The 2019 qualifying tournament to represent the state of Iowa at the Barber (K-8) and Denker (9-12) tournaments of champions at the U.S. Open in Orlando. A total of 44 K-8 competed in what was a very large Barber section. A small but exceptionally strong group of 6 students competed in the Denker. At the days end, neither tournament had a clear winner.
These wonderful pictures of the event are courtesy of Viviane Nixon. The tournament was directed by Eric Vigil, Jess Fiedorowicz, and Melinny Hammes and held again this year at Gloria Dei Lutheran church. Due to the large size, pairings had to be accelerated for the Barber. Believe it or not, with several second round draws, Nathan Chen emerged from Round 2 as the only of 44 players with a perfect 2.0/2.0. Nathan held on with a Board 1 win over Josiah Power in Round 3 until losing in the final seconds to Anish Lodh in the final round. Anish and Anjaneya Rao finished with 3.5/4.0 and will have a playoff to determine the Iowa Barber representative. Nathan finished 3rd. 1st Place U1200 went to Joseph Alarape, 1st Place U1000 to Stan Bujakowski, 1st Place U800 to Austin Ji, 1st Place U600 to Leon Xie, 1st Place U400 to Hazen Addis, and 1st Place Unrated to Ethan McGlothlen.
In the Denker, top seeds NM Joseph Wan and Michael Takahashi squared off in Round 2. Joseph won this match only to be upset by Owen Fiedorowicz in Round 3. Owen needed a draw in Round 4 to clinch the title but lost to Michael. The three will engage in a two-day round-robin playoff to determine Iowa's Denker representative. 1st Place U1400 went to Tyoma Bergal.