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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Foxwoods Wrap Up - Sevian Earns GM Norm at Foxwoods
 Nathan Smolensky
  April 2014

Sevian plays for the Boston Blitz in a 2013 USCL match.
Photo credit: Tony Cortizas

The return of the Continental Chess Association’s popular Foxwoods tournament this January was marked perhaps most notably by the dominance of GM Anton Kovalyov. As he ran off far into the lead, everything seemed a blur behind him. A slew of titled players from around the world were mired in a battle for distant second.

When the dust settled, remarkably, it was IM Sam Sevian of Southbridge who emerged atop this group, besting GMs Shabalov and Stripunsky in the final rounds. Yes, he was still behind Kovalyov, who finished with a stunning 8/9, but Sevian’s 6.5 was good enough for sole second in the premier section and a GM norm. Having just only turned 13, he became the youngest holder of such a norm in U.S. chess history, an historic achievement. Ray Robson, who holds the record for youngest American GM at just over 14 years and 11 months of age, may have to watch out.

As for the rest of the tournament, however, a lackluster showing of 271 players was far below Goichberg and co.’s expectations (prizes were based on 500), and the future of the tournament appears once again in doubt. Without the preferred Easter weekend spot, it is unclear if a major norm tournament at the site is viable.