Portland Spring Open (March 14-15): With Neil Dale unable to direct, Micah Smith and Mike Lilly stepped in to run this annual event. Thirty-one players competed this year, eighteen in the Open section and thirteen in the Reserve (U1800) section. With no players in the U1200/Unrated category and the only player eligible for the U1400 prize tying for first in the reserve section, these two cash prizes were redistributed evenly among the other cash prizes. Lennart Bjorksten won the Open section with 4.5/5, winning $129.50 and achieving a new peak rating. With the win, Lennart qualifiers for the Oregon Invitational Tournament but would have almost definitely qualified for the Invitational anyway based on rating and will likely qualify for the Oregon State Championship which runs alongside the Invitational. Jerry Sherrard finished second with 4/5 and won $90.50. Brent Baxter, from Olympia, won the U2000 prize of $71.25 with 3.5/5. Kian Patel, who played up in the Open section, gained almost 100 rating points and a new peak rating. David Murray gained almost 60 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. The Reserve section ended in a tie with 4/5 between Jack McClain and Conor O’Sullivan, both from Eugene. Jack won their match-up in round 4. Conor tied for first despite being the lowest rated player in the entire tournament with a provisional rating of 1270 based on 24 games. Both players took home $80.75 and achieved new peak ratings. Danny Phipps won the U1600 prize of $51.25 with 3.5/5 and achieved a new peak rating. Jerrald Richards gained over 50 rating points, achieved a new peak rating, and achieved his 5th, 3rd category norm which gives him the 3rd category title. Geoff Kenway brought some excellent chocolate cake on Sunday to share with everyone for his birthday. The attendance at the Spring Open was down slightly this year, likely due to the fact that the tournament conflicted with the Chess for Success State Championship, one of the two biggest annual scholastic tournaments in Oregon. We will look to avoid conflicting with this tournament in the future.
Quad 45 (March 21): This months edition started the second year of this tournament. Eighteen players competed in three quads and a 6-player Swiss. The tournament was run, as always, by Micah Smith and Mike Lilly. Starting this month, the delay was increased from the traditional five seconds to the new trend of ten seconds. Some organizations, such as the Continental Chess Association which runs most of the big money tournaments in the US such as the World Open and North American Open, have recently begun using ten second delay on a regular basis. It helps make time scrambles not as messy and did so in several games in this event. Jason Cigan and Moshe Rachmuth tied for first in the top quad with 2/3. They drew their matchup in round 1. Praveer Sharan won the second quad with 2.5/3, gained over 70 rating points, and won a medal as a scholastic player. Jazon Samillano won the third quad with 2.5/3. Nathaniel John, an up and coming scholastic player playing in his first USCF event, and Ben Tan tied for first in the Small Swiss and both won medals. They drew their matchup in round 3.
Saturday Blitz (March 21): Six players competed this month so it was run as a double round robin. For the second time, Jason Cigan swept the blitz with a perfect 10-0. Jason has won or tied for first all three times we have run the Saturday Blitz so far.
Game in 60 (March 28): Mike Lilly ran this months Game in 60 which got an excellent turnout of thirty-nine players, matching last years excellent turnout in March. FM Nick Raptis (as usual) and LM Carl Haessler tied for first with perfect 4-0 scores and split the first and second place prizes, each taking home $98. Jason Cigan finished third with 3.5/4 and won $59. Andrea Botez and Colin Liu split the U1800/unrated prize with 3/4, each winning $35. Michael Moore, who was playing in his first USCF rated tournament, Aaron Probst, and David Roshu, who was playing in his first PCC and “adult” tournament, split the U1500/unrated prize with 2/4, each taking home $23. Valentin Molchaov played well, beating an expert, drawing a Class A player, and gaining around 60 rating points. There was one player playing in his first USCF rated tournament, Michael Moore. There was discussion about using accelerated pairings or splitting up the tournament into two sections to try and avoid multiple perfect scores and allow players to play more similarly rated opponents. We will consider these options for future Game in 60 tournaments.
Tuesday Quads (March 3-31): Mike Lilly ran this months Tuesday Quads. There were eight players and was split into two sections based on rating. There were five Tuesdays in March and the players agreed to play six games in double round robin format. Lennart Bjorksten won the upper quad with 5.5/6, raising his rating over 2200 for the first time and gaining the National Master title. Arliss Dietz and Hugo Hartig tied for first in the lower quad with 4/6. Arliss scored 1.2/5 against Hugo.