As is usually the case, there were no upsets in the first round of the TNF. The disparities ranged from 657 points on board one to 1221 (!) on the last board, #9. It has become apparent that there should be two sections for the TNF. After reading the excellent article, THE BLACK HOLE IN CHESS RATINGS, by By Russ Mollot (founder, Chess Express Ratings), is it any wonder why so few higher rated players are putting their hard earned rating points on the line?
The second round, with the class "B" players on up playing each other, did produce a few upsets, led by the rapidly improving Soloman Zelman's (1732) defeat of the High Plains Drifter, who then withdrew. Samuel Zimmerman (1667) beat Chris Wiley (1838); Joe Moon (2096) beat Gautam Narula (1757); and his brother, Ben Moon (1830), beat Tim Chu (1716). Mr Zelman took a 1/2 pt bye in the last round, leaving the Moon brothers to play each other, while the Z-Man had to face Justin Swaby (1610), who had 1 1/2 points after his draw with Mad Dog Millett in rd 2. Ryan beat his little brother to take clear first and $28 when Zimmy could only draw with Swaby. The Z-Men, Zimmerman and Zelman, split second place, winning $15 each. John Millett took the U1600 prize of $17 with his 1 1/2 points. Jackson Miller; Robert Steen; Richard Lin; Josh Doman; and Evelyn Chen split the $11 2nd U1600 prize.
Robert Steen has been working hard on his game, and it shows. He was a piece up and clearly winning versus Gautam Narula in the last round, but let the lack of time get to him by first throwing away the win and then failing to take the opposition in a King and pawn vs King ending, which would have drawn, going on to lose. Oh well, one has to have the winning positions to actually win them!
It will come as no surprise that the big rating gainers were the Z-Men, with Zelman gaining 25 points and Zimmy advancing 18.