2011 Chess for Fanconi Anemia Research

by Benjamin Morrison

The second annual Chess for FA tournament was a tremendous success! This year’s tournament was attended by a record number of participants from 8 different schools throughout the Portland metro area – from Corbett to Lake Oswego. The tournament raised over $1,000 for the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. The Fund will use the money to support research to find better treatments – and a cure – for Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disease.

This year’s tournament more than doubled the number of participants, sponsors, in-kind donors, concession sales, participating schools, and funds raised, compared to last year. This was also the first year for the tournament to be NWSRS-rated. The pairing program required for rating was donated by SwissSys. Prizes were donated by Jazzy Bagels and Coldstone Creamery and food & beverages were donated by Wall Street Pizza and Odwalla Juice. The tournament received great publicity from the Outlook newspaper, Chess for Success, and the Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation.

The tournament consisted of four rounds with Swiss system pairings. Participants included two past national champions, including Praveer Sharan, a first-grader from Oak Creek Elementary who won the tournament. The most suspenseful game of the tournament was between Praveer and Suhayl Kodiriy from Parkrose Middle School, the only game to end with time control. In this tense match between skilled players, Paveer won with only six second remaining on his game clock, when Suhayl ran out of time.

Corvallis MLK

MLK Chess
UPDATE: Games are now rated and results posted at NWSRS (and also at USCF for Power and Mighty Rook Sections — or, in USCF parlance, the “Mighty Roo” section after limiting the name to 10 characters).

Ninety-eight players converged on Zion Lutheran School in Corvallis on Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, play chess, and socialize with chess friends from all over the state. Players were divided into six separate playing sections based on age and playing strength. In addition to the traditional trophies for the top four finishers in each section and the critical sportsmanship awards, trophies were also awarded for “Best Handshake” and “Best Notation.”

Power Section
The power section was open to all players (including adults), and players rated 1300 or higher were required to play in the section. The section attracted fourteen players with a median rating of 1560 and five players rated above 1600, making it one of the strongest scholastic chess tournaments in the state (comparable to the High School Elite Section at the OSCF State Championship). Cash prizes were awarded to the top three finishers: $100-$50-$30, with money being split in case of ties.

The three highest-rated players (David Wen, Harry Demarest, and Max Sun — all from Corvallis) all won their first two games. After his first round win, Max started asking about the prize fund. A little premature, perhaps, but in the end it turned out to be a good question as Max ended up tying for 1st. David and Harry had to face each other in the third round. After all the other games were finished, David and Harry still had almost all their pieces on the board with only a few minutes left on the clock for each of them. Neither could see a safe way to break through the long, closed pawn chain, and they agreed to a draw.

In the fourth round, Harry met Max. Again. They also played last month at the Corvallis Winter Open. Harry likes the stogid Petroff. Max likes sharp positions and tactical flourishes. In December, he played Cochran’s gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7) against Harry’s Petroff, sacrificing a knight for two pawns in exchange for a wild position. He saw through the mess clearer than Harry did and won the game. In January, deja vu — the story repeats. Max goes into the final round with 4/4, and Harry gets knocked out of contention at 2.5/4.

In the meantime, Jack Dale (Cottage Grove), who lost his first game, quietly marched his way up the cross-table, winning games two and three to earn a shot at David Wen, who was sitting in second place. He made the most of his opportunity and chalked up a full point to set up a final round game with Max for first place. Jack won the game to share 1st prize with Max at 4/5. David recovered nicely from his fourth round loss with a victory in the final round to secure third place.

Brave Soul Peter Kleier from Hosford Middle School in Portland (NWSRS 1276) chose to play up and finished with a even score 2.5/5, notching two 300 point upsets and setting off a rare double warning when the results were submitted to USCF, who wondered if the wrong player ID had been entered in the submitted results: (i) “Player is rated much lower than other players”; and (ii) “Player’s performance rating is more than 500 points above his current rating.” Note to USCF: “No mistake. Peter is that confident and that good.”

Sportsmanship trophies were not awarded in the Power Section, but if they had been, Tom Denison (Corvallis) would have been a likely candidate. Tom (NWSRS 925) is a chess dad who was vastly out-rated by every single player in the section, but he graciously decided to play so that the section would have an even number of players. “Vastly out-rated” by the others, yes, but it turns out that he was also “vastly under-rated.” In the first round, he defeated James Chen (Leslie Middle School, Salem), who was a 435 point ratings favorite. Two rounds later, he knocked off Matt Dalthorp in a 699 point upset. Great work, Tom, and many thanks for playing.

Mighty Rook Section
In the Mighty Rook Section, Carson Denison (Corvallis) lost his first game but stormed back with four straight wins to finish at 4/5 and sole first place. Not only did he play great chess, but he also won with class and grace, earning the Good Sportsmanship award for the section as well. Carson is a great presence at any chess tournament.

Jacob Moch (Pleasant Hill) was another classy guy in the Mighty Rook Section. Whether he wins or loses, Jacob consistently treats his opponents, friends, and TDs with warmth and respect. His classiness was tested in the G/5 blitz playoffs for breaking a three-way tie for 2nd-4th. In his game, he won piece after piece in his first four minutes to get a totally winning position, but in the final minute’s time pressure he lost piece after piece before flagging in the end. Good showing. Fourth place.

Torrey Gage-Tomlinson (Pleasant Hill) played a great game in the blitz playoffs, beating John Ornes (Corvallis) to win second place. John is a great player but had to settle for third after confronting Torry Blitz-Maniac.

The Best Notation award went to third grader, Leo Sun. There were several candidates for Best Handshake, but the award went to Jackson Christian from Aumsville.

Good Knight “A” Section
Sixteen players competed in the Good Knight “A” Section. Benjamin Kleier (Portland) joined his brother Peter (see “Brave Soul” in the recap of the Power Section) in turning in a great performance, scoring 4.5/5 and winning clean first place. Tied for 2nd-3rd at 4/5 were two players from the Impressive Pleasant Hill High School squad, Kory Schneider and Leo Barrios. (Last year the team tied for first in the high school team state championship, and they might even be a stronger team this year.) Kory won the blitz tiebreak to take 2nd place and relegate his teammate to 3rd.

Jeffery Sun (Lake Oswego) finished 4th at 3.5/5. Jeffery is one of the top 3rd graders in the state. Not only does he routinely beat players many years his senior — like 11th grader Leo Barrios in round 2 and 10th grader Sam Robbins in round 4 — he also does an exemplary job recording his games. His score sheets are consistent, complete, and clean, and his good habits will carry him far. In Corvallis MLK this year, he was so disciplined about his work that he continued his notating into the final round on board 1 against undefeated Benjamin Kleier even though it wasn’t required in his section and Benjamin was not notating the game. And the game turned out well too, as Jeffery ended up being the only player all day that Benjamin was not able to defeat. And, yes, Jeffery won the award for Best Notation in his section.

Jeffery also impressed the TD in his room for being particularly polite and helpful to his opponents. Jeffery is another one of those players that TDs and players are delighted to see on the registration list. Several players in the section (Deepraj Pawar, Thomas Kneeland, Lance Roy, Nicholas Kapple) went out of their way to be good sports, reminding their opponents to press the clock after their move. It is not required to do so, but it is a courteous and noble gesture that says, “I don’t want to win the game just because you are not accustomed to using a clock. I have great respect for you and prefer a fair fight over the board.” Taking the prize for Good Sportsmanship in the section, though, was Alexander Eisenhauer for his consistently cheerful demeanor and helpfulness. Xander always seemed alert for opportunities to lift people up. He did fine in the tournament (2/5), but more importantly he impressed people with his good attitude.

Good eye contact, firm grip, warm smile — Best Handshake award went to Deepraj Pawar. (An aside…Although she’s only been playing chess for about two months, you wouldn’t know it from the way she plays. Last week at the Thirty-Five And Rainy team tournament, she scored 3/5 and earned an initial, provisional rating of 819. That performance put her into a tough playing section at Corvallis MLK for someone who is so new to chess. Her score wasn’t the highest, but she handled the challenge well.)

Good Knight “B” Section
Twelve players were in the Good Knight “B” Section. Derek Liu (3rd grader at C.F. Tigard Elementary) won with a perfect 5/5. CFT was very well represented at the tournament with fourteen players — more than the home court Zion team (10 players), more than hometown chess powerhouses Mountain View Elementary (11) and Cheldelin Middle School (9), and more than the Impressive Pleasant Hill High School contingent (10). [Next time, there should be a school award for Most Players who attend.]

Second place at 4/5 was Yung-Jung Cheng (Cheldelin MS in Corvallis). This was Yung-Jung’s first tournament, and he is already making a splash and continuing the tradition of Cheldelin as a prolific incubator of chess talent.

Third place from home team Zion was Brian Cebra, who just got his established rating last week and now has played his second qualifier this year to qualify for OSCF State in Seaside.

Four players tied for 4th-7th — Evan Kooyman (Corvallis), Neal Ornes (Corvallis), James Peterson (Corvallis), and Sean Roberts (Tigard). Evan won the blitz tiebreaks to take home the trophy. Sean impressed the TDs with his great attitude all day long in his first tournament. He dealt gracefully with all the questions and difficulties throughout the day and earned a well-deserved Good Sportsmanship award.

The Best Notation award went to Kevin Dai (Hoover Elementary, Corvallis) and the best handshake was James Peterson’s (Zion, Corvallis).

High-Energy “A” Section
Twenty-four players played in the High-Energy “A” section, with Elliot Roberts (Franciscan Montessori, Portland) sitting alone at the top of the standings at the end of the day with 5/5. Tied for 2nd and 3rd were Trevor Thibert (Mountain View, Corvallis) and Fillip Cannard (C.F. Tigard). Trevor won the blitz tiebreak to take home the red 2nd place trophy, leaving 3rd to Fillip. Victoria Liu (Fowler MS, Tigard) and Noah Schuetze (homeschool, Corvallis) tied for 4th and 5th, with Victoria victorious in the blitz tiebreaker. Noah won the Best Notation award for notating every round neatly and carefully and showing his work to the TD.

Good Sportsmanship award went to Taylor Rowland (Trent Elementary, Pleasant Hill), and the Best Handshake award was handed to Andrea Durdel.

High-Energy “B” Section
There were twenty-three players in the High-Energy “B” section, which was played in the kindergarten classroom. All the players were 4th grade or younger. Some of the 4th graders may have been nearly too big to sit comfortably in the small chairs, but they were all good sports about it and concentrated on playing great chess. Lane Crabtree (Pleasant Hill) finished at the top of the heap at 4.5/5. A half-point back were three players tying for 2nd-4th: Dante DiCosmo (Zion, Corvallis), Harvey Beleiciks (Grant Elementary, Salem), and Max Franklin (Mountain View, Corvallis). Dante won the blitz playoff to nab the second place trophy, while Harvey got third and Max fourth.

Several players made a good impression on the TD for their Good Sportsmanship. Michelle Peterson was polite and respectful toward other players and adult supervisors. When she finished her games, she’d often watch other games in her section, showing them support and respect. Sometimes when young players watch other kids’ games, it is hard for them to understand that hovering over the board or chattering or fidgeting right next to the table can be distracting. Not Michelle. Her antennae are attuned to empathy and was politely careful not to distract or irritate. Lane Crabtree went out of his way to make sure he didn’t get any unfair advantage over his opponents and did not crush their spirits as he crushed them in the game. (Sometimes he may have even taken it a step too far by allowing the occasional takeback or postponing checkmate to let his opponent have a longer game.) Christopher Cannard (C.F. Tigard) was notably patient and polite — positive characteristics that he has developed to a commendable degree as a first grader. In the end, though, the Good Sportsmanship award went to Garrison Christian (Aumsville) for positive attitude throughout the day and for pointing out to his opponent that he was in checkmate when his opponent didn’t see it. It may have cost him a trophy, but he preferred to play it fair rather than try a sneaky trick to continue the game.

To pick a winner for the Best Notation award was surprisingly difficult. Usually in a novice, 4th grade and under section, none of the players notate. However, at Corvallis MLK 2011 four players notated: Kai Schlegelmann, Lane Crabtree, Logan Parish, and Harvey Beleiciks. It is not a coincidence that all finished in the top half of the standings, including the section champion (Lane) and one of the players that tied for second (Harvey): players who notate tend to pay more attention to the game and tend to be more careful in their play. Lane, Logan, and Harvey all had complete notation sheets for all five games, and all had wonderfully neat, legible handwriting. In the end, Harvey won the award because his score sheets had so remarkably few errors. It is hard to believe that someone as young as first grade could produce such careful, beautiful notation, but Harvey did it.

Best Handshake went to Michelle Peterson.

Southern League

By Nancy Keller

The fourth and final round of the Southern Oregon Chess League played Saturday in Myrtle Creek with Coquille Varsity and Coquille Junior Varsity leaving the rest of the teams in the dust to win the overall first place championships for the League. Over the 3 months of Saturday games, Coquille Varsity won 11 out of 12 games and Coquille Junior Varsity was undefeated in their 12 games.

The New Myrtle Point Team In Action

A tough, new team from Myrtle Point in action.

Myrtle Point is a new school with a new chess club that started in November, but their Junior Varsity team placed second against the more experienced schools of Oakland, Sutherlin and Myrtle Creek.

Sutherlin, Oakland and Myrtle Creek had problems fielding full teams for the Saturday tournaments, but the team members who did attend played some exciting games. Coquille had plenty of kids who want to be on their state team so extras tagged along and were fillers for the teams that were short and even made up an “ad hoc” teams so no team byes were needed. Amazingly (and miraculously for all four Chess League events), the extras made up the exact shortages so there was never a bye and every player had an opponent each round!

A “Medford” team was invited and attended the last two rounds of the Southern Oregon Chess League. They were made up of homeschool players from Medford, Central Point and Grants Pass. The coaches were more interested in providing challenging and exciting chess play and invited the Medford team to play. They were the only team to give Coquille Varsity team their single defeat during the 12 game League. The Chess League has provided Medford quite a bit of challenge and fun but state rules will not allow them to participate in the State Championship because their players are not all from the same school attendance area. But now the Medford group is hoping to recruit players and meet the qualifications for next year! They placed second for the Varsity division.

Oakland’s Jeff Miller put in a strong game against Marshfield’s highly rated (and last years Coos Curry Regional Champion) resulting in a draw. Coquille’s Jessi Ross won nearly all her games but losing only to Medford’s Collin Goldman in the final round despite beating him the previous month. Myrtle Creek’s Aaron Opp beat out Myrtle Point’s stong first board Shiloh Trigg and Oakland’s first board Iza Cowie.

Player development is proceeding rapidly in the southern part of the state, and the State Championships will need to keep an eye on these rural players from down South.

Final Southern Oregon Chess League results:
Varsity
1st place: Coquille
2nd place: Medford
3rd place: Oakland
4th place: Sutherlin
5th place: Marshfield
6th place: Myrtle Point

Junior Varsity
1st place: Coquille
2nd place: Myrtle Point
3rd place: Oakland
4th place: Myrtle Creek
5th place: Sutherlin

Portland Area HS League

By Ed Addis

The second half of the season is under way for the Portland Area High School Chess League. Final team standings from the first half determined seedings for a team Swiss tournament in the second half.

You would have thought that all of the Upper Division teams would have cruised to easy victories but that was not the case at all. Like most tournaments using the Swiss Pairing System there ware upsets. Of the nine matches only three saw total domination by the upper division. Five were hotly contested and the Lower Division teams were able to grab some points. One was a complete surprise, as the Lower Division team was able to draw the match against the team that had earlier beaten their top team.

Westview, who finished last in the upper division, faced off against LaSalle #2. Westview prevailed by a score of 3.5 to 0.5 as both of the depleted teams had to forfeit the fifth board. Sherwood #1, who finished eighth in the upper division, had a very easy time against Wilson, as their coach was out of town and their players never arrived resulting in a 5-0 forfeit win. LaSalle, #1 the sixth place finisher in the upper division, gave up a draw on first board, won the next three, and both teams took a forfeit on board 5. Cleveland, the fifth place top division team, crushed Lake Oswego #2 by a score of 5 to 0. Fourth place finisher Lincoln #1 had a tough time against the middle schoolers from Access Academy, but they prevailed 3 to 2. Third placed Horizon Christian were surprised by Clackamas #2 and drew the match by winning the bottom boards and drawing on board 3. Second place finisher Lake Oswego #1 had no problem against Sherwood, winning every board. First place finisher Clackamas #1 had their hands full against Jesuit, but Alexandra Botez defeated the previously undefeated Bryce Eng on board 1 to push Clackamas to a 3 to 2 victory.

The league also honors individual players for superior performance. Currently board leaders are as follows:

Board 1 – Bryce Eng of Jesuit with 7 wins leads Alexandra Botez of Clackamas and Hair Caushik of Westview who both have 6 wins.
Board 2 – Marcus Woltring of Horizon with 7 wins (6 on Board 2 and 1 on Board 1) leads Dmitri Murphy of Jesuit who has all 7 of his wins on Board 2.
Board 3 – Tushar Sah of Jesuit is prefect with 8 wins, and Jordan Edelson of Lincoln has 6 1/2.
Board 4 – Charles Earp of Lake Oswego has 7 wins leads Christopher DiMarco of Jesuit who has 6 1/2.
Board 5 – Kevin Rhine of Clackamas is also prefect with 8 wins leads Alexander Schoen of LaSalle who has 4.

Thirty-Five And Rainy: Report

Jan. 8, 2011. Corvallis. “Thirty-Five And Rainy” was a five-round chess team tournament, attracting seventeen teams from Tigard, Sheridan, Corvallis, and Pleasant Hill. In each round, four-player teams played matches against opposing teams, with match winners earning one point. The seventeen teams were divided into three sections based on average NWSRS ratings of the players. For purposes of section assignment and pairings, unrated players were assigned a working rating 50 points lower than the next strongest player on their team.

Advanced Section
There were six teams in the Advanced Section  (full results here):

1. Pleasant Hillbillies (1387) Caleb Kesey, Jack Dale, Quinn Stearns, Jacob Moch
2. The Mostly Awesome Team (1266) Matt Dalthorp, Ian Dickson, Leo Sun, Thomas Kneeland
3. I Don’t Think I Should Say That (1081) Carson Denison, Craig Still, Michael Hunter, Gil Parnon
4. Banner Burners (1036) Colin Malick, Brett Horton, Cody Malick, Charles Byrne
5. Veni Vidi Vici (963) Alex Leong, Sam Robbins, Leo Barrios, Kory Schneide
6. The Kings (909) John Ornes, Dyshawn Hobson, Neal Ornes, Paul Denison
Advanced Section Winners: Pleasant Hillbillies Jacob Moch, Quinn Stearns, Jack Dale, Caleb Kesey

Advanced Section Winners: Pleasant Hillbillies Jacob Moch, Quinn Stearns, Jack Dale, Caleb Kesey

The top two seeds met in the first round and battled to a draw, with the Pleasant Hillbillies winning on boards 2 and 4 and the Mostly Awesome Team winning on boards 1 and 3.  Both teams won all their remaining matches to end tied for first and second at 4.5/5. The tie-breaker was a single G/5  bughouse game, which the Pleasant Hillbillies won  with a quick checkmate to take the crown.

The Banner Burners and Veni Vidi Vici were tied at two points going into the final round. Unfortunately, the whole Delphian squad (including the Banner Burners, two full teams in the intermediate section, and an additional player in the novice section) had to leave by 5:00, and the final round would not finish until 6:00. They forfeited the final round, leaving their fifth-round opponent — “I Don’t Think I Should Say That” — with a free point to finish at 2/5 and tie with Veni Vidi Vici, who could not overcome the firepower of The Mostly Awesome Team.  I Don’t Think I Should Say That won the bughouse tiebreaker to finish in 3rd.

The Kings were a team in limbo. They were the lowest-rated team in the section by a significant margin, but they were 160 points higher rated than the #1 seed in the Intermediate Section! They fought hard, gave the Banner Burners a scare in the fourth round, but, despite some good individual performances, they were not able to score a match win.

Individual Results
Matt Dalthorp was a perfect 5/5 on board 1 for The Mostly Awesome Team. In the final round, though, Alex Leong of gave him a scare. With Matt playing white in a wild Evans Gambit, Alex won a rook for knight out of the opening, but then let Matt get connected passed pawns in the center. Matt marched them up the board, increasing the pressure with each step forward. Eventually, Alex’s defenses cracked, and one of the pawns was able to promote.

Jack Dale was a perfect 5/5 on board 2 for the Pleasant Hillbillies. His biggest scare came in the first round against Ian Dickson of the Mostly Awesome Team. Ian had a strong advantage, but Jack kept fighting and eventually won, handing Ian his only loss of the tournament.

Leo sitting between teammates Thomas Kneeland and Ian Dickson

Leo Sun was a perfect 5/5 on board 3 for The Mostly Awesome Team. Leo, a third-grader from Hoover Elementary School in Corvallis, played on a team with three high school students. He didn’t have a scare from any of his opponents, although his final game was close until his opponent blundered a rook in the late middle game. (Update: Leo DID have a scare in the second round against Brett Horton, who was up by a few pawns, but Leo maintained his cool, shredded Brett’s kingside defenses, and eventually played Qg4#.)

Jacob Moch was also undefeated, scoring 4.5/5 on board 4 for the Pleasant Hillbillies.

The biggest upset was 3rd grader Neal Ornes (816) defeating Delphian 8th grader Brett Horton (1066) in the fourth round.

UPDATE: Full individual results can be found at NWSRS.
Intermediate Section
There were six teams in the Intermediate Section (full results here):

1. Delphian Dragons (749) Michael Clarizio, Chad Platt, JJ Gonzalez, Arthur Eskandari
2. Dragons3 (695) Korbin Springer, Noah Costa-Bolton, Dakota Rockl, Gabe Sanders
3. Flaming Headless Ash-Rooks (682) Evan Kooyman, Quinn Reynolds, Trevor Wehner, Atticus Crow
4. We reject your checkmate (663) Dylan Shumway, Dohyun Park, James Santich, Daniel Kneeland
5. Zion King Crushers (611) Brian Cebra, James Peterson, Mark Dalthorp, Christopher Cebra
6. Team Name (564) Ricardo Marroquin, Deepraj Pawar, Belle Pawar, BYE

Intermediate Winners: Dalthorp, Peterson, C. Cebra, B. Cebra

Intermediate Section Winners: King Crushers Mark Dalthorp, James Peterson, Christopher Cebra, Brian Cebra

The Delphian school fielded the top two seeded teams in the Intermediate Section. The Delphian Dragons (#1 seed) won their first match was in first place through four rounds. Home team Zion King Crushers also won their first round and, after drawing in the second and third rounds, held second place after four rounds, a half point behind the Dragons (3.5/5). The Dragons and King Crushers met in the final round. The Dragons (749) were vastly higher rated than the King Crushers (611) and only needed to draw the match clinch the tournament victory. It started out well for the Dragons. On board 4, Arthur Eskandari (636) handed Christopher Cebra (486) his only loss of the day in about one minute. (Note to beginners: Scholar’s Mate can give you a quick win every once in awhile, but it if Black knows how to defend, White ends up with a lousy position.) On board 1, though, King Crusher Brian Cebra (751) notched a nearly 100 point upset over Michael Clarizio (839) to tie the match at 1-1. On board 2, King Crusher James Peterson (639) scored a nearly 200 point upset over Chad Platt (814). In the final game, King Crusher Mark Dalthorp (566) defeated JJ Gonzalez (708) to give Zion a 3-1 win in the match and first place at 4/5. Taking third place at 2.5/5 was a Cheldelin Middle School team called “We Reject Your Checkmate.”

Nc8: Belle Pawar chases a rook in her 2nd round win against Trevor Wehner, a Flaming Headless Ash-Rook

One Pleasant Hill team (called “Team Name”) had only three players and had to forfeit a point on board four every round. Their board #1 player, Ricardo Marroquin (802) was among the top-rated players in the section, but on boards #2 and #3 were new beginners, Deepraj and Belle Pawar, playing in their first tournament. Ricardo played a great tournament, scoring 4/5 — tied for the best in the section. The Pawar sisters also played very well. Despite having the decked stacked strongly against them, Team Name ended up scoring two match points and placing 4th despite having only three players. Great job!

UPDATE: Full individual results can be found at NWSRS.

Novice Section
There were only five teams in the Novice Section (full results here), so every round one team sat out with a bye. However, the players on the bye teams played rated games against teammates instead of sitting idle. The games did not count in the team standings, but players all got a chance to play a fifth rated game.

1. The Refrigerators (574) Crystal Still, Quinn Bennett, Victoria Kapple, Damia Kirsch
2. Mustangs (571) Lawson Dietz, Cody Tanz, Ethan McClelland, Michael O’Neal
3. Gameplayers (525) Trevor Thibert, Austin Cole, Foster Kirsch, Jacob Rautenkranz
4. Rock Crushers (489) Adam Strand, Laurel Soderquist, Dante DiCosmo, Juan Jose Caro
5. Terminators (400) Max Franklin, Zachary Rautenkranz, Cody Campbell, Devin Hartley

Final Round: Gameplayers vs. Mustangs

In the final round, the Gameplayers from Mountain View Elementary (Corvallis) faced the Mustangs of Metzger Elementary (Tigard) in a battle for first place. The Gameplayers won the match 4-0 and took home the gold medals.

In the meantime, the Rock Crushers got a full-point bye in the final round to move into a tie with the Mustangs for 2nd and 3rd. In the bughouse tiebreaker, the Mustangs were victorious to bring home the silver– and as an added bonus, they have a new game to teach their friends at the Metzger chess club.

The top individual score was 4/5, attained by board 1 players Adam Strand (Rock Crushers) and Crystal Still (Refrigerators), board 2 players Austin Cole (Gameplayers) and Cody Tanz (Mustangs), and board 3 player Foster Kirsch (Gameplayers).

UPDATE: Full individual results can be found at NWSRS.

Thirty-Five And Rainy: Results

Teams

UPDATE: Games are now rated and posted at NWSRS.
NOTE: Team ratings are averages of team member ratings. Unrated players are assigned a tentative rating of 50 points lower than their teammate on the next highest board (not ideal, but this is a USCF recommendation).

Advanced Section Teams
Team Name Player Name School
Gr
Rating
Pleasant Hillbillies (1387) Caleb Kesey Pleasant Hill
12
1571
Jack Dale Pleasant Hill
9
1562
Quinn Stearns Pleasant Hill
11
1253
Jacob Moch Pleasant Hill
11
1162
The Mostly Awesome Team (1266) Matt Dalthorp Crescent Valley HS
9
1592
Ian Dickson Crescent Valley HS
9
1274
Leo Sun Hoover Elementary
3
1205
Thomas Kneeland Crescent Valley HS
9
994
I don’t think I should say that (1081) Carson Denison Cheldelin Middle School
8
1249
Craig Still Cheldelin Middle School
8
1167
Michael Hunter Cheldelin Middle School
8
1088
Gil Parnon Cheldelin Middle School
8
821
Banner Burners (1036) Colin Malick Delphian
12
1075
Brett Horton Delphian
8
1066
Cody Malick Delphian
12
1040
Charles Byrne Delphian
8
963
Veni Vidi Vici (963) Alex Leong Pleasant Hill
9
1141
Sam Robbins Pleasant Hill
10
954
Leo Barrios Pleasant Hill
11
905
Kory Schneider Pleasant Hill
9
852
The Kings (909) John Ornes Mountain View Elem.
5
1141
Dyshawn Hobson Mountain View Elem.
5
980
Neal Ornes Mountain View Elem.
3
816
Paul Denison Mountain View Elem.
3
700
Intermediate Section Teams
Delphian Dragons (749) Michael Clarizio Delphian
9
839
Chad Platt Delphian
7
814
Jose Jaime Gonzalez Delphian
9
708
Arthur Eskandari Delphian
7
636
Dragons3 (695) Korbin Springer Delphian
7
845
Noah Costa-Bolton Delphian
8
786
Dakota Rockl Delphian
5
622
Gabe Sanders Delphian
4
528
The Flaming Headless Ash-Rooks (682) Evan Kooyman Ashbrook
4
845
Quinn Reynolds Ashbrook
1
726
Trevor Wehner Ashbrook
4
604
Atticus Crow Ashbrook
4
unr
We reject your checkmate (663) Dylan Shumway Cheldelin Middle School
7
733
Dohyun Park Cheldelin Middle School
7
706
James Santich Cheldelin Middle School
7
694
Daniel Kneeland Cheldelin Middle School
7
520
Zion King Crushers (611) Brian Cebra Zion
6
751
James Peterson Zion
6
639
Mark Dalthorp Zion
6
566
Christopher Cebra Zion
4
486
Team Name (564) Ricardo Marroquin Pleasant Hill
9
802
Deepraj Pawar Pleasant Hill
9
unr
Belle Pawar Pleasant Hill
7
unr
BYE Pleasant Hill
9
0
Novice Section Teams
The Refrigerators (574) Crystal Still Mountain View Elem.
4
807
Quinn Bennett Delphian
2
607
Victoria Kapple Homeshool
5
444
Damia Kirsch Mountain View Elem.
4
438
Mustangs (571) Lawson Dietz Metzger Elem.
4
731
Cody Tanz Metzger Elementary
5
567
Ethan McClelland Metzger Elementary
3
unr
Michael O’Neal Metzger Elementary
3
unr
Gameplayers (525) Trevor Thibert Mountain View Elem.
3
594
Austin Cole Mountain View Elem.
3
555
Foster Kirsch Mountain View Elem.
5
551
Jacob Rautenkranz Mountain View Elem.
3
400
Rock Crushers (489) Adam Strand Zion
2
823
Laurel Soderquist Metzger Elementary
5
428
Dante DiCosmo Zion
4
unr
Juan Jose Caro Delphian
4
unr
Terminators (400) Max Franklin Mountain View Elem.
3
549
Zachary Rautenkranz Mountain View Elem.
2
400
Cody Campbell Mountain View Elem.
3
unr
Devin Hartley Mountain View Elem.
3
unr

Team Results

Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy Teams: Advanced
Name Rating
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Pleasant Hillbillies 1387
D2
W4
W3
W5
W6
4.5
2
The Mostly Awesome Team 1267
D1
W6
W4
W3
W5
4.5
3
I Don’t Think I Should Say That 1081
W6
L5
L1
L2
X4
2
4
Veni Vidi Vici 963
L4
W3
W6
L1
L2
2
5
Banner Burners 1036
W5
L1
L2
W6
F3
2
6
The Kings 909
L3
L2
L5
L4
L1
0
Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy Teams: Intermediate
Name Rating
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Zion King Crushers 611
W5
D6
D4
W3
W2
4
2
Delphian Dragons 749
W6
W3
W5
D4
L1
3.5
3
We Reject Your Checkmate 663
W4
L2
W6
L1
D5
2.5
4
Team Name 752
L3
L5
D1
D2
W6
2
5
The Flaming Headless Ash-rooks 682
L1
W4
L2
D6
D3
2
6
Dragons3 695
L2
D1
L3
D5
L4
1
Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy Teams: Novice
Name Rating
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Gameplayers 525
B—
W5
L3
W4
W2
4
2
Mustangs 571
W5
D3
W4
B—
L1
3.5
3
Rock Crushers 489
L4
D2
W1
W5
B—
3.5
4
The Refrigerators 574
W3
B—
L2
L1
W5
3
5
Terminators 400
L2
L1
B—
L3
L4
1

Individual Results

NOTE: Games are not yet rated (as of 1/9/2011).

Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy: Advanced
#
Name
Rtng
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Matt Dalthorp 1592
W5
W20
W14
W12
W19
5
2
Jack Dale 1562
W6
W23
W13
W15
W17
5
3
Leonardo Sun 1205
W8
W22
W21
W9
W16
5
4
Jacob Moch 1162
W10
W18
D11
W7
W24
4.5
5
Caleb J Kesey 1571
L1
W14
W12
W19
W20
4
6
Ian Dickson 1274
L2
W17
W23
W13
W15
4
7
Kory Schneider 852
D18
W11
W24
L4
W10
3.5
8
Quinn Stearns 1253
L3
W21
L9
W16
W22
3
9
Michael Hunter 1088
W22
L16
W8
L3
X21
3
10
Thomas Kneeland 997
L4
W24
W18
W11
L7
3
11
Gil Parnon 821
W24
L7
D4
L10
X18
2.5
12
Carson Denison 1249
L20
W19
L5
L1
X14
2
13
Craig Still 1167
W17
L15
L2
L6
X23
2
14
Cody Malick 1040
W19
L5
L1
W20
F12
2
15
Sam Robbins 954
W23
W13
L17
L2
L6
2
16
Leo Barrios 905
L21
W9
W22
L8
L3
2
17
Dyshawn Hobson 980
L13
L6
W15
D23
L2
1.5
18
Charles Byrne 963
D7
L4
L10
W24
F11
1.5
19
Alex Leong 1141
L14
L12
W20
L5
L1
1
20
John Ornes 1141
W12
L1
L19
L14
L5
1
21
Brett Horton 1066
W16
L8
L3
L22
F9
1
22
Neal Ornes 816
L9
L3
L16
W21
L8
1
23
Colin Malick 1075
L15
L2
L6
D17
F13
0.5
24
Paul Denison 700
L11
L10
L7
L18
L4
0
Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy: Intermediate
# Name Rtng
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Ricardo Marroquin
802
W18
L7
W17
W8
W21
4
2
Arthur Eskandari
636
L5
W15
W22
B—
W3
4
3
Christopher Cebra
486
W22
W5
B—
W15
L2
4
4
James Peterson
639
W13
W23
L12
D6
W16
3.5
5
Gabe Sanders
528
W2
L3
D15
W22
B—
3.5
6
Dohyun Park
unr.
W12
W16
W23
D4
L13
3.5
7
Evan Kooyman
845
L17
W1
L8
W21
W18
3
8
Michael Clarizio
839
W21
W18
W7
L1
L17
3
9
Jj Gonzalez
708
W19
W10
L14
W20
L11
3
10
James Santich
694
W20
L9
W19
L11
W14
3
11
Mark Dalthorp
566
L14
L19
W20
W10
W9
3
12
Deepraj Pawar
unr.
L6
L13
W4
W16
W23
3
13
Quinn Reynolds
726
L4
W12
L16
D23
W6
2.5
14
Trevor Wehner
604
W11
L20
W9
D19
L10
2.5
15
Daniel Kneeland
520
B—
L2
D5
L3
W22
2.5
16
Chad Platt
814
W23
L6
W13
L12
L4
2
17
Brian Cebra
751
W7
L21
L1
L18
W8
2
18
Dylan Shumway
733
L1
L8
W21
W17
L7
2
19
Dakota Rockl
622
L9
W11
L10
D14
D20
2
20
Belle Pawar
unr.
L10
W14
L11
L9
D19
1.5
21
Korbin Springer
845
L8
W17
L18
L7
L1
1
22
Atticus Crow
unr.
L3
B—
L2
L5
L15
1
23
Noah Costa-bolton
786
L16
L4
L6
D13
L12
0.5
Standings. Thirty-Five And Rainy: Novice Section
# Name Rtng
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Rd 5
Tot
1
Adam Strand
823
L2
W16
W14
W19
W7
4
2
Crystal Still
807
W1
L9
W16
W14
W19
4
3
Cody Tanz
567
W20
W7
W17
W8
L4
4
4
Austin Cole
555
W10
W20
L7
W17
W3
4
5
Foster Kirsch 551
U—
W18
W13
W6
W11
4
6
Victoria Kapple
444
W13
W17
D11
L5
W18
3.5
7
Laurel Soderquist
428
W17
L3
W4
W20
L1
3
8
Ethan McClelland
unr.
W18
W15
W9
L3
L10
3
9
Damia Kirsch
438
W15
W2
L8
L10
D12
2.5
10
Jacob Rautenkranz
400
L4
D12
L15
W9
W8
2.5
11
Michael O’Neal
unr.
W12
L13
D6
W16
L5
2.5
12
Devin Hartley
unr.
L11
D10
D19
W15
D9
2.5
13
Dante DiCosmo
unr.
L6
W11
L5
W18
D15
2.5
14
Trevor Thibert
594
U—
W19
L1
L2
W16
2
15
Juan Jose Caro
unr.
L9
L8
W10
L12
D13
1.5
16
Lawson Dietz
731
W19
L1
L2
L11
L14
1
17
Quinn Bennett
607
L7
L6
L3
L4
W20
1
18
Cody Campbell
unr.
L8
L5
W20
L13
L6
1
19
Max Franklin
549
L16
L14
D12
L1
L2
0.5
20
Zachary Rautenkranz
400
L3
L4
L18
L7
L17
0

Portland League At Half-Time

by Ed Addis.

The Portland Area League met on January 5th to play the 7th and final round of their round robin tournament (in two divisions), marking the end of the first half of the season.

In the Upper Division first place Clackamas cruised passed fourth placed Lincoln by a score of 4 to 1. Second place Lake Oswego had their hands full against third placed Horizon Christian as they lost the top two boards, but their bottom three boards came through for the match victory. Fifth place Cleveland drew with sixth placed LaSalle and eight placed Sherwood took down seventh placed Westview by a score to 4 to 1 with the victory on 5th board due to forfeit. The pairings for the last round of this round robin tournament appear to be the type of pairing you would expect to see in a tournament using the Swiss System, however, this is the way they just happened to come out. The pairing numbers were drawn randomly before the start of the tournament and — what do you know — every team had a chance to improve (or fall) in the last round.

UPPER DIVISION FINAL STANDINGS

Place Team Match Points
1 Clackamas #1 6
2 Lake Oswego #1 5 1/2
3 Horizon 4
4 Lincoln #1 3 1/2
5 Cleveland 2 1/2 (Cleveland won the tie breaker with 15 game points to LaSalle’s 13.5)
6 LaSalle #1 2 1/2
7 Sherwood #1 2 (Sherwood won the tie breaker by winning their head-to-head match)
8 Westview 2

In the Lower Division first place Jesuit continued their dominance with a 5-0 drubbing of fifth place Lake Oswego. Second place Sherwood dropped the top board to sixth place Lincoln but won the rest. Third placed Clackamas beat up on eighth placed LaSalle, 5-0. Fourth placed Access Academy won by forfeit against seventh placed Wilson as they unfortunately never arrived.

LOWER DIVISION FINAL STANDINGS

Place Team Match Points
1 Jesuit 7
2 Sherwood #2 5
3 Clackamas #2 4 (Clackamas won the tie breaker by winning their head to head match)
4 Access Academy 4
5 Lake Oswego #2 3
6 Lincoln #2 2 (Lincoln won the tie-breaker by winning their head to head match)
7 Wilson 2
8 LaSalle #2 1

Next week the two division will be combined into a single section with the final 7 rounds of played using the Swiss Pairing System. The league will use two modifications to the normal Swiss pairings. The first modification is that teams from the same schools will not met. The other modification is that the pairing numbers assigned will not based upon a team’s average rating, but on their finish in the just completed round robin tournaments with the Upper Division assigned pairing numbers 1 – 8, the lower 9 – 16.

The League also intends to award individuals for their superior performance. Currently the following players are leading on their respective boards:
Board 1 — Bryce Eng of Jesuit has been prefect with 7 wins. Alexandra Botez of Clackamas and Hari Caushik of Westview have 5.
Board 2 — Gavin Megson of Clackamas and Markus Woltjer of Horizon Christian have 6 wins (5 on Board 2 and 1 on Board 1). They lead Dmitri Murphy who has all 6 of his wins on board 2.
Board 3 — Tushar Sah of Jesuit is also prefect with 7 wins. Jordan Edelson of Lincoln has 5.5 and Joel Porter of Lake Oswego has 5.
Board 4 — Christopher DiMarco of Jesuit has 6 wins and a draw. Guihao Chen of Clackamas has 5 wins which actually counts more the 6 wins of Charles Earp of Lake Oswego.
Board 5 — Kevin Rhine of Clackamas also has 7 wins. Alex Schoen of LaSalle has 4 and so does Lindsay LoBasso of Sherwood.

I am sure you need a little explanation on how in the world Mr. Chen with 5 wins could possibly be ahead of Mr. Earp. Well our League adopted a method of weighing each board differently. Since we play only one game a week and our rules state that if a member of your team is missing then everyone moves up a board. So if your first board does not make the meet then your 2nd board player must play board 1, and so on. If your school has two teams and your 5th board on team #1 is missing then your board 1 player on team #2 becomes your 5th board on team #1 and of course everyone on team #2 will be move up a board also. We have found that it is nearly impossible for many (if any) teams to go through our four month schedule without some players missing. Additionally, some players improve their chess playing ability and want/should play on a higher board. Some of the students improve vastly over this four month period. The weighting of each board is as simple (or complicated) as powers of 0.8. In other words a win on board 1 is worth 1 point, while a win on board 2 is worth 0.8 points, board 3 is worth 0.64, and so on.

To get back to how can Mr. Chen be ahead of Mr. Earp…
Mr. Chen has 3.104 points earned from a win on board 2, two wins on board 3, and two wins on board 4. Mr. Earp has earned 3.072 points as all 6 of his points came from wins on board 4. Since only half the season has been completed it is very likely that there will be changes to the leaders for each board. If Mr. Chen continues his success he will not even be eligible for a 4th board award as he just took over the second board, and players are eligible for board prizes only for the board that they played most frequently.

Winter All-Stars List

The Winter All-Stars list is posted. The All-Stars lists include the top ten active Oregon players in each grade. To be eligible for the list, players must have played at least one rated game (NWSRS or USCF) between August 28 and December 31.

In comparing the new list to last winter’s, it is clear that Oregon scholastic chess is getting stronger, especially at the higher grade levels. OSCF is now six years old, and a large number of Kids that grew up with the organization are in high school — and it shows. The rating of the tenth highest-rated player in grades 6-12 has increased an average of 78 points in the past year. The change has been especially dramatic in middle school, where the average #10 is 139 points higher than last year’s. What that means is that there are a lot more strong Oregon middle school and high school players now than there were a year ago, and it is much harder to make the All-Star lists this year. The average ratings of the #10s in the lower grades are somewhat lower than last year’s, which is due to a few less big scholastic tournaments this fall compared to last year.

Kudos to all the All-Stars for their great performances and accomplishments!

Special note for those with vast ratings improvement over the past year:

Seniors
At 2093, Daniel Gay continues to top the list and inches closer to the 2200 mark where he would earn the title “National Master.” Exploding onto the list this winter with huge ratings increases:
#6. Jon Reeves: 313 point increase (1011 -> 1324)
#9. Alex Raabe: 235 point increase (1045 -> 1270).

Juniors
#5. Gabe Petegorsky: 231 point increase (1219 -> 1450)
#10. Lane Putas: new to the competitive chess scene, but he is already making a splash in cracking the top ten list (1238).

Sophomores
#1. Alexandra Botez: 186 point increase (1805 -> 1991)
#7. Collin Goldman: 580 point increase (868 -> 1448)

Freshmen
#1. Calvin Parnon: 322 point increase (1454 -> 1776)
#8. Zach Koontz: 202 point increase (1090 -> 1292)

8th Grade
#4. Dmitri Murphy: 455 point increase (1057 -> 1512)
#5. Takuma Sato-Duncan: New player at 1474
#7. Jacob Slavik: New player at 1380
#9. Peter Kleier: 324 point increase (1015 -> 1339)

7th Grade
#1. Dhruva Chatterjee: 259 point increase (1294 -> 1553)
#4. Brian Yang: 792 point increase (568 -> 1360)
#8. Clemen Deng: 627 point increase (688 -> 1315)

6th Grade
#4. Dillon Winter: 193 point increase (1105 -> 1398)
#7. Venkat Doddapaneni: 617 point increase (685 -> 1302)

5th Grade
#1. Maxwell Sun: 200 point increase (1502 -> 1702)
#4. John Ornes: 231 point increase (986 -> 1217)
#6. Leo Deng: 307 point increase (883 -> 1190)
#7. Simon Chow: 296 point increase (835 -> 1131)
#10. Dyshawn Hobson: 428 point increase (587 -> 1015)

4th Grade
#1. Liam Booth: 253 point increase (1219 -> 1472)
#2. Seth Talyansky: 512 point increase (860 -> 1372)
#6. Hansen Lian: New player at 1018.
#7. Keshave Siddhartha: 398 point increase (593 -> 991)
#8. Grant Chen: 545 point increase (434 -> 979)

3rd Grade
#1. Leonardo Sun: 215 point increase (990 -> 1205)
#4. Jeffery Sun: 221 point increase (830 -> 1051)
#5. Marshall Xu: 593 point increase (400 -> 993)
#6. James Maslen: New player at 868
#9. Derek Liu: 207 point increase (557 -> 764)
#10: Samantha Huffman: 261 point increase (502 -> 763)

2nd Grade
#1. Colin Liu: New player at 1083
#2. Jolan Hutchinson: 380 point increase (652 -> 1032)
#3. Kevin Dai: 344 point increase (616 -> 960)
#6. Nikhil Samudrala: New player at 812
#7. Jack Woo McClain: 205 point increase (572 -> 777)
#8. Aidan Gardner-O’Kearny: New player at 746
#9. Kira Dobbins: 273 point increase (400 -> 673)

1st Grade
#1. Praveer Sharan: 232 point increase (1070 -> 1302)
#2. Ankur Moolky: New player at 1112
#3. Quinn Reynolds: 233 point increase (601 -> 834)
#4. Fedor Semenov: New player at 802
#5. Kushal Pai: New player at 768
#7. Ella Flett: New player at 536

Full list here.

Coquille Valley Chess Tournament

By Nancy Keller

Better than in-school detention, this week there was an in-school chess tournament at Coquille Valley Middle School.

For kids, it gave them the chance to skip classes with a valid excuse and play for the “giant candy bar” prizes.

Some Elementary School Players Showing Off Their Prizes

Some Elementary School Players Showing Off Their Prizes

For Coach Keller, it gave her an opportunity to test interested chess players skills and start eyeing those with the potential of being on this year’s state team.

“I realize some kids play just to skip classes but I am always amazed that a proportion of them become very interested in chess after the fun tournament, especially when they discover they have talent. This tournament, everyone gets to play and not depend on transportation issues or weekend family plans. This allows me to find those hidden gems of excellent chess players.” With nearly seventy participants, the tournament was held in the cafeteria until lunch and then played in sections for the afternoon in the smaller art room. To finish the chess tournament, the elementary players gave up Friday’s lunch recess. Lynn Kindred and Angelina Perkins helped supervise and officiate disputed games and moves. It was a tournament filled with excitement and as always, has generated strong
interest in chess.

“I suspect a lot of these kids will be asking their parents and family to play them chess this Christmas vacation and I hope Santa has a lot of chess development computer games and books!”

Coqulle Chess Club Junior High Chess Champion: Aaron Grabinsky
Coquille Chess Club Elementary Chess Champion: Josiah Perkins
Coquille Valley Middle School Junior High Chess Champion: Jace Sperling
Coquille Valley Intermediate School Elementary Chess Champion: Ted Wright

Eighth Grade:
1st place: Sarai Perkins
2nd place: Kaitlyn Davidson, Seth Lambson
3rd place: Jordan Isenhard

Seventh Grade:
1st place: Aaron Grabinsky
2nd place: Emily Terry, Tyler Neuschwander, Noelani Daily
3rd place: Devon Berg, Kyle Bowman

Sixth Grade:
1st place: Jace Sperling, Kaden Johnson
2nd place: James Hopper, Tyler Overby, Jay Bussen
3rd place: Emily Clemons, Kaleb Flores, Dillon Chambers, Mason Collard

Fifth Grade:
1st place: Dustin Neuwirth
2nd place: Jake Hurt
3rd place: Grady Hampel, Ben Lack, Jakob Grant

Fourth Grade:
1st place: Jed Wright
2nd place: Kassidy Duke
3rd place: Taylor Waleke

Third Grade:
1st place: Sam Huffman
2nd place: Hannah Perkins, Caleb Prince
3rd place: Trinity Frye, Peyton Forbes, Jacob Warren

Corvallis Winter Open

The Corvallis Winter Open was a hotly contested battle between 18 players, with a median rating 1611 and all players rated over 1150. Several Oregon juniors joined in fray: Calvin Parnon (9th grade, Crescent Valley HS + homeschool), Max Sun (5th grade, Hoover Elementary), David Wen (8th grade, Cheldelin MS), Matt Dalthorp (9th grade, Crescent Valley HS), Caleb Kesey (12th grade, Pleasant Hill HS), Leo Sun (3th grade, Hoover Elementary), and Craig Still (8th grade, Cheldelin MS).

It was a Sunny mid-December day, as all three Suns (father Bing and sons Max and Leo) put in great performances. By rating, fifth grader Max was in the middle of the pack at 1647 USCF (1702 NWSRS), but he ended up tied for third place at 3.5/5. He beat old-timer Harry Demarest in an entertaining Petroff’s defense — Harry’s favorite. You may be thinking, “The Petroff? Entertaining? What planet are you from?!” Standard Petroff may be dull, but Max played Cochrane’s gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7) — a great psychological ploy against Petrov aficionados, who tend to relish stodgid* play. By sacrificing a knight for two pawns and a wide open position, Cochrane’s gambit is anything but stodgid. It may not be the most sound opening in the repertoire but it guarantees a lively game and forces Black to play well outside his or her comfort zone. With clever tactics in the center, Max overwhelmed Harry’s defenses, making the veteran look like a patzer. Nice job, Max.

When I submitted the results to USCF, I got a warning message about Leo Sun in response: “Possible Bad ID: Player’s performance rating is more than 500 points above his current rating.” HA! USCF obviously doesn’t know Leo very well, or they wouldn’t be surprised at his performance. This was a very tough tournament for a third grader, but after losing games to two players who were way higher rated (900 points USCF, 450 points NWSRS), Leo won against an evenly matched opponent and then drew against a much higher rated opponent in the final round.

Bing Sun, who is well-known in Oregon scholastic chess for his TDing work, proved himself to be a fine chess player too. In his first USCF-rated tournament, he earned an initial provisional rating of 1795.

One of Bing’s two losses was against 8th grader David Wen who finished the day tied for Max in third place.

12th grader Caleb Kesey was a 260 point underdog against Robert Hughes in the third round. He stumbled into an opening trap in a peculiar line of the French defense and lost his queen for a rook and knight. But Caleb has a steady mind and doesn’t get flustered easily. He kept fighting. In a chaotic time scramble, he pushed two passed pawns relentlessly up the board. By the time he got both pawns to the 7th rank, he had only 34 seconds left on his clock, but his opponent only had 2 seconds left. Caleb wins.

9th grader Matt Dalthorp faced tournament ratings favorite Jacob Reid (1898 USCF) in the first round. Jacob played the slightly off-beat Kupreichik variation of the Sicilian defense. Unfortunately for Jacob, he did not get castled fast enough and left Matt just enough time to launch a winning assault against the king. After black’s 12th move Bxg4, they arrived at the position in the diagram with white to move.

White to move and win

On his previous move Black had captured the g4 pawn, thinking that if white captured the bishop, he could recapture with his knight to fork the queen and bishop. Black would regain the piece and win two pawns to boot. But Matt found a winning line for white: e5! Black recaptures the pawn Nxe5, but this rips open the position when white is fully developed with his pieces aiming at the black king. Black is several moves behind in development, and his king is stuck in the middle. First the black bishop falls: 14. fxg4 Nxg4 15. Qe2 Nxe3 16. Qxe3. Now, White is threatening the rook on a8, so 16…Rb8. Completely winning here would be 17. Bc6+ Nxc6 18. Nxc6 Qb6 19. Qe4 etc, but good enough was what Matt played: 17. Qxe5 dxe5 18. Bc6+ Qd7 19. Bxd7+ Kxd7 20. Nxb5+. White is up a piece for two pawns but has the stronger position. However Black has a mass of passed pawns in the center, and many counter-chances. Matt ended up making a few inaccuracies in the endgame and lost in a heart-breaker.

Full results at USCF.

* If “stodgid” is not a real word, it ought to be. It is an adjective describing Petrov’s defense as it’s intended to be — solid, but dull, drawish, and perhaps even stultifying.