MacArthur Ballroom

MacArthur Ballroom

The 116th Annual U. S. Open chess tournament brought together 491 chess players from 43 states for the 9-round event held August 1-9 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. I played in the traditional 9-day schedule with one game each day using a time control of 40 moves in two hours followed by sudden death in one hour. Thus, chess games in the traditional schedule could last six hours. Six-day and four-day optional schedules were also possible. All three schedules merged Friday night at 7 p.m. using the traditional time control.

This was my third opportunity to play in the U. S. Open. Although I lost my last round game to a 12-year-old Candidate Master, I met my goal for the event with an even 4.5-4.5 score. My opponents came from the following states: Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Eleven Grandmasters played in the U. S. Open. Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov, Pennsylvania, won the tournament with an impressive eight wins and one draw, a full point ahead of those who tied for 2nd place. He won $7,576 and the right to play in the next U. S. Closed, an invitational event limited to only 12 players.

In addition to the U. S. Open a number of other chess tournaments took place during the week. Some of the other chess tournaments that took place during the week included a high school event for each state’s top player, an invitational event for girls and another for invited elementary school students. There were quad events most days as well as a national blitz, game in 15, and bughouse tournament.