Chicago Open starts today!

One of the marquee tournaments starts today in Wheeling, Illinois a quiet town just outside of Chicago. The Chicago Open is in its 27th year and once drew the likes of Hikaru Nakamura and top tier players from overseas. These days the tournament is a hot ticket for hungry norm seekers, top scholastic players and college students from elite chess programs. This Memorial Day weekend has 773 players registered, but will probably closer to the 984 players attending last year.

Site of Chicago Open

Anton Kovalyov, a student at University of Texas-Dallas, tops the charts along with Daniel Fridman, Alex Shimanov (Webster University) and Illia Nyzhnyk (Webster University) and Vasif Durabayli (Webster University). A number of young American Grandmasters will dot the field such as Samuel Sevian (defending Chicago Open champion), Ruifeng Li and Awonder Liang. One of the most intriguing players in the field is the legendary James Tarjan who came out of retirement a couple of years ago and created a wave by beating Vladimir Kramnik.

Tournament Details:


  1. Shimanov wins 2018 Chicago Open

    The Chicago Open has become a marquee tournament in its 27-year history and the 2018 edition was about exciting as any of the previous tournaments. The tournament is traditionally held in eight sections with the Open Section drawing the “big guns.”

    GM Aleksandr Shimanov

    GM Aleksandr Shimanov
    Photo courtesy of SPICE (Paul Truong)

    A field of 128 players (28 GMs) In a very heated battle at the Chicago Open, third-seed Alexander Shimanov (Webster University) won the tiebreak edging fellow Russian Andrey Stukopin (University of Texas-Brownsville) and Awonder Liang. One of the brightest young stars on the U.S. landscape and the 2017 U.S. Junior Champion, Liang has made steady progress over the past few years and it now closing in on 2600 FIDE.

    IM Dionisio Aldama

    Shimanov lost to tournament sensation IM Dionsio Aldama who earned a GM norm in the tournament. However, Shimanov rebounded with four wins in a row including wins over contenders GM Ashwin Jayaram and GM Alexander Shabalov. His last round draw with Liang put both of them in a tie on 7/9 with Stokpin, who beat Aldama. Shimanov proceeded to win the tiebreak and took an extra $300 ($6133.34 in total).

    In the under-2300, Jeffrey DeJesus of Houston won with 6/7 (and $5000 1st prize) closing with a win over Chicago resident William Aramil. Nicky Rosenthal had a chance to win or tie for 1st, but lost to Elias Oussedik and splitting 2nd four ways. Anthony Parker and Vincent Do also had 5.5/7 each getting $1275.

    Gene Scott at 2016 Chicago Open
    Photo by Daaim Shabazz

    In under-2100, Agarkhorol Gangaa got 6.5/7 after winning his first six games edging out Anuj Dahiya and Gene Scott both ending on 6/7. Scott, a long-time Chicago veteran and one-time Master, scored his best result in recent years. He won five consecutive games! Aderemi Adekola nicked Gangaa (for the winner’s only draw) in the final round to come in joint 4th-8th with four “A” players.

    Other results:

    under-1900: Nathan Fong, 6.5/7
    under-1700: Dmitriy Kovalkov, 6.5/7
    under-1500: Florina Zhu, Jesse Hunt, Edward Li, 6/7
    under-1300: Cheng Wang, Varshini Venkat, Aaron Berlin, Sivabalan Muthupalaniappan, 6/7
    under-1000: Chinedu Emeka, Joshua Madsen: 6.5

    GM norms were achieved by IM Safal Bora and Aldama, while IM norms were achieved by FM Matthew Larson, Tianqi Wang, FM Sam Schmakel and FM Ben Li. Schmakel (2428) earned his 3rd norm and qualifies for the International Master title.

    Tournament Details:

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