Unrated Rapid (March 2): With Lennart Bjorksten out of town, Mike Morris stepped in to direct this month’s Unrated Rapid. There were three players so Mike played to make it four. It was run as a double round robin. Yu-Cheng Liang won with 5/6 and won a book.
9th Annual Oregon Senior Open (March 8-10): For the fifth straight year, the tournament was sponsored by the Oregon Chess Federation and held at the Portland Chess Club. This year’s edition was not in April as the only weekend open in April at the Portland Chess Club would have put it the weekend after the Clark Harmon Memorial Open and conflicted with the OSCF State Championship (some seniors have kids they take to the OSCF State Championship). There was conveniently a weekend open at the PCC in March that didn’t put it back to back with another local, multi-day weekend tournament. The format was changed from having three rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday with all the rounds at a 4-hour time control to offering two different schedules, both of which were designed to make the play on the Saturday less grueling. One option was a 3-day schedule with one round Friday night, two on Saturday, and two on Sunday with all the rounds at a 4-hour time control and the other was a 2-day schedule with three rounds round on Saturday and two on Sunday with the first round at a 2-hour time control and then the schedule merging with the 3-day. Last year, thirteen of the twenty-two players took a half point bye in round three. This year only three players took a half point bye in round three and two took a half point bye in round one. Also, the time control was changed from G/120;d5 to G/90;inc30 (and round one of the 2-day schedule was played at G/30;inc30) since most players prefer a thirty second increment (since it mitigates time pressure situations and gets all the games fully notated since notating is required for every move, even if one of the players has less than five minutes remaining, if there is an increment of at least thirty seconds) and so it matches the time control used at the National Senior Tournament of Champions, in which the top Oregon finisher at the Oregon Senior Open qualifies for. The based on prize fund number and allocation was also improved to better reflect the number of players and the range in ratings the tournament generally gets. This year’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Greg Markowski, who also played in the event, at both the 3-day and 2-day registration times. It got a good turnout of twenty-two players. LM Carl Haessler, NM Lennart Bjorksten, NM David Rupel (from Olympia), and David Yoshinaga tied for first with 4/5. They split the 1st, 2nd, and 1st U2000 prizes, each winning $69. For tying for first they also all get free entry into next year’s Oregon Senior Open and their names inscribed on the Dr. Ralph Hall memorial perpetual trophy that is on display at the PCC. This is the fifth time in the last six years Carl has at least tied for first at the Oregon Senior Open and it is the second time David Rupel has tied for first. On tiebreaks, Lennart gets to represent Oregon at the National Senior Tournament of Champions. If David Yoshinaga doesn’t end up qualifying for the Championship section of the Oregon Closed through some means, he will likely be the highest finishing Oregon resident from the Senior Open who doesn’t which means he would qualify for the Challengers section of the Oregon Closed. David Rupel and David Yoshinaga also split the age 60 and over bonus prize, each winning $22 for that. David Yoshinaga also gained around 80 rating points. Bob Malone won $92 with 3.5/5, $55 for the 1st U1800 prize and $37 for the age 70 and over bonus prize, and gained around 65 rating points. William Gagnon won the age 80 and over bonus prize of $30 with 2.5/5. Brian Berger and Jerrold Richards (from Lyle, Washington) split the 1st U1600 prize with 2/5, each winning $27.50. Tony Midson and John Hornickle split the 1st U1400/unrated prize with 1.5/5, each winning $27.50.
Sunday Quads (March 17): This month’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Mike Lilly at registration. It got a good turnout of twenty players, who were split into five quads. Unfortunately two sets of family members ended up in the same quad. We usually put family members who don’t want to play each other in the group of five to seven if the number of players isn’t divisible by four or combine two quads if the number of players is divisible by four. Unfortunately combining two quads this time would have made the range in ratings in these sections too large. Zoey Tang swept quad 1 for the second straight month with a perfect 3-0. This is also the fifth time in the last six months that she has at least tied for first in the top quad at the Sunday Quads. Zoey won a book as well as a trophy as a scholastic player who won her section with 3 points. Ryan Lu won quad 2 for the second straight month with 2/3 and won a book as well as a medal as a scholastic player who won his section with 2 points. Radu Stancescu won quad 3 with 2.5/3, winning a book and gaining around 45 rating points. Andrei Stancescu and Arnold Yang tied for first in quad 4 with 2/3, with Arnold winning their matchup in round 1. They both won a book and a medal. Arnold also gained around 85 rating points and achieved a new peak established rating. Simon Springall swept quad 5 with a perfect 3-0 and won a book. Arthur Yang gained around 130 rating points and achieved a new peak rating in quad 5. Note that next month’s Sunday Quads is on the fourth Sunday, April 28, a week later than usual.
Portland Spring Open (March 23-24): This year’s edition was run by Mike Janniro with assistance at registration from Lennart Bjorksten, who also played in the event. Despite the OSCF scheduling their first annual K-12 School Team Championship on the same weekend (something we will work with the OSCF to try to avoid in future years), the Spring Open got a good turnout of forty players, the highest turnout for the tournament in seven years. The tournament included players from as far away as Boise and British Columbia. FM Shunkai Peng swept the sixteen player Open section with a perfect 4/4 and won $150. NM Jason Cigan and Omurbek Kobonov tied for second with 3/4. They split the 2nd overall and 1st U2000 prizes, each winning $88. If Omurbek doesn’t end up qualifying for the Championship section of the Oregon Closed through some means, he will very likely be the highest finishing Oregon resident from the Spring Open who doesn’t which means he would qualify for the Challengers section of the Oregon Closed. Omurbek also added around 120 points to his provisional rating. In the Open section, Raj Kodithyala gained around 80 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Havish Sripada achieved his 5th, 2nd Category norm and thus was awarded the 2nd Category title. Ronald Kirsch (from Tacoma) and James Wei (from Boise) tied for first in the Reserve (U1800) section with 3.5/4. They split the 1st and 2nd place prizes, each winning $88. Ryan Lu, Gregory Post, and Riley Waugh split the 1st U1600 and 1st U1400 prizes with 3/4, each winning $33.33. Riley also gained around 45 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating. Jason Jacobsen and Nikhar Khamesra split the 1st U1200/unrated prize with 2/4, each winning $25. Nikhar also gained around 190 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating. Other big rating gains in the Reserve section were achieved by Evan Franchere (around 55 points and a new peak rating), Victor Diego (around 40 points and a new peak rating), and Anisha Sripada (around 40 points). There were two players playing in their first US Chess rated tournament, Elai Kobayashi-Solomon and Erwin Mok from British Colombia.
Tuesday Quads (March 5-26):This month’s edition was run by Mike Morris and got a good turnout of twelve players. The players agreed to have the field split into two groups of six so they could play four rounds in a Swiss format, with there being four Tuesdays in March. Karl Cosner won the upper section with 3/4. Brian Esler and Sean Tobin tied for second with 2.5/4. Rakesh Rapolu and Chad Lykins tied for first in the lower section with 3/4, with Rakesh winning their matchup in round 2. Rakesh also gained around 170 rating points and achieved a new peak provisional rating while Chad gained around 45 rating points and 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).
Game in 60 (March 30): This month’s edition was run by Mike Hasuike with assistance at registration from Jon Strohbehn, who also played in the event. The tournament got an excellent turnout of forty players, only trailing the January 2019 edition, which had forty-six players, for record attendance at the Game in 60. It was also one of the strongest Game in 60 fields ever with three FM’s. We thank Subramanyam Sripada for playing an extra rated game against the player who received a full point bye in the U1650 section in round three. Mike Hasuike played an extra rated game against the player who received a full point bye in the Open section in round three. Handling the extra games in this manner rather than pairing the two players who had received full point byes together made the extra games more competitive. FM Nick Raptis swept the sixteen player Open section with a perfect 4-0 and won $81. FM Shunkai Peng and Zoey Tang split the second place prize with 3/4, each winning $27. Isaac Vega, Havish Sripada, Brian Lee (from Napavine, WA, over an hour north of Portland), and Christopher Burris split the 1st U1850/unrated prize with 2/4, each pocketing $12. Christopher also gained around 55 rating points. David Roshu and Jerrold Richards (from Lyle, WA) tied for first in the twenty-four player U1650 section with 3.5/4, each winning $68. Jerrold also gained around 70 rating points while David achieved his 5th, 3rd Category norm and thus was awarded the 3rd Category title. Cassandra Roshu and Michael Schuff split the 1st U1450/unrated prize with 3/4, each winning $24. Michael also gained around 85 rating points and achieved his 5th, 4th Category norm and thus was awarded the 4th Category title. Cassandra also gained around 55 rating points. Liam Blanton, who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Jason Jacobsen, and Vimal Adiraju split the 1st U1250/unrated prize with 2/4, each pocketing $14. Vimal also gained around 120 rating points and a new peak rating while Jason gained around 105 rating points and a new peak rating. Other big rating gains and new peak ratings in the U1650 section were achieved by Andrei Stancescu (around 115 points) and Nikhar Khamesra (around 45 points). Note that next month’s Game in 60 is on April 20, a week earlier than usual.