Monday, September 03, 2007

Forever Young

Five-time Illinois State Chess Champion Angelo Young is now the six-time Illinois Chess Champion, following a victory this weekend in the annual Illinois Open, held in Lombard. IM Young was ahead from the beginning of the meet and never looked back, finishing with an outstanding 5.5/6.0 against a tough field. The runner up was NM Christopher Nienart with 5.0/6.0.

Other high points were excellent performances by ten-year-old Brian Luo, who finished 10th with a 4.0/6.0, and 92-year-old Erik Karklins, who took the 17th spot in the final standings (in a field of 57), with a 3.5/6.0. (Hat tip: Bill Brock.) Mr. Karklins's rating rose to 2027 after the match, pretty remarkable for a gentleman born in 1915.

The final standings are here, and the official cross table is already up, due, no doubt, to the efficiency of Tournament Director Tim Just. Congratulations, Angelo.

Addendum (09/05/07): There’s more. Though you can’t tell their ages from the cross table, an uncommon number of the players in this year’s Illinois Open were juniors—high school kids and younger— some of them as young as seven. They all went up against much more experienced adult players and more than held their own. I've learned, for example, that Christopher Nienart, the National Master who finished second, turns seventeen this year.

Other juniors who deserve a round of applause for playing in a high-level open tournament like this include Alex Bian, Jason Chien, Josh Dubin, Trevor Magness, Gavin McClanahan, Dan McNally, Ilan Meerovich, Eric Rosen, and Sam Schmakel.

Hat tip: Chessmom64/Chessdad64.

More here at the Illinois Chess Association forum.

Photo: johhnyscars via flickr