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Carlson Crushes Opposition to win Bill Smith Open

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Mike Carlson and Gregg Fritchle do battle.
Mike Carlson and Gregg Fritchle do battle.
Congratulations to Mike Carlson (2087) who won the Bill Smith Open with 5.5/6. Carlson defeated Gregg Fritchle (2064) in the final round, the result clinching outright first place. Fritchle, who had the white pieces, looked to have a decent position out of the opening but black had the bishop pair and was able to consolidate. Despite losing in the final round, the tournament was still a success for Fritchle as he gained 11 rating points. Carlson also had a significant rating gain of 19 points, boosting his rating over 2100 again after a period in the 2000's.

On board 2, Ron Morris (1831) took on Michael Cooper (2050). Cooper, who had black, established a dangerous passed pawn on white's second rank. This pawn would eventually prove decisive, as a neat combination allowed black to swap off material. White resigned when faced with being down two pawns, and indeed the pawns were passed and connected on the queenside and would have lead to a swift defeat. The result moved Cooper up to a new rating high of 2057 and Morris also earned a new rating high of 1849 despite this loss.

David Argall (2000) had a successful tournament and concluded it in fine style with a win over Ray Sollars (1773). A neat tactic in the endgame allowed Argall, who had white, to "sac" a knight which in reality couldn't be captured because of mate being threatened on c7. White was then able to win a pawn, from which black's position crumbled.

On board 4, Jesse Victoria (2065) beat Gordon Brooks (1900) with the white pieces. This concluded a successful tournament for Victoria, whose rating increased to 2051.

There were big rating gains for a few players this tournament. In particular, the two Chens - Ryan and Cory - gained a bunch of points. Cory gained 72 points to move to a new rating of 1586 and Ryan gained 75 points to climb to 1507. Even more impressive was Mark Self, whose rating went from 1329 to 1422, a gain of 93 points. However, all of these were eclipsed by Anthony Ge, who gained an astonishing 121 rating points to reach his new rating high of 1553.

A new tournament, the Istvanyi Open, will start Monday, August 20.