For eleven straight years, Jerry Ramey has directed the Fall Classic scholastic chess tournament in Eugene. The name has changed over the years, but it is consistently a high quality event, year in and year out. This year 60 players from all over the state (and even one from Washington) participated.
Playing in the elite section this year were the three highest rated ninth graders in the state (Calvin Parnon, Matt Dalthorp, and Jack Dale), the second highest rated eighth grader (Erik Skalnes), the highest rated fifth grader (Maxwell Sun), along with Freddy Davis from Vancouver WA, Jimmy Kelly from Eugene, and Tyler Mccausland (winner of the Eugene Spring Fling in April, 2010). Going into the final round, Max was sitting tall on a perfect 3/3, while Erik and Matt were tied at 2/3. Max played a turbulent Albin’s Counter-Gambit in the final round, but Erik coolly ramped up the pressure in the center and won handily. The players ended the tournament tied at 3/4. Matt had hopes of catching them in the final round, but Freddy’s Accelerated Dragon had him befuddled. He quickly found himself down a rook for two minor pieces. At the same time, Freddy’s pieces were active and well-coordinated. He finished the game methodically and masterfully to tie with Matt at 2/4. Matt’s loss created an opening for Jack, who got an advantage against Tyler in the middle game and successfully ground him down in a rook endgame to finish in third place at 2.5/4.
Simon Venter recently moved to Eugene from southern Oregon and won the advanced section with 4.5/5 score, a half-point ahead of Jared McReynolds of Cottage Grove High School and Derek Wang of Eugene. In the intermediate section, Chase Kephart from Cottage Grove cruised through his first USCF-rated tournament with a score of 4.5/5. Griffin Allensis of Eugene finished second at 4/5. Not only did he earn 2nd place with his score, but he increased his USCF rating by a whopping 343 points. Nice job, Griffin! Not many players add that many points in a full year, and you did it in one day. Miles Pendleton from Eugene finished in third at 3.5/5.
Topping the novice section was Jack Woo Mclain with 4.5/5. Right on his tail at 4/5 were fourth graders Andrew Dassonville and Avi Shugar. This was Avi’s first rated tournament. He ended up losing his very first tournament game, but then roared back to win four in a row to tie for second — Fantastic debut performance!