Gresham Open (January 2-3): This year’s Gresham Open, played as usual at Mount Hood Community College, was directed by Mike Morris and got forty-one players. Unfortunately the snow forced a number of players to withdraw after the first day (and Mike followed the PCC policy and the US Chess rulebook recommendation that players who fail to complete the tournament are ineligible for prizes). The under prizes for the Gresham Open have traditionally been at U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600, and U1400. It was decided there was no need for a U2200 prize since players in the 2100’s compete for the top three prizes (as has been demonstrated the last few years at the Gresham Open). Therefore, the prizes were bumped down 100 points to U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, and U1300/unrated. We don’t have many tournaments with prizes at these cutoffs so this gave some players a better chance at winning a prize than they usually have. This is one reason we started the Rose City Sectionals tournament last year (see the May 2015 archives). Last year the time control for the Gresham Open was changed from 40/90,SD/30;d5 to G/120;d5 since many players expressed they preferred G/120;d5. This was continued this year. For the second straight year, FM Nick Raptis finished first, this time going 5-0 and wining $239.17. Nick has now won the last six PCC tournaments outright (see the December 2015 archives)! FM Bill Schill, from the Seattle area, and Jason Cigan split the second and third places prizes, each winning $128.12. The tournament was a qualifier for the 2017 Oregon Invitational Tournament. As the top Oregon finisher, Jason qualifiers for the invitational but he certainly would have qualified for the invitational anyway based on rating and will likely qualify for the state championship which runs alongside the invitational. Brent Baxter, from Olympia, Alan Rhoades, who gained around 65 rating points, and Jack McClain, a player from Eugene who gained around 100 rating points, each won $85.42 for 1st U2100, 1st U1900, and 1st U1700 with 3.5/5. Paul Bartron, from Tacoma, Danny Phipps, Roland Eagles, who gained around 50 rating points, and David Yoshinaga each won $30.75 for 2nd U2100 and 2nd U1900 with 3/5. Ari Bluffstone won the 2nd U1700 prize of $61.50 with 2.5/5. Geoff Kenway won the 1st U1500 prize of $85.42 with 2/5. Jerrold Richards and Nicholas Richardson split the 2nd U1500 prize, each taking home $30.75. Harry Buerer won the 1st U1300/unrated prize with 1/5. There was nobody eligible for the 2nd U1300/unrated prize and it was not awarded. Revanth Pothukuchi achieved his 5th, 3rd category norm and thus was awarded the 3rd category title.
Quad 45 (January 16): This month’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Mike Lilly at registration. Starting this year, the Quad 45 is a Northwest Chess Grand Prix event. The decision to make it a grand prix event was made mainly to give back to the players who support chess in the Northwest a lot and perform well. Also, if the PCC is going to participate in the Grand Prix, it seems odd to have one of our regular, well-attended monthly weekend tournaments not be a Grand Prix event. There were seventeen players at this month’s Quad 45 and was split into three quads and one five player Swiss. The bottom five players was made the Swiss so there would be a chance sisters Megan and Erin Cheng wouldn’t have to play against each other. Brian Berger and Arliss Dietz had the exact same rating and were at the cutoff between quads 2 and 3. Brian agreed to play in Quad 2 while Arliss agreed to play in Quad 3. There were more chess books donated to the club that we added to the supply of chess books that we are awarding as an additional prize at the Quad 45, while the supplies lasts, to anyone who wins or ties for first in their section. Danny Phipps swept Quad 1 with a perfect 3-0, gaining almost 60 rating points and getting his rating over 1900 for the first time. He declined to take a book. Johnathan Hurkett and Brian Berger tied for first in Quad 2 with 2/3, both gaining around 45 rating points. Johnathan won their match-up in round 3. Jack Johnson won Quad 3 with 2.5/3 and gained around 110 points to his provisional rating. Robert Bowden won the Small Swiss with 2.5/3 and won a medal as a scholastic player. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Nicholas Gyde.
Saturday Blitz (January 16): There were only four players so the entry fee was waived and TD Micah Smith played as a house player so there would be enough players to play 5 double rounds without anyone having to play an opponent more than twice. Micah Smith won with a perfect 10/10. Since Micah was a house player, Nicholas Richardson and Robert Bowden, (who gained around 200 blitz rating points!), split the discounted entry prize for tying for second with 6/10.
Portland Chess Club Annual Membership Meeting (January 16): The annual membership meeting, which selects the board members for the year and allows anyone to share ideas on improving the club, took place after the Saturday Blitz and was very sparsely attended. Lennart Bjorksten went from vice president to president. Micah Smith went from post 2 to vice president. Mike Morris remains the treasurer and secretary. Mike Janniro went from president to post 1. Danny Phipps joins the board, replacing Jason Cigan, and will be post 2. Although not an official board position, Mike Lilly agreed to be the tournament coordinator. He also brought up plans to make the PCC library more accessible.
Tuesday Quads (January 5-24): This months edition had eight players and was run by Mike Lilly, who also played in the event. FM Nick Raptis won the upper quad for the second straight month, his time going 3-0, and has now outright won the last seven PCC tournaments he has played in! Hugo Hartig and John Anderson, who added around 70 rating points to his provisional rating, tied for first in the lower quad with 2/3, with John winning their matchup in round 1. However, since John failed to complete the tournament by forfeiting his last round game, he is ineligible for prizes under PCC policy and the US Chess rulebook recommendation. Thus, Hugo gets the full $10 discounted entry prize to himself.
Game in 60 (January 30): This month’s Game in 60 was run by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Mike Morris at registration. Lennart also played an extra game in the last round to avoid a bye. The tournament got an excellent turnout of thirty-two players so it was split into two sections of sixteen at the midpoint of the players based on rating. FM Nick Raptis swept the top section with a perfect 4-0 and won $80. Nick has outright won the last eight PCC tournaments he has played in! Jason Cigan, Owen McCoy, from Eugene, Steven Witt, and Roland Eagles split the second and third place prizes, each taking home $20. Steven also got his rating over 1900 for the first time. Arliss Dietz gained around 50 rating points, going 1-1-2 against four players higher rated. Aaron Probst won the lower section with 3.5/4, won $70, and gained almost 80 rating points which got his rating above 1500 for the first time. Dale Wentz, Hansen Lian, Jerrold Richards, and Megan Cheng tied for second with 3/4 and split the second and U1400/unrated prizes, each winning $22.50. Jerrold and Megan both gained around 60 rating points. Other nice rating gains were achieved by Sean Uan-Zo-Li (around 50 points) and Phillip Vianna (who added around 85 points to his provisional rating). There were two players playing in their first US Chess rated tournament, Sean Cvetkovic and Pranav Kawatra.