The leaders of each of the three performance prize divisions of the 2014 Illinois Chess Tour have established daunting leads, chiefly by playing in six of the eight completed Tour events.
With just four events remaining, beginning with the Illinois Open over the upcoming holiday weekend, players pursuing the leaders will need to excel in multiple events down the stretch to pressure the frontrunners. But just beneath the leaders in the standings, the fight for prizes in positions 2-5 is extremely tight.
Both Pete Karagianis and Andrew Fei missed the Tour opener, the Tim Just Winter Open, but haven’t missed a beat since, playing in six of the next seven events, both downstate and in the Chicago metro area.
More than 20 junior competitors battled it out in three sections at the Oak Park Library in a four-round event August 23.
The tournament was directed by Keith Ammann.
In the 18-and-under section, 16-year old Mark Jungo of Chicago posted the top score, 3.5/4. Mark had recently competed at the World Open in Virginia. Darak Nowak of Park Ridge took second with a 3.0 result and local Oak Parker Philip Linninger, 18, nabbed third place honors.
In the 13-and-under division, Aidan Carey went undefeated with three wins and a draw for a 3.5 result. Aidan is also from Oak Park. Desi Nainar of Lake Bluff had 3.0/4 while 7-year old William Cahill of Wheaton was 2.5/4.
A fourth-round head-to-head draw gave two Bloomington-Normal area players the co-championship at the 51st Bradley Summer Open, held August 16 in Peoria.
Junior Jason Daniels and Scott Schmidt entered the final round with perfect 3-0 scores. Both blostered their post-event ratings above 1900 for the first time.
USCF Master Pete Karagianis and USCF Expert Bill Brock tied for third place with 3.0/4 scores, a half-point back. Karagianis drew Peoria-area junior Andrew Fei in the second round and took a half-point bye in the final round. Brock defeated Fei, a two-time Peoria City Champion, in the third round, recovering from a loss to Daniels in the second round.
Missouri's Michael Brooks repeated as the undisputed champion of the Iowa Open, defeating Illinois' Angelo Young in the final round. Going into their game, Young had been leading the tournament with the only 4-0 record.
Brooks had begun the two-day, five-round event with a draw, finishing 4.5. Young's 4.0/5 resulted in a four-way tie for second with Awonder Liang (WI), Robert Keating (IA) and Arshaq Saleem (IA).
Young, Liang and Keating had all been runners up to Brooks in the 59th Iowa Open in 2013. Brooks was also the co-champion in 2012.
The tournament was hosted at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, IA, completed August 17. Crosstables viewable here.
IM Florin Felecan rode three victories and two draws to a stake in the co-championship of the Continental Chess Association's 2014 Cleveland Open. All six of the 4.0/5 scorers came from different states.
Felecan is currently the seventh- or eighth-rated active player in Illinois based on USCF ratings depending on which list is consulted.
Illinois' Zach Kasiurak finished in an eight-way tie for 10th place with 3.0/5. Kasiurak drew co-champion GM Sergey Kudrin in the second round.
Interested organizers are invited to submit bids for the 2015 Illinois Class State Chess Championships. The preferred date for the tournament is November 22, 2015.
The format of the tournament has varied from a 2-day, 5-round, slow time control tournament to, in most recent years, a 1-day, 4-round, G/60 time control.
The ICA Board prefers the 1-day format so that it can use the Saturday before the tournament to hold its Annual Meeting and Banquet. The format also should include at least 6 sections (M/X, A, B, C, D, and 1 or 2 sections U1200). Trophies have been awarded to U1200 winners and runner-ups for Class E, F, and U800.
EF for non-ICA members should be set $5 higher than for ICA members, and free entry should be provided for GMs, WGMs, IMs, WIMs, FMs, and WFMs.
Some weekends it seems like the chess calendar aligns on a single large event and all eyes are focused there. Then there are times such as next weekend where everywhere you look, there's a fantastic tournament available for all tastes and abilities.
Nine Eight different tournaments in all, all to be rated by the USCF, all occuring between Friday, August 15 through Sunday, August 17, most are one-day, with a two-day state championship.
The 2014 Illinois Chess Tour travels to downstate Peoria for the eighth of twelve stops. Saturday's Bradley Summer Open features a $1000 guaranteed prize fund covering two sections: Open and Reserve, both providing Game/80, 5-second delay time controls.
The Illinois Chess Association is pleased to announce an educational benefit for its scholastic members. On a first-come, first served basis, ICA Scholastic members can claim a free Gold Account on ChessKid.com.
Gold memberships typically cost $50/year while ICA Scholastic memberships involve a $10/year donation. ICA membership helps support the operation of this website, the oversight and organization of titled state championships, and the expansion of chess across the state.