Suffolk players in Riga

Three Suffolk players travelled to Riga in Latvia in August, to take part in the Riga Technical University Open, one of the biggest chess festivals in Northern Europe.   There was a strong field of more than 190 entrants in the ‘A’ section, which included 27 GMs and 28 IMs.   The nine-round tournament was won by Alexei Shirov (Latvia) and Robert Hovhannisyan (Armenia), both unbeaten on 7½ points.

FM Alan Merry finished in 41st place on 5½ points.   He gained 29 rating points (to 2369), taking his rating tantalisingly close to the 2400 he needs for his IM title.   He played three GMs, scoring 1½ against them.   His best win was against 2540-rated Russian GM Kirill Alexseenko.

Adam Taylor scored 5 points to finish in 70th position, gaining 89 rating points to improve his rating to 2278.   He drew against the only GM he played.

After a poor start (0/2), Ed Player recovered to score 4½ points.   He achieved creditable draws against players rated 2408, 2397 and 2300.

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