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NorCal House of Chess Kings & Queen Win US Amateur West Print E-mail
By Salman Azhar   
February 25, 2013
Bryon Doyle, Ted Castro, WFM Uyanga Byambaa, FM Ronald Cusi & IM Ricardo De Guzman

264 players converged in Pleasanton on Presidents Day Weekend to participate in US Amateur Team West Weekend.  When two-day and three-day sections merged in 4th round there were two unbeaten teams from each section. Bay Area Chess BAC Attack and Ancient Spartans were the unbeaten teams from the 3-day schedule and Norcal House of Chess Kings & Queen and California Girls from the 2-day schedule.

Cameron Wheeler at the 2012 World Youth
The Kings & Queen overcame Ancient Spartans 2.5-1.5 and BAC Attack beat California Girls 4-0 to set up likely the title match in Round 5. In Round 5, professional coaches of King & Queens met the all-start juniors of BAC Attack. IM De Guzman and FM Cusi of Kings & Queen won against FM Wheeler and NM Viswanadha of BAC Attack on the top 2 boards. Albert Lu of BAC Attack won against WFM Byambaa on Board 3 leaving Teemu Virtanen of BAC Attack in a must-win game against Ted Castro, Kings & Queen captain, to save the match for BAC Attack. In an even game Virtanen worked hard to create chances but Castro was able to fend off all attempts and win the match, and perhaps the title, for Kings & Queen.

In the last round Kings & Queen won 3-1 against another all-junior team Sicilan Mafia to clinch clear first with a perfect 6/6 score and 20 game points. BAC Attack beat J’adoubious, an all adult team of FM Andy Lee and friends, to seal clear second with 5 points.

BAC Chess 1st board, World Youth silver-medallist Cameron Wheeler (Under 12 section) annotates a win:


In the third round we where playing another team of top juniors. On board 1, I was playing Colin Chow, a 13-year-old who just recently became a master.   1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.0-0 h5

I prepared this line which is similiar to 8... g5 but if dxc5 now then I can just take e5 and castle kingside 9.Qe2 g5 10.dxc5 g4 11.Nd4 Ndxe5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Nb3 Qc7 14.Bb5 Bd7 15.Be3 0-0-0 16.Rad1 Rhg8 17.c4 This was a mistake because of Ne5 which threatens Nf3. 17.Bxc6 Bxc6 18.Nd4 is much better than the game but I still have an advantage. 17...Ne5 18.Kh1 dxc4 19.Bxd7+ Rxd7 20.Bf4 Rxd1 21.Rxd1 cxb3 22.Bxe5 Qc6 If Qxc5 I was afraid of opening up the files against my king 22...Qxc5 23.Qe1 Rg5 24.Bf4 Rf5 25.Rc1 Rxf4 26.Rxc5+ Bxc5 is winning for me, but I didn't calculate the whole line in my game. 23.axb3 h4 24.b4 h3 White's king will now be permanently weak. 25.Qf1 Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Bxd8 27.Kg1 Qe4 28.Bc3 Qh7 29.Qb5 a6 30.Qf1 Bc7 31.gxh3 31.c6 hxg2 32.cxb7+ Kb8 33.Qxg2 Qb1+ 34.Qf1 Bxh2+ 35.Kg2 Qh7 31...gxh3 32.f3 Qf5 33.Kh1 Bf4 34.Qe2 Bg5 35.Be1 Bf6 I wanted to get my bishop to the d4-g1 diagonal. 36.c6 b5 37.Qd1 Bd4 37Bd4.jpg
Now it's pretty much over. 38.Bg3 Qd5 39.c7 Bb6 40.Qf1 Qd2 41.Be5 Qf2 forcing the queen trade into a winning endgame 42.Qxf2 Bxf2 43.b3 Be3 44.Bd6 f6 45.Be7 Bd4 46.Bd6 e5 47.Be7 f5 48.Bd6 f4 49.Be7 Kxc7 50.Bh4 Kd6 51.Be7+ Kd5 52.Bf6 Bc3 53.Be7 Kd4 54.Bc5+ Kd3 0-1

Sicilian Mafia came in third on tiebreaks with 4.5/6 points.

The 65th Square, another all-junior team came in top u2000.

Ally Viswanadha, mother of BAC Attack’s NM Kesav Viswanadha, expressed her gratitude despite the tough loss.“It was an honor and a privilege for all our children to represent Bay Area Chess, an organization that has done so much for Chess and our children over so many year,” she said. Ted Castro, captain of Kings and Queen, conveyed his confidence in his team’s ability to win it all. "We are ready for whoever we meet in the playoffs and I like our chances against all three teams. Bring it on!" he announced.

The Scholastic side event was won with a perfect 5/5 score by The Harker School team of Shafieen Ibrahim, Shaunak Maruvada, Nishant Ravi, and Rini Vasan. Let’s Play Chess Club, consisting of Arto Mihalache, Pranav Pata, Kian Assary, and Raymond Xu, clinched clear second with 4/5 points. Bay Area Chess, consisting of Evan Leach, Akshay Sathiya Jr, Madhumit Krishnan, Yousef Rezw Azhar, and Sofia Jaques, came in clear third place with 3.5/5 points.

The Blitz side event was won by Prasanna Narayanasamy (2032) with 7/8. Robert Hatarik (2147) came in second with 6.5/8. William Quanrud (2071) and Teemu Virtanen (2077) tied for third with 6.0/8. 

Nor Cal House of Chess is a center for chess lessons, tournaments and camps. Here's a game of a US Amateur Team West by a student, Jason Zhang, annotated by IM Guzman.


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qc7 8. Qf3 Nbd7 9. O-O-O b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. Rhe1 Be7
a more aggressive continuation is 11.. Qb6 12. Nd5! Qd4  13. Bf6 gf6 14. Bb5 with strong  compensation for Whites Knight sacrifice on d5.
12. a3
instead of the prophylactic 12.a3 -again a Knight sacrifice on d5 like 12. Nd5 ed5 13. Nf5 Kf8 14. ed5 Re8  15.Qg3 with pressure  on g7 and e7.
Instead of 12..Rb8?! A better move is Rc8. This is not a best square for the rook.
13. g4 h6 14. Bxf6
A safer way to capture is 14..gxf6 always watching d6 while the bishop remains on e7.
14...Bxf6 15. Qf2 Ba8 16. Bxb5
White's Bb5 idea is atypical piece sacrifice on b5 with a strong threat on Black's d6 pawn.
Instead of Qb6? The correct defense should be -- axb5; 17. Nb5  Qb6 18. Nd6+ Ke7 19. Qb6 Nb6 20. e5 Bh4 and at least Black can hold on going to the endgame.
17. Bxd7+
Now White capitalizes on Blacks bad choice of defense.
White's Na4! is a very vital tempo; attacking black's Queen  and eyeing the important c5 square for his Knight invasion.
18. Na4 Qa5 19. Nb3 Qb5

Instead of Qb5 - even 19..Rb3 20.ab3 Rc8+ 21. Kb1 should  be winning for White.
20. e5 Rhc8 21. Nac5+ Ke8 22. exf6
White's 22.exf6  should be decisive: either Black loses material  or allows White a dangerous protected passed pawn on the seventh rank
22... dxc5 23. fxg7 Ke7 24. f5 Rg8 25. f6+ Ke8 26. Qf5 1-0

Find complete standings at the Bay Area chess website and
the rating report on MSA.