Rank and record | Evanston Chess Players Win Big at Chicago Open

The 31st edition of the Chicago Open, played over Memorial Day weekend, showed that many chess players are returning to compete in person. A total of 916 players competed, far more than the 554 who took part in last year’s event and also more than the 849 who took part in the 2019 tournament.

Nineteen grandmasters took part in the Open section of the tournament and four of them tied for first place: Jeffery Xiong and Awonder Liang from the United States, Jianchao Zhou from China and Aleksey Sorokin, who comes from Russia and currently attends Texas Tech.

A number of Evanston school players have competed in the limited-ranked sections, and several have won prizes by finishing at or near the top of their sections. Evanston’s biggest winners were Immanuel (Manu) Zerega, who tied for first place in the U1000 section with six wins and a draw, and Bo Lieberman, who won six out of seven matches to qualify. second to fourth in the U1300 section. . Additionally, Elie Platnick is tied for sixth in the tough U2300 section, while Ozan Mixon and Asa Lieberman are tied for 10th in the U1300 section.

Other Evanston players who have finished with winning records include Jonah Chen, Chris von Hoff, Rohil Bose, Meris Goldfarb, Tate Darin, Somil Bose, Luca Zerega, Shane Asbra, Onyx Lo, Evan Gonzales and Yusuf Bilgic.

Lieberman, a rising senior at Evanston Township High School, played draw 6 on the ETHS team that took third place at the Illinois High School Association State Championship in February. His next win, in Round 5 of the Chicago Open, gave Lieberman a decisive advantage over his opponent, who also finished tied for second place in the U1300 section.

White: Boaz Lieberman

Black: Luke Choi-McFarlane

? This move makes it harder for black to defend his b-pawn.

160-0 Nh5 17Rfc1 c5 18Rab1 Rb8 19a4 f5 20Qb6 Qe7 21Nb5 f4?! Black should have eliminated White’s strong knight now or on the next move by playing Bxb5.

22Bf2 Kf6?! 23Qc7! Kc8 24Qxb7 White wins a pawn and has a passed pawn that will be hard to stop, so Black redoubles his efforts to attack White’s king.

black to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 24

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 24)

24…g5 25a5 Kg6 26a6 Qd8 27a7 g4 28Ra1 g3 29a8(Q) White now has a queen up front, but black’s kingside threats give him chances to turn things around.

29…gxf2+ 30Kf1 Kh7! If 30…Rxa8? 31Rxa8 is Black’s queen, but Rxa8 is now a threat and White has to take defensive action. In the next six moves white will solve his problems by sacrificing his two queens to come out with a winning position!

white to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Movement 31

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 31)

31Qaxc8?! Redeployment of this queen with 31Qa2! is the best way to stop the black attack. If black plays 31…Qh4, white can defend with 32Bd3 Qxh2 33Qxf2. White will still have to sacrifice this queen after 33…Kxg2 34Qxg2 Bh3, but Black’s attacking strength is greatly reduced and White has a winning advantage.

31…Qg5 32Kxf2 Qh4+ 33Kg1 Rxg2+ 34Kxg2 Qh3+ 35Kg1 Bxc8

white to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Displacement 36

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 36)

36Qxc8! Computer analysis reveals that white theoretically gains a greater advantage by playing 36Qe7 or 36Qf7, but 36Qxc8 is the more practical winning option for white. This queen sacrifice stops Black’s attack, allowing White’s rooks and knight to dominate the game.

36…Qxc8 37Nxd6 Qd8 38Nf5 Qg5+ 39Kf2 The tables have turned and the black king is more vulnerable to attack than the white king.

black to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Movement 39

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 39)

39…Qd8 40Rg1 Qb6 41Rgb1 Qd8 42Rb7 Kh8 43Raa7 Qf6 Now white can trade to an easily won endgame.

white to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Displacement 44

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 44)

44Nxg7 Nxg7 45Rxg7 Qxg7 46Rxg7 Rxg7 48Kg2 Kg6 48Kh3 Kf6 49Kg4 Kg6 50d6 ! h5+ 51Kh4 Kf7

52Kxh5

black to move

Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Displacement 52

(Lieberman vs. Choi-McFarlane Move 52)

Black’s king cannot prevent white from crushing one of his passed pawns. White won by checkmate at move 61.

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