A very disappointing turnout did not stop Carl Beavers, Neal Bonrud, and Binh Cong Doan from turning in impressive performances at the 2009 Louisiana Pro-Am in Baton Rouge on April 18-19, 2009. In the Amateur Section, Bonrud took first place with a perfect 5-0 score in a farewell performance of sorts as Bonrud will now be rated well above 1800 and ineligible to compete in the U1800 Amateur section again. Doan almost said hell and goodbye to under 1800 sections at the Pro-Am last weekend. Playing in his first tournament, Doan finished second in the Amateur Section going 4-1 with a loss to Bonrud the only blemish on his record. Doan obtained an impressive 1797 rating from his performance. Daniel Salazar of Texas took the first place under 1600 prize and 2009 Louisiana K-12 champion Aaron Gayle took the first place under 1400 prize, both finishing with a 3-2 score. Alex Gayle took the second place under 1600 prize and Jamieson Yocum took the second place under 1400 prize, both finishing with a 2.5-2.5 score.
In the Pro Section, only five players entered, and the section was converted to a round-robin format. Carl Beavers took the format to heart; after winning in the first round, he hunkered down and drew his remaining three games. This left Beavers with a 2.5-1.5 score and a share of first place. Joining Beavers in the winner’s circle was top-seeded Adam Caveney, who also managed a 2.5-1.5 score despite an inconsistent performance. Tournament organizer Alex Steger finished with an even 2-2 score to take third place, while Henry Charry took the first place under 2000 prize with the same score. David Huang, playing up in Pro Section, also had a good result, finishing 1-3, taking the second place under 2000 prize, and gaining 12 rating points in the process.
A very disappointing total of 15 players competed in the event, especially considering that more than double that amount turned out last month at the Louisiana G/30 Championship. There are two adult chess tournaments in Louisiana coming up in May; the Louisiana G/60 Championship on May 9th in Baton Rouge, and the Louisiana Open on May 23rd-24th in Lafayette.