June 29 was a day for newcomers, up-and-comers and comebacks. David Shiner, a Shimer College associate dean coming off a 10-year hiatus from rated chess, won first place in our preview open at the Illinois Institute of Technology, with a score of 3.5/4. With only three prior rated games to his name, Armando Rodríguez took second with 3.0/4 (in a tie with the house player, Bill Brock). Young player Mark Jungo, a member of the Knight Moves Chess Club at the Rudy Lozano Branch Library in Pilsen, placed third with 2.5/4, scoring an upset win over his mentor, Héctor Hernández, in the first round.
Shiner's most dramatic win came in the third round, against Hernández. Enjoying more space and an outposted rook and knight by move 26, Shiner had difficulty converting his advantages into a winning position and found himself in deep time trouble by move 30. He was able to detonate the position on move 33, helped out by Hernández's recapture on c6 with a rook rather than a pawn (an oversight that may have been aggravated by the ringing of a mobile phone in the tournament room), and played the position down to a KQ vs. K endgame with less than a minute of time remaining on his clock:
Click here for official tournament crosstable.