Shimanov, Liang & Stukopin Win Chicago Open

Three Grandmasters tied for first in the Chicago Open, held over Memorial Day Weekend. Webster student Alex Shimanov earned the title and a bonus on tiebreak, taking home $6,133.34 for his 7/9 final score. Also scoring seven points were 15-year-old Grandmaster Awonder Liang and Andrey Stukopkin, who both won $5,833.34. IM Safal Bora earned the Under 2400 prize clear for a $2000 prize and a Grandmaster norm.

Shimanov told US Chess that his most interesting game was against a good friend of his GM Ashwin Jayaram, also a Webster student. “we got a completely new position by the 7th move.At some point, I sacrificed a pawn for the initiative, and in the end managed to finish the game with a beautiful blow.”

On his way to the Continental Championships in Montevideo, Uruguay, Awonder Liang told US Chess that his own tournament began on a tough note, as he lost in round two to IM Safal Bora. “His rating is fairly low, but he is definitely underrated.” In retrospect, Liang looked on the positive side. “I was paired with lower rated opponents for the first half of the tournament while I recovered from the painful and only loss of the event.”


Awonder called his victory over Kamnik Dragun of Poland as his favorite of the event.

“The game started out as a fairly innocuous opening, which after mistakes from both sides led to a complicated rook endgame with many subtleties. Though I didn’t manage to convert in the best fashion, I was eventually able to come out with a nice win.”

Awonder has a busy summer ahead. After the Contintentals, he will play in the World Open in Philadelphia, the US Junior Closed Championships at the Saint Louis Chess Club and the US Open in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. He’ll also be giving a simul in Madison for participants at the Denker, Barber and National Girls Tournament of Champions. “The last tournament of the summer for me will probably be the US Masters organized by Dr. Walter High in North Carolina, which has been increasingly getting better and stronger every year.  To all my younger chess friends, my advice to you is that keeping playing in as many tournaments as you can. Then study the games thoroughly by yourself and with your coach(es).”

Stukopin also joined the winner’s circle with an undefeated 7/9, including the following victory over young IM Nicolas Checa.

Top boards at the Chicago Open, Photo Betsy Dynako-Zacate

Find full fill standings here, including section winners and more games on chess24.

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