For perhaps the first time in history, a USCF-rated tournament was held in the 60178 zip code today.
In the upper section, Wisconsin's Awonder Liang went undefeated in four rounds. Sycamore's James Freestrom grabbed a clear second with his 2.5 out of 4 showing. In the other section, DeKalb's Nathan Kozinski went undefeated with a thrilling fourth round victory over Chris Wainscott of the dairy state. Chris wound up in a 4-way tie for 2nd through 5th with local club members John Schaeffer and Cliff Adams, and Rockford area's Steven Do (all with 3.0/4).
Nathan forged above the 1500-mark for the first time in his young tournament life. John appears to be poised to regain his 1400-rating, while, Cliff, thanks to his second straight 3-1 tournament showing, is in danger of exceeding the 1300-mark for the first time since 2009.
The sportsman of the day award goes to Guy Kittilsen who offered his sullen, position-impaired, time-challenged opponent a draw when others might have held out for the full point. And thus was avoided an ugly scene. Thanks, Guy!
This Mid-Month Challenge saw the largest turnout for any DeKalb Chess Club event, eclipsing January's Illinois Kick-Off.
Undeterred by a lost hour of sleep, two sections of competitors from far and wide battled it out upon a room full of 64-square battlefields. According to USCF records, over 69% of the entrants trekked more than 25 miles to attend, making it one of the four most-traveled to Illinois tournaments so far this year. (In fact, DeKalb's 2011 Illinois Kick-Off was also among the top four).
Thank you fearless parents and all-weather chess stalwarts for making the drive to join us. The State of Illinois needs all the tolls and gasoline taxes it can collect!