Atulya Shetty wins Plus-Score #9

International Master Atulya Shetty (2518) is town for the summer. Fortunately for us, Aakaash Meduri talked him into playing in the Open Section of Plus-Score #9, held yesterday, May 20, at our usual site, University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center East. Shetty won first place and $120 with his 3½-½ score. The USCF ratings of Shetty's opponents were 2173, 2204, 2474, and 2232: certainly there must be easier ways for an IM to pick up pocket money. 

Senior Master Robert Perez (2474), FIDE Master Ciro Diaz Ordóñez of Ecuador (2353), National Master Steven Cooklev (2232), and Agarkorol Gangaa of Mongolia (2073) all tied for second with 3-1. Each player won $60 for their 3-1 score.

Meduri (2155) lost to Perez in the final round and won $30 for 2½, rounding out the Open Section prizewinners. 

In the Under 1800 Section, Mohamed Lofti (only 1422!) won the U1800 section and picked $80 and over 100 ELO for his 3½-½ score. Surhrittam Sanyal (1371) was clear second with 3, winning $40, and Tony Gentry (1359) took clear third and $20 for his 2½ score.

Chess parent Nimrod Bareket (1156) and nine-year-old Veronika Obikeiko (1183), playing in only her second American tounament, tied for first in the U1200 Section with 3-1 scores. Each won a DGT North American chess clock and a chess book. Nimrod donated his book back to CCC, while Veronika took home Karsten Müller's Chess Endgames for Kids. Saaid Ahmed (unrated) and Yana Kapoor (940) tied for third.

You'll find the crosstable for all sections on the US Chess website. Bill Buklis directed for Chicago Chess Center,.

To celebrate our tenth Plus-Score event, the Midsummer Plus-Score #10 on June 24 will pay out $320 and $240 to 4-0 perfect scores in the Open and Under 1600 sections, respectively, with all other Plus-Score prizes bumped up in proportion. (Open Section: each 4-3½-3-2½ score will win $320-$160-$80-$40, respectively; U1600: each 4-3½-3-2½ score will win $240-$120-$60-$30, respectively.) As it's virtually impossible to score 4-0 in the Open Section :-) , we've guaranteed minimum total prizes of $750 to Open Section plus score prizewinners.

Edit: here's Robert Perez's final round win over Aakaash Meduri, courtesy of Aakaash.

King's Indian players should remember the trick 16.g4! and Black can't take en passant because the Qg5 hangs. After 16.g4, White has the c4-c5 pawn break available, while Black has no kingside pawn break of similar power.

As it turned out, however, White never got that break in. I thought that White would win easily after the sham Exchange sacrifice 27.Rxg2! But White went wrong on move 32 with 32.Ke1?! A boring player (me, for example) probably would have chosen 32.Qg1, trying to play for two results, but that seems to give Black excellent drawing chances. Stockfish suggests the principled 32.Nb5!, continuting to pressure on the queenside while postponing kingside liquidation until it's more clearly favorable. After 32.Ke1?!, Meduri missed the cool countershot 32...Ng4! and the kingside pawnroller will win back the sacrificed material, with Black for choice.

Black might have had a draw by circuiting the board with the queen: 39...Qh1+ 40.Kc2 Qa1! (to prevent Na7). Perez then brought home the point with 39.Na7! and the knight tour Na7-Nc6-Nd8-Ne6. Cool game by both players!