We were not expecting 110 players at Saturday's Midsummer Plus-Score #10! But thanks to Maret Thorpe, we pulled it off. The players themselves heeded the call to bring extra sets and clocks and graciously helped reconfigure the room for the fabulous turnout.
In the 54-player Open Section, FM Zhaozhi Li and expert Akhil Kalghatgi tied for first with 3½-½, winning $160 each. Nine players tied for third, half a point behind: FM Alexander Velikanov of Wisconsin, FM Ciro Diaz Ordóñez of Ecuador, local masters Michael Auger & Jonathan Hrach, local experts Aakaash Meduri and Bradley Guan, and local A players Charles Zack Coffman (who made Expert), Thomas Grudinski, and Richard Zhang. Each won $80. NM Steven Cooklev of Indiana (and the University of Chicago), as well as Agarkhorol Gangaa of Mongolia, local experts Max Zinski, Nick Bartochowski, Rishi Narayanan, and Zheyuan Fan, and B player Jimmy Kyle Jackson of Indiana each won $40 for their 2½-1½ score. The Chicago Chess Center paid out $1,320 in prizes for this section, well above the $750 guarantee.
As I passed out the checks, I heard more than one player refer to this tournament as "ridiculously strong." That's the point of the Plus-Score format! We're just following in the steps of our guru, Bill Smythe, who organized similar events at the Chicago Chess Club in Rogers Park in the 1990s.
In the Under 1600 section, there was a three-way tie for first at 3½-½: Deepak Salian (who made Class B, congratulations!), Monish Bhasin, and Elijah Platnick. They won $120 each. Tuoyu Toby Yang, David Chen, and Orlan Smith all won $60 for their 3-1 scores. Caelan Burke-Kaiser, Denis Yildiz (a scholastic player from Turkey playing in his first US event), Junliang Liu, and Nathan Melnikov all won $30. We paid out $660 in this 27-player section: exactly half of the prizes for a field exactly half the size of the Open Section.
We were delighted to have 29 players in the Under 1000 Section. Martin Navarro of Indiana scored the only perfect 4-0 of the day: he won a chess clock and a book of his choice, and jumped from provisional 813 to established 1064. Unrated Andres Celis finished clear second with 3½-½ and won two books. All the other players "won" the "third prize" of a chess book of their choice, including the actual third-prize finishers: unrated players Alfredo Fernandez, Jean-Marc Julien, and Ronald Gil Arreola, as well as Saad Ahmed and Dansen Wang, all with 3-1.
Reminder: we are having two similar events in July and one in August! The Rated Beginners Open tournaments will be held in a separate room at the same time as the Plus-Score events, and will be over by about 4:30 p.m.