Ricardo DeGuzman Tops The Field In The Valley
By Steve Immitt   
August 19, 2014
IM Ricardo DeGuzman’s long trek to the Central Valley proved to be a trip well timed.  The Bay Area  master scored 4.5 points after 5 rounds in the 5th Central California Open this August 15-17th in Fresno, winning the $1,300 First prize plus the $100 Bonus Prize for finishing clear first as well. 

Hot on Ricardo’s heels a half point back were both GM Enrico Sevillano, the tournament’s top seed, and IM Ray Kaufman.  They tied for 2nd-3rd, winning a prize of $550 each.  Rayan Taghizadeh last-round loss to Sevillano was nevertheless sufficient to win $450, which represented half of the Under 2200 prizes.  Julian Lin also scored 3.5 points to take the other $450.

David Pan dispatched his first four opponents before drawing Enoch Israel in the last round.  David took the $1,000 First prize in the Under 2000 Section, while Enoch won $600 for finishing one half point behind.  An eight-player logjam piled up with 3.5 points, winning $137.50 each:  Brett Becker, Fresno Chess Club president Owen Overton, Glen Rudelis, Andew Peng, Robert Angres, William Sartorio, Isaac Ruddell and Gene Mora.

In the Under 1600 Section, four-and-a-half points was once again the magic number.  This time the winning score belonged to David Fujii, who won the $900 First prize.  Blake Wong, Christopher Bohlin and Alan Wolf tied for 2nd-4th with 4 points, each winning $400, while Prarthan Ghosh scored 3.5 points to win $200.

Two players scored to 4-1 to finish atop the Under 1200 Section:  Robert Wyatt and Zozimo Kiwan each won $400, and Kiwan also received the trophy for the Top Under 1000 well.  Bryan Wong, Anthony Faulks and Dylan Smith tied for 3rd-5th with 3.5 points, winning $66.67 a piece, with Dylan receiving the trophy for Top Under 800 as well.  Alex Hamilton scored 3 points to win the trophy for Top Under 800.

The battle on Board One in the Under 1200 Section was raging on well after the other games had ended, and quite a crowd had gathered to watch the fierce struggle for First place unfold.  Eventually White’s pawn reached the eighth, and the extra Queen finally proved to be too much.  Seven-year-old David Sartorio received a special trophy for playing the Most Heartfelt Game.

The Chen cousins, Ke and Shijie, combined forces to score 6 points to win the $400 First Place bonus prize for Mixed Doubles Teams.  WFM Uyanga Byambaa and Byron Doyle had a combined total of 5.5 points, as did the duo of Ashleann Chen and Bryce Wong.  Both teams tied for the Second Mixed Doubles Team prize, winning $100 each.

Ian Schoch convincingly demonstrated that his 2467 Blitz rating is no fluke during the Saturday Night Blitz tournament.  The Blitz tournament’s top seed scored 6.5 in the 4-double-round (2 games each round) event, tying for First with Richard Yi.  The winners each took home $68.  Robert Hatarik and Solomon Ruddel scored 6 points to win $21.50 a piece, while Christopher Bohlin’s 6-2 finish game him the $43 Under 1800 prize.  Zachary Mann won the $34 Under 1500 prize with 3.5 points.

The Central California Open had a year’s hiatus since its last edition in 2012.  The Fresno Chess Club, the co-sponsor this year as well as in the past, has been instrumental in its support of the tournament.  Next year the club is planning on something sensational for the California Central Valley.