U.S. summer tournament circuit heats up!

In less than two weeks, all the big guns will head to the
Chicago Open during Memorial Day weekend. Last year's event attracted 767 entrants for a guaranteed $100,000 prize fund. Armenian GM Artashes Minasian won last year's event with and undefeated 6-1. This year promises to be even better as the tournament continues to attract a large number of world-class players. GM Maurice Ashley is expected to play and is coming off an impressive performance at Foxwoods. The World Open is perhaps America's premiere event! Although eight tied for first with 7-2, GM Joel Benjamin won the event in a blitz playoff. Last year, this tourney drew 1235 for a hefty $200,000 prize fund, and is traditionally held at Philadelphia's Adams Mark hotel. This tournament brings a lot of surprises and many great stories. There always seems to be a player coming out of nowhere to wreck havoc on unsuspecting Masters. Last year, 16-year old (now IM) Mark Paragua of the Philippines caused a stir. . . he was also seen giving 5-1 blitz odds! Who will it be this year?? The other sections are no less competitive as many international players with deflated ratings come to collect the booty. The U.S. Open is much like an annual vacation for many and doesn't have the same character as some of the other competitive U.S. tournaments. Perhaps that's because of the fact that it's in a different city every year and cannot establish a true identity. In addition, it's the time when the U.S. Chess Federation conduct their annual meetings, so it's a business trip for many. Last year's event was in St. Paul, Minnesota and drew about 500 players and GM Alex Yermolinksky won clear first with a blistering 8-1. This year's 9-round tournament will be held in Framingham, Massachusetts.  Get ready for a hot U.S. summer!

For additional details on these tournaments see the following links:

Chicago Open (http://www.chesstour.com/chio01.html)
World Open (http://www.chesstour.com/wo01.html)
U.S. Open (http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/usopen/)

Posted by The Chess Drum: 15 May 2001