so in stead of being at the top of the lower section, I'm at the bottom of the upper section. Oh well.
Here's the round by round story:
At least I finish with a plus score and a gain of about 70 rating points.
|Peter Pfiffner||Peter was a regular attendee at the club while he was here going to Babson College. Just after the 1996 World Open he returned home to join in the family business in Switzerland.|
|Al Ward||Al has been a pretty faithful attendee. I think he once said he hasn't missed going for 15 years. Others confirm Al played in 1992, 1996, 1997|