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Ramachandran Wins US Junior Open Print E-mail
By Franc Guadalupe   
July 21, 2012
Karthiklead.jpgIn the U.S. Junior Open, held after the US Senior Open in Houston, 305 players competed from 17 states.  This easily smashed the previous attendance record of 243 set two years ago!  

The top and premier division, the Under 21, was dominated by Expert Karthik Ramachandran.  Although there were six masters in the field, Karthik, who entered the event with a 2157 rating, finished with a perfect 6-0 score including a 5th Round victory over top-seed Adarsh Jayakumar (2372) and a 6th Round win against NM Jonathan Chiang (2235).  Unfortunately for Karthik he will not be eligible for the 2013 U.S. Junior Closed due to his age.  All was not lost for him since, in addition to winning the Champion's plaque and $500, he made master for the first time!  

All alone in second place was Jonathan's "older" sister, 15-year old Sarah Chiang who drew her game against Adarsh and won the others. 


Sarah who is the highest U16 female in the country improved her rating to a very lofty 2275!  Hopefully she will be selected for the Junior Closed next year.  

National Master Adithya Balasubramanian (2345) from UMBC finished alone in third place with five points.  

In the Under 15 division two players, Arizona's Richard Qi and Colorado's Jackson Chen, finished as co-champions with 5.5 points.  The Under 11 division also had co-champions as Texas' Ram Krisna and West Virginia's Advait Patel drew their last round game to finish with 5.5 points.  In the Under 8 division it was all Maggie Ni.  She first entered this event two years ago as a four year old.  

During the Opening Ceremonies of this year's U.S. Junior Open, Maggie led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Just over a month ago, this young Texan saw her rating skyrocket to 1608 but bad results in five club events, with fast time controls, saw that rating drop to 1504.  The slow games (G/120, d5) of the Junior Open were just what Maggie needed to bounce back, and bouncing she did!  She finished with a perfect 6-0, improving her rating by 96 points to 1590!  There were a total of 49 female players in the event.  In recognition of their outstanding performance, both Sarah and Maggie will split the $100 prize given by the organizer for the best tournament performance by a female.  

Rated results of the U.S. Junior Open on MSA.  

The Blitz U21 was won by Texas' Expert Dachey Lin with a 6.5/8 record while West Virginia's Advait Patel totally dominated the U11 Division and won with a perfect 8.0 score!  In the Bughouse event, Expert Nicholas Karas from California found himself without a partner, so he explained the event to Class D player Clarissa Garcia from Texas who had never played Bug before.  That paid off as their team went on to capture first place!

The third event, the Not-A-Senior-Not-A-Junior attracted 61 players, including IM Danny Fernandez (2444), FM Warren Harper (2400), NM Francisco Guadalupe II (2312), FM Roberto Miramontes (2270), NM Jeffrey de Jesus (2261), and five Experts among the 16 players in the Open Division.  After four rounds, Fernandez, Harper, Guadalupe and Miramontes were tied with three points.  Harper and Miramontes won their last game leaving Fernandez and Guadalupe, who were playing each other, to fight for a win so that the one to emerge victorious could join the other two players.  A long battle ensued to no avail as the game ended in a draw.  That left Harper and Miramontes as the winners.  The U2000 Division ended in a three-way tie between Manuel Gonzalez, Adolfo Balderas and Cornelius Jones.  The U1600/Unrated Division was won by previously unrated Gaston Lenotre, with a perfect 5-0.  In the U1300, Fredric Hinkle finished a full point ahead of the field, with 4.5 points.  The rated results of the NASNAJ Open are here.

A great hotel contract was negotiated which contributed to the outstanding attendance.  Besides the great location on the access road of I-45 and near the Hobby Airport we had free gated parking and a low $79 nightly rate that included free hot breakfast buffet for up to four per room!  The 200-room/nights block required for free playing area was almost doubled with 381 room/nights booked!   

See rated results of the US Junior Open. Also see our report on the Senior Open and find rated results.