GM Kraai California Class Champion
By Aditya Kumar   
November 30, 2010
GM Jesse Kraai, Photo Elizabeth Vicary New York 2009
GM Jesse Kraai is the 2010 California Class Open Champion, with an impressive score of 5/6 fetching him $1000 prize money at the Northern California Thanksgiving event. IM Ricardo DeGuzman followed suit with a score of 4.5/6 and netting $500 for the second place. The tournament took place at the spacious San Francisco Airport Hyatt, which easily accommodated the 265 chess enthusiasts and some anxious chess parents as well. The prize fund of $8,000 was paid out in full in the 1000+ sections while 55 individual and 15 team trophies were awarded in the under 1000 section.

Throughout the tournament, Kraai stayed ahead in the Open Section, though he was held to a draw by NM Arjoe Loanzon as well as IM Ricardo DeGuzman. Loanzon along with rising Bay Area junior Evan Sandberg captured the third place in the Open section and finished the tournament with 3.5/6. Like most Bay Area Chess tournaments, the juniors topped the wall charts in both the Expert and the A sections. James Kwok led the expert with 4.5/6 and netted $700; Kyle Shin, Cameron Wheeler, and Jayakrishnan Ramachandran followed close behind with 4/6, splitting $500 amongst themselves. The A section had a four-way tie for the first place with Rayan Taghizadeh, Benjamin Tong, Randolph Moore, and Aditya Kumar.

The Championship had a two and three day option, in addition to a one-day tournament meant for children under the 1000 rating cap. Bay Area Chess Organizer Salman Azhar and Chief TDs Tom Langland and John McCumiskey managed this Thanksgiving chess event with an impressive tally of 12 sections! The tournament was held under the auspices of Bay Area Chess, the same non-profit that hosts the annual Memorial Day Weekend Championship and New Years Open and is the most active USCF affiliate west of Texas.

Final standings can be seen on and USCF results at