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New Champs Crowned in Orlando: Vilenchuk, Brown & Williams, Gologorsky Print E-mail
August 3, 2011
Michael Vilenchuk & Harold Winston of the US Chess Trust, Photo Melinda Matthews
17-year-old Michael Vilenchuk of Ohio convincingly won the Denker tournament of high school champions in Orlando with 5.5/6. In addition to the prestigious title, Michael earned himself a scholarship to University of Texas at Dallas, an important incentive to the incoming senior. Michael told CLO that he felt winning his second game of the event against Nicholas Karas of California was a key moment in the event: "It brings confidence to get off to a good start"

Despite the hectic tournament schedule and ample opportunities for socializing, with the help of his friends Michael said he was able to prepare intensively for each of his final four games. Michael pinpointed four people in particular who "seconded" him: Jonathan Doran, Jake Miller, John Gurczak and Emily Tallo. Congrats to Michael, who wasted no time in celebrating his victory and entered the six-day schedule of the US Open. See full Denker standings here and USCF rated results on MSA.

The Barber K-8

Dewain Barber with co-champs Michael Brown & Justus Williams
Michael Brown of California and Justus Williams of New York tied for first in the 1st annual Barber K-8 tournament of champions with 5.5/6 each. Justus and Michael drew in the penultimate round. In order to assure they'd keep pace with each other, they both had to win their final games. Both thrived under pressure and pulled out full points. Justus's game featured an interesting material imbalance of two rooks vs. two bishops and some extremely dangerous pawns.

Michael Brown nursed an endgame edge into a decisive advantage. The game actually ended in checkmate, a couple moves after the crushing 58...Rxd2.

Justus told CLO that his favorite win was against recently crowned Cadet co-champ Arthur Shen of New Jersey.

See full Barber K-8 standings and the official website for more details.

The US Junior Girls Open
The second annual US Junior Girls Open saw a surprise finish. Elena Andreeva of Russia had been leading the way for most of the event.

Elena Andreeva, Photo courtesy Monroi

In the final round she  needed just a draw to clinch the title. However, the determined Jessica Regam of PA took the full point after an opening mishap by Elena. Allowing 9...dxe4 is bad because the simple 10. Nxe4 fails to ...Nxe4 11.Qxe4 Qa5+, picking up a bishop:

Rachel Gologorsky, Photo courtesy Monroi 

This upset allowed Florida's own Rachel Gologorsky to capture the title with a win over Katherine Wu. Here is one of Rachel's wins, a quick Sicilian victory over Danitza Vazquez of Puerto Rico. (Danitza was featured in a recent US Chess Scoop video.)

Congrats to Rachel and good luck to all the competitors in the US Open! (Rachel is also playing in the six-day) See full US Junior Girls Open standings here.

Coming soon: An engaging personal account by Melinda J. Matthews on taking her son and two other players at the Denker.

August - Chess Life Online 2011

Tension Builds at the World Cup Kamsky Advances in World Cup TiebreakGreg Shahade on a Manhattan Comeback Most and Lapshun Top Atlantic Open Shankland, Onishuck & Ivanov Advance at the World Cup; Others Head to Tiebreak Shankland Shocks Leko as US Squad Scores 3.5-1.5 Updates on Hurricane Related Event Cancellations US Chess League Teams Gear Up for New Season US Squad Heads to Russia for World Cup US Chess School Comes to Charlotte Michael Adams Wins Metropolitan International Steininger Earns US Blind Title; Torres Wins Tournament Romanenko & Shabalov Top Manhattan; Two Norms Notched Parker Zhao Shocks a GM at the Manhattan Open Adams Leads Metropolitan International [VIDEO]US Blind Championships in Progress Annual Chess Journalists of America Awards: Winners are in 1st Metropolitan International Begins [VIDEO] Manhattan Open Begins with Upsets Metropolitan International Kicks Off with Adams Simul Greg on Chess: Stop the DrawMetropolitan International Features 11 GMs Robson Close But No Medal in India Boy Scouts of America to Unveil Chess Merit Badge in September A New Lens on Computer Chess Karpov Joins Kings vs. Queens FieldGMs Tiviakov & Shankland to play in Northern California InternationalThree-Way Tie for First in Cleveland OpenJoel Brings Home the Benjamins at Northeast Open The August Check is in the Mail Lenderman on Top in Orlando World Youth Selection Criteria RevisedNakamura, Lenderman & Zapata Pull Ahead at US Open The Fairy Godmother’s GambitEight Players Tied After Big Merge in Orlando A Parent’s Perspective: Initiation Into the Denker Senatorial Nod for National Chess DayNakamura Jumps into US Open in Orlando New Champs Crowned in Orlando: Vilenchuk, Brown & Williams, Gologorsky World Champ Anand Opens World Junior in India Denker, Barber & US Junior Girls Approach Finale Nakamura Ends Dortmund on an UpswingTournament of Champions Reach Halfway Mark