GM Timur Gareyev Blindfold Simul (September 3): GM Timur Gareyev, one of the top players in the US, is training to break the world record for the most blindfold games played simultaneously by playing 50+ opponents at the same time (blindfoldking.com)! He is training for it with smaller blindfold simuls all around the world and this included a tweleve board blindfold simul at the PCC. Lennart Bjorksten was the main organizer of the simul and graciously allowed Timur to stay at his house while he was in town. Timur scored an amazing 11/12 in the simul, only giving up draws to Seth Talyansky and Mu Lin. What made his performance even more impressive is that the simul lasted for six hours and he played black in half of the games! See an article by Timur here, which includes two games from the PCC blindfold simul.
65th Annual Oregon Open (September 5-7): For the third straight year, the Oregon Open took place at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Portland. It was sponsored by the Oregon Chess Federation and Portland Chess Club. The chief TD was US Chess Senior TD and FIDE National Arbiter Grisha Alpernas. For the third straight year, there was also a scholastic side event on the first day and this year it was run by the Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation. There were 103 players in the Open tournament this year. The seventy player, FIDE and US Chess rated Open section ended in a four way tie for first with 5/6 between British Columbia IM Leon Piasetski, LM Carl Haessler, Tacoma NM Michael MacGregor, and expert Clemon Deng, who added around 75 points to his US Chess rating. They split the first, second, and third place prizes and each took home $300. The tournament was a qualifier for the Oregon State Championship and Oregon Invitational tournament with the highest finishing Oregon resident (on tiebreak if necessary) qualifying for the state championship and the second highest finishing Oregon resident (on tiebreak if necessary) qualifying for the Oregon Invitational Tournament. On tiebreaks, Carl qualifies for the Oregon State Championship and Clemon qualified for the Oregon Invitational Tournament. However, these players would have almost certainly qualified for these respective tournaments based on rating anyway and Clemon may even qualify for the state championship. Kyle Haining, who had been among the leaders the entire tournament, withdrew after being tied for first going into the final round with 4.5/5 to assure his post event US Chess rating would stay 2200+ so he would achieve the National Master title. Sangeeta Dhingra, a strong female player from the Seattle area, won $275 for 1st U2000, gained around 45 rating points, and achieved the 1st category title by achieving her 5th 1st category norm. Joshua Grabinsky, a player from Coquille who gained around 45 rating points, and Gavin Zhang, who gained almost 100 rating points, split the second and third place U2000 prizes, each winning $162.50. Players who didn’t win a prize but gained some nice rating points in the open section were Corey Tache (around 90 points) and Brent Baxter (around 60 points). Moshe Rachmuth gained the 2nd category title by achieving his 5th 2nd category norm and Jack McClain, from Eugene, achieved the 3rd category title by achieving his 5th 3rd category norm. The Reserve (U1800) section had thirty-three players. Some juniors under 19 played in the reserve section without paying an entry fee and thus were not eligible for prizes. Karl Stump won the Reserve with 5.5/6, won $425, and gained around 75 rating points. Karl Wallulis finished second with 5/6, winning $250 and gaining around 170 rating points. Alex Yeo finished third with 4.5/6, winning $150. Jason Hill, a player from North Bend who has played in the last seven Oregon Open’s but never played any other tournament, Mike Hasuike, and Michael Munsey a player from Tacoma who gained around 90 rating points, split the 1st-3rd U1600 prizes with 4/6, each winning $108.33. Jeffrey Kou, a scholastic player from the Seattle area, won the 1st U1400 prize of $175 with 4/6 and gained around 180 rating points. Rick Nicoski, who gained around 125 rating points, and Henry Romero split the 2nd and 3rd U1400 prizes, each pocketing $75. Raj Kodithyala won the 1st U1200 prize of $175 with 2.5/6. Nikhil Samudarala won the 2nd U1200 prize of $85 with 2/6 and gained around 90 rating points. There were no other players eligible for U1200 prizes and the 3rd U1200 prize was not awarded. Players who didn’t win a prize but gained some nice rating points in the reserve section were achieved by Eric Erard (a quickly improving scholastic player who added around 635 rating points to his provisional rating that was based on 4 games. Eric also would have won a prize had he chosen to pay the entry fee) Tom Greger (around 90 points), Nathan Lee (around 50 points), and Jerrold Richards (around 45 points). We have some exciting things planned for next years Oregon Open, stay tuned for details!
Quad 45 (September 19): As always, Micah Smith, was the Chief TD of this months Quad 45, which had sixteen players in four quads. Thanks once again goes to Brian Berger for helping out with registration for the second straight month. We had “Pawn Sacrifice” notation books that we awarded as an extra prize to the winner of each quad. Dagadu Gaikwad, the lowest rated player in the top quad, won it with a perfect 3-0, gained around 100 rating points, and went over 1900 for the first time! Brian Berger won the second quad with 2/3. Kushal Pai won his section at the Quad 45 for the second straight month, this time going 3-0, gaining around 75 rating points, achieving a new peak rating, and winning a trophy as a scholastic player! Megan Cheng won the fourth quad with a perfect 3-0 and won a trophy as a scholastic player. There was one player playing in his first ever tournament, Kyle Ledda-Lewaren.
Saturday Blitz (September 19): This months edition had six players so it was run as a double round robin in one section. Patrick Van Dyke, an expert from the Seattle area who happened to be in town, won with 9.5/10. Since he said is unlikely to be in Portland again in the near future for another Saturday Blitz, he gave his discounted entry prize to the second place finisher, Seth Talyansky who finished with 7.5/10.
Game in 60 (September 26): This months edition, directed by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Mike Janniro, got twenty players so it was played in one section. In addition, Lennart and Mike both played an extra game to avoid byes. There were three “Pawn Sacrifice” notation books that were awarded to the top finishing juniors. FM Nick Raptis swept the field with a perfect 4-0, winning $60. Ray Fletcher, Steve Surak, David Murray, and Danny Phipps split the second and third place prizes with 3/4, each winning $17.50. Ethan Wu, Roland Eagles, Michael Moore, and Nicholas Brown split the U1800/unrated prize with 2/4, each pocketing $8.75. Jerrold Richards and Cassandra Roshu split the U1500/Unrated prize with 2/4, each winning $18.75. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Aiden Ankoor.
Tuesday Quads (September 1-29): This month’s Tuesday Quads was directed by Mike Morris and there were eight players in two quads. FM Nick Raptis won the upper quad with 2.5/3. Nicholas Brown won the lower quad with a perfect 3-0, gained around 70 rating points, and achieved a new peak rating.