The Top 25 list at the end of this school year is impressive. Topping the list at 2248 is Aaron Grabinsky, who just finished his sophomore year in Coquille. Rounding out the top 25 list is Ethan Wu at 1624. The strength of the top 25 players has been increasing markedly every year. Both the top rating and the #25 rating are 200-300 points higher than #1 and #25 would have been on a similar list in 2006. Congratulations to the players (and also the parents, coaches, and organizers).
Almost all the players on the list are high school students, but only three are graduating seniors (Andy Trattner, Matt Dalthorp, and Patrick Butenhoff), so the top 25 will continue to get stronger and stronger for at least several more years.
The highest-rated middle school player is Seth Talyansky, who just won the Summer Open in Portland after beating the strongest player in the state, Nick Raptis. Seth is 5th on the list at 1995. Two players who just finished elementary school (Joshua Grabinsky and Owen McCoy) are already above 1600 and promise to be scary strong by the time they finish high school.
The Portland metropolitan area is home to over half the state’s population and has an enormous advantage over the rest of the state in hosting strong chess tournaments. And yet…only three of the top 10 players hale from Portland, while four are from relatively tiny Corvallis. (On the other hand, only 4 of the #11-25 players are NOT from the Portland metro area).