Dudin Wins Southwest Class, Tani Earns Final IM Norm

FM Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi earned his final IM norm at the 15th annual Southwest Class, held February 15 through 19 in Irving, Texas. For some of us, it feels like just yesterday that he earned his title of National Master back in May of 2021. But it has already been almost two years since he earned the FM title in May of 2022, and now the 13-year old has earned his final IM norm. 

Entering the tournament with a FIDE rating of 2280, Tani is still short of the 2400 rating threshold for achieving his IM title. But, on the back of this performance, he has once again crossed 2300 in the live ratings while defeating two GMs and an IM on the way to a 5½/9 score. Fittingly, this result was also good for a share of the Under-2300 prize, which might be the last one of those he sees for a while. 

GM Gleb Dudin won the tournament outright with an impressive 7/9 score, earning $4,200 for his efforts. Full standings are available here. Of the six players tied for second, Dudin faced four of them and held them all to draws, winning his other five games including two nice games against strong GMs John Michael Burke and Christopher Yoo.


IM Dudin
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Hungarian GM Gleb Dudin from the 2023 Charlotte Open, when he was still an IM (courtesy David Llada)


In each game, he convincingly outplayed his opponent for most of the game, but as the second time control approached, tactical chances and clock-induced chaos emerged, but Dudin nevertheless held on: 




The theme of Tani's tournament (and playing style, more generally) was "material imbalances."


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Adewumi in 2021 (courtesy of the subject)


In each of the three wins detailed here, he outplayed his opponent regardless of whether he was up an Exchange or down (and whether the sac was justified, necessary, or purely speculative):




His two losses came at the hands of Burke and GM Cristhian Cruz (in consecutive rounds, no less). Against Burke, slightly passive opening play put him in quite a bind, but there were still chances to create problems towards the end:



From there, Adewumi finished strong with two draws and the below win (in round eight) over Wang to earn his final norm. Considering that most players go their whole career without having to demonstrate their mastery of the bishop-and-knight mate, it's pretty neat that Adewumi got to show it off in the game that essentially clinched his final IM norm:


Chess Life Online would also like to thank CCA and IA David Hater for providing games from Dudin and Adewumi from this event. 

Editor's note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to this as Tani's third IM norm. It is actually his fourth, but first in a non-Round Robin tournament, and thus his "third" for title purposes. Thanks to Karl Heck and Daaim Shabazz for pointing this out.