Seven Tie in Mid-America Open; Young Wins on Tiebreak
By Ken West   
March 21, 2011
Seven players tied for first at the 15th Mid-America Open in Saint Louis with IM Angelo Young topping on tiebreaks over GM Sergey Kudrin, GM Ben Finegold, IM Ron Burnett, FM Conrad Holt, FM Andrew Karklins and local junior star Jialin Ding. According to organizer Steve Immitt, Young was ahead of Ding by "a half tiebreak point" to win the additional $80 First Place bonus.

14-year-old Ding had a second round win over GM Sergei Kudrin, which ended in checkmate!


Ding reaches a personal best rating of 2239 after the event. He also drew GM Ben Finegold and FM Andrew Karklins, who all ended with four points. Also finishing with four points were IM Ron Burnett and FM Conrad Holt. Play through some games from the winners:



“It was a tough tournament,” Young said. “I played very well and had winning chances in every game.”

Even so, a last-round game between Young and Holt ended in a draw.  Kudrin took a last-round win over Steven Cooklev, rated 2064, to get back to the top of the wall chart. Burnett needed a last round win over Doug Hyatt, 2119, for his fourth point.

With 188 entries, however, it’s not all about the top boards. Five members of the Hertel family again made the journey from South Bend, Ind., to play. Todd Hertel and four of his children all competed in the under 1300 category. It’s the third time in four years the family has played in the Mid America Open.

“We like competing and it’s fun,” Todd Hertel said.

Stan Jackson, of Missouri, had the only perfect score in the tournament, winning all five of his games in the under 1600 category. He took home $1,280 for first.

Ken West also shared in the Under 1400 prize and won over one hundred rating points. See full USCF rated results in all sections on MSA and prize breakdowns and further information on