Neal Captures Upset-filled 2017 Ames FIDE Open

James Neal scored 4.5 points out of 5 to claim first place at the 2017 Ames FIDE Open. The tournament was held June 3-4, 2017 at the Red Roof Inn in Ames, Iowa. Dan Brashaw finished clear second with four points. Bradshaw and Neal ranked one and two in this event, both are US Chess Masters. WIM Lyuda Mokryak also completed in this five round Swiss tournament.


This tournament had an unusual number of upsets. Three upsets occurred in the first round including the largest upset of the tournament when Jose Smokowski (1521) defeated Michael Takahashi (1981). Top seeded Brashaw survived a near upset on board one in the first round when he blundered his queen away for a rook. There were three upsets of over 300 points.


I completed a cursory review of the following tournaments. The 2016 Midwest Open held in Omaha, NE, had no upsets over 300 points. The 2016 Leather Jackets held in Cedar Rapids, IA had one upset that was exactly 300 points. The 2017 Minnesota Open held in Minneapolis, Minnesota had one upset over 300 points. There was one upset over 300 points in both the 2016 and 2017 Port of Burlington Opens.


Round one upsets:

JOSE SMOKOWSKI (1521) 460.0 MICHAEL TAKAHASHI (1981)

ANKITH SHESHAPPA (1625) 253.0= LUIDMILA MOKRIAK (2131)

ERIC GOLF VIGIL (1361) 2 231.0= WILLIAM J POLZIN (1823)


Round two upsets:

ANKITH SHESHAPPA (1625) 99.0= WILLIAM J POLZIN (1823)

TIM CROUSE (1800) 76.5= STEVEN J CUSUMANO (1953)

BARRY VIGIL (1416) 61.5= ERIN CORRIGAN (1539)


Round three upsets:

JOSE SMOKOWSKI (1521) 157.0= LUIS M PERALTA (1835)

CAEL DOU PROVINCE (1457) 153.5= JOEL G HEINRICH (1764)

RITA JOSEPH (1536) 143.5= WILLIAM J POLZIN (1823)


Round four upsets:

MATTHEW T FICHTER (1055) 354.0 SERGEY POPOV (1409)

ROGER K ALEXANDER (1800) 165.5= LUIDMILA MOKRIAK (2131)

TIM CROUSE (1800) 129.0 PEDRO GUDINO (1929)

Final round upsets:

BARRY VIGIL (1416) 348.0 JOEL G HEINRICH (1764)

SERGEY POPOV (1409) 172.0= MICHAEL MILLS (1753)

TIM CROUSE (1800) 157.5= SAMUEL ISA FOWLER (2115)


Individual Upsets. 2017 Ames FIDE Open

JOSE SMOKOWSKI (1521) 460.0 MICHAEL TAKAHASHI (1981)

MATTHEW T FICHTER (1055) 354.0 SERGEY POPOV (1409)

BARRY VIGIL (1416) 348.0 JOEL G HEINRICH (1764)


Cumulative Upsets. 2017 Ames FIDE Open

JOSE SMOKOWSKI (1521) 842.5

ANKITH SHESHAPPA (1625) 462.0

BARRY VIGIL (1416) 409.5

TIM CROUSE (1800) 363.0

MATTHEW T FICHTER (1055) 354.0


GAMES


Mokryak, Lyudmyla - Le, Harry [D60]

(3), 01.06.2017

Annotations by Lyuda Mokryak


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 0–0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.cxd5 Nxd5+= [(Nxd5 is not the most popular move here because black gives up the center for no reason. However, it is still implemented by strong players because black has chances for an equal game. One of the coaches of Magnus Carlsen, Peter Nelsen, used this move in his game with Vasiliy Ivanchuk.) 0.38/20]


8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Bd3 c5 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Be2 [During the game I decided not to trade bishop for a knight. Thinking now 12....Nxd3 is nothing to be afraid of, trading bishop for a knight will make it more difficult to protect an isolated pawn, and generally queen and knight is a better combination then a queen and bishop.]


12...Be6 13.0–0 Rac8 14.Rc1 Ne4 [(better 14....Rfd8 and 15....h6)]


15.Qd4 a6 16.Bd3 Nf6 17.Qh4 [17.h3 would be better move here as well as in some previous instances. It is a maneuvering position where tempos do not have such a significant value. That is why we have time for such prophylactical moves.]


17...h6 18.Qd4 Rfe8 19.Qb6 [last mistake that loses the advantage]


19...Ne4 20.Nd4 Nd2 21.Rfd1 Nc4 22.Bxc4 Rxc4 23.b3 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Rc8 25.Rxc8+ Bxc8 26.h3 Be6 27.b4 Bc8 28.Ne2 Be6 29.Kf1 Bf5 30.Qd4 Qe4 31.Qxe4 Bxe4 32.Nc3 Kf8 33.g3 [computer shows 33.Kg1! Ke7 34.f3 Bd3 35.Nxd5+ gaining a pawn and probably winning the game, however 33.Kg1 is a difficult move to find for a human. After 33.g3 I was low on time and decided to offer a draw. My opponent had offered a draw three times previously and had accepted the proposition.]


½–½. See final position below.




Harry Le (1910)

Lyudmyla Mokryak, (2135)

See here for Crosstables.


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