Shankland and Sevian Shine in Santa Clara
By Salman Azhar, Executive Director, Bay Area Chess   
January 7, 2010
Sam Shankland, Photo Betsy Dynako May 2009
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour-his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear... is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." - Vince Lombardi

After a weekend of fierce battles even IM Samuel Shankland's cell phone ran out of battery.

146 players converged in Santa Clara to welcome 2010 with a Chess Tournament. This included 34 in the developmental "under 1000" section. The FIDE rated Master section attracted 21 players.

IM Sam Shankland has won three out of four tournaments organized by Bay Area Chess including the CalChess State Championship in which he tied with GM Jesse Kraai. At the "new" New Year's Event he did it again, taking clear first and $700. He finished one point ahead of the pack with wins against five masters and a draw against FM Steven Zierk. Zierk finished second with 4.5 points.

Here are Shankland's wins from the event. You can see some of Shankland's own analysis from the tournament on his brand new blog,






The story of the year is already brewing and it is about the life and times of Samuel Sevian, Bay Area Chess Fellow in 2009 and 2010. 9-year-old Sevian gained 20 rating points to advance to 2143 with nine months to go in his quest to be the youngest Master in history. Sevian beat two masters and drew against two others before running out of steam on the last day falling on the last day. He has a shot and completing his mission early in 2010 and will be playing again at Continental Chess's January CA tournament, the Golden State Open (which will be covered by "f-pawn" Michael Aigner on CLO ) as well as the 36thAnnual People's Tournament.

Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo won the Expert section with 5.0. Brain Wai won the A section.


Edward Li and Colin Chow shared the top honors in the B-section with 4.5 points.


Veteran Harold Parker dominated the C section. Abraham Adberstein won the D section and David Adberstein won the E section. Since they were both unrated, we should also mention Josiah Stearman as the winner of D section as well as Daniel Song and Jothi Ramesh sharing the top E section award.

Kevin Lin, Abhishek Handigol, Jordan De Medina, and James James Pflaging were the winners in the 1-day development tournament on the 1st of January.

Also see complete Standings and Prizes
and the Rating Report on MSA. Read more about Bay Area chess here and for more on Sam Shankland, see his recent report on CLO about his European adventures, and his new website,