Harper Wins Lone Star Open
By Franc Guadalupe   
March 6, 2008
WarrenHarperlead.jpgDenker Champion Warren Harper, the second highest rated 16-year old in the nation, allowed a first-round draw to Expert Albert Franklin, then proceeded to run the table to win the 2008 Lone Star Open (February 29-March 2, Houston, Texas).  Harper secured clear first with a last round victory over IM Danilo Canda.



After skipping a grade, Warren is a senior at The Tenney School in Houston.  It is well documented how Warren, now rated 2357, learned to play chess less than four years ago and became a master in two years.  What is still up in the air is where he will end up for his college education.  He wants to go to Texas Tech but his mom, Carol, wants him to go to UTD!  One thing is certain – He will be a great addition to either school.

Tied for second place, half-a-point behind Warren, were IM Aibek Iskakov and Expert Mark Dejmek.  Mark’s only blemish was a fourth round loss to Harper.



  Among Mark's four wins was a third-round victory against the top seed Iskakov.



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Mark Dejmek and Warren Harper face off.


  That effort earned Mark a free entry to our next event.  Rounding up the top five were IM Danilo Canda and NM Bradley Sawyer. In an FM vs.IM match-up, Iskakov (from Kazakhstan originally) prevailed over FM Salvador Infante, whose name suggest his country of origin: El Salvador.



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IM Aibek Iskakov

In the U2000 division, Mariano De Medina and Matthew Michaelides tied for first with four points.  We had a three-way tie in the U1800, with four points, between Danny Purdy, Dylan James, and Seth Thompson.  Lawrence Tuttle won clear first, with 4.5 points, in the U1600 division.  In the U1300, Clark Robertson, Alexander Yang and William Riley tied for first, with four points.

Cajun Chess donated prizes for the youngest participant, 7-year old Hanna Liu, oldest player, 72-year old Frank Roberts, and to our contestant who traveled the farthest, Clark Robertson.  I am sure it was a happy trip back to Monterrey, California for Clark who, as I already mentioned, tied for first in his division.

On Saturday, we held a scholastic tournament.  Sixty-eight players participated in this side event.  Lasalle McMorris won the K-12 division, Harold-Xavier Gonzalez finished with a perfect score in the K-8, as did Stone Sikich in the K-5.  Katelyn Wang won the K-2 division.

The Lone Star Open took place at the beautiful facilities of the DoubleTree Hotel, Houston Airport, the site of the 2007 US Class Championships. Although attendance to this event was smaller than in previous years, the 116 participants provided plenty of excitement and great games.  As always, Cajun Chess sponsored the event.  Senior TD Korey Kormick was my Assistant TD while Jean Troendle, President of Cajun Chess, was in charge of the computer work.  For complete results of this event, please see http://www.cajunchess.com/tourns/pastTourns/pastTourn7.shtml and http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200803024581 for the USCF rated results.