ACA Beasts are 2009 US Amateur Team Champions!
By Joan DuBois   
March 26, 2009
Official Press Release
March 26, 2009
jdubois@uschess.org


(Crossville, TN)
The 2009 USAT Playoffs was one filled with excitement, drama and even a dose of madness that the month of March usually reserves for college basketball. In the end, after a day of thrilling chess that included game(s) in 15 sudden death tiebreaker matches to decide the semi-final and championship rounds, the West team("ACA Beasts!") came away with this year's U.S. Amateur Team National Championship by defeating the South team("My Girl Is Pissed!")!

The West team was led by 17 year old NM John Daniel Bryant(stepson of 2008
U.S. Open Champion IM Enrico Sevillano), talented young experts 14 year old
Michael Yee, 15 year old Vincent Huang and expert Santy Wong. Ironically,
Santy is a current Florida resident who moved from Los Angeles only 8 months
ago. Due to rating limits, Wong replaced Sevillano this year, so this was
especially sweet for Sevillano as his team finished 2nd in the 2007 USATW,
missing an opportunity to participate in the playoffs that year.

In the championship round, boards 1 and 4(Bryant and Wong) lost their games
which put young teens Yee and Huang in "must win" situations. Incredibly,
both boys won endgames in which they had knight vs rook along with pawn
advantages. From there, the "ACA Beasts!" won the 15 minute sudden death
match 3-1.

Also noteworthy was the 3.5/4 undefeated performance of Michael Yee in the 4
matches today. Huang just won the Southern California High School state
championship last week. Both Yee and Huang are top students of IM Armen
Ambartsoumian and his American Chess Academy (ACA). ACA's string of success
in recent tournaments is truly a tribute to Ambartsoumian's talent as a
world class chess coach and is a sign that ACA will be a force to be
reckoned with for years to come.

This year, the event moved to the World Chess Live website from ICC. The
transition was not without some minor issues. After ending the semi-final
round in a draw, teams West and North needed to play their sudden death Game
in 15 match but the start of the match was delayed for an hour due to
organizational problems at World Chess Live. The championship round started
awkwardly as well, with mistakes with colors and pairings.

In the end, the event ultimately delivered the kind of excitement that
national championships are famous for. I come away from the event with the
lasting memory of the "ACA Beasts!" running out of the Chess Palace
tonight...screaming, yelling and celebrating their very first National
Championship title.

Press Release submitted by Jerry Yee, Captain of ACA Beasts - West

The U.S. Chess Federation congratulates all teams for their participation. We also thank International Arbiter and Chief Tournament Director Carol Jarecki and World Chess Live manager, Bill Scott.  The U.S. Amateur Team Championship and Playoff are official National Events of the United States Chess Federation. Additional details can be obtained from the USCF website, uschess.org.