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ACA Beasts Win U.S. Amateur Team West! Print E-mail
By Jerry Yee   
February 17, 2009
The winning Amateur West Team L to R: experts Michael Yee, Vincent Huang, Santy Wong, and NM John Bryant
ACA Beasts! won this year's U.S. Amateur Team West (February 14-16, Woodland, California) on tiebreak over three other teams, Yellow is Mellow, the highest rated squad at 2199, OC Chess Club and ACA Chess Club. All four teams got 5/6.  Check out complete final standings here.

Both ACA teams in the tie for first are named after IM Armen Ambartsoumian's new chess academy, American Chess Academy. Three of his academy's teams won prizes. ACA Dark Knights won the best junior team and ACA Youth won best U1800. Several of his students took home cash prizes in the Western Class championships last month too. 
ACA Beasts! nearly won in 2007 as well, but narrowly missed out on tiebreaks. The very same three teams that tied for first that year ended up tied again this year and only after a re-count did ACA Beasts! (formerly known as "Knights of the Republic" in 2007) win this year's title. The 2007 team featured then 12-year olds Yee and Huang, 15-year-old Bryant and his stepdad IM Enrico Sevillano. The three teenagers are  now two years older and have since gained a few hundred rating points, so the IM was replaced with expert Santy Wong. The switch paid off and even Enrico was happy to take 4th place since his stepson's team took 1st.

Check out more photos and thoughts on the Amateur Team West on organizer John Hillery's blog.