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A Three-Way Tie at the Capablanca Memorial in Santa Clara Print E-mail
By Polly Wright   
June 7, 2010
Six-time US Chess Champion Walter Browne
For chess players major holiday weekends mean major chess events.  While big tournaments such as the World Open, Foxwoods (now replaced by the Philadelphia Open ), and Chicago Open tend to draw most of the big names there are three-day tournaments occurring in other parts of the country.  While much of the chess world had converged on Wheeling, Illinois for the Chicago Open I headed farther West for the Capablanca Memorial in Santa Clara, California organized by Bay Area Chess. 

The tournament was held at the Santa Clara Marriott in the heart of Silicon Valley and ground zero for the dotcom boom and bust. Yahoo has offices next to the hotel, and across the street was a hotel called Avatar Hotel.  Where else but Silicon Valley can one find a hotel called Avatar? Santa Clara is an easy 45 minute drive from San Francisco and also reachable by Cal Train.  Thanks to EB member, Ruth Haring I did not have to use the Cal Train option to get from San Francisco.  She gave me a ride down on Saturday and brought me back up on Monday.

170 players spread out over six sections, with two and three-day schedules.   An additional 185 children played on Saturday in a one-day scholastic event.  The based on prize fund came out to $10,075.  This is the highest prize fund payout for a non-CCA tournament in Northern California in recent years. 
IM Enrico Sevillano, Photo Polly Wright
Though most of the big names were in Chicago, the Master section had 3 IMs and GM Walter Browne.  This was the first time GM Browne has participated in a local event in three years.  There was a 3-way tie in the Master Section between IM Enrico Sevillano, FM John Daniel Bryant, and IM Andranik Matikozyan with 4.5 points. They each received $1,133.33. NM Andy C Lee, IM Ricardo De Guzman, GM Walter S Browne, and NM Paul A Gallegos tied for 4th place with 4 points.
In the Expert+ section Kenneth Hills scored a perfect 6-0, good for clear first and $750.

In the A+ section: Ma Mangrobang III went into the last round with a 5-0 score only needing a draw to win the section outright.  Winston Zeng beat him in round 6 to create a tie for first place with 5 points each. They both won $525.
In the B+ section Zachary McDiarmid and Jonathan Uesato won their last round games to score 5-1 and tie for first place with 5 points. They both won $525.
In the C+ section: Rahul Ram Mohan scored 5.5 and won $400 for a clear first.

In the D+ section there was a 4-way tie for first between Elliot Ki, Vignesh Varadarajan, Aleksander Kozminski, and Srinath Goli, with 4.5 points and each received $175.  Ki and Varadarajan drew with each other in the last round. Kozminski and Goli won their last round games to create the 4-way tie.

The tournament was very well organized and rounds went off punctually thanks to the fine directing staff headed up by NTD John Mc Cuminsky, Senior TD Tom Langland and organizer Salman Azhar.  If you are looking for a change of scenery next Memorial Day weekend, I would highly recommend this event.  Northern California is very nice at this time of year, and there is a lot to do in the area for the non-chess playing members of the family.

For more thoughts on the tournament circuit by Polly Wright, see her blog, Castling Queen Side.

January - Chess Life Online 2010

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