Sunday, August 24

Benson IM Tournament Wraps Up Soon

The Alan Benson IM Norm Tournament will wrap up this week, just in time for the Labor Day weekend. Over 2/3 of the games are completed and the standings begin to take on some meaning. IM Ricardo DeGuzman (photo at left by Mark Shelton of ChessDryad) has been on fire, winning five games while yielding draws only to Grefe and Aigner. Moreover, DeGuzman already defeated both of his nearest competitors: IM Vladimir Mezentsev and FM Sam Shankland.

Current Stand
ings (updated through Monday afternoon)
  1. 6.0/7 IM Ricardo DeGuzman (2389 +249)
  2. 4.5/7 FM Sam Shankland (2368 +44)
  3. 4.5/7 IM Vladimir Mezentsev (2400 +6)
  4. 3.5/6 NM Gregory Young (2233 +160)
  5. 3.5/8 NM Michael Aigner (2234 +49)
  6. 2.5/6 IM John Grefe (2369 -103)
  7. 2.5/7 IM Odondoo Ganbold (2380 -172)
  8. 2.0/3 FM Daniel Naroditsky (2311 +101)
  9. 2.0/8 FM Richard Lobo (2261 -116)
  10. 1.0/5 FM Bela Evans (2279 -167)
  • +5 DeGuzman
  • +2 Mezentsev, Shankland
  • +1 Naroditsky, Young
  • -1 Grefe, Aigner
  • -2 Ganbold
  • -3 Evans
  • -4 Lobo
The three young participants all remain mathematically alive for an IM norm:
  • Sam Shankland suffered a major blow by losing to DeGuzman on Saturday, but he pulled himself together in time to beat Mezentsev with black on Sunday. Sam needs to win both of his remaining games: white versus Grefe and black versus Naroditsky.
  • As the lowest rated player in the field, Gregory Young wasn't expected to be a serious norm contender on paper. Yet after six games, he drew three of four IMs. He needs 2.5/3 for an IM norm, facing Naroditsky, DeGuzman and Evans all with black.
  • Daniel Naroditsky returned from his trip to Moscow on Sunday and has to quickly recover from jet lag. He will be quite busy with six more tournament games plus a US Chess League contest, all before Friday afternoon.
Good luck to all three norm contenders as they finish this tournament. Will anyone succeed in reaching the necessary score for an IM norm? Stay tuned! Your reporter will follow the results closely while preparing for his own final game: white versus 1973 US Chess Champion IM John Grefe on Friday afternoon.

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