By Jason Woolem, Chess Instructor
The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open is one of the premier open tournaments hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club and this year’s edition had 23 players in the Open section and 57 players in the Under 2000 section, for a total of 80 players. The time control for both sections of the tournament was 90 minutes with a 30 second increment starting on move one.
In the Open Section, the prize fund broke down to $1500 for 1st, $1000 for 2nd, $800 for 3rd, $650 for 4th, and $300 for fifth. It took a score of 4/5 to win and three players finished tied for 1st Place. Those players were GM Illia Nyzhnyk, GM Alex Shimanov, and GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez, and they each earned $1100. The final two prizes were split with those who ended up with a 3.5/5 score, which were GM Akshat Chandra and FM Joshua Colas, and they will each earn $475.
There was also two separate prize funds in the open section with an Under 2250 prize fund and an Under 2100 prize fund. For the Under 2250 prize, three players tied for first, which were NM Claudio Abus, Jason Zhou, and Isaiah Gadson, all with scores of 2.5/5; they earned $450 each. For the Under 2100 prize, three players also tied, and those were Kaleb Godsin, Dimitar Mardov, and Luke Ye, each earning $150 for their 2/5 score.
In the Under 2000 Section, Alex Ahmer, Anikth Sheshappa, and Nischal Ada tied for 1st Place in the tournament, earning $700 each for their 4.5/5 results. Nathan Summerville lost in the last round of the tournament, but it was still good enough to finish for solo 4th Place in the U2000 section with a 4/5 score and earning $350. There was then an eight-way tie between players, each earning $25 from the overall prize fund with a score of 3.5/5. Those players were Stephen Jablon, Benjamin Shoykhet, Jonathan Gollapudi, Todd Plagemann, Steven Bange, Cael Province, Behrooz Vakil, and Marcus Stinson.
As with the Open Section, there were three separate prize funds available for those in the Under 1800 Section, Under 1600 Section, and Under 1400 Section. In the Under 1800 Section, William Little and Paul Goddard earned $125 for their 3.5/5 score. In the Under 1600 section, Gaayathri Binok and Trevor Stinson earned $100 each for their 2.5/5 score. Finally, in the Under 1400 Section, Samuel Lu earned $150 for his 2.5/5 score.
It was really great to see the fascinating struggles in both the Open and U2000 sections and all of the players talking about their games after the rounds. GM Yasser Seirawan, who was the Grandmaster in Residence during the tournament, was very intrigued by a lot of the endgames as he had many post-mortem analyses with the players as they talked through the games and their ideas.
The next open tournament is going to be the Show Me Classic, which will take place on May 26th. It will be a four round tournament with one section. The entry fee is $10 for players ($1 for annual members of the Chess Club if they register by May 25th, and free entry for those GMs and IMs that want to play). Visit the website for more information and to register.