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On Chess: St. Louis Invitational 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2012 - The second-annual St. Louis Invitational takes place this week at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

This prestigious tournament is a 10-player round-robin event that features three grandmasters (GMs) and seven international masters (IMs). The IMs are looking to get a grandmaster performance (or "norm" as its called) by scoring six points out of nine games (6/9). Once a player receives three GM norms, they are eligible to contact FIDE, the international governing body of chess, to apply for the grandmaster title.

Last year’s St. Louis Invitational took place right after the Thanksgiving Open, and this event takes place right before the St. Louis Open. Having a strong round-robin event in conjunction with an open tournament is a good way to ensure a lot of the top players will play in both events!

After three rounds I have a score of 1.5/3, after losing my first game, winning my second and drawing my third. Thus far Iranian GM and soon-to-be St. Louis resident Elshan Moradiabadi is in first place with 2.5/3. Elshan is going to be one of the new grandmaster students at Webster University this fall!

IMs Marc Arnold and Darwin Yang are in the best shape thus far to secure a coveted GM norm, as both have started out 2/3, which is right on target to hit the all-important score of 6/9.

The tournament has featured fighting chess throughout, with nobody giving an inch. Even the games that have ended in a draw have been hard fought!

Live games, standings, pictures, and anything else related to the St. Louis Invitational related can be found at the Chess Club website: http://saintlouischessclub.org/2012-saint-louis-invitational

Ben Finegold, Grandmaster