SAINT LOUIS, February 15, 2010 — The 2009 U.S. Champion, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, has agreed to participate in the Bill Wright Saint Louis Open, scheduled to be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, April 10-11.
2009 U.S. Championship runner-up Robert Hess and 12-time Missouri State Champion and International Master Michael Brooks have both agreed to participate in the event as well. All three competed in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship.
The CCSCSL’s Resident GM, Ben Finegold, will also participate in the event, which will make this the strongest field in the history of the Saint Louis Open.
The presence of these chess giants is sure to attract interest from other masters around the region and, perhaps, the rest of the country.
Tournament organizers have increased the guaranteed prize fund to $5,700 and altered the format by creating a reserve section for players rated under 1800. The new format is designed to help encourage exciting pairings. The prize structure is as follows:
Overall: 1st – $1,000, 2nd – $650, 3rd – $400
Under 2300: 1st – $500, 2nd – $250
Under 2000: 1st – $300, 2nd – $200
1st – $500, 2nd – $350, 3rd – $200
Class C: 1st – $300, 2nd – $150
Class D: 1st – $300, 2nd – $150
Under 1200 & Unrated: 1st – $300, 2nd – $150
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– GM Susan Polgar