Avrukh, Corrales Jimenez Top 2016 Midwest Class
- Written by Bill Feldman Bill Feldman
With third-round draws against different opponents GM Boris Avrukh and Missouri GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez both posted 4.5/5 results to split the Premier Section championship of the 2016 Midwest Class.
The duo finished a full-point ahead of a six-pack of 3.5 finishers which included Illinois' Todd Freitag, Jacob Furfine and George Li.
Avrukh's draw came against fellow-GM Vladimir Georgiev while Jimenez could only muster 1/2 point against Furfine.
Michigan's Seth Homa and Ben Li and Missouri's Priyad Kannappan rounded out the 3.5 score group, with Homa posting three draws, a win versus Furfine and a full-point from an uplayed first-round game.
The Wheeling-based event concluded October 9 featured overlapping sections based upon rating which defied its advertisement as a Class event.
In the 1700-2099 section Andy Caen posted the lone perfect 5.0/5 score raising his rating to 2044. A five-way tie for second with 4.0 points included Illinois' Ricky Wang, Abhy Venkat, Paul Raso and Arendal Markovic along with Daniel Vasto of Iowa.
The 1500-1899 setion saw Pennsylvania-based Allen Stern achieve top honors with 4.5, ahead of three players at 4.0 and four at 3.5 including Illinois' Joe Fleming, Kyle Miles, Ben Pirogovsky and Daniel Zhang.
The 1300-1699 section was swept by Illinois' Vytautas Vitkauskas with statemates Madison Loftis and Aswin Chirukandath posting 4.0's along with Iowa's Abhy Shukla.
Five Illinois players enhanced their ratings with 3.5's, tying for fifth place: Eli Elder, Shaurya Singhal, Nate Tracy-Amoroso, Ashley Yan and Jacob Davis.
Nichola Rafacz claimed the 1100-1499 section with four wins and a fifth-round draw, finishing at 4.5, a half-point ahead of Kevin Yiu, Roger Li and raig Boskey.
Agreeing to fifth round draw gave unrated Tiemon Neumann of Ohio and Eric Vigil of Iowa the co-championship of the Under 1300 section with 4.5's. Because this was his first rated tournament Neumann was limited in his prize receipt to $300, with Vigil earning $1000. Illinois players Alex M Ding, Patrick Kelly and Eric Lewis all posted 4.0's.
Ding (round one) and Kelly (round three) both had shots at Neumann but came up short.
Reports indicate Usman Qazi, also a first-timer in US Chess competition, encouraged Neumann to play for a win in order to enhance Qazi's chances at prize money. This tactic backfired and Neumann opted instead to split the championship with his fifth-round oppontent. Qazi was one of six players to finish at 3.0, tied for sixth place.
In the Under 1100 section, Iowa's Anjali Lodh and Illinois' Advitya Batta drew head to head in the final round to join Illinois' Per Gustin Wagenius in the 4.5 score group. Wagenius also drew in the final round. Six players finished with 4.0's in the section.
Just under 300 players competed in the Continental Chess Association event, again hosted at the Westin North Shore.
Highest rating enhancements were achieved by Matthew Dennison (251), Pranav Prabhakar (206), Per Gustin Wagenius (185), and Anjali Lodh (184).
The Midwest Class represents the ninth of ten Illinois Chess Tour events. The 2016 Tour concludes with the November 20th Illinois Class.
Official Tour Standings through the Midwest Class are pending as of this posting, but with Sam Schmakel's absence from the tournament, Pete Karagianis has essentially wrapped up the Open First Prize with 24.5 points from five events. George Li is now in second with 20.5 points, Matthew Stevens is in third place with 20.0 points. Jacob Furfine and Schmakel both have 19.5 tallies.
In the Reserve Tour, Wisconsin's Avinash Rajendra remains a half-point ahead of Rudy Padilla, 22.5 to 22.0. Previously at 19.0 tied with Padilla for second, Bill Brock did not play in the Midwest Class, dropping him below Slav Borkowski who now has 21.0 thanks to his performance in the 1300-1699 section.
In the Scholastic Tour section, Jason Daniels now holds top honors with 22.0 points, ahead of 20.5's held by Brian Gong and Kevin Ho. Nicholas Ladan is still in the hunt with 20.0 and Shreyas Reddy has 19.0.
Tour standings have now been updated by the Commissioner.