Blitz at Seaside

Shake off those pre-tournament jitters by playing in the blitz tournament Friday afternoon. Check-in by 4:00 at the B-hive. Games as soon as possible after that (usually 4:30 or 4:45). Blitz is almost exactly like regular chess except you have to make all your moves in just five minutes and if you catch your opponent making an illegal move, you win! Most games end when a king is captured (an emphatic way of saying, “Illegal move! I win!”) or when a player runs out of time.

Brief summary of rules:
1. G/5 time control with no delay. There’ll be a clock on every board, and players must complete all their moves within five minutes. If you run out of time, you lose (unless your opponent doesn’t have enough fire power left on the board to checkmate).
2. “Release move” is in effect. A move is determined when a player takes his or her fingers off the piece.
3. Penalty for illegal moves is loss of game. For example, if your opponent moves into check, you can win by capturing his or her king.

With one exception (“release move” instead of “touch move”), USCF rules governing G/5 blitz are in effect.

Friends & Family Tournament at Seaside

The Friends and Family tournament is open to anyone of any age who is not participating in the championship but knows the rules of chess and would like to play. It will be held in the green Game in 30 room. The format will be either round robin or Swiss, depending on number of participants, and sections may be split by age or rating. There will modest cash awards for top performers and tokens of participation for all. All games will be NWSRS rated, and USCF rules of play apply.

If you would like to play, purchase tickets at the “B” Hive on Friday or the OSCF store in the Skittles room on Saturday Morning. The cost is $10.00. The only information we need is your first and last name (print legibly please) and your approximate rating.

Please report to the playing room at least 5 minutes before the start of each round, and Good luck!

Chess + Foreign Exchange

Chess + Foreign Exchange = Fun for your family & Fun for your club

NW Services PEACE Program has several exchange students, like Lukas from Germany and Anh from Vietnam, who would enjoy playing chess during their school year in the US. Almost anyone can host an international teen. They need a bed, meals and loving support. They have insurance and an allowance for all other expenses.

You can see all student profiles at
New ones will come in through April.

If you can welcome an international chess player to your home and club please contact Nancy.

The Final Top 25 List…

…before State is now posted. Alexandra Botez (Clackamas) tops the list of active NWSRS players at just under 2000. Not surprisingly, over half are from the Portland metropolitan area, but also strongly represented are small Corvallis (four of the top seven), smaller Pleasant Hill (two in top 25), and Eugene (two in top 25). Also cracking the list are Joshua Luce from the rising chess powerhouse of Klamath Falls and Roseburg’s Drew Coughlin.

OHSCTA Championship (updated)

The Oregon state high school team championship was contested Friday and Saturday, March 11-12 in Sherwood, Oregon. A total of 219 players participated (WAY up from the 171 in 2010 and 2009) in four different sections: Varsity Team, JV Team, Open Team, and Individual.

In the Varsity section, Cottage Grove played a fantastic tournament. After defeating Willamette High School (Eugene) in the first round, they went on to beat the top three seeds in the next three rounds: 3-2 over Clackamas, 3.5-1.5 over Crescent Valley, and 3-2 over Pleasant Hill. In the final round, they tied with defending champion and fourth seed Lake Oswego 2.5-2.5.

Crescent Valley fielded an all-freshman team which came in second place overall in the Varsity division. (Rumor has it that next year’s team will be even stronger.)

Defending champion Lake Oswego settled for third.

Individual, rated results are posted at NWSRS. A more complete summary of team results can be found at the OHSCTA website for full team results.

Results Posted; Finalist List Updated (Updated)

Results from the eight events last week have been posted at NWSRS (including results from Grizzly Classic). So far this year there have been 67 OSCF qualifiers, and there are four more on the calendar. The list of players who have qualified for the State Championship has grown to a record 376.

Qualifiers this week:
OHSCTA State HS Team Tournament, Sherwood, March 11-12
Lucky Leprechauns, Klamath Falls, March 12, 2011
Grizzly Classic, Salem, March 12
Clatskanie Last Chance, Clatskanie, March 11
Chess Odyssey Friday Quads, Beaverton, March 11
Chess Vision Quads, Portland, March 13

Other rated events:
Clatskanie Inhouse March, Clatskanie, March 10
Rieke In-House, Portland, March 10


On Saturday, March 5th, the Clatskanie Chess Mates held their first OSCF qualifier tournament since re-forming the club in the fall of 2010. Nine players from Corvallis, Tigard, and Portland joined nine local Clatskanie players in a smoothly run event. New Clatskanie TDs Lynn Wiles and Frank Bechdoldt are planning to run two more qualifiers before the state championship and to bring several Clatskanie players to Seaside. Tigard chess dad Steve Cousineau stepped in with much appreciated help at critical moments.

Players were nicely divided into three six-player sections to play round robins. Results:


Sierra and Zia showing off their trophies

1st Place – Zia Wiles, 7th Grade, Clatskanie
2nd Place – Andrew Cousineau, 8th Grade, Tigard
3rd Place – Sierra Bechdoldt, 5th Grade, Clatskanie

Novice A
1st Place – Andy Bechdoldt, 5th Grade, Clatskanie
2nd Place – Andrew Martin, 2nd Grade, Corvallis
3rd Place – Tim Cousineau, Grade K, Tigard

Novice B
1st Place – Robert Cousineau, 5th Grade , Tigard
2nd Place – Jesse Norgren, 5th Grade, Clatskanie
3rd Place – Ethan Wright, 5th Grade, Corvallis

In addition to the traditional trophies for highest-scoring players, awards were also given for other virtues as well.

Best Notation – Alba Martin, 4th Grade, Corvallis
Alba meticulously and consistently entered her moves in a hardcover notation book. Very neat. Very conscientious.

Best Handshake – Sierra Bechtold, 5th Grade, Clatskanie
Sierra’s winning personality is on a two-tournament win streak for Best Handshake. Palm-to-palm, firm grip, good eye-contact, friendly expression, pleasant voice…the perfect handshake!

Norgrens with their trophies: Jesse with 2nd place, Reilly with Best Sportsmanship

Best Sportsmanship (the biggest trophy, in the spirit of Kate Taylor) – Reilly Norgren, 1st Grade, Clatskanie
Reilly knows how to have fun. She was cheerful and energetic all day, but she was not the least bit disruptive to her opponents or other players. She also diligently and carefully notated her games. Reilly is a remarkable young girl — a well-deserved, biggest trophy for sportsmanship.

Denker Qualifier at Seaside

More great news for Oregon HS players! This year the HS Elite section will serve as Oregon’s Denker Qualifier tournament. Each state may nominate one HS player to compete in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Orlando, Florida, July 30-August 2, 2011. The winner of the HS Elite section at Seaside will be nominated as Oregon’s representative to the Denker. Participants in the Denker in Florida receive at least $100 in travel expenses from the organizers. The winner in Florida receives a $68,000 scholarship to University of Texas at Dallas. The event is timed so that players who play in the Denker may also play in the US Open while they are in Orlando.

Coquille Adult and Scholastic

by Nancy Keller

Kids eyes bulged when they saw the beautiful trophies that Oregon First Community Credit Union had donated for the Coquille Scholastic and Adult Chess Tournament on February 26. Kids had come for different reasons to this tournament but they were definitely excited about the trophies. Some were preparing for upcoming State team competitions while others were trying to qualify for OSCF Seaside State individuals championships.

Elementary Division Winners

In the elementary section, Coquille’s second grader, Joshua Grabinsky, and Bandon’s fourth grader, Marino Santoro, fought it out once again for the top slot. This time Joshua managed to beat out Marino for the first place trophy, with Marino winning second. Members of Coquille’s Elementary Team came for practice and to fight out for board positions on the team. JJ Newman won third place, Samantha Huffman won fourth place and Dustin Neuwirth won fifth place. Although Joshua Grabinsky would be a worthy member of the Coquille elementary team, the rules are that all team members must be students of the same school building and with Coquille’s K-2nd graders in Lincoln, he is unable to go this year. However, he will most likely be on the team next year. Josiah Perkins is first board of Coquille’s elementary team but his strength put him in the elite division where he tied for first place with Joshua’s older brother Aaron Grabrinsky. They split the $60 cash prize for first place. Aaron Grabinsky is first board for Coquille’s middle school team demonstrating superior strength will be on first board for both teams. Kaden Johnson, the middle school alternate won second place in the elite division also earning a cash prize.

Upper Division Winners

Myrtle Point put in a strong showing in the uppers divisions. Matthew Crim won first place in the high school division and Michael Schrader and Chase Kulm won first and third place in the junior high division. Myrtle Point is in its first year of developing a chess team. North Bend had Jordan LeBlanc win third place in the high school division. Tanner Flood won the alternate slot for the Coquille High School Varsity team as he placed second in the high school division. Two brave adults played in the upper division with the middle and high school players getting in their licks. Ben Thurman, this being his first chess tournament, won three games and the first place Adult trophy.

Coquille is sending a boatload of players to CFS in Portland and OHSCTA in Sherwood. To fund these trips, the Coquille Chess Club put on a very successful Mexican Dinner Fundraiser that same evening. Some of the chess team members forfeited their last games so they could prepare the fundraiser which was a full house. Food and raffle items were generously donated by the community and $5 tickets for a delicious dinner were a big hit for the community.

Finalist List Updated (Updated)

So far this season, there have been 58 qualifier tournaments rated (and results from PCC G/60 from 2/26 and from Chess Vision Quads 2/27 are expected soon). The finalist list of players who have qualified to play in the OSCF State championship in Seaside April 1-2 has swelled to 304.

To qualify for the Championship, players must meet three general criteria:

  1. Age & Residency: Open only to Oregon students in grades K-12.
  2. Participation: Play in at least two “2011 OSCF State Qualifier” tournaments.
  3. Experience: Earn an established NWSRS or US Chess Federation rating, i.e. play at least 15 NWSRS or 26 USCF rated games lifetime.

For details, visit the “To Qualify” page at