Each year each state nominates one high school player to play in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions held in conjunction with the US Open. This year’s Oregon representative was Aaron Pikus (School of Science and Technology, Beaverton), winner of the high school elite section at the OSCF State Championship. The Denker is perhaps the strongest scholastic tournament in the USA. Nearly a third of this year’s players were Masters (rated 2200+) and about half were rated above 2000. Despite being 500 points lower-rated than the average, Aaron played great chess, scoring 2.5/6 and tied for 32nd-36th. All but one of the players finishing ahead of Aaron or tied with him were at least 100 points higher-rated. Excellent work, Aaron!
Beginning this year, each state can also nominate one K-8 player to compete in the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, also in conjunction with the US Open. This year’s nominee was David Wen (Cheldelin Middle School, Corvallis), co-champion in the middle school division at the OSCF State championships. David was chosen over the other co-champion, Erik Skalnes (Roosevelt Middle School, Eugene), because Erik had a schedule conflict with the Barber. Otherwise, they’d have had to play a match to determine the Oregon representative. David was a great Oregon representative and ended up with a respectable 2.5/6, tying for 27th-33rd. Congratulations, David!