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Saint Louis Open: Round 1 updates


The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open is underway here at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, and the Open field saw few upsets in the first round. GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Robert Hess, Ben Finegold, Alejandro Ramirez, Josh Friedel and Dmitry Gurevich all won as did IMs Irina Krush and Michael Brooks.

WIMs Alisa Melekhina and Iryna Zenyuk both won as well, but Christopher Prather managed to knick WIM Tatev Abrahamyan for a draw in round one. Click Read more to view round one results and pairings, and stay tuned for updates.

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Record field set for Saint Louis Open: Pre-register now


The heat is on, and Saint Louis is just getting warmed up.

In May, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is set to return to Saint Louis to defend his title at this year's 2010 U.S. Chess Championship, but first he'll stop by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) for a tune-up at the Bill Wright Saint Louis Open.

The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open, held at the CCSCSL this weekend, April 10-11, features a $5,700 prize fund and some of the top players in the country.

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Chess Club parking guide: the handy handout

[imagefield_assist|fid=3557|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Avoid those pesky parking tickets with our new handy parking guide!

Finally, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has put together an easy-to-follow, color-coded map for members and visitors alike to find the best parking options for any occassion.

Simply click the Read more link at the bottom of this story to access the Chess Club parking guide. The guide contains easy instructions to find the best ways to access the club via public transportation, and also lists the free and paid parking zones in the CWE.

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Ben's Blog: Easter Updates

[imagefield_assist|fid=3556|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Happy Easter everyone!

I have not blogged in a while, as I am still recovering from my long trek. I was =2nd in Lubbock, Tx and =1st in Skokie, Il, and was able to score 6 wins and 12 draws (with no losses!) in 13 days, with no rest!  Luckily, I was able to workout on the treadmill in Skokie, and walk a lot in Lubbock to keep fit as well as staying on the straight and naarrow food-wise. I have lost 27 pounds thus far this year, and have about 100 more to go!

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Three-way tie for title of Club Champion

[imagefield_assist|fid=3554|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Five out of the 10 competitors of the 2010 Club Championship had a shot to win it all going into round five, and in the end, three emerged from the heap to claim the title of co-champion.

Jim Voelker topped Tony Rich early on in round five to finish the tournament with 3.5/5. Richard Benjamin needed a victory over Paul Mechem to claim the title outright, and Mechem had a shot to tie Voelker with a win. The hard-fought match between the two ended in a draw, securing a first-place tie between Benjamin and Voelker.

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Ben's Blog: NACA FIDE INVITATIONAL - Final Report

[imagefield_assist|fid=3547|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]It's been an interesting two weeks, but the tournaments are over, and it is time to "wrap it up."

I drew quickly yesterday with IM Angelo Young, and Mackenzie Molner was able to hold a draw against GM Mesgen Amanov, so we tied for first place, and Molner earned his first GM norm!  Molner played the five highest rated players in the event, in rating order, in the final five rounds --- all GMs!  An amazing performance.

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Ben's Blog: NACA FIDE INVITATIONAL - Third Report

[imagefield_assist|fid=3545|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The last round is going to start in 20 minutes!  I am currently the co-leader, with FM Mackenzie Molner, who has already beaten 3 GMs this tournament, and needs a draw for his first GM norm!

I had a good day yesterday, beating Molner in a nice game, and drawing a very long, tough game, with GM Mesgen Amanov.

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Maurice Ashley, $10,000 blitz tourney highlight 2010 U.S. Champs

[imagefield_assist|fid=3544|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, March 23, 2010 -- Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, the first African-American GM in the history of chess, will provide expert analysis and commentary at the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship, set for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis May 13-25. Ashley was featured on ESPN in 1996 when he provided commentary for the Man vs. Machine match (Garry Kasparov vs. IBM's super-computer Deep Blue) and again in 1997 for the Kasparov vs. Deep Blue rematch. Ashley earned the title of grandmaster in 1999. He and WGM Jennifer Shahade will provide in-depth commentary throughout the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship.

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Ben's Blog: NACA FIDE INVITATIONAL - Second Report

[imagefield_assist|fid=3541|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Tonight was quite nice, as my quick preparation paid quick dividends!  My opponent, FM Robby Adamson has played against me several times over the past 20 years, and, has always had the black pieces!  Today was no exception, and he played his usual Benko Gambit. 

I try to play different stuff, so my opponents have a tough time preparing, and so a few minutes of study was enough for me to try 5.e3.  It worked like a charm, as we played 11 moves of my "prep", and his next move, 11...d6? was almost losing by force.  I wrapped up the game in less than 20 moves.

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Ben's Blog: NACA FIDE INVITATIONAL - First Report

[imagefield_assist|fid=3537|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The facilities are great and there are a lot of chess players lurking everywhere.  The hotel has a nice swimming pool, jacuzzi, and exercise room.  I am working out on the treadmill twice a day, and I feel great.  I will, however, need to buy some new clothes, which, I have found out before, is a nice problem to have when losing weight.

I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3-D with Yun Fan today, so now I am ready to "Slay the Jabberwocky!" Chess tournaments are so much work!

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