You know it's a tough event when you beat a GM and finish out of the money. WGM Anna Sharevich knocked off GM Nikola Mitkov in round 4, but lost to GM Mesgen Amanov in round 2 and IM Qignam Liu in the final round: ridiculously difficult pairings. And Gopal Menon defanged GM Mitkov's Grand Prix attack and drew IM Angelo Young in the first two rounds, but had less fun on Saturday night, as he got ground down by GM Dmitry Gurevich in a rather harmless-looking ending. You have just joined a very large club, Gopal.
Oh yes, prizewinners. GM Amanov converted against IM Young in the last round and made his 4-1 first place on tiebreaks ($1,366.67) look routine. FM Carl Boor continues to impress: he beat GM Gurevich's pet anti-Catalan system, grinding the grinder down in an ending (no mean feat). IM Qignam Liu also had a very steady event, highlighted by his last-round win against WGM Sharevich. Both Boor and Qignam Liu won $1,266.67.
I had the pleasure of losing to Guijue Zhou in round 4: in the postmortem, she had the most kind and tactful way of suggesting to me the stupidity of my middlegame planning. She, Matthew Marsh of Tennessee, and super-junior Kevin Cao of Missouri each won $466.67.