Unrated Rapid (December 1): For the second straight month, Mike Morris stepped in to direct this tournament with Lennart Bjorksten unable to do so. There were originally eight players and Mike Morris stepped in as a house player starting in round two after a player withdrew. Brian Elser swept the field with a perfect 6-0 and won a book. Despite not playing the first round, Mike Morris finished second with 4/6 (4/5 in games he played).
2018 World Chess Championship Discussions (November 12, 19, 26, and December 3):
Portland Winter Open (December 8-9): Starting with this year’s Portland Spring Open, we changed the format of our four seasonal tournaments to have two rounds per day at G/90;inc30 (see the Portland Spring Open report in the March 2018 archives for more on the new format and why we changed to this format). Mike Morris ran this year’s tournament on Saturday and Mike Janniro ran the tournament on Sunday. Mike Lilly assisted with registration on Saturday. There were thirty-three players. Karl Cosner swept the eleven player Open section with a perfect 4-0, winning $123.75 and gaining around 50 rating points and achieving a new peak rating. He also qualifies for the Oregon Invitational Tournament, although he definitely would have qualified anyway based on rating. William Holloran finished second with 3/4, winning $82.50 and gaining around 45 rating points. Ethan Wu and Zoey Tang split the 1st U2000 prize with 2.5/4, each winning $30.93. Ronald Kirsch, from Tacoma, swept the twenty-two player Reserve (U1800) section with a perfect 4-0, winning $82.50. Eric Erard, James Tsai, Ethan Zhang, and Neena Feldman tied for second with 3/4. They split the second overall and 1st U1600 prizes, each winning $25.78. Adhith Srikanth won the 1st U1400 prize of $41.25 with 2.5/4. Sudarshan Gokul, Victor Diego, Dustin Herker (from Coquille), Bo-Bae Yu, and Riley Jones (from Coquille) split the 1st U1200/unrated prize, each pocketing $8.25. Bo-Bae also gained around 365 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating, Riley also gained around 105 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating, and Sudarshan also gained around 40 rating points. Athmay Anantha gained around 35 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating.
Sunday Quads (December 16): This month’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Mike Hasuike. It got a good turnout of twenty players and was split into five quads. We thank Sophie Beauchet for agreeing to play as a house player to make the field even. Zoey Tang won quad 1 with 2.5/3 and won a book as well as a small trophy as a scholastic player who won her section with 2.5 points. This is the third straight month Zoey has at least tied for first in the top section at this tournament. James Tsai swept quad 2 with a perfect 3-0, winning a book and gaining around 80 rating points. Ryan Lu won his quad at this tournament for the second straight month, this time sweeping quad 3 with a perfect 3-0, winning a book as well as a trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with 3 points. He also gained around 75 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. Pierre-Hadrien Beauchet won quad 4 with 2.5 and won a book and a small trophy. Thomas Schuff swept quad 5 with a perfect 3-0 and won a book and a trophy.
Tuesday Quads (December 4-18): This month’s edition was run by Mike Morris and got ten players. It was split into a quad with the four highest rated players and a three round Swiss among the other six players (the Swiss was essentially limited to three rounds with the fourth Tuesday in the month being Christmas day). Ryan Richardson won the quad with 2.5/3. Steve Surak and Isaac Vega tied for first in the Swiss with 2.5/3.
The US Team at the 2018 Chess Olympiad-a discussion by team captain John Donaldson (December 21):
Game in 60 (December 29): We started a new format for the Game in 60 this month. The format used over the last several years was to have one section if there were less than thirty players and split the field into two sections at the midpoint based on rating if there were at least thirty players. The new format always has two sections at Open and U1650. The ideas behind switching to this new format is that most players prefer two sections, players will know what the format is beforehand, and it allows players to play up. We think the Open and U1650 cutoff is a good break in terms of level and will generally make the sections pretty even in terms of the number of players in each section. We added a $5 play-up fee to mitigate the possibility of too many players choosing to play up. The prize fund was done as follows: $300 based on 30 entries (any play-up fees are added to the prize fund). Open section: 1st-$60, 2nd-$40, 1st U1850/unrated-$35; U1650 section: 1st-$60, 2nd-$40, 1st U1450/unrated-$35, 1st U1250/unrated-$30. This month’s edition was run by Mike Hasuike with assistance at registration from Jon Strohbehn, who also played in the event. It got an excellent turnout of thirty-four players. We thank Jimmy Daniel, who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, for playing as a house player. NM Michael Pendergast won the twelve player Open section with 3.5/4 and won $70. Isaac Vega finished second with 3/4, winning $47 and gaining around 50 rating points. James Grehan and Alex Yeo split the 1st U1850/unrated prize with 2.5/4, each winning $21. James also gained around 90 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Alex gained around 45 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. Lucas Baker swept the twenty-two player U1650 section with a perfect 4-0, winning $70, gaining around 135 rating points, and achieving a new peak rating. Pierre-Hadrien Beauchet finished second with 3.5/4 and won $47. Ishaan Rao and Jerrold Richards split the 1st U1450/unrated prize with 2.5/4, each winning $21. Jerrold also gained around 35 rating points. Andrei Stancescu won the 1st U1250/unrated prize with 2.5/4, winning $35, gaining around 35 rating points, and achieving a new peak rating. Other big rating gains in the U1650 section were achieved by Jacob Boxer (around 125 points to his provisional rating) Prajna Sripathi (around 65 points and a new peak provisional rating) Mark Wang (around 50 points and a new peak rating) and Derek Heath (around 45 points to his provisional rating). There was one other player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Joel McEntire.