GM Alex Wojtkiewicz edged out GM Joel Benjamin, GM Alexander Stripunsky, and IM Fabian Doettling for first place at the U.S. Open held in Framingham, Massachusetts. "Wojo" scored 7½ points, but had better tiebreak points. Under the new format for the U.S. Chess Championships, the top 10 finishers in this tournament would be able to qualify.
After seven rounds, there was a 13-way tie for the 1st with 6 points. GM Maurice Ashley, FM Emory Tate and Ugandan NM Grace Nsubuga were in pursuit with 5½ points each. GM Ashley was then held to a draw by NM Anton del Mundo before beating scholastic star NM Matthew Hoekstra in the last round. GM Ashley tied with 22 others with 7 points and missed qualifying for the U.S. Championship by half-point on tie-breaks!! Coming off a 4th round win against the strong Yuri Lapshun, FM Tate was in a good position to bring some thunder onto the top boards. His only loss had come in the 5th round at the hands of eventual winner, GM Wojtkiewicz. In the 8th round, he faced GM "Big John" Fedorowicz. Despite GM Fedorowicz's relative inactivity in the last year, he managed to defeat FM Tate. FM Tate then polished off his last opponent and finished with 6½ points.
NM Nsubuga, coming off a tough result in the Wilbert Paige tournament, bounced back and had a respectable 6-point result with only one loss in nine rounds. His only loss would come to GM Seymon Palatnik. IM Oladapo Adu and NM Lawyer Times also tallied 6 points, each with the identical formula of 5 wins, 2 losses and 2 draws. NM Norman Rogers who has been on a chess rampage in the last year had another respectable result, but was derailed by Thomas Bartell, who earlier in the week, won the Denker Tournament for High School Champions. NM Rogers finished with 5 points in 8 rounds played.
U.S. Open coverage
Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 August 2001