Portland Spring Open (March 12-13): This year’s edition was run by Mike Janniro with assistance from Mike Lilly. The rounds on Sunday were scheduled at 11am and 3:15pm, an hour later than usual, due to the start of daylight savings time. There were thirty-five players, twenty-three in the Open and twelve in the Reserve (U1800). The Open was led by five 2100’s and nine players played up in the open section. Starting with last year’s Summer Open we made a good change to allow a half point bye in round five (instead of just two half point byes for rounds 1-4) at the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Opens to accommodate those who can’t play round the last round (all of our other tournaments that allow half point byes were already currently allowing one for the last round). A handful of players took a half point bye on the last round and several players who couldn’t play on Sunday at all took half point byes for rounds four and five. Jason Cigan won the open with 4.5/5 and won $131. With the win, Jason qualifies for the Oregon Invitational Tournament but he already qualified for the invitational as the highest finishing Oregon resident at the Gresham Open (see the January 2016 archives). However, 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. NM Lennart Bjorksten, Phillip Seitzer, Jose Gatica, Brent Baxter (from Olympia), and Corey Tache tied for second with 3.5/5. Lennart, Phillip, and Jose split the second place prize, each winning $29, while Brent and Corey split the U2000 prize, each winning $33. Brent also won the U2000 prize at last year’s Spring Open (see the March 2015 archives). Big rating gains in the open section were achieved by Jake Winkler (around 90 points, enough to achieve a new peak rating) and Brian Berger (around 80 points), both of whom played up in the open section. Jazon Samillano won the reserve with 4/5 and won $88. Stephen Buck (from Tacoma) and Nyamdorj Javkhlantugs tied for second with 3.5/5 and split the second and U1600 prize, each winning $55. Jyamdorj also gained around 65 rating points which was more than enough to achieve a new peak rating. Collin Anderson, who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, won the U1200/unrated prize of $44 with 2/5. Jimmy Dee was the highest scoring player who was eligible for the $44 U1400 prize at the start of the tournament. However, since he withdrew for the last round he is ineligible for prizes under PCC policy and the US Chess rulebook recommendation for failing to complete the tournament. Thus, the prize went to Konner Feldman with 1/5.
Quad 45 (March 19): This month’s edition started the third year of this tournament. It was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Mike Lilly and had eighteen players in three quads and a six-player Swiss. The majority of the time that we’ve had a five to seven player section at the Quad 45, it’s been made up of the lowest five to seven players since there has often been multiple family members in this group who otherwise would have been in the same quad and have been forced to play. Being in a five to seven player Swiss doesn’t guarantee the family members won’t play each other (we will generally pair them if they are the only ones undefeated going into the last round, for example) but there is a good chance they won’t have to. Trying to avoid family members from playing wasn’t an issue this month and the six-player Swiss was made up of the players ranked 5-10 since this made all the sections the most even in terms of rating. Starting this month, we are giving a $5 discount on the entry fee for each additional family member that plays and lives in the same household. The Quad 45 is suppose to be a lower cost tournament ($15 entry and $10 for PCC members, no state membership requirement, free entry for players unrated in US Chess so they only have to pay for US Chess membership) but it gets more expensive if you are paying for multiple family members. Father and son Bob and Geordyn Allyn and sisters Megan and Erin Cheng both took advantage of this discount. At the January Quad 45, Nicholas Gyde played in his first US Chess rated tournament so he should have gotten free entry but we accidentally charged him a $15 entry fee. He attended this month’s Quad 45 and we were going to refund the $15 but he graciously said we could keep it as a donation to the club. Danny Phipps won the top quad with 2/3 and won a book. James Hansen won the Swiss with a perfect 3-0 and gained over 100 rating points which was more than enough to put his rating over 1600 for the first time. James has gained around 100 rating points both times he has played in the Quad 45 (see the July 2015 archives for the other time he played the Quad 45). He won a book and was also eligible to receive a trophy as a scholastic player but declined. Brian Berger finished second in the Swiss with 2/3 and gained over 40 rating points, a week after gaining around 80 rating points at the Spring Open. Kushal Pai won the second quad with 2.5/3 and increased his peak rating he achieved at the February Game in 60 (see the February 2016 archives). Starting last month, we began awarding smaller trophies to any scholastic player who wins or ties for first in their section with 2.5 (and continued to award relatively bigger trophies to scholastic players who go 3-0 and medals to scholastic players who win or tie for first with 2 or 1.5). Thus, Kushal won a smaller trophy in addition to a book. David Prideaux gained a nice 40 rating points in quad 2. Egan Wong won quad 3 with 2.5 and won a book and a small trophy.
Saturday Blitz (March 19): We have decided to start rotating the time control for this tournament between G/3;d2, G/3;+2, and G/5;d0 instead of using G/3;d2 exclusively. G/3;d2 is a good mix between G/3;+2 and G/5;d0 but some still have a strong preference for G/3;+2 or G/5;d0 and we felt it would be good to accommodate everyone. We decided to start the rotation with G/3;d2 since this month’s edition of the tournament was only a week away and it had already been advertised that G/3;d2 would be used when we decided to rotate the time control. The Saturday Blitz of the website will list the time control being used each month. There were five players so Micah Smith played as a house player to make it an even number and avoid byes. Thus, it was run as a six player double round robin in one section. Micah Smith and NM Benedict Smail tied for first with 7.5/10. Micah went 1.5/2 against Benedict. Micah has at least tied for first in all five of the Saturday Blitz tournaments he has played in. Since Micah played as a house player, Benedict gets the $5 discounted entry into one of the next six Saturday Blitz tournaments. Will Holloran had no blitz rating and was started in the blitz system with his regular rating (which is usually how players with no blitz rating are started in the system, click here for more specifics) which was around 1200 and based on five games from one tournament back in 2012. He scored two wins over experts and a win over a class A player, showing he has improved a lot and is much better than his pre-event rating or even his post event rating in the 1500’s.
Game in 60 (March 26): This month’s Game in 60, run by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Mike Lilly, got an excellent turnout of thirty-nine players, matching the excellent attendance at the March G/60 the last two years. Due to the turnout, it was split into two sections with the top twenty rated players in the upper section and the bottom nineteen players in the lower section. Andrea Botez won the upper section with 3.5/4, winning $97.50 and gaining around 115 rating points! Ryan Richardson, Phillip Seitzer, and Mike Janniro tied for second with 3/4 and split the second and third place prizes, each winning $32.50. Isaac Vega gained around 65 rating points which was more than enough to achieve a new peak rating. Sean Uan-Zo-Li won the lower section with a perfect 4-0, winning $84.50 and gaining around 140 rating points. He also achieved his 5th, 4th category norm and thus was awarded the 4th category title (his performance was good enough that he achieved a 3rd category norm as well). James Hansen and Michael Moore split the second place prize with 3.5/4, each winning $22.75. They drew each other in round 4. James increased his peak rating he achieved a week earlier at the Quad 45 while Michael gained around 60 rating points. Carter Lancaster won the U1400/unrated prize with 3/4, winning $65 and gaining around 140 rating points. Megan Cheng gained around 60 rating points while Mir-Yusef Langroodi added around 175 rating points to his provisional rating. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Hunter Key. Note that the next two G/60’s are a week earlier than usual.
Tuesday Quads (March 1-29): With Mike Morris out of the country for most of the month, Mike Lilly stepped in to run this months Tuesday Quads. Mike also played in the event. There were nine players and was split into two round robins, one with the top four players who had ratings ranging from around 1900-2400, and the other with the remaining five players who had ratings ranging from around 1300-1600. NM Lennart Bjorksten won the upper section with a perfect 3-0. Greg Markowski won the lower section with 4.5/5, gaining around 80 rating points and achieving a new peak rating.