Thank Matt Grinberg for this write up on our Borderland Abyss


Borderland Abyss


The Borderland Abyss tournament was held in Las Cruces last weekend.  The tournament was expertly organized and run by Borderland Chess (Augy Valverde) and Endgame Chess (Will Barela).  Although a small tournament, limited to 16 players, it attracted a fantastically strong field.  With a rating of 1931, I (Matt Grinberg) was in the bottom half!  The average rating was 1917!  One of the things that attracted the strong field was the time control – game in 2 hours with a 30 second increment.


The top rated players were masters Lior Lapid, 2301, formerly from Las Cruces, but now living in Denver, Colorado and our own Ben Coraretti (2241) of Las Cruces.  Other strong players included Experts Mark Schwarman (2141) of Socorro, Philip Bauer (2086) of Las Cruces, Jonah Romero (2063) of Albuquerque, Omar Garcia (2052) of Juarez, Mexico, and William Monte Scott of Las Cruces.


Lapid and Coraretti tied for first at 3.5-0.5.  But instead of going through the first three rounds 3-0 and then facing off against each other to decide the championship in the last round, each was held to a draw in an earlier round.  Lapid conceded a draw to Matt Grinberg in round one, while Coraretti was held to a draw by Jonah Romero in round two.  After the first two rounds, the only players with a perfect score were Garcia and Ray Fourzan (1959) of El Paso, Texas.


Going into the fourth and final round there was a four way tie at 2.5-0.5 among Lapid, Coraretti, Garcia and Fourzan.  Lapid was paired off against Garcia and Coraretti played Fourzan.  The two Masters won, thus tying for first.  With a win against Bauer, Schwarman snuck into third at 3-1.  Then there was a four way tie for fourth among Garcia, Scott, Fourzan and Grinberg.


When compared to starting rating, the outstanding performance was by Matt Grinberg (if I say so myself).  It was refreshing after plummeting from 2109 to my rating floor of 1900 in the last few years.  Many of my fellow players praised my draw against Lapid in round one.  Capping off the tournament with a win against the strong junior, Jonah Romero, was also satisfying.  I also note that have long known that long time controls favor my play.  Augy and Will, please organize more events like this!


I hope to have games and pictures of the tournament for next week’s newsletter.  If you have a good game from the tournament, be sure to send it in.  Otherwise, I might have to inflict you with a couple of my games.


Matt Grinberg, 6/6/2017