Gabriel Sargissian and Jaan Ehlvest shared the first place
The 18th annual Chicago Chess Open took place on May 22-25, 2009 in Wheeling, IL, USA. This tournament offered $100,000 USD guaranteed prize fund to be distributed through eight rating sections.
The main Open section started with 50 participants, the number of which has been gradually dropping with every next round. Two Grandmasters that were leading after round six, Gabriel Sargissian and Jaan Ehlvest, made a quick draw in the last game to secure themselves at least shared 1st place. None of the remaining contenders for the first place managed to win a game, thus leaving Sargissian and Ehlvest at the top of the standings.
According to the tournament rules, the prize money was to be shared, but an additional Blitz Armageddon play-off was required in order to determinate a trophy winner, who will be also awarded with clear first bonus of $200 USD. Ehlvest managed to win with black pieces.
GM Gabriel Sargissian
The negative attribute of the tournament was an already established practice that Grandmasters withdraw from the race at the first sign that money prizes are slipping away. Darmen Sadvakasov, Timur Gareev, Eugene Perelshteyn, Dmitry Gurevich, Vladimir Georgiev, Nikola Mitkov and Zviad Izoria walked away before completing all the rounds.
Final standings (ratings are USCF):
1-2. GM Gabriel Sargissian 2760 and GM Jaan Ehlvest 2649 – 5½
3-8. GM Loek Van Wely 2730, GM Yury Shulman 2697, GM Varuzhan Akobian 2664, GM Giorgi Kacheishvili 2638, GM Alexander Shabalov 2620 and IM Benjamin Finegold 2580 – 5
9-12. GM Tigran Petrosian 2698, GM Dashze Sharavdorj 2482, FM Jake Kleiman 2373 and FM Carl B Boor 2306 – 4½ etc