Chicago Open Results


The Chicago Open is one of the premier open swiss chess tournaments in the U.S. and it's held in my neck of the woods. But, I've never had the opportunity to play in it. That changed last weekend when I joined 871 other players in this year's 7 round event (9 rounds for the open).

Round 1, Stokes-Taylor, 0-1

Friday night I battled against Stokes and his 1.b3 opening, which I had no prep against. After our game, which I was able to win after coming back from a poorly executed opening, I had to ask Stokes what the heck this opening was called. Apparently it is called the Larsen Attack and now it is on my RADAR.

Round 2, Taylor-Beaubien, 1-0

Here is my favorite win of the tournament, where I march two pawns up the board and queen them both.

Round 3, Resurrecion-Taylor, 1-0

A game where I was just outplayed at every point by one of the tournament leaders.

Round 4, Taylor-Trifonov, 1/2-1/2

Going into the 4th round I was 2-1-0 and though I was leading by a pawn going into a rook ending, I gave my opponent counterplay and ended up fighting for the draw!

Round 5, Weil-Taylor, 1-0

Aagh! A Trompowski! Another opening not in my prep.

Round 6, Taylor-Rubin, 1/2-1/2

The morning of the final day and I was 2-2-1 for 2.5 points. If I won my last two rounds, I could end up with 4.5 points out of 7, which would put me out of the money, but would allow me to have a decent tournament result. In the end we both ran short on time and agreed to a nervous draw.

Round 7, Szelag-Taylor, 1-0

It turned out it wasn't going to be my weekend. Szelag played a Caro-Kann Exchange line that I had no experience with and I ended up in a very passive position. My opponent was able to improve his pieces and eventually exploit my multiple weaknesses, leaving me 3 of 7 for the weekend.

All-in-all an enjoyable tournament, well run as most CCA tournaments are. The format of 7 games in 3.5 days is grueling and I was not as physically fit for this outing as I was for the similarly formated Philadelphia Open in April, where I had a much better result. I am not sure if the physical conditioning was the key factor but I am sure it played a role. It certainly took me several days after this tournament before I felt I was fully recovered--it just took more of a toll on me than usual.