Four GMs Tie at the Thanksgiving Open in Saint Louis
By Mike Wilmering   
November 30, 2010
GM Alexander Onischuk, Photo Suzy Gorman for CCSCSL
The following content is reposted with permission of the CCSCSL. For more details and the full crosstable, see and add the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on facebook.

The Thanksgiving Open is complete in Saint Louis. After six rounds, a four-way tie emerged at the top of the leaderboard to send four grandmasters home with $900 each. After tiebreaks, GM Alexander Onischuk emerged as the overall tourney winner.

Onischuk emerged from the two-day schedule unscathed to take on GM Dmitry Gurevich in round four. Onischuk's rook sacrifice gave him two advanced, connected center pawns, which gave him enough pressure to convert the victory.

In round five, Onischuk took on GM Yury Shulman in a King's Gambit that eventually petered out into an uneventful draw. His hard-fought draw against GM Gregory Kaidanov in the final round helped secure a tie for first for both.

Kaidanov had to fight back from a surprising round two draw against CCSCSL standout Kevin Cao. Kaidanov topped Viktorija Ni in round three, Jialin Ding in round four and GM Ray Robson in round five to put himself in prime position heading into the final round.

Shulman maintained solid play throughout the tournament, and his draw in the final round against GM Nigel Short helped secure him a piece of the four-way tie at the top.

After drawing Robson in round four, Short had a lost position against IM Jake Kleiman, but still managed to pull out a draw. His three draws in the final three rounds were not enough to catch the rest of the field as Short finished the tournament with a score of 4.5/6.

GM Dmitry Gurevich had a solid tournament with a 5/6 finish to capture a tie for first place. His key victory came in round three against GM Timur Gareyev. The following round, Gurevich lost to the overall winner Onischuk, but finished strong with victories against Ni and IM Jake Kleiman in rounds five and six.

John Veech, a student of GM Mesgen Amanov, traveled form Wisconsin to take first U2400 and $550. Veech, who came into the tournament with a rating of 2160, finished with 4.5/6 (after requesting a 1/2-point bye in round six). His only loss came in round two to Robson, a position Robson said he though Veech could win.

"He should have drawn me," Robson said. "He had a forced draw at some point."

Resident GM Ben Finegold finished with a final score of 4/6.