USCF Tournament Report: Midwest Holiday Class
Chen, Megan

USCF Tournament Report: Midwest Holiday Class

PlayChessWithASmile
PlayChessWithASmile
Apr 2, 2018, 6:01 PM |
3

3/30/2018 - 4/1/2018 Midwest Holiday Class [Chicago, IL]

Larry Cohen, chief TD and organizer, decided to have a major tournament in the Midwest during Easter weekend, thus a new annual tournament was created.  Christopher Baumgartner and I were floor TDs.

In this 3 day tournament, there were a total of 5 sections, 7 rounds of G/90; +30 sec increment, and drew over 80 players!

 This report will cover the first place finishers for each section with additional pictures at the end.

Daniel Bronfeyn: (Player on the right)

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Finishing the tournament with 6 points, with 5 wins and 2 draws, Daniel Bronfeyn was the clear winner in the top section.  Bronfeyn started the first day with two wins against players rated over 1900. 

On the second day, Bronfeyn played to a draw against, eventual second place finisher, Justin Liang (from Michigan).  After a nice win against an expert in the fourth round, Bronfeyn finished the day with another draw, against a class A player.  With 5 rounds done, and 2 rounds left, Bronfeyn was in clear first with 4 points, out of a possible 5. 

On the third day of the tournament, Bronfeyn started with a win against an expert and needed a draw to clinch first place in the final round.  In the final round, the game got into a very complicated middle/endgame, before Bronfeyn prevailed, en route to a win and clinched first place.  

(USCF) 2148 -> 2176 (+28)

 

A quick shout out to Saithanusri Avirneni (Georgia), as she outperformed her rating!  Per her mixed doubles partner, Todd Freitag stated, "I'd like to also highlight the performance of Thanu Avirneni. Going into the tournament, her rating was 1890. She scored 4/7 against opponents rated 2140 on average - a gap of 250 points! This included a well-played win against (Todd Freitag). She gained 92 points. 1890 -> 1982 in one tournament is not something you see often happy.png"

James Abbott

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What an incredible tournament by James Abbott.  Abbott started the tournament with five straight wins, with no draws in between. After the fifth win, Abbott needed a draw in the 6th round to clinch first place, with one round to spare.  However, Abbott (probably) wanted to reach 1900 this tournament and played for the win in the final two rounds. 

Unfortunately, Perry Zhao played spoilers and managed to draw against Abbott in the sixth round.  Fortunately for Abbott, he clinched first place with the draw, and has one round to spare.  In the final round, he managed to get a material advantage early and won the game decisively to finish the tournament with 6 wins, 1 draw and no losses.  

1841 -> 1904 (+63)

 

Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson

After taking a 15 year break, Peterson came back to the competitive chess two months ago.  He would have a shaky start, losing to a class C player in the first round, before winning the next two games.  Peterson would then suffer another loss, to eventual co-champion Joseph Baker, in the 4th round.  Going into the fifth round, Peterson had 2 wins and 2 losses and was in the middle of the pack.  However, Peterson would catch fire and win his final three games to finish the tournament with 5 wins and 2 losses, good enough to tie for first place in the class B section!  Despite this solid performance, Peterson would lose two rating points (though I don't think he's complaining with the prize money he won!).

1782 -> 1780 (-2)

 

Joseph Baker

Joseph Baker

Joseph Baker, like Scott Peterson, didn't have the best start to the tournament.  On the first day of the tournament, Baker started with a loss and a draw in rounds 1 and 2, respectively.  However, something good must've happened after the first night because on the second day, Baker won all of his three games he played, including one against co-champion, Peterson.  On the third day, Baker would beat his round 6 opponent and needed a draw to finish (at least a tie) for first place. 

Unfortunately for Baker, he was in a completely lost endgame.  Fortunately for Baker, it was a *Bishop + Knight + King vs (Baker's) King endgame and his opponent didn't know the B + N mate and would draw after the 50 move rule.  With the draw, Baker joins Peterson for a tie for first place in the class B section.

1649 -> 1685 (+36)

 

Ekansh Mehrotra:

Ekansh Mehrotra

Ekansh Mehrotra may have a new winning streak in his young career after this tournament.  Started the tournament with a draw in the first round, Mehrotra would win his next 5 games and needed a draw to clinch clear first place in his section.  Unfortunately, Mehrotra would lose his final game against, co-champion, Conor Dorn.  I doubt Mehrotra has anything to complain about though, because of the prize and the rating gains!

1439 -> 1492 (+53)

 

Conor Dorn

Conor Dorn

Due to a registration issue, Conor Dorn didn't play in the first round and received a full-point bye and lost his round 2 opponent.  Dorn would then post a career high in consecutive wins by winning his next 3 games before requesting a bye in the 6th round.  Dorn needed a win in the final round to finish top 2 guaranteed, but had to play, at the time, section leader, Mehrotra.  In the end, Dorn prevailed and won the game, as Black, to join for a tie for first place.  Both Mehrotra and Dorn would take home a split of the prize.

1317 -> 1425 (+108)

 

Robert Hennig:

Robert Hennig

Robert Hennig, who drove all the way from Kentucky with his high school chess team, came in clear first in the U1400 section with 4 wins, 3 draws and no losses.  Hennig would start the tournament winning his first four games, including one against his student.  Hennig would then proceed to draw the next three games to finish the tournament 5.5/7, good for first place!

1373 -> 1381 (+8)

 

Some additional pictures:

Eric Starkman (Left) and NM Ricky Wang (Right)

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Jermaine Howlett

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LeRoy Sims

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Megan Chen

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Nimrod Bareket - second place finisher in the U1400

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Derek Paitrick (Left) and Charles Coffman (Right); Paitrick would finish tie for fourth, while Coffman would finish clear third place.

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The High School Chess Team from Kentucky!

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Gabriel Gronski - Tied for third place in the Class B section!

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Chief Tournament Director and Organizer of the Midwest Holiday Class, Larry Cohen!

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NM Todd Freitag and Luke Ye (Photobombing)

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William Jackson (Representing Chicago Chess Blitzers)

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Tom Bareket

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Thank you for reading and hope to see you in the next IL-based Chess tournament!

For the USCF Crosstables, click anywhere here.

*for those keeping track, this is now the second K + B + N vs K endgame I've covered in the last six months.  The other one was also a draw.