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Shankland Wins Stephen Brandwein Memorial Blitz Print E-mail
By IM John Donaldson   
March 2, 2015
It's safe to say almost all blitz chess today is played online, but that didn't stop the Stephen Brandwein Memorial Blitz from attracting 76 chess players to the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club of San Francisco on February 21. Among those participating were six Grandmasters and six International Masters making this one of the stronger and larger stand-alone (not connected with another event like a US or National Open) blitz tournaments ever held outside New York City.

The winner of the six double-round (opponents played each other as both black and white) Swiss, played at a time control of 4 minutes aside plus two second increment, was 2014 Tromso Olympiad gold-medal winner Sam Shankland with scored 10.5 from 12. He took home $400 for his efforts.

Other prizes winners:

2. IM Ray Kaufman-10
3-4. GM Batchuluun Tsegmed and NM Andrew Boekhoff-9.5
5-7. GMs Daniel Naroditsky and Walter Browne, IM Vladimir Mezentsev-9

The success of the event was made possible by the generous donation of $500 to the prize fund by former MI Chess Director Jim Eade honoring Stephen Brandwein. Steve, rated in the top 50 players in the United States in the mid-1960s and a USCF 2600 strength blitz player in his prime, was in attendance. Jim's gift kept the entry fee at a very affordable $10 for the four hour event which offered book prizes to all participants, but no class prizes. 

Photos of the event can be found on the homepage of Chessdryad at http://www.chessdryad.com/

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, the nation's oldest founded in 1854, will host the 9th Annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz on May 3rd. Go to http://www.chessclub.org for more information.

Check out GM Sam Shankland's recent piece for CLO on breaking the top 100 players in the World and find out more about him on his official website, http://www.samshankland.com/