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2010 Labor Day Madness: Part III Print E-mail
September 9, 2010
Florida State Championship by Melinda J. Matthews 

Chess tournaments in Florida recently have taken a sharpturn to the luxe.

The venue for this year's state tournament, held over LaborDay madness weekend, was the slightly intimidating, regally grand Rosen ShingleCreek Resort, a lavish surprise compared to simpler settings of yearspast.  Tournament Director Harvey Lermangleefully related the tale of booking the hotel at a steep discount more thantwo years ago, astutely taking advantage of the faltering economy.  Here's the astonishing view from our 8thfloor room, overlooking three pools and the golf course:

In the main tournament, GM Julio Becerra once again capturedclear first in the Open division for the fifth year in a row. Organizer Harvey Lerman wrote that GM Becerra, "....has been so dominating that not a single other GM bothered to enter the event...(Julio) admitted that he plans to win enough Florida State Championships to pass the record set by Edwards Celorio, who won seven titles between 1968 and 1998."

His talented student, NM Robert Perez, finished with a strongshowing of his own, losing only to Becerra and drawing his last round fairlyquickly to end in a four-way tie for second place with John Nardandrea, DaltonPerrine and Peter Dyson.

GM Julio Becerra, Photo Harvey Lerman

Other section winners:
U2000 Ramon Rojas

U1800 Cayley H Robinson and Colin T Dougherty

U1600 Daniel Remedio

U1400 Wade Keller

U1200 Jordan Dauble, Andrew McCormack, Jackie Liu

See full crosstable and USCF rated results on MSA.

The side events proved to be Nicky's forté thistournament.  So indulge me, please,while I offer a caveat...and brag.  Though I resist crowing about Nicky in these posts (that's why I have aFacebook page!), I'm breaking my rule just this once to congratulate my son forwinning this year's Florida state quick chess championship. 

Corey Acor grabbed the blitz title, with Robert Perez, ChazDaly and Nicky finishing in a three-way tie for second.

Nicholas Rosenthal, Florida State Quick Chess Champion and Corey Acor, Florida State Blitz Champion

Highlighting this year's event was the guest appearance ofGM Ray Robson and his father, Gary Robson, introducing Gary'srecently-published book, "Chess Child."   I purchased a copy and was enthralled enough to read the entire book inone sitting as I patiently waited for my own favorite tournament player.  Though the story uniquely and compellinglybelongs to Ray and his family, every chess parent can easily relate to therecurring highs, lows, ups, downs, sacrifices, rewards and emotional roller-coasterthat's part of the tournament-circuit territory. I only wish this book had beenavailable five years ago when Nicky began playing tournament chess. (It's available on Nipa Hut Press.)

Ray signed autographs and graciously played hours of blitzwith anyone who sat opposite him, handily defeating all comers.  Alongside Ray, Gary chatted warmly withcurious parents and participants, answering questions, offering suggestions anddispelling some myths in the process. 

Nicky takes on GM Ray Robson

GM Ray Robson and Robert Perez in a thoughtful moment

The state tournament attracted 160 players, which allowedevent organizers to pay out 100% of the advertised prize money.  TD Harvey Lerman ran his usual impeccabletournament, and, combined with the luxurious surroundings, this statetournament almost felt like a vacation.

Southern California Open
IM Enrico Sevillano took clear first at this year's SouthernCalifornia Open held from September 4-6th in Los Angeles. Enricoscored 5.5/6 including a final round victory over IM Jack Peters. Tied forsecond with 5/6 were GM Melikset Khachiyan, Enrico's stepson John Daniel Bryantand Jouaquin B.Banawa. See full standings at the official website,westernchess.com and see USCF rated results on MSA.

Ed Collins tied for first in the Amateur/Under 1800 sectionwith Alexander Garber and Cijo Paul. Collins wrote,

I had penciled in this event on my calendar a couple ofmonths ago, but as late as the Friday evening prior to the event I was stillundecided about entering.  I was stillkind of "chess-ed out."  Afterthat 9-day marathon event in Irvine just a few weeks ago, I felt I needed alittle bit of a break from chess.  Also,I could tell I was coming down with a cold. On Thursday and Friday my throat was very scratchy, usually the firstsign of a cold with me.

The night before the event, my tournament friend Ed Hayeswrote me an e-mail and said,  "Aspilots, we never fly sick!  Dude, I amthe lowest rated player!!  It's allgood!!"

I'm not even sure what that all means but it convinced meto enter!

See the rest of this class player chronicle on Ed Collins'personal website. 

Colorado Open by Richard Buchanan, TD

The2010 Colorado Open was a great success, with 107 players, the best turnout inany open tournament in this state in many years.

RandyCanney, defense attorney and runner in the marathon race up and down PikesPeak, scored 5-0 to win the state Championship. 


Randytold me he first won the title 32 years ago as a high school student.

Behindhim with 4-1 were Zach Bekkedahl and the amazing Joe Ford.  Joe does notlet physical disabilities interfere with accomplishing great things.  Thelowest rated player in the Championship section at 1561, he scored his fourpoints against opponents with an average rating of 1918.



JoseLlacza arrived late and got a half point bye in round one, and then won therest of his games to take first place in the U1800 section.  Followingwith 4 points were Anthea Carson, Nabil Spann, and Lee Lahti.  RyanSnodgrass took the U1400 with a perfect 5-0, followed a point behind by ArchieShipp, Artem Bolshakov, Steve Mechels, Vishwa Srinivasan, and GaryCrites. 

Allthe sections had scholastic players competing, and several won prizes.  Agroup of seven came up with David Poston of New Mexico. See the full crosstableand USCF rated results on MSA.

Oregon Open
Nick Raptis, Joshua Christopher Sinanan and Michael S.MacGregor tied for first with 5/6. See more details on the official website. 

Michigan Open
Antontio Rogelio Jr won clear first with 6/7 with Seth Homain clear second with 5.5/7. See full crosstable and USCF rating changes on MSA. 

See the first and second installments of 2010 Labor Day Chess Madness. Although this is the final Labor Day round-up, get ready for another coast to coast chess celebration, National Chess Day on October 9th, Saturday. USCF is offering benefits to organizers hosting tournaments on that weekend, and once again we encourage members to email contributions for possible CLO publication to [email protected].


September - Chess Life Online 2010

Howard Stern Continues Support of Holly Heisman Memorial Fund USA Tops Bulgaria; Women Tie GreeceThe Great Gatsby Plays To Mate USA Draws China; Women Lose to Russia 2 No Change for FIDE: Kirsan WinsIrina Krush's Siberia Photo Gallery USA Ties with Poland; Women Defeat Armenia Olympiad Round Six: USA Defeats Vietnam, Women Falter to Georgia 2010 FIDE Election Update US Chess League Highlights: Week Five US Olympic Teams Prevail in Round Five US Chess School Call for Los Angeles Applicants Justus Williams Becomes Youngest African-American Master Ever2010 Chess Olympiad: First Impressions by John DonaldsonAn Unexpected Chess Adventure in Colombia CLO Wishes Spassky a Speedy RecoveryUSA Loses to Russia; Women Draw Hungary US Olympic Teams Convincing in Round Three Olympic Teams Victorious in Round Two Garden State Blues: GM Joel on the US Chess League US Olympic Teams Perfect in Round 1 John Hillery, 1952-2010Olympiad Begins with Grand Opening CeremonyOlympiad Opening Ceremony Live from Siberia! World Youth Delegation Set Lahno Wins World Women's Blitz Irina Krushing at the World Women's Blitz The US Chess Scoop on Magnus vs. the World US Class Champs Set for Oct 1-3 in Houston US Chess School Comes to Seattle, Part II Back to Scholastics: National Youth Action and K-12s Set for 2010Application Deadline Approaches for Schein-Friedman Scholastic Project Bent Larsen Dies at 75Magnus Faces World in G-Star RAW Chess Challenge GM Pascal Prevails in The Battle of the Border 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part III 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part II 2010 Labor Day Madness: Part I US Chess School Comes to Seattle, Part I Labor Day Chess Madness PreviewThe September Check is in the Mail Kamsky Wins Baku Open