3rd Annual Rose City Sectionals (July 8-9): This year’s Sectionals were moved from May to July due to the OSCF state Championship being in May and thus creating no open weekends for the Sectionals in May (we had the monthly Quad 45 and Game in 60 in May and we avoided competing with the Washington Open). A number of new ideas were incorporated into this year’s Sectionals. The most current (“live”) US Chess regular ratings were generally used for section eligibility, pairings, and prize eligibility instead of the supplement ratings to help put players in more appropriate sections, have them be eligible for more appropriate prizes, and help have better pairings. The time control was changed from G/120;d15 to G/90;inc30. There were two main reasons for the switch to increment. One is that increment is more fair than delay. For example, with a fifteen second delay, a player who uses one second for a move will have the same amount of time remaining for the game as a player who uses fifteen seconds, which doesn’t seem right. The other reason is that increment helps mitigate time pressure a lot better than delay. Making the increment thirty seconds helps mitigate time pressure significantly and also gets all the games to be fully notated as notating is required for the whole game, even when a player is under five minutes, under US Chess rules when their is an increment of at least thirty seconds. The change from G/120;d15 to G/90;inc30 does shorten the length of most games but this was done on purpose so the days wouldn’t be as long and grueling and players who finished their games early wouldn’t have to wait around as long for the second round each day. The prize fund was restructured to include a third place prize in each section. A player can do very well but still finish third in their section. These players should win a prize. This year one player went 3-1 and finished third in his section. In the first two editions of the Sectionals, trophies were awarded to any scholastic player who won money as a bonus prize. This year trophies were awarded to any scholastic player who scored at least 2.5/4 as a bonus prize. This was done for practicality. Once a scholastic player finishes their last game, they know immediately if they have scored well enough to be able to select a trophy instead of possibly having to wait and see if they are going to win money and thus also be able to select a trophy. Due to needing to make more money off the tournament, the entry fee was raised by $5. To offset this somewhat, a perfect score bonus prize of a $35 discount (which amounts to free entry into the tournament if you are a PCC member) into next year’s Sectionals was added for any player who went 4-0. Nobody in the first two editions of the Sectionals managed to go 4-0 but this year three players went 4-0! In the event sections were combined this year, the prizes would no longer remain separate as was done the first two years. If sections are combined and a player from a lower section does well enough to finish in line for one of the bigger prizes from a higher section, they should be eligible for that prize. This year’s edition got thirty-nine players and for the first time their were enough players in each section that none of the sections had to be combined! The tournament was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Mike Hasuike, who also played in the event. NM Jason Cigan swept the ten player Open section with a perfect 4-0, beating the other two National Masters in the field and finishing a point and a half ahead of second place! Jason won $125 and the perfect score bonus prize. NM Matt Zavortink and Ethan Wu tied for second with 2.5/4. They split the second and third place prizes, each winning $73. Ethan also won a trophy. Carl Koontz and Danny Phipps split the U2100/unrated prize with 2/4, each winning $22. Will Holloran swept the seven player U1900 section with a perfect 4-0, beating the two players who tied for second and third and two of the players who tied for fourth! Will won $114, the perfect score bonus prize, and gained around 135 rating points which was more than enough to put his rating over 1800 for the first time. David Bannon, who came from Alsea (around two hours south of Portland) to play in the tournament, and David Murray tied for second with 2.5/4 and split the second and third place prizes, each winning $63. Abbie Wu, who was playing up two sections by playing in the U1900 section, gained around 40 rating points. John Rolston and Mike Hasuike tied for first in the six player U1700 section with 3.5/4. They drew their match-up in round 3. They split the first and second place prizes, each winning $86. Mike has gained around 95 rating points while John gained around 70. Brian Berger finish third with 3/4, winning $47 and gaining around 45 rating points. David Roshu and Ethan Zhang, who was playing up a section, tied for first in the five player U1500 section with 3/4. Ethan won their match-up in round 3. They split the first and second place prizes, each winning $78 and a trophy. Calvin Chang, who was also playing up in the U1500 section, finished third with 2.5/4, winning $43 and a trophy, and gaining around 50 rating points which was enough to achieve a new peak rating. Cassandra Roshu swept the eleven player U1300 section with a perfect 4-0, beating the two players who tied for second and third and two of the players who tied for fourth! Cassandra won $86, a trophy, and the perfect score bonus prize, and gained around 45 rating points. Pierre Hadrien-Beauchet and Arlo Maslen tied for second with 3/4 and split the second and third place prizes, each winning $41 and a trophy. Ethan Truong, Patrick Morrissey, Nick Major, Nesara Shree, who was playing in her first US Chess rated tournament, and Christopher Morrissey split the U1100/unrated prize with 2/4, each taking home $8. Nick also added around 200 points to his provisional rating while Christopher added around 90 points to his provisional rating, enough for both of these players to achieve new peak ratings. There was one other player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Russell Tennant.
Quad 45 (July 15): This month’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Gregory Markowski, who also played in the event to make the numbers even and avoid byes. The tournament got thirty-two players, tied with the July 2014 edition for record attendance at the Quad 45! (and the main reason the July 2014 edition got such a higher number is because a number of players from one scholastic club came and played). Brother and sister David and Cassandra Roshu ended up in the same quad. We would have adjusted things to try and avoid them from having to play each other if they wanted but they said they didn’t care if they had to play each other. FM Nick Raptis won quad 1 with a perfect 3-0. He gave his book he selected as a prize to Isaac Vega. Ethan Wu and Michael Moore tied for first in quad 2 with 2/3. They drew their match-up in round 1. They both won a book as well as a medal as scholastic players who won their section with 2 points. Michael also achieved a new peak rating and has now gained rating points in the last seven US Chess rated tournaments he has played in! James Tsai won quad 3, in which three of the players were within five rating points of each other, with 2.5/3. James won a book and gained around 40 rating points which was enough to achieve a new peak established rating. Idhant Bhat, a player visiting from Texas, won quad 4 with 2.5/3, gaining around 65 rating points and winning a small trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with 2.5 points. He declined to select a book. Fedor Semenov and Cassandra Roshu tied for first in quad 5 with 2/3, with Fedor winning their match-up in round 2. They both selected medals and Fedor also selected a book while Cassandra declined to take a book. They both also achieved new peak ratings and for Fedor it was his 6th straight tournament where he gained rating points and achieved a new peak rating! David Ma and Patrick Morrissey tied for first in quad 6 with 2/3, with David winning their match-up in round 1. They both won books and David was also eligible to select a medal but declined. Patrick also gained around 70 rating points and achieved a new peak established rating. Chad Lykins won quad 7 with a perfect 3-0, winning a book and adding around 140 points to his provisional rating which was more than enough to achieve a new peak rating. Henry Westlund won quad 8 with 2.5/3, winning a book and small trophy. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Jo Jo from Tacoma. Starting next month the Quad 45 tournament is moving from Saturday to Sunday and is being renamed Sunday Quads. The main ideas behind moving the tournament to Sunday are so we have a weekend tournament that accommodates players who can’t play on Saturday and players who would like to be able to use Saturday to relax and prepare for a tournament after a long work or school week.
Portland Rapid and Blitz Championships (July 22): This is the second year these tournaments have been held. They were organized and run by Micah Smith with assistance at the tournament from Mike Janniro, who also played in both events. Several new ideas were incorporated into this year’s edition. One was that increment was used instead of delay on the time controls. The main reason for the switch to increment is that increment is more fair than delay. For example, with a five second delay, a player who uses one second for a move will have the same amount of time remaining for the game as a player who uses five seconds, which doesn’t seem right. Another reason for the switch to increment in regards to the rapid was to help mitigate time pressure situations. The blitz was expanded from an 8-round double Swiss to a 9-round double Swiss to help more players get an established blitz rating. If a player has no US Chess blitz rating but has a US Chess regular rating, they are generally started in the blitz system with their regular rating and the rating is made based on ten games, assuming the regular rating is based on at least ten games (see the links page for more specifics on how players are initially seeded into the blitz system). A player has to get to twenty-six games to get an established rating. Expanding the blitz to eighteen rounds allows a player who is seeded into the blitz system with their regular rating made based on ten games to get an established blitz rating from the event even if they receive a bye and only plays sixteen games. Last year there were three players who were seeded into the blitz system with their regular rating made based on ten games but they all received byes and thus none of them got an established blitz rating from the event. The highest of a player’s most current (“live”) US Chess regular, quick, and blitz rating was generally used for pairings and prize eligibility instead of the supplement ratings to help have players be eligible for more appropriate prizes and help have better pairings. Eleven players played in the rapid, unfortunately down one player from last year. NM Jason Cigan finished first with 4/5 and won $36. Ethan Wu finished second with 3.5/5, winning $25 and gaining around 35 quick rating points which was enough to achieve a new peak quick rating. Karl Cosner, Mike Hasuike, and Eric Erard split the U2000/unrated and U1700/unrated prizes with 3/5, each taking home $13. Eric also gained around 150 quick rating points and achieved a new peak quick rating. Ethan Truong won the U1400/unrated prize with 3/5, winning $14 and gaining around 100 quick rating points which was enough to achieve a new peak quick rating. Fourteen players played in the blitz, up three players from last year. FM Nick Raptis repeated as the Portland Blitz Champion, edging out NM Jason Cigan in a close race. Nick went 16/18 and won $46. NM Jason Cigan finished second with 15/18 and won $32. Karl Cosner and Clemen Deng split the U2100/unrated prize with 11.5/18, each taking home $13. Eric Erard and Michael Moore split the U1800/unrated prize with 9/18, each taking home $11. Eric also gained around 175 blitz rating points and achieved a new peak blitz rating. Ethan Truong and Nick Major split the U1500/unrated prize with 3/18, each taking home $9.
Tuesday Quads (July 11-27): This month’s edition started a week later than usual to avoid playing on the 4th of July. It was run by Mike Morris and got an excellent turnout of sixteen players. The bottom two quads were combined into an 8-player, 3-round Swiss to try and avoid some family members from having to play against each other. NM Jason Cigan swept the tough top quad, in which all four players were National Masters and rated 2000+, with a perfect 3-0. Karl Cosner swept the second quad with a perfect 3-0. Despite being around 400 points lower rated than the other three players in quad 2, Brian Berger competed well, tying for second and gaining around 65 rating points. Arlo Maslen won the Swiss with a perfect 3-0, gaining around 165 rating points and a new peak rating. Hugo Hartig, Gregory Markowski, and Chad Lykins tied for second in the Swiss with 2/3. Chad also added around 80 points to his provisional rating and achieved a new peak rating. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Carter Lykins.
Game in 60 (July 29): This month’s edition was run by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Isaac Vega, who was assisting as a TD for the first time. Isaac also played an “extra game” against two of the players who received byes. There were twenty-one players so the tournament was run in one section. NM Jason Cigan, NM Matt Zavortink, and Mike Goffe tied for first with 3.5/4. They split the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, each winning $45.50. Mike also gained around 35 rating points. Masakazu Shimada won the U1800/unrated prize with 3/4, winning $36.75 and gaining around 50 rating points. Robert Bowden, Raj Kodithyala and Hansen Lian split the U1500/unrated prize with 2/4, each taking some $12.25. Raj also gained around 70 rating points, achieving a new peak rating, and has now gained rating points in his last five US Chess rated events which total around 295 points! Robert achieved his 5th, 4th Category norm and thus was awarded the 4th Category title. Another nice rating gain was achieved by Michael Moore, who gained around 45 rating points and got his rating over 1800 for the first time. Starting next month, the time control at the Game in 60 is changing from G/60 with a five second delay to G/60 with a five second increment and the prize distribution when there are two sections is changing so more players have a better chance of winning a prize. See the G/60 ad for details.