Bill Wright Saint Louis Open
By Ken West
MCA Bulletin Editor
Upsets, draws and more highlighted The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open at the Chess Center and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis April 17-19. In the Open section, 21 players faced off, with 13 of them holding master’s titles. IM Ashwin Jayaram (2552), GM Alejandro Ramirez (2675) and GM Vladimir Georgiev (2598) to the top three spots, each taking home just over $1,500. But none had a perfect five rounds as they each finished with four points.
NM Nick Karlow, a name familiar to Missouri chess players, had a tournament to remember scoring draws against Ramirez and IM Priyadharshan Kannappan,both times with the black pieces, and finished with three points. Karlow said they were his strongest draws.
“I was better in the final position (against Ramirez), but chess is hard,” he said. “It was very complex. I saw the three-fold and took it.”
He has had tournaments with perfect scores but he said those results were against weaker fields. “This is definitely my strongest performance, I think so,” Karlow said. “I was completely outclassed in the last game. Georgiev just strangled my King’s Indian.”
CCSCSL Manager Alex Marler had a strong follow-up to his Mid-America Open results. In the opening round he beat IM Angelo Young (2426) and finished with 2.5 points. “I should be at my all-time rating high around 2140,” he said. Marler said Young kept finding moves to hold off his eventual victory.
Joey Michael Kelly (2101) broke the string of titled players at the top, finishing sixth. He finished with 3.5 points, scoring draws against NM Alex Richter (2273) and NM Spencer Finegold (2197). He won his final round game against a regular on the Missouri chess scene, FM Doug Eckert (2294).
Young Julian Proleiko (2001) of Saint Louis scored a draw against NM Richter on his way to 2.5 points and a $275 payoff.
Adil Skuka (1993) won the Under 2000 section with 4.5 points, good for $1,000. He won his first four rounds and drew second place finisher Leo Poppante (1828) in the final game. A name everyone will recognize, Selden Trimble (1943) came in third with four points. He and Poppante each won $475. Out-of-state player Alex Stiger (1745) took fourth place with 3.5 points, which earned her $500.
Scott Anderson (1397), followed up his Mid-America performance with three points, good for $300. His first round game was a win over Micah Losee (1901).
James Ivy (1543) also pocketed $300 with three points. He credited his success to an opening he began studying about three months ago.
“I played the Colle everytime I had white,” he said. It was good for two wins, with a loss in the system to Robert Taras (1947).
“I get good results with it,” Ivy said. “They are simple lines to memorize. Yeah, I’ve been playing it in the quads, everything.”
Dylan Mize (1235) grabbed the upset prize with a win over Nicholas Naylor (1874). He also held Jeffrey Schragin (1864), Jason Joseph Clark (1839) and Paul Goddard (1828) to draws on his way to 2.5 points.
MCA Secretary Bob Howe returned to over-the-board play and cited his personal history with the event as one reason.
“The St. Louis Open was the first tournament I ever played, and I always look forward to coming back and playing in it again,” Howe said. “I believe this is my tenth time playing it. My results weren’t as good as hoped, but I enjoyed spending the weekend with so many chess lovers.”
Howe (1731) knocked the dust off his chess game with 2.5 points.