Marmont and Hu Top US Amateur West
By Enrique Huerta   
June 2, 2011
The 2011 US Amateur West was hosted by the Southern Arizona Chess Association in Tucson, AZ. There were 137 players playing in 4 sections (Championship, Reserve, Booster and Scholastic) for the 3-day Memorial Day weekend.  

Going into the final round of the Championship section Paul Lane, the three seed, led with 4.5 points ahead of top seeds Bryan Hu and Benjamin Marmont (4.0 each). All three players had stumbled early with draws on Day 1, but each battled back to be in contention at the end. On the top board Bryan defeated Paul and on the second board Ben defeated Matthew Noble. Benjamin narrowly edged out Bryan on tie-breaks. Third place went to youngster Thomas Mathine who turned 13 on Sunday.

1. Benjamin Marmont (2146) 5.0 pts
2. Bryan Hu (2175) 5.0 pts
3. Thomas Mathine (1709) 4.5 pts.

The Reserve section was less of an uphill battle. Pablo Uribe, the top seed (pictured below), was in complete control from start to finish. With the title wrapped-up, Pablo agreed to a draw in the final round to Theodore Day, the closest contender a full point behind. Rich Desmarias followed Ben Marmont's path of 2 draws followed by 4 wins to secure second place.

1. Pablo Uribe (1591) 5.5 pts.
2. Rich Desmarias (1435) 5.0 pts.
3. Theodore Day (1451) 4.5 pts.

Both Benjamin and Pablo won a Chronos clock, a plaque and a Free entry into the National Open for their accomplishment.

The Booster section produced the only perfect score of the weekend. Jose A. Castillo Sr. finished with a perfect 6.0 points. Jose finished a full point and a half ahead of the pack.

1. Jose A. Castillo (993) 6.0 pts
2. Nicholas McLaughlin (1152) 4.5 pts.
3. Stephanie Burchard (1081) 4.5 pts.

The US Amateur West is a rarity these days in that it's a USCF national event without a sudden death time control. Since it's inception, the time control has always been 40/2, 25/1. 

Complete standings and results are available on the SACA website (