In a nail biting battles of chess, Arshaq Saleem wins the title of the 2019 Iowa Closed Champion. Arshaq will be automatically entered in next years closed with the minimal requirement of attending two qualifying tournaments. On day one Valeriy Kosokin was burning it up going 3-0 defeating last years co champion Joseph Wan in round 1. Valeriy seemed unstoppable until facing Arshaq Saleem in round 4, where Arshaq put out the fire. Cub Noble in his first Closed appearance avoided being shut out with a miraculous three move repetition against Michael Takahashi. I had predicted this may be Cub's tactics prior to the match, and when it transpired I had a laugh with Cub, but congratulated him on his vast improvement in the last year making it into the closed, and wished him success to make it back in 2020.
In the Class Championships coming out of the woodwork was Nick Hantzeas who hasn't played a rated game of chess in 25 years! He and Shawn Nevalainen tied for first in the AMX section. Shawn, up until last fall hadn't played a rated game of chess since 2006. Both of these fine players shook off the cobwebs and pushed those pawns. I look forward to seeing both of them in more Iowa Events.
The Barefoot Chessplayer Dave Wolz edged out Clark Potter 3.5 to 3.0 to win uncontested the Class B title.
Kyros Wu pulled off a surprise after getting a first round bye, went on to go 3-0 and sweeping the section with 4 points. I had forgotten Josiah Power requested a bye for round one and was paired with Kyros. But going back, if Josiah would not have been paired in round one Kyros would have gotten the bye as he was the lowest rated player in the section. So in a rare chess achievement, Kyros goes undefeated with a round one bye being the lowest rated player in the section. He also packed on 150 rating points! POW! How about those Pawnstormers!
Class D was a FFA! Free for All! Tim Carson, Michael Holden and Aiden Ducharme all tied for first with scores of 3.0 Tim Carson won on tiebreaks but since this happens often I brought spare mugs for the tied players. Drink up with your favorite beverages boys.
And if Class D was an FFA, Class E was the wild west! Another three way tie for first with Aryan Harwani winning on tiebreaks with Sierra Keeney and Bernard Nossuly (in that order) all with a score of 4.0. We had two new players in the section. And our fearless Women's and Girls Coordinator Heidi K. Pierce TD'ed the event, she gained experience and chutzpah making the tough calls where players don't always know the rules.
Congratulations everyone for making this a fantastic event