Over The Top SEO
Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2014 arrow April arrow IM Kannappan Celebrates The Green In St. Louis
IM Kannappan Celebrates The Green In St. Louis Print E-mail
By Steve Immitt   
March 19, 2013
IM Priyadharshan Kannappan, Photo STL Chess Club
The 17th edition of the Continental Chess Association’s St. Louis classic, the annual Mid-America Open brilliantly eclipsed all its predecessors.  This year, the weekend of March 15-17 saw the largest turnout in the tournament’s history, with over 251 players making their way to the Crowne Plaza St. Louis-Clayton, a hotel reminiscent of grand days past in the Gateway City.  It wasn’t just the familiar Midwest places represented this time either— players from over 21 states and the District of Columbia, spanning both coasts, were on hand this year, imparting a true national tincture to a regional mainstay tournament. 

The records were not only shattered in the quantity, but also the quality of those attending.  The 60-player Open Section fielded no less than 25 Masters, including a dazzling display of seven Grandmasters!  And not a single one was even able to tie for first!

In the end it was one of the tournament’s three IMs, Priyadharshan Kannappan of India, who emerged alone in the Winner’s Circle. Eschewing the notion of a quick draw to finish in the money, Kannappan and his last-round opponent, GM Alexander Shabalov, soon became embroiled in a heated theoretical battle on Board Two.  

When his opponent resigned after making the time control, Priyadharshan was able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the best kind of green:  the $2,320 first prize plus a $116 bonus prize for finishing in clear first place, with 4½ points, as well. 

Priyadharshan, who is studying for three more years at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, headed up a powerful contingent of his fellow students, which also included Hungarian IM Levan Bregadze, WGM Anna Sharevich and FM Kostantin Kavutskiy.

A seven-way, international logjam piled up half a point back. Five GMs, Gregory Kaidanov of Kentucky (fresh from his tie for first in last weekend’s Western Class Championship in Agoura Hills, California), Corrales Jimenez of Cuba, St. Louis’s own Ben Finegold, Denes Boros of Hungary and Alex Yermolinsky of South Dakota, along with Bregadze, all tied with Indiana junior star Sean Vibbert, each winning $314. 

Youth was also served in the line for the Under 2200 prize money in the Open Section, as Tom Polgar-Shutzman and nine-year-old FM Awonder Liang tied with Joseph Knapp, bringing back $541 each for scoring 3 points.

Barry Manthe and David Askin each took home $1,218 for scoring 4½ points in the Under 2000 Section.  Mohammadreza Hajiarbabi had the honor of turning in the only perfect score of the weekend, winning $1,508 for sweeping the Under 1800 Section.  Jacob Norris and Richard  Pointer each scored 4½ points in the Under 1600 Section, earning them each $1,044.  In the Under 1400 Section, Edward Journey and Erik Tkachenko both tied with 4½ points as well, each winning $870.

The Under 1200 Section had a unique feature this year.  It was really two sections, an Adult Under 1200 Section, for players over age 18, and a complementary Junior Under  1200 Section, for players born in 1995 or later.  Todd Lifka scored 4½ points  to win the Adult Division, but his prize was limited to $150 as an unrated player, giving the bigger payday to Karuna Atmakurn and Jonathan Reigenborn, who each received $244 despite finishing a whole point back.  Ronit Kirumaki’s 773 rating made him a dark horse at the outset to win the $348 first prize in the Junior Under 1200 Section, but after he finished with 4½ points, he ended up taking home a little over one dollar for each point his rating went up at the end of the tournament.

Lindenwood University certainly gave its imprimatur to the Mid-America Open this year, but they were not alone.  The 350-player(!) Chess Club of Cornell University also befriended a number of Midwest chess players as well, when they donated sets and boards to some of the players.

If the prizes all seemed a bit larger than what was advertised this year, it was not, at least completely, due to an overly zealous celebration of the spirit(s) of St. Patrick’s Day.  Rather, the larger-than-projected turnout caused the prizes in the tournament, which were based on more conservative numbers from the previous years, all to be raised sixteen per cent! Hope you had a happy St. Patrick's Day too and enjoy further games from the event:  


April - Chess Life Online 2014

USCF Customer Service SurveyTales from Atlanta: Advait on a Perfect Score Qualifiers for 2014 Pan American Youth [UPDATED DATES] 12 Ranks of Pawns: Strong Turnout at Junior High Champs National Junior High Begins in Atlanta Li, Chor Headline 2014 ChessKid Online Championship Timur Gareev Wins in Reno World Chess Hall of Fame Inductions Set for May 7 182 Players Qualify for 2014 World Youth Bill Mason (1964-2014)Kamsky Tops Philly on Way to Saint Louis Quest to the First GM Norm Philadelphia Open Underway Texas Beats Poland in Friendly Match US #1 Nakamura Signs with Red Bull Four GMs and a NM Top Bill Wright Saint Louis Open Ellen Xiang Wins Top Section at Record Breaking All-Girls California vs. JerusalemField, Commentators Set for 2014 U.S. ChampionshipsGM-elect Kayden Troff: A Case Study by Kenneth Kiewra [EXCERPT] USCF Joins the Party, Supports Millionaire Chess Neil Falconer 1923-2014All-Girls Nationals Kicks Off Friday San Francisco Scholastic Attracts Hundreds Yang & Catalina Foothills on Top in San Diego Sixth in San Diego: Homidan on his Final Scholastic Levon Aronian Headlines Metropolitan Chess CampMillion Dollar Chess Tournament Makes First Move 2014 Scholar Chess Player Award WinnersWebster Wins Again: Final Four of College Chess Sunday in San Diego: Yang Leads Among Flurry of Upsets High School Champs in San Diego Draws Star PlayersFinal Four Underway in New York The Road to the Blind World Champs: Interview with Alex Barrasso Kostya's New Venture: Metropolitan ChessLenderman Wins Long Island Open Melinda Turns it to Nicholas: On the Way to San Diego Troff, Yang & Abrahamyan Earn New TitlesUSCF Obtains 501 (c)(3) Status Deepak Aaron Gives Charity Simul at Georgia Tech