Adamson Secures 2nd IM Norm at the 24th North American Masters
By Sevan A. Muradian   
February 8, 2010
  The 24th North American Masters, sponsored by Vince W. Berry Real Estate Services, ended this past weekend. FM Robby Adamson, secured his second IM norm at the event, with a final score of 6/9. See the first CLO report on the 24th NA Masters for some of Robby's key wins from the event.

Taking a line from the Chicago Blaze US Chess League team, Robby set the boards on fire (we'll forget he's on the anti-Chicago team of the Arizona Scorpions!) going 3/3 in the first three rounds in January and closing off last month with a total of 4/5. This month he returned and only needed to hold draws in his first four games to secure his 2nd IM norm. Robby joins a cast of characters that scored their norms at this tournament series, and shares the 'second norm' accomplishment with the following players:

Ben Finegold - 2nd GM Norm
Ray Robson - 2nd IM norm and 2nd GM norm
Mehmed Pasalic - 2nd IM norm (along with his 1st and 2nd)
Florin Felecan - 2nd IM norm (along with his 1st and 2nd)
Marc T. Arnold - 2nd IM norm (along with his 1st and 2nd)
Yuanling Yuan - 2nd WIM norm
Alisa Melekhina - 2nd WIM norm

This event was different than past ones that we've held, opting to move to a double round robin format, instead of the traditional single round robin format. There were many advantages to this format which includes lowering the score requirement for a norm, because you are playing the higher rated IM's twice. Additionally it allows players to play as both black and white, and also prepare for fewer players. Since the event is run over weekends, it's less time away from work for the players.

The final standings of the event were:

1st place - FM Robby Adamson - 6.5/10 (6/9 was enough for his IM norm)
2nd - 3rd place - Jon L. Burgess, IM Arjun Vishnuvardhan - 5/10
4th - 6th place - FM Gauri Shankar, IM Mehmed Pasalic,  IM Florin
Felecan - 4.5/10

Robby will be sending an in-depth write-up of the event to CLO and Jon L. Burgess will be providing one to Chessdom later in the week.

One of the nice surprises of the event was the 2nd place performance of Jon L. Burgess, a local Chicago area resident master hailing from and playing for the UK (we'll forgive him for this!). This was Jon's third appearance in a North American Masters tournament, where he's always scored at or near the 50% score and was generally the lowest seed. Below are some samples of Jon's games.




I would also like to take the time to thank the tournament sponsor, Vince W. Berry. Support from individuals and businesses as this are vital for chess events. We are thankful for his sponsorship and  to him and his wife for joining us for the barracuda dinner last month. Additionally I'd like to thank DGT North America for providing us with the DGT electronic boards which worked great (made transcription of the games quick and painless) and we will be using alongside other tournament technology (more to come on this later). Finally I would like to thank the Holiday Inn North Shore Hotel ( for their continued sponsorship of the tournament venue. Without a site to consistently hold chess events at, building up the chess community is a difficult goal to achieve and we are grateful for their continued support of chess.

Tune in next month for the 25th North American Masters which will be a 9R-SS event running alongside the 2010 World Amateur Chess Championships and the 1st ever FIDE Arbiters Seminar held in the US. For more information on these events please visit -

Good Chess to All,

Sevan A. Muradian, Founder
North American Chess Association
International Arbiter and International Organizer