Saint Louis Invitational - Round 8 Recap
As the 2016 Saint Louis Invitational winds to a close, the players with hopes of gaining their norms found difficulty in Round 8. Three players still had a chance to earn GM norms going into the round. IM Steven Zierk had the Black pieces against IM Ruifeng Li and needed to win to keep his chances alive.
IM Li's final move 21. Qa3 forked two of Zierk's pieces and ended the game on the spot.
GM Ben Finegold dashed IM Irine Sukandar's hopes for a norm with a dominating performance of positional chess. IM Sukandar also needed to win but was unable to find the right plans against GM Finegold's tricky move order.
U.S. Junior Champion and International Master Akshat Chandra had a chances to push for a win against Canadian IM Aman Hambleton. Chandra had the white pieces and an early advantage with an extra pawn. Even with the slight pull, Chandra was not able to convert the win in the endgame. The game ended in a draw.
FM Gauri Shankar continues to do well in the IM tournament. He won in round 8 against NM Carissa Yip playing a comfortable Marozcy position.