Jeff Dobbins

Qualifiers Galore!

We’re deep into chess season, and in anticipation of the OSCF State tournament in Seaside on April 12-13, there are qualifier tournaments galore popping up on the calendar.  In addition to regular Friday Night Quads at the Tigard Grange and Chess Odyssey Quads in the Bethany Area (check the NWSRS calendar for dates), there are several major tournaments planned over the next few Saturdays.  Click through for more details….

Presidents’ Weekend Tournament

Lincoln's First Inauguration, 1861

Today’s Presidential Inauguration is a good time to remind scholastic chess players of the Presidents’ Weekend Tournament, to be held Saturday, February 16th at Robert Gray Middle School, located in SW Portland not far off I-5.

There will, of course, be awards galore, including PEZ-idential prizes …  (Our perspective on Presidential PEZ dispensers?  Kitsch, but perfectly good for this purpose.).  Four sections, from Open / 1300+ to a U600 division, are guaranteed, but there will likely be many more divisions and many more awards for our participants.

Register online for the Presidents’ Weekend Tournament now!

Oregon Closed Championship

Ten of the top-rated USCF players in Oregon compete against each other each year in the Oregon Championship, sponsored by the Oregon Chess Federation and taking place this year on two consecutive weekends (February 9th-10th, and 16th-17th) at the Portland Chess Club.

By winning the Oregon Junior Closed championship last spring ( and getting his rating over 1900 as of January 1, high school Sophomore David Wen qualified to play in the Oregon Championship with the strongest players in the state.Here is the final roster for the Oregon Invitational Championship (aka “Oregon Closed”) by Name and Rating:
Nick Raptis 2353
Carl Haessler 2214
Daniel Gay 2204
Corey Russell 2200
Brian Esler 2136
Steven Deeth 2113
Richard Gutman 2060
Sean Tobin 2057
Rob Herrera 2053
David Wen 1932

Two other scholastic players, Yogi Saputra (2042) and Alexandra Botez (2049), just barely missed qualifying by rating.   (For those scholastic players who aspire to compete at this event, details on qualifying for the championship are found in the OCF bylaws.)  (Thanks to Dan Dalthorp for the information.)

Seaside is Calling!

Here it comes!

The 8th Annual OSCF State Chess Championship is coming to Seaside on April 12-13, 2013.  It’s packed full of Blitz and Bughouse on the afternoon and evening of day 1 (Friday, April 12, is an inservice day for Portland Public Schools and several other districts in the state!).

On day 2, there’s a full day of competitive chess divided into 15 separate grade- and rating- based sections that give all of the nearly 300 players a good chance to walk home with a huge taffy-filled golden trophy!

How do you qualify for State?

You qualify to come to OSCF State if you meet three requirements as of April 1, 2013 (full details here):

1) You are an Oregon-resident scholastic player in grades K-12.
2) You have an established NWSRS or USCF rating.  For most scholastic players, this means you’ve played in 15 or more NWSRS rated games — these do not have to be tournament games; you can get them in your club as well (contact us to ask about how).
3) You have played in at least two OSCF qualifier tournaments between May 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013.  The tournaments printed in green on the NWSRS calendar are the ones that count (this does not, unfortunately, include the CFS tournaments).  Qualifier Tournaments in the next month include Eugene and Coquille Tournaments this Saturday and the Presidents’ Weekend Tournament on February 16th.  Other events are being planned for early March in Gresham and Salem, and there are always the regular Friday evening Chess Odyssey and Tigard Grange Quads.

A list of the students who have qualified so far, as well as full details, hotel arrangements, and other information for this year will be posted soon.  Contact us with questions, and in the meantime, keep playing chess!

Winter 2013 All-Stars List

Messier 107 in OphiuchusThe Winter 2013 All Stars list has been posted (sorry for the delay!).  This list identifies the players active between September 1 and December 31, 2012 who achieved the top ten established (NWSRS or USCF) ratings by grade during that period. Those on this list, as well as the Spring and Fall lists to be published later in the year, or on the 2013 Lifetime Achievement List, will be invited to the 6th Annual OSCF All-Stars Invitational Tournament, which will be held in October 2013.  In the meantime, keep playing chess!

Are you feeling Presidential?

The next major Portland-area chess tournament for the Winter Season is on the calendar:  The Presidents’ Weekend Tournament, to be held Saturday, February 16th at Robert Gray Middle School, located in SW Portland not far off I-5.  This OSCF State Qualifier has cash prizes in the top two sections, and will have team awards and other generous trophies throughout the lower sections.  Whether you are giddy for Garfield, wacky for Wilson, or manic for Martin Van Buren, register online for the Presidents’ Weekend Tournament now!

For those of you wondering, it’s our understanding that the Whitford Tournament will not be happening this year (someone tell us ASAP if that changes), so plan to get your OSCF Qualifying events in otherwise…. OSCF State is April 12-13 in Seaside!

Oregon’s Top 25 Scholastic Players

The 2013 Scholastic Chess Season is off to a good start with the Metzger Tournament coming on January 12.  The Winter 2013 All-Stars list is being prepared and should be posted in the next couple of days; in the meantime, here is a list of the top 25 scholastic players in the state.  Ratings are the maximum of current (1/2/2013) NWSRS and January published USCF. Players have been active (at least one NWSRS or USCF game) since champs last April and must be enrolled in grades K-12 in Oregon’s schools.  Well done to all these players! (HT: Dan Dalthorp).

Alexandra Botez    2069
Yogi Saputra    2042
Aaron Grabinsky    1946
David Wen    1932
Erik Skalnes    1872
Steven Witt    1863
Samuel Coste    1847
Maxwell Sun    1834
Matt Dalthorp    1820
Takuma Sato-Duncan    1778
Dillon Murray    1760
Clemen Deng    1721
Seth Talyansky    1671
Austin Nguyen    1648
Jack Dale    1625
Ashwin Sah    1606
Matthew Stevens    1585
Andrea Botez    1578
Ben Pikus    1572
Jimmy Kelly    1563
Pranav Sharan    1555
Peter Donchenko    1554
Valentin Molchanov    1536
Philip Weiss    1534
Cameron Kocher    1516

Middle School Teams at OHSCTA

The Oregon High School Chess Team Association (OHSCTA) has been running Oregon’s state High School Team Chess Championship for over 40 years.  This year’s event will be held on March 8th & 9th at LaSalle College Prep High School located at 11999 SE Fuller Road in Milwaukie, Oregon.  Five rounds of play will determine the Oregon State Champion Team.

This year, the OHSCTA has added a new section to this annual tournament that is just for Oregon Middle School Chess Teams (Grades 6 to 8).  More about the event after the break…