The largest norm Robin invitational in U.S. history is underway at the Charlotte Center (CCC). Taking place from November 18 to 22, the event consists of six concurrent ten-player Round Robins. Ten GMs join the norm-seekers in the three GM norm sections, and in total over half of the 60 participants already hold either a GM or IM title.

Before jumping into the halftime report, recognition needs to be given to International Organizer Peter Giannatos and International Arbiter Grant Oen. This is the 29th norm invitational to be held at the CCC, and it is the start of an ambitious ten-day stretch of the regional chess hub.





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Arbiter team (from left): NA Bryan Tillis, IA Maya Myers, IA Shohreh Bayat, IA IO Peter Giannatos, IA IO Grant Oen (courtesy Charlotte Chess Center)







The day after the invitationals conclude will be the start of the US Masters, which currently boasts 30 GMs and 40 IMs as competitors. For the cherry (cranberry?) on top, hundreds more players will join the foray for the North Carolina Open November 25 to 27.

The GM A group is currently by four players on 2½/4: GM Titas Stremavicius, GM Razvan Preotu, IM Dimitar Mardov, and FM Jakub Fus.







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Here is a first-round clash in the by two of the norm-seekers.







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courtesy Charlotte Chess Center











The GM B group has two clear leaders at halftime with IM Irakli Beradze and IM leading the pack. Williams, despite arriving nearly a full day late to the event, is on a tear with 2½/3 with a make-up game against FM Bach Ngo scheduled for the rest day.







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One of the youngest participants in the event, IM , is showing good form. Here is a strong game against veteran GM Mark Paragua in a colors-reversed Benoni.







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courtesy Charlotte Chess Center











Home-grown Charlotte native IM is currently the sole leader of GM C with 3½/4.







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courtesy Charlotte Chess Center







Closely on his heels is FM Max Gedajlovic, who played a fantastic positional game in a solid Queen’s Gambit.









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courtesy Charlotte Chess Center













In IM D there are three players at the top: IM Tamas Petenyi, FM Alice Lee, and FM .







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courtesy Charlotte Chess Center







Two are at the top of IM E: Grayson Rorrer and FM Liam Putnam. Rorrer showed excellent knowledge in a rare sideline of the Taimanov, concluding the game with a beautiful tactic.







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Veteran GM Gabor Nagy and norm-seeker Julian Proleiko lead IM F with 3½/4.







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There are many players still in contention for norms with many instructive moments in these high quality . action from the even can be followed here. It is not too late to register for the NC Masters or the Charlotte Open.

We leave the reader with six selected from the event.







Stay tuned for a follow-up report to find out how many players earned norms.

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