2009 Chicago Open underway!

Van Wely vs. Kleiman and Amanov vs. Sargissian

GM Loek Van Wely vs. FM Jake Kleiman and GM Mesgan Amanov vs. GM Gabriel Sargissian. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

The 2009 Chicago Open has begun and a number of strong players are present. Top seed appears to be Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian. He was spotted in St. Louis at the U.S. Championship where he was helping Varuzhan Akobian prepare. Playing on board #1, he won his first game against Mesgan Amanov, a Grandmaster from Turkmenistan.

There were a number of international players spotted including Loek van Wely of the Netherlands and other GMs such as Zviad Izora (Georgia), Darmen Sadvakasov (Kazakhstan) and Akobian (Armenia). On Friday night, I asked Akobian if he was playing and he said “maybe tomorrow.” Yury Shulman (Belarus) was embroiled in a tense battle with wily veteran Anatoly Lein. Newly-crowned U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura will not be playing in lieu of a European tour of tournaments.

The under-2300 section is chockful of strong players. There will be a few ringers in the crowd. Nigerian International Master Oladapo Adu will vie for top honors after coming off a win in the DC Class Championship, he’ll have added motivation. His friend and compatriot Okechukwu Iwu will represent one of the hopefuls at the lower half. U.S. Championship participant Tyler Hughes is also competing.

Main Site: https://www.chicagoopen.net/
Standings: https://chesstournamentservices.com/cca/tag/chicago-open-2009-standings/


  1. I won’t be there this year. Say hello to everyone for me. Salute to Chi Chi and Adu. The coverage looks very promising.


  2. Chi-Chi is tied down by work in NYC, so he can’t come. Adu is playing in the Open Section, as is Kenneth Odeh.

  3. Good luck to all the brothers playing in Chicago. I spoke to Adu before the start of this tourney and he said, “These guys only have one head between their ears, we need to start winning the open sections”. So TRUE!!! Look for great chess from IM Adu. Kenneth is rated class A, but is playing in the Open section. This is the best way to get better. Kenneth will take some lumps but he will improve quickly. Its good to see the brothers playing in the Open. This is where we need to be.

  4. Look at this thriller between GM Mesgen Amanov and FM Darwin Yang. Yang is about 12 years old and is one of those Scholastic All-Americans. Last year, he beat GM Josh Friedel at the World Open.

    After three rounds, Darmen Sadvakasov is leading with 3/3. Gabriel Sargissian is on 2.5/3 as is Varuzhan Akobian.

  5. Six-way tie for 1st at the Chicago Open. Sargissian, Sadvakasov, Shabalov, Shulman, Ehlvest and Kachieshvili will battle on top three boards in round #6.

    A nice game from round #5. Akobian departs from his usual French to score a nice win over Gildardo Garcia who was about 20 minutes late for his game.

    Columbian Grandmaster Gildardo Garcia readies himself for his game with GM Varuzhan Akobian while GM Giorgi Kachieshvili plays IM Gergely Antal. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

  6. Photos from round #5 of the Chicago Open
    (Daaim Shabazz)

    Lawyer Times vs. Yaacov Norowitz

    Tigran Petrosian and Gabriel Sargissian at the board.

    WIM Lorena Zapeda (El Salvador)

    FM Darwin Yang analyzing with IM Joseph Bradford.

    Playing Venue (from back to front)


    Jaan Ehlvest blitzing Gabriel Sargissian for the tiebreaker. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    American resident Jaan Ehlvest (left) wins the 2009 Chicago Open beating Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian in the tiebreak blitz match. Both scored 5.5/7. Yury Shulman, Varuzhan Akobian and Giorgi Kachieshvili tied for joint second with 5/7. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

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