2017 Missouri Open Results

by Randy Merrell

Eighty chess players attended the 2017 Missouri Open Chess Championship held at Unity Village Missouri. Amazingly exactly forty in each section.Thanks to a $500 donated guaranteed first place prize the tournament qualified for the Grand Prix circuit with 6 Grand Prix points. All rounds started within just a few minutes of the advertised time. The Unity Village Hotel was praised as a wonderful venue. The only problem I’m aware of was the proximity of the tables to the air conditioning vents. We eventually found a way to correct the issue.



Boards one and two in the open section held everyone’s attention. In the fourth round a draw with Abhishek Mallela put IM Michael Brooks within reach. Master Ken Jones win over Ron Luther setup the final board one match. However a win by Brooks over Jones, and Ron Luther’s draw with Abhishek Mallela on board two put Brooks over the top for the championship.



Ryan Duan dominated the Reserve section. Finishing a half point out front with a perfect 5.0. Because he elected to enter ineligible for prizes 1st place money went to Xueyi Chen. The first Missouri player was Wesley Willis who won the championship plaque and a share of second place with 4.0 score. Losing only to Cael Province who also took part of the 2nd place prize, along with Charles Carlson.


Pairing Number Name Cash Non-Cash Prize Prize Credited to Pool
1 MICHAEL A BROOKS (4.5/2390) 500 Plaque Place: 1 – $500
20 JONATHA GOLLAPUDI (4.0/1810) 125 U2000/1 – $125
2 ABHISHEK MALLELA (4.0/2228) 125 Place: 2 – $250
6 SAMUEL ISA FOWLER (4.0/2091) 125
30 BRYCEN M PARKER (3.0/1693) 100 U1800/1 – $100
Pairing Number Name Cash Non-Cash Prize Prize Credited to Pool
13 XUEYI CHEN (4.5/1450) 200 Place: 1 – $200
8 CAEL DOU PROVINCE (4.0/1491) 34 Place: 2 – $100
7 WESLEY DAL WILLIS (4.0/1506) 34 Plaque
10 CHARLES W CARLSON (4.0/1472) 34
18 KEN WEST (3.0/1200) 100 Class D/1 – $100
20 ACHILLES B MILLER (3.0/1158) 34 Class E/1 – $100
19 CELINA ZHOU (3.0/1183) 34
29 THOMAS WEI (3.0/1036) 34
38 CRAIG A GUSTAFSON (2.5/0) 100 U1000-Unr/1 – $100

USCF Tournament Crosstable (link)

Here are some games from the event:

Round 4: NM Kenneth Jones (annotator) vs NM Ron Luther

[ctpgn layout=”left” id=”2017_MO_Open_JonesVsLuther”][Event “2017 Missouri Open”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2017.08.06”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Jones, Kenneth E”]
[Black “Luther, Ronald”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2193”]
[BlackElo “2225”]
[ECO “B07”]
[EventDate “2017.??.??”]
[PlyCount “71”]{(As my record against strong competition had not been good lately, before
the game I decided to concentrate on making good decisions and let that
take me where it would.)}
1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 {(White decides to fortify his center
and just develop behind it. This solid approach puts no immediate pressure
on Black, so he is free to choose any number of set-ups.)} 4. … Nf6 5.
Bd3 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. h3 {(The immediate 7. Re1 or 7. Na3 give Black the
option of …Bg4, while 7. Bg5 leads to positions similar to the Torre
Attack versus the King\’s Indian–but with the important difference that
White has not yet had to commit himself to Nbd2 to achieve them.)} 7. …
e5 8. Na3 {(8. Re1 is often seen, as sometimes White wants to gain space
on the Q-side with a4 before playing Na3.)} 8. … h6 {(Ron correctly
pointed out that 8…a6 is another common idea in this position.)} 9. Nc2
Nh5 10. Re1 Qf6 {(With the idea of …Nf4, the point of Black\’s last few
moves.)} 11. Ne3 exd4? {(A major strategic concession based on a tactical
oversight–Black is not winning a pawn. Ron later suggested 11…Qd8
immediately.)} 12. Nd5 Qd8 13. cxd4 Ne7?
( {(It\’s better to go ahead with} 13. … Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4 {when my
intention was} 15. Be2!?
( {Probably better is the obvious} 15. Bxh6 Bg7
( 15. … Bxb2? 16. Bxf8 Bxa1?? 17. Be7 {wins} )
16. Bxg7 Nxg7 17. Qf3 {when White has the advantage, but it\’s
still a fight.)} )
15. … Bg7 16. Bxh5 gxh5 17. Qxh5 {when Black\’s K-side is seriously
weakened, though} 17. … Re8! {holds it together for now, for if} 18.
Bxh6?? Re5! {and Black wins!} )
14. Nxe7+ Qxe7 15. e5! {+/- (Now the Nh5 is in serious danger of being
lost to g2-g4.)} 15. … dxe5 16. dxe5 Rd8 17. Qe2
( {(If White wants to be assured of winning the Nh5, he has to do it
now:} 17. g4! {–but after only a few minutes of thought I decided
against it. While objectively it is the best move (winning a piece for
2 pawns) it totally changes the nature of the position. Black\’s pieces
come immediately to life and my K-side is wide open. Ultimately, this
should not be enough compensation for Black; my engine suggests}
17. … g5 18. gxh5 Bxh3 19. Re3! {as an efficient way to defend. But
weighing this against the strength of my position after 17. Qe2 [when
Black still has to find a way to solve the problem of his wayward N] I
opted for practicality over objective superiority. Was it a good
decision? It worked, but outcome bias is hard to ignore….if you had
set up the position after 17. g4! and told me to pick a side, there\’s
no question of the answer!)} )
17. … g5?!
( {(Black should use the opportunity to save the N with} 17. … f5 {,
when} 18. Bc4+ Kh7 19. Be3 {keeps White\’s edge, but it\’s still a
fight.)} )
18. Bc4!?
( 18. Bc2 {is strong too, e.g.} 18. … Nf4 19. Bxf4 gxf4 20. Qe4 {
winning a pawn} )
18. … g4?! {(Black loses a pawn after either}
( 18. … Be6 19. Bxe6 Qxe6 20. Nxg5 )
( {or} 18. … Nf4 19. Bxf4 gxf4 20. Qe4 {, but the text is worse.)} )
19. hxg4 Bxg4 20. Qe4 {+-} Bxf3
( 20. … Qd7 21. Nh2 Bf5 22. Qf3 Bg6 23. g4 )
21. Qxf3 Rd4
( 21. … Nf6 22. Bxh6! )
22. b3! {(Now the Nh5 cannot be saved.)} 22. … Rad8
( 22. … Rh4 23. g3 )
( 22. … Qh4 23. Bxf7+ Kh8 24. Qxh5 )
23. Qxh5 b5 24. Bxb5 Rh4
( {After} 24. … Qb4 25. Bxh6!
( 25. Qe2 {is also good} )
25. … Bxh6 26. Qxh6 {Black won’t survive.} )
25. Ba3! {(The B\’s first move forces a Queen exchange.)}
( 25. Qe2!? Rd5 26. Bb2 {also wins} )
25. … Rxh5 26. Bxe7 Rd5 27. Bc4 Rdxe5 28. Rad1 {(Black\’s counterplay is
over.)} 28. … Rxe1+ 29. Rxe1 Re5 30. Rxe5 Bxe5 31. Kf1
( 31. Bc5 a5 32. Be3 Kg7 33. Bd2 {would have been more efficient, but
I eventually get around to it.} )
31. … Kg7 32. Ke2 f5 33. Kd3 Kg6 34. Bc5 a5 35. Bd4 Bd6 36. Bc3 1-0[/ctpgn]

Round 5: IM Michael Brooks vs NM Kenneth Jones (annotator)

[ctpgn layout=”left” id=”2017_MO_Open_BrooksvJones”][Event “2017 Missouri Open”][Site “?”][Date “2017.08.06”][Round “5”][White “Brooks, IM Michael”][Black “Jones, Kenneth E”][Result “1-0”][WhiteElo “2390”][BlackElo “2193”][ECO “B25”][EventDate “2017.??.??”][PlyCount “135”]1. e4 c5 2. d3 {(The dance begins. White keeps the option of placing a
pawn instead of a N on c3, and can react to Black\’s set-up accordingly.)}
2. … Nc6 3. g3
( 3. f4 {, followed by Nf3 & Be2 [sometimes known as “The Big Clamp”]
is another possibility from this move order.)} )
3. … g6 {(In turn, Black goes for the most standard Closed Sicilian
structure.)} 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. f4 d6 6. Nf3 e6 7. Nc3 Nge7 8. Be3 O-O {(After
the game, Mike thought it better to wait on castling until White shows
where his King is going. That idea is worth further investigation, and as
a practical matter it\’s a pretty useful concept to keep in mind, but even
if Black is able to keep finding useful moves while waiting for this
situation to be resolved, I\’d be surprised if 8..0-0 is found to be an
actual mistake.)} 9. h4!? {(A new one on me, and I guess pretty much
everybody–I could find only one master game where it was used.)} 9. …
d5?! {(Now was the time to focus on decision-making, and I failed
miserably–and not just for the relative merits of this move. Clearly,
there are many candidates here: playing on the Q-side with Qa5, Qb6, b6 or
b5; playing in the center with this move, e5 or Nd4; and the critical idea
of holding up White\’s play on the K-side with h5. Instead of focusing on
concrete analysis, I was influenced by generalities [“an attack on the
flank is best countered by an advance in the center”] and made an
oversight immediately.)} 10. Bxc5 d4?
( {(The only way to save material was by} 10. … Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Qa5 {
, but despite the computer\’s evaluation I have a feeling Black is
really going to miss his dark squared Bishop.)} )
11. Ne2 Qa5+ 12. b4 Nxb4 13. Bxe7 Nc6+ 14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Nxe7 {(In my
earlier calculations I still had the N on c6 here.)} 16. Nexd4 {(Black
doesn\’t have compensation for the pawn. The Bg7 will soon be smothered by
the massive pawn center.)} 16. … Rd8 17. c3 b6 18. a4! Ba6 19. Nb5
( 19. a5! {would save White a lot of trouble.} )
19. … Rac8 20. Rhc1 Nc6 21. e5 {(Since Black has no targets, White has
all the time in the world to try and find better squares for his pieces.)}
21. … Na5 22. Kc2 Rd7 23. Ng5 Rcd8 24. Rd1 Bf8 25. Ne4 Be7 26. Ned6?! {
(a waste of time)} 26. … Kf8 27. Ne4? Bb7 28. Bf3 h5! 29. Nd4?? {(This
allows Black an amazing resource.)} 29. … Bxe4??
( {(I never considered} 29. … Rxd4!! 30. cxd4 Nc6! {when suddenly
most of White\’s pieces are on bad squares. For example} 31. Bh1 Nxd4+
32. Kb2 Ne2! {going after the K-side pawn structure. Black has good
chances to hold here–if he can get in Bxe4 his dark square dominance
gives ample compensation for the exchange.)} )
30. Bxe4 Bc5 31. Ne2 {(Back to the status quo. No commentary is necessary;
while there may be improvements for both sides, White can feint and jab
until he finds the right squares for his pieces.)} 31. … Be7 32. Rf1 Kg7
33. Rf3 Rc7 34. d4 Nc4 35. Bd3 Na5 36. Rff1 Nc6 37. Kd2 Na5 38. Rfb1 Rdc8
39. Ba6 Rd8 40. Kd3 Bf8 41. Ra2 Be7 42. Ke4 Nc6 43. Rab2 Bf8 44. Rd2 Na5
45. Bb5 Nb7 46. Ke3 Na5 47. Kd3 Be7 48. Kc2 Bf8 49. Rbd1 Rd5 50. Kb2 Be7
51. Rd3 Bf8 52. Ng1 Rd8 53. Nf3 Be7 54. Ne1 Nc4+ {(If Black waits, Nc2-e3
lets White break through in the center.)} 55. Bxc4 Rxc4 56. Kb3 Rdc8 57.
Nc2 a6 58. Ne3 b5 {(another concession–White gets the open file.)} 59.
axb5 axb5 60. Ra1 R4c7 61. Ra6 Rb7 62. Rd2 Rbc7 63. Rc2 Rb7 64. Nf1 Kf8
( {(Immediately after the game Mike told me I missed a chance with}
64. … b4 65. c4 Rd8 66. Rd2 Rbd7 {winning back a pawn. True, but the
computer shows an elegant refutation:} 67. c5! Rxd4 68. Rd6!! Rxd2 69.
Nxd2 Bxd6 70. exd6 {and the passers will triumph.)} )
65. Nd2 Kg7 66. Ne4 Kf8? 67. Rca2 Rbc7 68. Ra8 {(Exchanging a pair of
Rooks will break all resistance. Congratulations to state champ Mike
Brooks!)} 1-0[/ctpgn]