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Findlay, Ian

Chicago Illinois Open

FM Ian Findlay

I was looking for a tournament over Labour Day and had a myriad of choices. In Canada there was Toronto, Winnipeg or Vancouver. South of the border was Portland, Santa Clara, San Jose and Chicago. Among my selection criteria are good hotel rates, easy to get to, and a strong field. Chicago offered room rates at less than USD $100 and was accessible with a direct flight. That beat out runner-up Portland, where a slower time control of 40/120+30 followed by G/30+10 wasn't to my taste. Five pre-registered Grandmasters and a larger prize fund also weighed in Chicago's favour.

The direct flight from Calgary delivered me to my destination a day early, but a friend picked me up at the airport and I was well rested for the event. By luck of the draw I was paired down for 3 consecutive rounds, which left me at 3/3 by the time the 2-day and 3-day groups combined. This schedule flexibility is a popular feature in American Open events.

Eric did say that he studied my win over Levy, since the opening was also a London System. Eric achieved a nice edge from the opening, but got sloppy and ended up fighting for a draw in the end.

In round four I got the lowest rated of the top players in IM Eric Rosen, who is an up and coming player, and no relation to IM Levy Rosen whom I played in the Calgary International IM a few months ago. Eric did say that he studied my win over Levy, since the opening was also a London System. Eric achieved a nice edge from the opening, but got sloppy and ended up fighting for a draw in the end.

I was paired up again in the final two rounds and managed to draw both games for a final 4.5/6 and a tie for 5th place, good for USD $95. With an entry fee of USD $115 this is not a good way to make a living!

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