Our congratulations go out to NIU Mathematics Graduate Student, Andrew Wang (pictured below in action at an earlier DeKalb tournament). Andrew demolished the top-rated "Alpha" quad with a perfect 3.0 score. I caught his third round win, and it included one of the prettiest knight-for-pawn sacrifices you'll ever see. The decisive combination was a thing of beauty!
Andrew's knight takes pawn, and his young opponent captured back with his own knight, thinking he'd been given a gift. Andrew exchanges on, capturing that knight with a rook which is readily captured back by his opponent's rook. Did Andrew really just sack a knight and a rook for a measly pawn and a knight? Never fear, our intrepid math whiz maneuvers his queen to a back rank check leading to the rook recapture and a sweet fork where either a bishop or knight would have been next to fall. When his opponent went on the attack instead, Andrew finished him off with a stylish mating net. That, folks, is how chess is played!
(Allow a momentary digression: We then retreated to the skittles room to watch the Fighting Illini turn the purple and white various shades of black and blue at Wrigley Field. Obvious background: Andrew attended Northwestern while I matriculated downstate to the U of I. How can a mere mortal gain 300 yards rushing in a single football game? And it was all running in one direction!).
Elsewhere in the Elgin tournament, club member Cliff Adams managed a tie for fourth in his Delta section of 7 players. Frequent DeKalb-tournament attendee Gary Sargent grabbed a piece of second place prize money in that same section.
Bob Cairone of the McHenry Area Chess Club runs a terrific tournament, and I've learned a lot about TD'ing from him. Elgin tournaments are held the third Saturday of every month on the top floor of the Holiday Inn just off Route 31, north of I-90. The next tournament there, December 18th, will feature Swiss pairings. Let's all come out and support this wonderful event so that it remains viable on a monthly basis!
Thanks, Bob, for all you do for chess in Northern Illinois, and congratulations again to Andrew!