Monthly Archives: September 2011

Portland League: Time is Short!

Registration deadlines for Portland League are fast approaching. The league features weekly matches between five-player, high school teams.  Typically, teams consist of classmates from the same high school or feeder middle school, but individuals from schools without a team are welcome to register for placement on an existing team. The league is open to all middle school and high school players and for the first time is an OSCF championship qualifier. Individuals must register by September 30; teams, by October  15.

For details, keep reading…

by Ed Addis

High School and Middle School chess clubs in the Portland metropolitan area should check out the Portland Area Chess League.  The League has been operating for over 20 years providing local clubs with the opportunity to compete against other schools.   Team chess is different than playing in a regular chess tournament in that it takes a team effort to win the match.  Each match consists of five boards with your team’s best player on board #1, your second best on board #2, and so.  The winner of the match is the team that scores three or more points.  If both teams score 2 ½ points the match is drawn.

The League runs from November to February each school year with matches played at 4 PM on Wednesday’s when Lincoln High School is open.  Last year the League had 16 teams competing in a seven round robin sections and then seven rounds of a Swiss style tournament for a total of 14 games.

Teams are typically composed of players in grades 6th to 12th from the same school or one of its feeder schools.  For example a student in the 6th grade at West Sylvan Middle school can play on the Lincoln High School team.

Teams are not limited to the number of players that they can have.  Clubs that have many players are encouraged to field additional teams.  It is also important for teams to have some reserve players as it is a long season and no one really wants to win or lose a board by forfeit.  To keep your reserve players sharp and ready to step in when needed we also encourage teams to bring their reserve players to each match so they can be paired against reserves from other teams.  Team Registration ends October 15, 2011.

What if you don’t have a team?  You still can join!

If your home schooled or in middle school you may be eligible to be on an existing team, if you reside within their attendance area.  What if the local schools are not part of the League?  You will then be placed on an existing team depending on where you live and the needs of teams in the league. .   Individual registration ends on September 30, 2011.

The following schools are currently planning to compete in the 2011-2012 season:

Access Academy (a Middle School); Clackamas High School; Cleveland High School; Horizon Christian High School; Jesuit High School;  Lake Oswego High School; La Salle College Prep; Lincoln High School; Sherwood High School;  West Sylvan Middle School; and possibly Horizon Christian, Wilson, and Westview High Schools.

OSCF Qualifier:  This year the League is one of the qualifier tournaments for the OSCF Championship tournament.

For more information you can check out the NW Scholastic Calendar for November 2, 2011 or call Ed Addis at (503) 658-7809 or by e-mail at

All-Stars: October 14 at the State Capitol

The Fourth Annual Oregon All-Stars Invitational is scheduled for October 14 at the state capitol in Salem. The 14th is a Friday, but it is a state-wide “in-service” day, which means no school for K-12 students in Oregon public schools.

If your name is on one of the 2011 All-Stars lists (winter, spring, or fall) or on the Lifetime Achievement list, you are invited. For more information, visit the links on the “Oregon All-Stars” menu on the left sidebar at

Portland League Now An OSCF Qualifier

The Portland League offers a fantastic opportunity to play great chess in a fun, energetic team setting.  , Each team plays one match per week against another league team every Wednesday after school from November 2 through February 29. All matches are played at Lincoln High School in downtown Portland. Teams are normally comprised of five players from the same high school, but the league is open to individuals (grades 6-12) as well. Teams may register as a unit; individuals can petition the league to be placed on a team.

Registration deadline is September 30 for individuals and October 15 for teams.

For the first time, playing in the Portland league counts as an OSCF qualifier. The season lasts for 14 weeks, but it is only necessary to play in four games to get credit for your qualifier. Visit the NWSRS calendar announcement for more information.

Oregon Juniors at the Oregon Open

The Oregon Open is a strong three-day tournament held each year over Labor Day weekend. This year, there were 90 players divided into two sections: Open and Reserve (U1800). Most of the players were adults, but twenty Oregon juniors braved the long days and tough competition on their last weekend of summer.

Over the years, Oregon juniors have earned the respect of the adult players by performing very well in events like the Oregon Open. This year the tradition continues.

Five Oregon juniors played in the Open Section. Calvin Parnon (Corvallis), Steven Witt (Hillsboro), David Wen (Corvallis), Maxwell Sun (Corvallis) and Ben Pikus (Beaverton). David, Max, and Ben were eligible to play in the lower-rated Reserve section but opted to “play up”. It takes guts to “play up” when you know that there’s a good chance that all your opponents will be higher-rated than you. You may not win as many games as you would in a lower section, but your play will improve faster than it would playing weaker opponents. And by playing up, you may well beat some very strong players — a taste of things to come as you continue to improve. Exhibit A at this year’s Oregon Open is Maxwell Sun (Corvallis). He beat Life Master and 2009 Oregon state champion Carl Haessler. Great job, Max! He finished with 2.5/6, tied with Steven Witt (Hillsboro, 11th grade) for first place among Oregon juniors. David Wen (Corvallis, 9th grade) had a rough first day. In the first two rounds, he had to face two opponents who were each rated about 300 points higher than him. After starting out 0/2, he finished with four draws against four higher-rated players for a final score of 2/6, just a half point behind Max and Steven. At USCF 1442, Ben Pikus (Beaverton, 9th grade) was by far the lowest-rated player in the Open Section, so he knew he was in for a difficult tournament, but he played great and scored a 527 point upset. Calvin Parnon (Corvallis, 10th grade) has gone from unrated novice to #2 junior in the state in just a few short years. On Saturday he notched his first win against a chess Master.

A total of 47 players competed in the  Reserve Section, including 15 Oregon juniors, whose results are summarized in the table below.

Name Score Rating Before Rating After
Dillon Murray
Aaron Pikus
Gabe Skoro
Jeremy Coste
Dhruva Chatterjee
Liam Booth
Venkat Doddapaneni
Leo Sun
Hansen Lian
Praveer Sharan
Pranav Sharan
Marshal Xu
John Mitchell
Abhinav Brahmarouthu
Neal Aditya

Most notable performances include a breakout tournament for Dillon Murray (Gresham, 9th grade), who tied for second at 4.5/6.0 and has been on a tear this summer.  Oregon HS champ Aaron Pikus also tied for second.

Gabe Skoro (Portland, 7th grade) had been less active the past year or so than in previous years, but he had great performances at both the Centennial Open and the Oregon Open this summer.

Jeremy Coste (Portland, 7th grade) has not played in Oregon scholastic events, but he has now earned his initial established USCF rating of 1477, which puts him near the top of Oregon middle school players.

Venkat Doddapaneni (Portland, 7th grade) is one player who understands that the quickest path to improvement involves playing against strong competition. That path can be frustrating at times, but Venkat’s courage is now showing up in his rating — he scored 3/6 and picked up nearly 200 points!

John Mitchell (Klamath Falls, 5th grade) and Abhinay Brahmarouthu (Portland, 7th grade) both picked a very tough event for their first USCF-rated tournament, and both won games against strong opponents.