Aaron Maney may have enjoyed the tournament of his life, defeating a pair of experts in back to back rounds. But by day's end, he found himself in a four-way tie for top honors in the 13-player Open Section at DeKalb's Other Tal Memorial, held Nov. 9.
Overall, 38 players battled it out in four sections of dual time-controlled chess (with a few extra games thrown in). USCF Crosstables.
Jon Winick, Vincent Do and Chelsea Harper joined Aaron with 3.0/4 scores. Only Jon's fourth-round victory kept Aaron from a perfect score. Still, Aaron raised his USCF rating over 100 points to 1830, pending USCF re-rate.
The 13-player Open Section returned 100% of its entry fees to top-scoring entrants, with eight players sharing in the proceeds.
Iowa sixth-grader Clive Power and home-schooled fifth-grader Tom Bareket posted level 2.0/4 scores to claim Under 1600 honors within the Open Section. Tom, the lowest rated player in the section, impressively went undefeated, drawing all four games.
In the 11-player Reserve Section, Kevin Taylor posted the tournament's only perfect score, going 4.0/4. Kevin bumped his rating over 100 points to the mid-1500's. Brian Gong and Jonathan Gaenzle finished a point back at 3.0/4, splitting second and third place prize money in the section.
Ed Powers finished atop Under 1400 competitors within the section posting a 2.5/4 score. James Zhang, Adam Bareket and Daniel Renauer wound up a half-point back, all in second place among U1400's.
In the tightly-bunched Tweener's section, Steve Wilson drew Paul Schmitt in the final round, the only blemish on Steve's undefeated day in only his second USCF-rated tournament. U of I graduate student Joe Riddle claimed second, a half-point back behind Steve with a 3.0 posting. Paul was a half-point back from that with 2.5, placing third.
The Under 1000 Booster competition saw Abhi Shankar, James Stacey and Charlie Harrison each tally 3.0/4 results to tie for the section championship. James defeated Charlie in the first round, Abhi bested James in the second round and Charlie prevailed over Abhi in the fourth round. How's that for head-to-head competition? This event served as Charlie's debut to USCF-rated play.
Sycamore's Cliff Adams enjoyed the top upset (147 points!) for players not otherwise participating in prize pools. It was a thrill to have so many locals participating in the event. Cliff joined DeKalb Chess Club veterans Don Reyes and John Schaeffer along with occasional club participant Chelsea (mentioned above) and newcomer Mark Berezewski.
The Other Tal Memorial represents the seventh rated event hosted by the DeKalb club in 2013 and honored what would have been Mikhail Tal's 77th birthday.
Heading into next weekend's Illinois All Grade (to be held on the campus of ISU), this tournament included one dozen juniors, and impressively, eight of the twelve received some prize money.