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.