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Tournament Blog: Seeing Three

By Jason Woolem, Chess Instructor


This month, the Saint Louis Chess Club hosted the "3 to Get Ready" tournament on March 3rd with sections and prizes to reflect the interesting “3” concept.  The tournament was played in 3 sections: an U3333 section, which had 8 players, an U1833 section which had 20 players, and an U1333 section which had 16 players. The tournament allowed you to take 3 1/2 point byes for the 3 round tournament and one player actually did to this!


According to International Arbiter Mike Kummer, the tournament idea was conceived in 1996 by the Mineral Area Chess Club as a way for its players to prepare for the Missouri Open. Since the tournament fell on March 3, he decided to reintroduce this format with some minor tweaks. The time control was a Game in 33 minutes with a 33 second increment per move. The total prize fund for the tournament was $333.


The 2018 edition of the tournament featured a prize fund of $166 in U3333 Section. In this section, first place earned $133, and was won by NM Aaron Grabinsky with a score of 3 out of 3. Second place was a tie between David Yong and Kaleb Gosdin, each with a score of 2 out of 3, and they split the $33 to earn $16.50 each.


The U1833 Section had the largest turnout with 20 players and paid out $116 for their section. First place went to Liam Hereford with a score of 3 out of 3, earning the $103 prize. Second place had another tie, this time between Lorenzo Sampson and Arjun Puri, who split the $13 to earn $6.50 each with a score of 2.5 out of 3.


Finally, the U1333 Section, which had 16 players, paid out $51 for the section. First place was a tie between Royce Jeffries and Wes Turner, each with a score of 3 out of 3; they split the first  and second place prize of $33 to earn $18 each. Third through seventh place had a five way tie, and each paid out $3 which was earned by having a score of 2 out of 3. Those players were Tyler Glassford, Marianna Hereford, Jeffrey Kendall, Greg Vanvalkenburg, and Gary Anderson.


When reached out to for a comment of how the unique time control was thought of, International Arbiter Mike Kummer said, "This was a great way for our club members to get familiar playing with an increment, as in the $10,000 Bill Wright Saint Louis Open next month."


The next monthly tournament at the Saint Louis Chess Club is the Bill Wright Saint Louis Open, April 6 - 8. The entry fee is $80 if pre-registered before 4/3 or $100 afterwards. More details can be found on