Unrated Rapid (February 2): This month’s edition was run by Lennart Bjorksten. There were six players and it was run as a five round round-robin. William Holloran and Omurbek Kobonov tied for first with 4/5, with Omurbek winning their matchup in round 2. They were both eligible to select a book as a prize and William did while Omurbek graciously allowed Havish Sripada, who finished in third, to select a book in his place.
Oregon Closed (Championship & Invitational) (February 9-10; 16-18): This year’s tournament was played at the Portland Chess Club and sponsored by the Oregon Chess Federation. Mike Hasuike was the TD for the rounds on the Saturdays and the one round on Monday and Greg Markowski was the TD for the rounds on the Sundays. Due to the TD’s not being FIDE arbiters, the tournament unfortunately was only US Chess rated and not also FIDE rated. This year the time control was changed from 40/120,SD/55;d5 to 40/90,SD/30;inc30 so the players wouldn’t have to suffer through two, six-hour games a day for four days and because most players prefer a thirty-second increment since it mitigates time pressure situations and ensures they get a full record of the game (notating is required for every move of the game when there is an increment of at least thirty seconds). We also generally collect a copy of all the games at this tournament which is another good reason for the thirty second increment. The total prize fund was increased 50% from $600 to $900 and each prize, first through third in each section, was increased 50%. NM Jason Cigan won the Championship section with 8/9 (and no losses) to become Oregon State Champion for the first time. Jason won $375, the title of 2019 Oregon State Champion, gets his name inscribed on the State Championship perpetual trophy, an automatic seed into the Championship section of the Oregon Closed in 2020, and gained around 35 rating points. LM Carl Haessler finished second with 7/9 and won $150. NM Lennart Bjorksten finished third with 5.5/9 and won $75. Konner Feldman and Andrea Botez tied for first in the Invitational section with 6/9, with Andrea winning their matchup in round 4. They split the first and second place cash prizes, each winning $131.25, and share the title of 2019 Oregon Invitational Winner. On tiebreaks, Andrea gets the seed into the Championship section of the Oregon Closed in 2020. Andrea also gained around 95 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. Jerry Sherrard and Carl Koontz tied for third with 5.5/9. They split the third place prize, each winning $18.75. We thank Paul Shannon (from Bend) and Michael Moore (from Corvallis) for making the long trip two weekends in a row to play in this tournament. Note that the qualifying rules for the second section of the 2020 Oregon Closed, renamed from the Invitational to the Challengers, have been changed to make the qualifying tournaments more meaningful. See the new rules here.
Game in 60 (February 23): This month’s edition was run by Mike Hasuike with assistance at registration from Jon Strohbehn. There were thirty-one players which is a good turnout, even more so considering the Sunday Quads were the day after. We thank Subramanyam Sripada for playing an extra rated game in rounds one and four, the rounds were there were an odd number of players overall playing. NM Jason Cigan swept the thirteen player Open section with a perfect 4-0 and won $64. Grisha Alpernas (from Salem), Raj Kodithyala, Kushal Pai, and Yu-Cheng Liang tied for second with 2.5/4. They split the second overall and 1st U1850 prizes, each winning $21. Kushal also achieved his 5th, 2nd Category norm and thus was awarded the 2nd Category title. Ishaan Kodarapu won the eighteen player U1650 section with 3.5/4, winning $64, gaining around 145 rating points, and achieving a new peak rating. Jacob Hoglund, Ken Harry, and Gregory Post tied for second with 3/4. They split the second overall, 1st U1450, and 1st U1250 prizes, each winning $38. Gregory gained around 60 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Ken gained around 45 rating points. Other big rating gains and new peak ratings in the U1650 section were achieved by Evan Franchere (around 250 rating points), Wyatt Mischler (around 100 provisional rating points), and Bradley Larson (around 35 provisional rating points). There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Henry Lindeman.
Sunday Quads (February 24): This months edition was on the fourth Sunday in the month, a week later than usual, due to the Oregon Closed being at the PCC facility on the third and second weekends in the month and the Superbowl being on the first Sunday. The tournament was run by Micah Smith with assistance at registration from Mike Lilly. There were fifteen players, which is a good turnout considering the Game in 60 was the day before. Five of the players who had played in the Game in 60 the day before also played in the Sunday Quads. We thank Subramanyam Sripada for playing as a house player to make the field even and avoid byes (and he ended up winning his quad with 2.5/3, gaining around 115 rating points, and achieving a new peak provisional rating! As a house player, he was ineligible for prizes). The field was split into four quads. We try to avoid family members who don’t want to have to play against each other from having to do so by putting the family members in the group of five to seven if the number of players isn’t divisible by four or by combining two quads if necessary but unfortunately with the number of players and spread in ratings, we couldn’t do that this month. Zoey Tang swept quad 1 with a perfect 3-0. winning a book as well as a trophy as a scholastic player who won her section with 3 points. Ryan Lu won quad 2 with 2/3, winning a book as well as a medal as a scholastic player who won his section with 2 points. Since Subramanyam played as a house player, the discounted entry and book prizes in quad 3 went to the second place finisher, Hector Reyes, who finished with 2/3. Anisha Sripada swept quad 4 with a perfect 3-0 and won a book and a trophy. Benjamin Springall gained around 70 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating in quad 4. There were two players playing in their first US Chess rated tournament, father and son Jordan and Lyndon Neufeld.
Tuesday Quads (February 5-26): This month’s edition was run by Mike Morris and got a good turnout of fourteen players. Due to the spread in ratings, it was split into two quads and a six-player Swiss among the bottom six players. The players in the Swiss decided to play four rounds (there were four Tuesdays in February). NM Jason Cigan, Brian Esler, and NM Mike Janniro tied for first in quad 1 with 2/3. They each had one win and one loss against each other. Dave Murray and Abbie Wu tied for first in quad 2 with 2.5/3. They drew their matchup in round one. Abbie also gained around 55 rating points. Dale Wentz and Patrick Morrissey tied for first in the Swiss with 3/4, with Patrick winning their matchup in round 4. Patrick also gained around 70 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Dale gained around 40 rating points.