Attendance at the Missouri Novice and Class Championship broke the century mark for the first time this year as 124 players competed for the chance to become a state champion between the two events. The winner of each class was awarded a plaque and earned the right to call themselves a Missouri State Champion. The extra participants meant exciting chess, a blitz playoff, and a controversial last round ruling in the Class E section.
The participation in the June Knights skyrocketed this week as ten more players increased the field to 22 players -- a record high for the year. The players were in for a special treat this week as they learned that all of the games would be broadcasted throughout the club.
Game of the Week...
Twenty elementary school students showed up for the Summer Slam Bash. The favorite was “Adjourn” Puri. He was one of five talented youngsters rated over the 1000 mark. “Adjourn” is currently trained by NM Loal Davis. He had previously been taking lessons from Tournament Director Mike Kummer. Kummer had three students in the tourney: Jaden Meyerstrom, Justin Zhang, and his newest student Agastya Diwan.
The first week of any Knights Tournament is never easy for the higher-rated players and the June Knights was no exception. The games went longer than usual and there were no easy victories for the tournament favorites.
Game of the Week
“I just beat a 1900. Dude!”
That was Jonathan Israel’s reaction to finding out his opponent’s rating during the post-mortem. Israel hadn’t checked the ratings during the game and was surprised to discover he had won his best game yet.
Joey Michael Kelly clinched his national master (NM) title at the CCSCSL when he defeated Danny Machuca in a non-ladder rated game. The game was played May 31st in the VIP Board Room. Kelly won the coin toss and quickly chose the white pieces. The game turned in Kelly’s favor early and he never backtracked. With the win, Kelly bolstered his rating over the 2200 barrier for the first time in his life.
The largest turnout of the year produced a very exciting month of chess for the May Knights Tournament. The 20 player field was strengthened by the inclusion of Joseph Garnier (2003), who hadn’t played a standard rated game in over a year. Garnier won first place overall with a perfect 4/4 score.
The final three days of May finished with a flourish of chess and competition with over 80 people squaring off against each other in three different tournaments. Friday night filled the tournament hall with 9 quads in the Friday Action Quads (FAQ), each fighting it out to see who would win prizes and glory. On Saturday and Sunday, the Club hosted the monthly Unrated Adults’ Beginner Tournament and Unrated Beginner Tournament for Kids 12 & under, respectively.
International Master Jeffery Xiong was the surprise winner of the Chicago Open, earning him over $10,000 in prize money at the strongest annual event held over Memorial Day weekend. Jeffery won the event in style, beating Grandmasters Avrukh and Bruzon in the final two rounds, both of whom are higher rated than the 14-year-old phenom.
Upsets abound in the 7th annual Show Me Classic as lower rated players came to prove that they can compete with their often much higher rated opposition. The tournament boasted a record 42 participants, and prizes were awarded to first in each class. Joseph French (1949) came in first overall with a perfect 4/4 score.