Several Iowans and former Iowans competed in the 2016 US Open in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here is part 2 of their games, photos, and thoughts about the tournament.
Christine Denison of Ames, rated 1317, finished the tournament with 3.0.
Christine Denison, Dubuque, May 2016
Christine Denison says: This was my first US Open, and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. I learned that the traditional schedule is not for me, because I play VERY poorly in the evening. Next time, I'll do the four-day schedule. This time, luckily, I won a quad, which offset my terrible performance in the Open. I also served as Iowa's delegate; it was both interesting and eye-opening to get a glimpse of the inner workings of US Chess.
My three favorite parts of the trip were:
1) Getting to know Indianapolis, as I spent the first few days geocaching around town with my husband.
2) Meeting and getting to know interesting people, like GM Timur Gareyev and Bill Daly from New Mexico. I played Bill in the fourth round, and he played a line pretty much guaranteed to draw, so we quickly agreed to that draw and spent the rest of the evening chatting over a beer in the hotel bar. Now we're playing more interesting games online.
3) Playing as a mixed doubles team with Jose Gatica, who now lives in Oregon. The mixed doubles prizes added a layer of competition and fun, and we were proud to win the U1800 prize.
Mark Capron of Iowa City, rated 1556, finished with 3.5.
Mark Capron May 2016. [Credit: Sarah Faith Carson]
Mark Capron says: I had a reasonable US Open (3.5/9), but terrible in the side events (Quads) where I lost 5/6. This was in sharp contrast to last year in Phoenix where I gained around 200 rating points. The tournament was a lot of fun, and I plan on going again in the future.
Eric Vigil of Iowa City, rated 1110, finished with 3.0.
Eric Vigil says: I got to my table, set up my clock. Put out my lucky Dewott (a stuffed animal Pokémon water type, well I have to ask my kids.)
Announcements are given where they honor people who have attended 5 years of the US Open. I made friends the night before with Kathy Schneider, a wonderful woman from Colorado whom I played the night before. She got a 10-year award! I clapped and shouted out her name.
Then the call to start your clocks. I had looked at the pairings sheet. I was faced off with a down-on-his-luck 1879-player Bill Logue. I was ready to take my lumps, and get a better pairing tomorrow. But where was Mr. Logue? My clock passed 10 min, 20 min, 30 min, still no opponent. Bill Feldman looks at me and shrugs.
Last year I won against a 1900 opponent who didn’t show up on the last round. Yes I won 2nd place in class E and Under, yes I got $256 but then I didn’t get to play. Mr Logue arrives 38 minutes expired, he coughs, sits down, looks tired already, apologizes for being late. I ask if he is from Indianapolis. He said yes. I acknowledge that things do come up, and I thank him for coming. He starts with...
Eric's son Jacob Vigil, rated 988, also finished with 3.0. Annotations are Eric's.
Epilogue... Jacob scared the opponent. He almost pulled off an upset; he lost his fourth round against a 600-rated player, but by round 9 he had been practicing with James Neal and surprised and did defeat Nurgali E. Zhumabay (1838).
I was quite sad that in the time it took to walk from the tournament hall to the car, Jacob seemed to have lost the scoresheet of his victory. I asked witnesses who had seen it, and confirmed that Jacob had won the game. He may have even won the biggest upset of the tournament. But we had to get moving…
Thanks to Eric, Jacob, Mark, and Christine for sharing their U.S. Open experience!