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Saint Louis District Championship Recap



By Mike Kummer

New faces filled out the 64-player field at the Saint Louis District Championship over a wet Labor Day Weekend. With the addition of two new collegiate chess programs in the Saint Louis area, 12 local college students showed up looking to earn a paycheck. In all, there were 30 players of Class A strength or higher including IMs Priyadharshan Kannappan and Levan Bregadze of Lindenwood, and Cuban GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez of Webster University.

Corrales Jimenez held off the tag team efforts of Lindenwood University's top two boards to claim the district title on tiebreaks. The Cuban grandmaster got the better of Bregadze in the final round. But Bregadze didn't leave without some cash as his four points were good enough for a share of third place. Bregadze's teammate, Kannappan, fared better in his round-four encounter with Corrales Jimenez. Despite being a down a pawn in a knight-and-bishop endgame, Kannappan used good technique to neutralize his material deficit and force a draw. The IM then defeated expert annihilator Al Howlett in the final round. IM Kannappan finished with 4.5/5 to crack in on the grand prize and, along with Corrales Jimenez, received automatic qualification for the 2013 CCSCSL Club Championship. They were followed closely by Bregadze with 4 out of 5, who tied for 3rd place overall with Calvin Parnon and Zach Stuart (both also of Lindenwood) and several others including Saint Louisans FM Doug Eckert and NM Jialin Ding.  

Parnon and Stuart were forced to play each other with the Championship on the line, but Parnon clogged the position and a draw was agreed upon. They shared the top U2000 prize. Parnon had a spectacular first three rounds, scoring victories over NM Jialin Ding and NM Spencer Finegold before settling for a draw against NM Bob Holliman in round four. In the end, he gained 70-plus rating points and nearly leapt to expert.

CCSCSL Scholastic coordinator Alex Vergilesov played a wild game against Holliman in round 2.

Matt Larson provided perhaps the most exciting near-upset of the tournament with his strong performance against Corrales Jimenez who finally managed to outmaneouver his underrated opponent and escape with the full point.

The story of the tournament was youngster Amit Kadan, who played in his first-ever tournament. During registration his dad was quite skeptical of Amit entering such a strong field with a long format. But Amit persisted, his dad relented, and finally he got to play. Amit's first-round match didn't last long, and in round two, Amit's game was the first to finish again. This was bad news ... for his opponent! Amit scored a shocking upset victory that quickly sent his opponent not just out of the building, but out of the state. Amit didn't stop there. He proved that Ken West's "Grandmaster" moniker, is just that and nothing more by scoring another upset in round four. Amit's two points earned him some Froyo money and an over-the-top USCF provisional rating. Loren Lenzen (1197) also started out with a bang, scoring the upset of the tournament over 1928-rated Jeffrey Kovalic. He followed up with a win over a 1600 later. Clearly Loren is improving his game. He shared U1200 money with Amit and Robert Lucky.

Alex Stiger's 2.5 points were enough to win the $225 U1600 prize outright. Nathan Phan had a difficult first three rounds, facing three 1900-plus players and failing to score a point. He finished very strong though, winning his final two games, which left him tied with several others for 2nd and 3rd place in the U1600 section including Richard Pointer, Ken West, Christopher Dobbs, Brett Exkert, Owen Bitting and Dan Tuttle

The tournament was one of the bigger and stronger tournaments the club has hosted in quite a while. A total of 29 players had a USCF rating of 1900+. In addition to Lindenwood and Webster being represented, Washington University and Saint Louis University also had students compete. A total of 23 players got a piece of the $2,500 prize fund.

The Saint Louis District Championship served as a very exciting, hard-fought first event of the fall. It looks as though the arrival of so many strong players to the Saint Louis area in recent months will translate to greater competition and entertainment at CCSCSL tournaments this year. We very much look forward to the 2-on-2 Team Championship on Oct. 6, which should once again feature numerous titled players and lots of scintillating chess!

CCSCSL Scholastic Coordinator Matt Barrett contributed to this report.


Saint Louis District Championship: Final Standings

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Tot Prize
1 GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez 2612 W13 W15 W7 D2 W3 4.5 500.00
2 IM Priyadharshan Kannappan 2442 W25 W34 W8 D1 W12 4.5 500.00
3 IM Levan Bregadze 2395 W61 W16 W14 W4 L1 4.0 33.33
4 FM Doug D Eckert 2231 W36 W21 W17 L3 W22 4.0 33.33
5 Jialin Ding 2221 W50 L10 W26 W20 W15 4.0 33.33
6 Bob Holliman 2203 W37 D29 W30 D10 W19 4.0 33.33
7 Graham Horobetz 2139 W51 W23 L1 W17 W24 4.0 33.33
8 Iskandar Aripov 2079 W39 W24 L2 W21 W25 4.0 33.33
9 Zach William Stuart 1980 D32 W41 W31 W11 D10 4.0 250.00
10 Calvin Jay Parnon 1902 W55 W5 W33 D6 D9 4.0 250.00
11 James McLaughlin 2131 W63 D22 W29 L9 W30 3.5
12 Albert Damont Howlett 1854 W58 W49 H--- W28 L2 3.5 50.00
13 Tom A Morrell 1763 L1 W44 W48 H--- W28 3.5 50.00
14 Tom Polgar-shutzman 2039 W64 W46 L3 L22 W31 3.0
15 Matthew W Larson 1965 W42 L1 W37 W23 L5 3.0
16 Thomas Gaul 1942 W44 L3 W40 L25 W37 3.0
17 James D Pollitt 1938 W52 W27 L4 L7 W35 3.0
18 Matt Barrett 1930 W45 H--- W39 D27 U--- 3.0
19 Jeffrey J Kovalic 1928 L46 W42 W53 X49 L6 3.0
20 Dwight Beasley 1916 W60 L33 W45 L5 W40 3.0
21 Serdar Aykent 1907 W54 L4 W46 L8 W48 3.0
22 Daniel Franklin Aldrich 1900 W56 D11 H--- W14 L4 3.0
23 Ryan Polsky 1876 W57 L7 W55 L15 W42 3.0
24 James Oslica 1780 W48 L8 W57 W34 L7 3.0
25 Joseph F Wojcik 1733 L2 W43 W58 W16 L8 3.0
26 Dennis E Humphries 1708 L27 W52 L5 W44 W46 3.0
27 Nolan R Hendrickson 2245 W26 L17 W36 D18 U--- 2.5
28 Selden Trimble 2029 W53 D31 W38 L12 L13 2.5
29 Alexander Vergilesov 1907 W47 D6 L11 H--- H--- 2.5
30 Robert Taras 1830 W59 H--- L6 W32 L11 2.5
31 Micah Losee 1781 W62 D28 L9 W38 L14 2.5
32 Alex J Stiger 1480 D9 L38 W59 L30 W52 2.5 225.00
33 Spencer Finegold 2232 W35 W20 L10 U--- U--- 2.0
34 William Nesham 1953 W43 L2 W35 L24 U--- 2.0
35 Zachary Landon Schuh 1702 L33 W54 L34 W55 L17 2.0
36 Clark Zhang Berry 1645 L4 W47 L27 L46 W57 2.0
37 Tian Lu Peng 1631 L6 W56 L15 W57 L16 2.0
38 Marek W Ziolkowski 1610 H--- W32 L28 L31 D41 2.0
39 Nathan Tu Phan 1561 L8 L59 L18 W56 W55 2.0 28.57
40 Christopher S Dobbs 1550 L49 W60 L16 W58 L20 2.0 28.57
41 Richard Pointer 1453 H--- L9 W50 U--- D38 2.0 28.57
42 Daniel J Tuttle 1436 L15 L19 W54 W59 L23 2.0 28.57
43 Ken West 1327 L34 L25 W56 L48 W59 2.0 28.57
44 Brett Eckert 1250 L16 L13 W60 L26 W58 2.0 28.57
45 Owen O Bitting 1220 L18 W61 L20 H--- H--- 2.0 28.57
46 Loren Lenzen 1197 W19 L14 L21 W36 L26 2.0 100.00
47 Robert A Luckey 1125 L29 L36 H--- W51 D50 2.0 100.00
48 Amit Kadan unr. L24 W64 L13 W43 L21 2.0 100.00
49 Alex Marler 2060 W40 L12 H--- F19 U--- 1.5
50 Justin Hull 1644 L5 L55 L41 W54 D47 1.5
51 Russell B Hamilton III 1628 L7 L57 H--- L47 W60 1.5
52 Gabriel R Sison 1249 L17 L26 H--- W62 L32 1.5
53 Robert M Hibbs 1515 L28 W62 L19 U--- U--- 1.0
54 Akshay Srinivasan 1150 L21 L35 L42 L50 W62 1.0
55 Julian Proleiko 1118 L10 W50 L23 L35 L39 1.0
56 Wendell Betton 1111 L22 L37 L43 L39 B--- 1.0
57 Collette Wright 1085 L23 W51 L24 L37 L36 1.0
58 Erik Tkachenko 1079 L12 W63 L25 L40 L44 1.0
59 David Braton 1054 L30 W39 L32 L42 L43 1.0
60 Iris Yi-xian Zhou 1044 L20 L40 L44 B--- L51 1.0
61 Craig L Hines 1719 L3 L45 H--- U--- U--- 0.5
62 Greg K VanValkenburg 849 L31 L53 H--- L52 L54 0.5
63 Daymion Q Phillips 1609 L11 L58 U--- U--- U--- 0.0
64 William Kerns 1542 L14 L48 U--- U--- U--- 0.0