Loek Van Wely stifled Sam Shankland’s quest for GM norm (and title) while Varuzhan Akobian fell to England’s Michael Adams. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
Loek Van Wely has been spending a lot of time in the states in past years including the 1994 World Open and 1996 New York Open. He also played in Maurice Ashley’s HB Global Chess Challenge and several open tournaments including last year’s Chicago Open. Thus, he has certainly found a hospitable climate here.
Having to win against a norm-hungry Samuel Shankland, Loek was able to take advantage of a couple of endgame mistakes and snare the full point. He got help from Michael Adams who vanquished Varuzhan Akobian in a smooth victory. The Dutchman took him clear first and $10,200.00. Adams, Evgeny Najer, Victor Mikhalevski, Jiri Stocek all shared second with 7/9 for $2425.00.