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Labor Day Madness Part II: From New York to California Print E-mail
September 5, 2013
GM Melikset Khachiyan
Southern California Open
by Randy Hough

The 35th Annual Southern California, held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego (site of the 2012 National K-9 and the 2014 National K-12), attracted 194 players. The San Diego Chess Club offered a guaranteed $20,000 prize fund. GM Melikset Khachiyan took his fourth Open championship, tied atop the 63-player Open section at 5-1 with GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran and FM Nicholas Van Der Nat of South Africa.

After a second round draw with FM Eugene Yanayt, Melik plowed ahead with three straight wins, notably downing his great rival, fellow GM Enrico Sevillano, in the fifth round. This common line of the Winawer French (though 14.h3 is a bit unusual) requires accuracy by both players, and 19…f6 was too optimistic. After 20.Ne4! Black should yield a pawn, because 21.Nc5 carries the deadly dual threats of Na6+ or taking on b7. A piquant pin on Black’s Nc6 decides the game, as the threats of 33.Ba5 or 33.Rb1+ cannot be met.


GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami
A quick draw with Ghaem Maghami then clinched the first place tie. The Iranian GM, 30, is a ten-time national champion and set a Guinness record of 614 simultaneous games in 2011. He’s currently living in Los Angeles with his wife, WIM Shayesteh Ghader Pour, who scored four points in this tournament.

Having had an unsatisfactory result in the two-day schedule of the Pacific Coast Open 12 hours after flying in, Ghaem Maghami was careful to select the full three-day option this time. His other draw was with junior star Michael Brown in the third round. His first round win was his favorite. Black is equal out of the Four Knights English (9…c5 may be a novelty), but is slowly outplayed, and at the end Rdh1 or Rg1 are winning threats.


Van der Nat, 33, was on holiday with his wife, and this was his first U.S. tournament. He drew in Rounds 2 and 3 with veteran IM Ed Formanek and junior Daniel Rozovsky, but finished with three straight wins, grinding down Barber co-champ Craig Hilby in what should have been a draw in the last round.
FM Nicholas Van Der Nat

As already hinted, the juniors made quite a splash in this tournament despite not being in the first place tie. Cadet and Denker co-champ Michael Brown upset IM Dionisio Aldama as well as drawing with Ghaem Maghami…and then took two byes the last day to prepare for the first day of school. This left him tied for fourth with 4½. . Also in that tie with last day byes was Jonathan Homidan, who gained 85 points in both the Pacific Southwest and Pacific Coast Opens. Both Homidan (who still lacks a FIDE rating) and Brown are knocking on the Senior Master door.

In Round 2, Homidan seemed to know the unusual variation of the King’s Indian better than his opponent, and eventually scored with a surprise 29th move exploiting White’s queen position (actually, 31…exf6, keeping the queen ensnared, looks even better).


Jonathan drew with IM Zhanibek Amanov (who perhaps unwisely repeated the Nimzoindian variation that GM Timur Gareev played against Jonathan in the Pacific Coast Open) in the fourth round.

Also at 4½, and splitting Under 2300 money, were 16-year-old Isaac Martinez of Arizona and Kevin Davidson of Santa Barbara, who bamboozled Amanov in the last round.


Amanov has led a Los Angeles revival of Fischer’s old 6.h3 against the Najdorf, but Davidson fully holds his own and even gets a small advantage with the two bishops. 46.Nd6?! is risky…because of 49…Rf2 cutting off White’s king. Instead, the surprise Exchange sac which occurred should have yielded little more than equality after 51.Kf4, leaving the rook (which will have to move anyway after …Kxc4) to tend to the h-pawn. Instead, Amanov panicked and took the h-pawn with his king, which was then too far away to help restrain the onslaught of Black’s passers.

A strong group of 4-pointers included Sevillano, Formanek (who downed the powerful FM John Bryant), Yanayt, Ghader Pour, Hilby, junior Tony Yim (who came close to beating Bryant), Lulia Cardona, and IM Dionisio Aldama and FM Alex Kretchetov (the top seeds from the two-day schedule; GM Gareev cancelled at the last minute). And Under 2200m honors went to four juniors with 3 ½ points: Solomon Ruddell, Joshua Sheng, and 13-year old Ethan Li of Arizona (who drew with Sevillano in Round One after missing a win).

Premier (Under 2000) honors were split six ways: Edward Collins, Chris Roberts, Dennis Saccuzzo, Carlos Hernandez, Joselito Quiba, and Rachael Eng. The Amateur (Under 1800) saw another female winner, as local player Eliza Eggert tied with Mack Kelly of Washington. Reserve (Under 1600) was a tie between Justin Friedlander and David Palmer. And the Booster (Under 1400) had a big tie including Errol Acosta, Chess Palace proprietor Alfredo Ong, Matthew Mullen, and seven-year-old Rianne Ke.

The Town and Country Resort offered a pleasant venue (though learning one’s way around the thousand-room property takes a bit of time), and Chuck Ensey organized and Bruce Baker directed a fine tournament.

New York State Championships
by Steve Immitt

GM Alexander Ivanov of Massachusetts scored four wins and two draws to win the $1,500 First Prize in the 135th edition of America's longest-running tournament, the New York State Championship, held this past Labor Day Weekend in Albany, New York. 

Five players tied for 2nd-6th (in order of tiebreaks):  New Jersey GMs Alexander Stripunsky and Joel Benjamin, Nicolas De T Checa, Stanislav Busygin of Pennsylvania and FM Igor Nikolayev.  They each won $440, while Nicolas De T Checa and Igor Nikolayev also share the $100 Bonus Prize for the top-scoring New York State resident. 

On tiebreaks,11-year-old Nicolas, the 2013 New York State Junior High Champion, also wins the title of 2013 New York State Chess Champion.  I believe Nicolas is the  youngest New York State Champion in the 135-year history of this tournament! Here are two of his wins:



Some other entertaining games in the Open section including GM Benjamin’s win over Kwartler and his game against Capital District scholastic champ Patrick Chi.



Rifeng Xia was the only player in the Under 2100 Section to score 5½, giving her the $1,000 First prize. Arthur Tang and David C Miller scored 5-1 to win $400 each.
Sarah Ascherman's 5 points was enough to win the $1,000 First Prize in the Under 1800 Section, with a five-player logjam for 2nd-6th: Darius Jafary, S Warren Lohr, Ernest Wang, Xiaoyu Xu and Brandon Wang each won $190.
Thomas E Clark won the $800 First Prize for scoring 5½ points in the Under 1500 Section.  Ansgarius Aylward took second with 5 points, and Larry Fredette and Sandeep Alampalli tied for 3rd with 4½.
Rohghai Gong's 5½ points clinched the $500 First Prize in the Under 1200 Section.  Elisha Danzig and Daniel Louzonis finished with 5-1, but Daniel was limited to $150 as an unrated, and the balance of the prize for the two-way tie went to Elisha, who receives $250.  Philip Thibault and Nathan Saint Ours both scored 4-2.  Philip won the special plaque for Top Under 1000 on tiebreaks over Nathan, who wins the Top Under 800 plaque.  Hani Ahmed won the Top Unrated plaque, and Madison Ford-McKnight won Top Under 600.
I believe that this is also the first time in the tournament's history that a woman has won the clear First Place prize in two sections of the NY State Championship: Under 2100 and Under 1800.  Not too surprisingly, these  two winners were also on the two winning Mixed Doubles teams as well!  Xia's victory in Under 2100, coupled with Igor Nikolayev's tie for 2nd-6th in the Open Section, powered the duo to win the $500 First Place Mixed Doubles Team prize with a combined 10 points. Sarah Ascherman and GM Alexander Stripunsky combined forces to score 9.5 points, as did the team of Xiaoy Xu (in the Under 1800 Section) and Arthur Tang (Under 2100).  Those two teams each won $250.
 2013 Colorado Open

by Richard Buchanan, TD

The 2013 Colorado Open was a great success, drawing 131 players on Labor Day weekend to compete in three sections.  The Championship section, with 48 players, featured a hard race between IMs Sandor Kustar from South Dakota and local favorite Michael Mulyar. 

After they drew in round 4, Kustar won the tournament with a win over Longmont Expert Chris Peterson while Mulyar could only draw with NM Lior Lapid.  Michael Mulyar won the title of Colorado State Champion on tiebreak over Lapid, Jesse Cohen, and Zach Bekkedahl, who all scored 4-1.




The U1800 section was won by talented youngster Victor Huang, who was top-rated and won all five of his games.  Following him with 4 points each were Dean Clow, Suhaas Narayanan, John Krue, and 1214 rated Ryan Beckett.  In the U1400 section, Rebecca Herman of Colorado Springs started with a 1289 rating and swept the field with a perfect 5-0. Half a point behind her, Tom Needham of Denver was alone in second place.

On the Friday evening before the tournament, the Colorado Quick Chess Championship title went to Chris Peterson after he, Kustar, and Cohen each scored 5-1.

I was Head TD with the very able help of ATD Joe Haines and a fine registration team. For more information and games, visit www.colorado-chess.com  

SethHoma300.jpgThe 2013 Michigan Open

The Michigan Open was held at the Detroit Marriott Livonia with a total 228 players competing in three sections. The tournament was won by FM Seth Homa who took clear first by defeating Michigan native, GM Ben Finegold, in the last round. Supernationals K-12 Champion, FM Atulya Shetty, took second place, yielding draws only to Finegold and Homa.

Homa annotated his win over Finegold for CLO.


Prior to this game, Ben Finegold had not lost a Michigan Open game in his past 10 events at least. The first critical position of the game occurred before the clock was started. Some background information: I had intended to vary from my usual 1.e4/1.d4 openings and play 1.c4 against Ben a week prior to the tournament. However, I was not expecting to have a half-point lead on Ben entering the last round! What to do? Play something I know better than 1. c4 or potentially kick myself forever by playing 1.c4 for the first time in my life?


Fortune favors the stupid, er, I mean brave!
The tournament situation dictated that Ben win this game, so transpositions to the Slav would not be forthcoming. He decided to steer the game into channels where my inexperience with 1.c4 would favor him.
2.Nf3 c5

I had mainly expected 2...Bb7 3.g3 Bxf3
3.g3 Bb7 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.0–0 e6
In my database, I only had games where Ben had chosen 5...g6.
6.Nc3 Be7
Ben had never played this line before. I tried to piece together half-forgotten pointers from Shipov's epic tome on the Hedgehog Defense from work I had done three years ago.
7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 0–0
Ben thought for a long time over this move which added to my confidence. [If Black intends to play the a6/b6/d6/e6/Nbd7 setup, then he has to begin with 8...d6]
9.Rd1 Nc6
This is a line in the Hedgehog, but one with a drawish reputation - not good for Ben, but acceptable for me as Atulya could only tie me if he won on board two. [If Black tries to adopt the aforementioned setup now with 9...d6 then I believe White gets a lasting advantage after 10.Bg5 Nbd7 11.Nb5! when Black has problems protecting his d-pawn and 11...d5 would prematurely open the center.]
10.Qf4 a6
The main line is 10...Qb8 but then Black has nearly zero legit winning chances after 11.Qxb8 Raxb8 12.Bf4 Rbc8 13.Ne5 I say nearly because, after all, we're talking about Ben here. He's pulled more rabbits out of hats than I have bananas from my ears.
11.b3 Rc8 12.Bb2 Qc7
Not the move Black wanted to play as he enters the queenless middlegame with an added weakness on b6. [Black has development problems as can be seen after 12...d6 13.Rac1 Qc7? 14.Nd5!]
13.Qxc7 Rxc7 14.Rac1
I saw 14.Nd5 during the game but didn't think 14...exd5 15.cxd5 Nxd5 16.Rxd5 Nb4 17.Rd2 gave White much of an advantage. Hindsight, however, says I'm an idiot.
An ugly move, but Ben doesn't give me a second chance at the Nd5 idea.
15.Na4! Nc8
15...b5 16.cxb5 Rxc1 17.Rxc1 axb5 18.Rc7 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 bxa4 20.Rxa7 axb3 21.axb3 looked pretty nice for White.
16.Nd4 Ne4

Ben was highly critical of this move afterwards as he trades too many pieces.
17.e3 d6
During the game, 17...f5!? concerned me a little.
18.Nc3 Nxc3 19.Bxc3 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Rd8 21.Bb4


FM Shetty looked like he was winning by this point on board two. That meant I needed at least a draw to tie for first place.
21...Kf8 22.a4
Locking down on the b5–square but also introducing the threat of a4–a5, creating a weakness on a6. 22...a5
I was so happy to see this move. White can play for the win with little risk. Perfect for the situation.
White has to worry about just one pawn break now, d6–d5.
23...Ke8 24.Nb5 Rcd7 25.e4
Locking down on said pawn break.
25...Na7 26.Nxa7
Ben considered this a mistake as Black was not really threatening to take on b5. That would allow a rook to penetrate to c6.
26...Rxa7 27.Rc3

Here, and not c2. This allows the rook to zoom along the 3rd rank if need be.
27...Kd7 28.Rf3
Fixing another pawn on a dark square.
28...f6 29.Rfd3 Kc6 30.f4
Ben considered this position nearly equal and I thought I had a solid advantage! Probably both statements are true, as my technique soon becomes less than stellar.
30...Rad7 31.Kf3 Kc7 32.g4 Rf8 33.f5?
Badly mistimed. My goal was to constrain Ben and not allow him any tricks. Fail!
White should never have allowed this freeing advance.

The only way to keep the game alive. [I briefly considered 34.fxe6 dxe4+ 35.Kxe4 Rxd3 36.Rxd3 Bxa3 37.Rd7+ Kc6 38.Rxg7 but soon gave this up as being "overly optimistic".; 34.Bxe7 dxe4+ 35.Kxe4 Rxe7 would be completely equal.]
34...dxe4+ 35.Kxe4
This position is probably equal. I began to wonder how good my tiebreaks were...
Ben relaxed too soon. [I was more worried about the immediate 35...exf5+! It seems Black holds after 36.Kxf5 g6+! and the White king is forced backwards as 37.Ke6?? rebounds horribly after 37...Bd6! THAT would be a typical Ben comeback!]
36.Rxd3 exf5+?
Ben later thought he could hold after 36...e5 which may be true. Would h4 and g5 bring any advantage for White? It looks good, but maybe it wouldn't be enough to win.
Things have become tricky for Black again. The White king wants in via e6, f7 and then taking on g7.
Black has set up tricks based on ...Bd6 and ...Re5. Now White has to be careful.
The only move that preserves White's advantage. In fact, it should be good enough to win.
Now 38...g6+ leads to nothing after 39.Ke6! Ba3+ 40.Kf7 Rf8+ (Or 40...Re7+ 41.Kxf6) 41.Kg7 and Black has no time to take the bishop.
White has won a critical pawn. Moreover, Black must avoid trading rooks as the bishop ending would be totally lost.
39...Re1 40.Bh6

First forcing Black's pieces to passive positions.
40...Re7 41.Bf4+ Kd7 42.Rh8 Re8
My technique suffers a little from finegoldphobia for the rest of the game, but the win doesn't slip my grasp.

Ben thought 43.h4 intending h5 was much faster but I didn't want my rook trapped.
43...Re4 44.Kf5 Re8 45.Rh3 Re2 46.Rd3+ Kc6 47.Bg3
Now everything is set for the king to advance on g6 and g7.
47...Ba3 48.Kg6 Bb2 49.Kxg7 f5+
49...Re4 50.h3 f5+ 51.Kg6 fxg4 52.Kf5! As noted by Ben.
50.Kg6 fxg4 51.Kf5 Re8 52.Kxg4
White is now two pawns to the good.
52...Rg8+ 53.Kf5 Rf8+ 54.Ke6 Rf6+ 55.Ke7 Rf5 56.Rd6+ Kb7 57.Rd7+ Ka8 58.Kd6!


Heading over to the queenside and assisting in checkmate threats.
58...Rf3 59.Kc6 Rxb3 60.Rd8+ Ka7 61.Bb8+ Ka8 62.Rg8
62.c5! bxc5 63.Bd6+ Ka7 64.Bxc5+ Ka6 65.Ra8# would have been a crisper finish but I was imagining fictitious defenses.
The only move that doesn't drop a piece, but now White transitions into winning piece trades.
63.Bd6+ Ka7 64.Rg7+ Ka8 65.Rg3 and Black resigned.

This was both my first win against Ben and also my first Michigan Open Championship! Hooray! 1–0

CalChess State Championships Sets Attendance Record

by Salman Azhar

348 players joined 2103 CalChess State Open and Class Championship near SFO Airport to set a new attendance record. 219 players played in six sections for Regular players, including three unique Michael Wangs, and 129 children played in five sections for Youth rated below 1000. $12,000 prize fund was distributed about the Regular sections while the Youth with winning record and teams were awarded trophies.

The attendance for Regular/Adult sections was up about 60 players more than recent years while the youth section was new this year. The increased turnout was especially surprising given that Bay Bridge was closed over the weekend making the trek to the tournament site a bit harder for the North East Bay participants. Tom Langland, President of CalChess, attributed the increase in attendance to a "more accessible site and different organizers working together welcome players of all ages from all over Northern California." Salman Azhar, Vice President of CalChess, believes that "several organizers and Tournament Directors working together helped bring players from different geographic areas and age groups."

The Regular/Adult sections were played in the traditional 3-day schedule with 5 hour games and a 2-day option while the kids sections were played as 5 round Swiss with G/30 d5 time control.

IM De Guzman and IM Wen Li (from China) shared $3,000 for tying with 5 points for first place among 33 players in the Master Section. They worked hard to draw their head to head game in the fifth round. NM Gallegos earned his largest prize in Chess, $500, for finishing third. IM Ganbold and NM Chow tied for fourth place ($350). Michael Wang beat two IMs to win clear first place u2300 ($250) and about 80 rating points.

He annotated a game for CLO:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 d6 7.Nc3 Nh6 8.Be2 0-0 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Bxg4 Bxg4 11.0-0 Qa5 12.Rac1 Rfc8 13.b3 a6 14.Nxc6 Rxc6 15.Bd4 Bf8 16.a4

White prevents ...b5. 16.f4! White should try to attack Black's King.
16...Rac8 17.Qe3 Qh5 18.Nd5 Be6 19.Nf4?!
19.Bb2! Bxd5 20.exd5 R6c7 21.Qd4 f6 22.Rfe1 , with advantage.
19...Qh6 20.Nxe6 fxe6
20...Qxe3 21.Bxe3 fxe6 22.a5 Bg7 , and Black's position is fine
21.a5 Qh5 22.Ra1
22.e5! d5 23.c5 White will try to break through with b5.
22...Bh6 23.Qc3 Rf8
Black might should have played Qe2 instead, after 23...Qe2 24.Rfe1 Qd2! 25.Qxd2 Bxd2 26.Red1 Bb4 27.Ra4 Bc5 28.Bc3 e5! , and White will find it hard to break through.
24.Qb4 Rc7 25.Bb6 Rcc8 26.Bd4 e5?!
This is a little bit weakening. I might have gone for a repetition after 26...Rc7.
27.Ba7 Rc7 28.c5 dxc5 29.Bxc5
29.Qb6! Rfc8 30.Bb8! Rc6 31.Qxb7± , with the better chances.
29...Bf4 30.h3?!
30.g3 Qf3 31.Rad1 , and White is fine.
30...g5! 31.f3 Qg6 , black with some chances pushing h and g pawns.
White has control of the open file and the better Pawn structure.
31...Rfc8 32.Qc4+ Kg7 33.b4 Qf6 34.Qb3 Qc6 35.Rd5 e6 36.Rd6

36...Qxe4 37.Qxe6 Qf5 38.Qxf5 gxf5 39.g3
a mistake [39.Rd5! Re8 40.Rfd1 Rf7 41.Rd7±]
39...Bg5 40.Rfd1 Rf7 41.Rd7 Rc7 42.R7d5
42.Rxc7 Rxc7 43.Rd5! Bf6 44.Bd6 Rc6 (44...Rc1+ 45.Kg2 Re1 46.Bc5!+-) 45.Bxe5 Bxe5 46.Rxe5 Kf6, and White will still have difficult task converting this endgame.
42...e4 43.Re5
43.g4 Kg6 44.gxf5+ Rxf5 45.Rxf5 Kxf5 46.Rd5+ Kf6 , and Black is doing fine.
43...Kg6 44.Rd6+ Rf6 45.Rdd5 Bh6 46.g4! fxg4 47.hxg4 Bf8 48.Bxf8 Rxf8 49.Rxe4 Rc1+ 50.Kg2 Rc2 51.Re6+ Kg7 52.Rg5+?!
A mistake [52.Re7+! is by far the simplest: 52...Kg6 (52...Kh8 53.Rf5+-) 53.Rd6+ Kg5 54.Rg7++-]
52...Kh8 53.Rf5 Rxf5 54.gxf5 Rc7 55.Kg3 Kg7 56.Rb6 Kf8 57.Kf4 Rg7 58.f6 Rd7 59.Kg5
59.Ke5! towards the center is better
59...Kg8 60.Re6 Rd5+ 61.Kh6 Rd4 62.Rb6 Rd7 63.f3 Rc7 64.Re6 Rc4 65.Re4! Rc6 66.Re8+

This is not necessary. 66.Kg5 is the simplest winning line. But I was only calculating Re8 and not seeing this move at all.
66...Kf7 67.Re7+ Kxf6 68.Rxb7 Rc4 69.Kxh7 Rh4+ 70.Kg8 Ke5 71.Rb6 Rf4 72.Kg7

72.Rxa6 Rxb4 73.Ra8 is more direct.
72...Kd5 73.Rxa6 Rxb4 74.Ra8 Rf4 75.a6 1-0

NM Nicholas Karas and NM Kesav Viswanadha added another draw against a Grandmaster to their record.


Igor Traub and Joshua Cao tied for first place with 5 points to share $1,200 in the Expert Section with 30 players. Teemu Virtanen and Jerome Sun tied for third place to share $350. Cao went into his last game against Virtanen in clear first but an instructive draw held him to tie for the top position as Traub won his last game.

Vladimir Zaslavsky, a Chess Granddad, won first five games against the other top players and then settled for a draw to win clear first place ($800) in A Section with 39 players. Yefim Bukh won clear second place ($400) and Ashik Uzzaman won clear third place ($200) in this section. Michael Lei Wang, Ethan Chamberlain, Chris Xiong, Balaji Daggupati, Alex Feghhi, William Li, and Joanna Liu tied for fourth place to share $150.

Justin Shen won $800 with a clear first place (5 points) in B Section with 35 players. Justin Wang, Brandon Ho, Jason Zhang tied for second place to share $750. Ho's performance is noteworthy because he was playing-up in higher section and earned 129 rating points.

Rohan Desikan earned $800 by winning first place ($800) in the C Section with 5.5 points. Desikan has gained 595 rating points since he returned to Chess after a four year absence. Matt Stecklow won clear second place and $400. Daniel Lagrotta, Jordan Jiao, Jonathan Topielski, Kimberly Liu, and Albert Starr tied for third place to share $350.

Max Vu achieved the only perfect score of the tournament to win $700 and first place in DE Section with 55 players. Truman Tang, Jason Hong, and Kia Sadeghi tied for second place with 5 points and shared $550. Brandon Cheung won clear third place under 1200 ($100). David Fujii earned $200 by winning clear first place for Class E player. Ishaan Mantripragada won clear second place under 1200 and $150.

The team competition dominated the youth event. Town School for Boys won the Top School Team award and Bay Area Chess won the top Club team. However, the story of the youth tournament was East San Jose Chess Club making its debut in red shirts and almost edging Bay Area chess as the top club. East San Jose's coach Abel Talementez promised to be back. "You and your staff did a phenomenal job and we very much look forward to participating in more of your tournaments."

In the 800-999 Youth section, Charles Vanacht (Bullis Charter) won his last four games to finish in clear first and gain 155 rating points. Simon Moscovici (Town) and Prathan Ghosh (Millikin) tied for second place.

In the 600-799 Youth section, Max Saito (Bullis Charter) won all his games to finish at the top and gain 283 rating points. Tanush Talati (Bay Area), Visshwa Balasubramanian (Bay Area), Matthew Lewis (CVCC), and Jarren Shi (West Portal) tied for second place with 4 points each.

In the 400-599 Youth section, Anirudh Poranki (Windemere) scored a perfect 4.5 to capture the Title. Jason Zhong (Myers), Thomas Liu (Liu Chess), and Ruthvik Singireddy (Silver Oak) tied for second place with 4 points each.

In the 200-399 Youth section, Alan Yao (East San Jose), Alexander Edwards (Town), Evan Wu (St. Alban's), and Ishaan Tyagi (Live Oak) shared the Title with 4 points each.

In the under 200 Youth section, Mohamed Abdullah (Bret Harte) and Harika Atluri shared the title tiwht a perfect score. Rahul Kumar (Quimby) and Srivish Sudharsan (Star) earned the under 200 Title.

The tournament was organized by Dr. Salman Azhar and co-organized by Richard Koepcke, who also helped direct the event along with NTD John McCumiskey (Regular Event) and Senior TD Jordan Langland (Youth Event). You find the detailed results here and rating reports on MSA (Regular) and (Youth).  You can see links to photos at http://BayAreaChess.com/events/results. The next major tournament in the area is 2013 US G60 National Championships and 2013 US G30 National Championships (see http://BayAreaChess.com/usg60g30 for details).

GM Lars Bo Hansen Wins in Florida
By Harvey Lerman

LarsBo.jpgGM Hansen first won the title last year at the Arnold Denker Florida State Championship held in the Hilton Oceanfront Hotel at Daytona Beach and repeated this year at the same site. A few years ago the event had been renamed in honor of one of its champions, who won the title in 1979 and 1980, and lived in Florida until he passed away in 2005.

This 6-round event over Labor-day weekend, was organized by Stephen Lampkin’s Creating Higher Education Success (CHES) affiliate, with Lampkin serving as Chief Tournament Director, and NTD Harvey Lerman assisting. This year the event attracted 161 participants, who were all delighted when learning of the count, since the $10,000 prize fund was based on 160.

Eric Rodriguez needed a win against Corey Acor in the last round to tie with GM Hansen. This game was the last to finish as Acor was playing with just 5 seconds on his clock, as Rodriguez used his last 10 minutes trying to figure out a way to win. The last few moves of the game were played in blitz mode as Rodriguez was trying to win on time which would most likely have given him the Championship title on tiebreaks because of GM Hansen’s previous round’s ½-point bye. But as the seconds slowly dropped off and the position repeating, a draw was reluctantly accepted by Rodriguez. GM Hansen finished 1st with a 5-1 score, while Rodriguez tied for 2nd with John Ludwig at 4½-1½.


The winners of the other sections were:
Under 2000:Eldon Bageant
Under 1800:William Barton
Under 1600:Matthew O’Brien (on tiebreaks) and Orson Curtus II
Under 1400:Chad Chavira
Under 1200:Charles Bell

Besides the $10,000 prize fund, the organizer offered a $150 prize to the female in the event that had the highest score. This prize was split between Amy Tsai (Under 2000 section) and Lau Kleidermacher (Under 1800 section), who each scored 4½ points.

Two out-of-state players (Texas and Indiana) were among the participants in the side events for the Florida Quick Chess (G/15;d3) and Speed (G/5;d0) titles. They both tied for 1st in the QC, and one tied for 1st in the Speed. Since the titles went to the top Florida players, 3rd place finisher, Sean Villone won the QC title on tiebreaks, while Corey Acor won the Speed title over the player from Texas.
Miro Reverby & Ylon Schwartz
These two out-of-state players were friends that had decided to spend some time in Florida and while they were here, play chess. They also played in the main event, but dropped out after the first day to do “other things”.

One of these players was Ylon Schwartz, though now living in Texas, was a celebrity for his gaming and gambling expertise.  Wikipedia notes that, “As of 2012, his total lifetime live poker tournament winnings exceeded $4,600,000.”

One of our young players, Nick Moore, had the opportunity of playing both of them in the Open section of the tournament; he drew against Schwartz and beat the other, Milo Raverby.

The organizer also held a 1-day scholastic event, and several players took 3rd byes in the main event to be able to play in both events. The top winner of this event was Ryan Hamley.

Twitter Time

IM John Bartholomew tweeted about a game he played in the Noel Skelton Open in Plymouth, MN.

The gracious IM and USCL radio host also told @USChess: “GM So took clear first with 5/5. (surprise, surprise)."

We’ll be posting another big round-up of chess events over the country for National Chess Day on October 12, 2013. Add us on facebook and twitter to share your plans and ambitions for the big holiday.