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

#NameRtngRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5TotPrize
1GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez2612W13W15W7D2W34.5500.00
2IM Priyadharshan Kannappan2442W25W34W8D1W124.5500.00
3IM Levan Bregadze2395W61W16W14W4L14.033.33
4FM Doug D Eckert2231W36W21W17L3W224.033.33
5Jialin Ding2221W50L10W26W20W154.033.33
6Bob Holliman2203W37D29W30D10W194.033.33
7Graham Horobetz2139W51W23L1W17W244.033.33
8Iskandar Aripov2079W39W24L2W21W254.033.33
9Zach William Stuart1980D32W41W31W11D104.0250.00
10Calvin Jay Parnon1902W55W5W33D6D94.0250.00
11James McLaughlin2131W63D22W29L9W303.5
12Albert Damont Howlett1854W58W49H---W28L23.550.00
13Tom A Morrell1763L1W44W48H---W283.550.00
14Tom Polgar-shutzman2039W64W46L3L22W313.0
15Matthew W Larson1965W42L1W37W23L53.0
16Thomas Gaul1942W44L3W40L25W373.0
17James D Pollitt1938W52W27L4L7W353.0
18Matt Barrett1930W45H---W39D27U---3.0
19Jeffrey J Kovalic1928L46W42W53X49L63.0
20Dwight Beasley1916W60L33W45L5W403.0
21Serdar Aykent1907W54L4W46L8W483.0
22Daniel Franklin Aldrich1900W56D11H---W14L43.0
23Ryan Polsky1876W57L7W55L15W423.0
24James Oslica1780W48L8W57W34L73.0
25Joseph F Wojcik1733L2W43W58W16L83.0
26Dennis E Humphries1708L27W52L5W44W463.0
27Nolan R Hendrickson2245W26L17W36D18U---2.5
28Selden Trimble2029W53D31W38L12L132.5
29Alexander Vergilesov1907W47D6L11H---H---2.5
30Robert Taras1830W59H---L6W32L112.5
31Micah Losee1781W62D28L9W38L142.5
32Alex J Stiger1480D9L38W59L30W522.5225.00
33Spencer Finegold2232W35W20L10U---U---2.0
34William Nesham1953W43L2W35L24U---2.0
35Zachary Landon Schuh1702L33W54L34W55L172.0
36Clark Zhang Berry1645L4W47L27L46W572.0
37Tian Lu Peng1631L6W56L15W57L162.0
38Marek W Ziolkowski1610H---W32L28L31D412.0
39Nathan Tu Phan1561L8L59L18W56W552.028.57
40Christopher S Dobbs1550L49W60L16W58L202.028.57
41Richard Pointer1453H---L9W50U---D382.028.57
42Daniel J Tuttle1436L15L19W54W59L232.028.57
43Ken West1327L34L25W56L48W592.028.57
44Brett Eckert1250L16L13W60L26W582.028.57
45Owen O Bitting1220L18W61L20H---H---2.028.57
46Loren Lenzen1197W19L14L21W36L262.0100.00
47Robert A Luckey1125L29L36H---W51D502.0100.00
48Amit Kadanunr.L24W64L13W43L212.0100.00
49Alex Marler2060W40L12H---F19U---1.5
50Justin Hull1644L5L55L41W54D471.5
51Russell B Hamilton III1628L7L57H---L47W601.5
52Gabriel R Sison1249L17L26H---W62L321.5
53Robert M Hibbs1515L28W62L19U---U---1.0
54Akshay Srinivasan1150L21L35L42L50W621.0
55Julian Proleiko1118L10W50L23L35L391.0
56Wendell Betton1111L22L37L43L39B---1.0
57Collette Wright1085L23W51L24L37L361.0
58Erik Tkachenko1079L12W63L25L40L441.0
59David Braton1054L30W39L32L42L431.0
60Iris Yi-xian Zhou1044L20L40L44B---L511.0
61Craig L Hines1719L3L45H---U---U---0.5
62Greg K VanValkenburg849L31L53H---L52L540.5
63Daymion Q Phillips1609L11L58U---U---U---0.0
64William Kerns1542L14L48U---U---U---0.0