67th Annual Oregon Open (September 2-4)
This year’s Oregon Open got an excellent turnout of 149 players! The online records have the results of the Oregon Open every year since 1992 and this is the second largest turnout since then (and possibly the second largest turnout ever), only behind last year’s record attendance. The field included players from as far as New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, California, Idaho, and British Columbia.
The tournament was sponsored by the Portland Chess Club and Oregon Chess Federation. For the fifth straight year the tournament was held at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree hotel in Portland. The chief TD for the tournament was US Chess Senior TD and FIDE National Arbiter Grisha Alpernas. Micah Smith, Andrei Botez, and Mike Morris assisted at times during all three days of the tournament. Andrei also played as a house player for one round in the U2000 section. Also assisting during registration were Danny Phipps, Lennart Bjorksten, Mike Janniro, and Mike Hasuike. Lennart and Mike Hasuike also played in the event. Unfortunately this is the last local tournament Danny is helping out with as he is moving to Denver. We thank Danny for all the work he has done for the PCC over the last several years.
Due to the success of last year’s Oregon Open, this year’s edition was run with the same major features that were started at last year’s Oregon Open ($10,000 guaranteed prize fund, Open, U2000, and U1600 sections, 3-day and 2-day schedules, 5-hour games, blitz side event). A few improvements were incorporated into this year’s edition. Ten second delay was used on the time controls (40/120,SD/30 and G/60 for the first three rounds of the 2-day schedule) instead of five second delay. This helps mitigate major time scrambles and prevents the time control of the first three rounds of the 2-day schedule from being one that is usually dual rated (regular and quick) but wouldn’t get dual rated at this event since tournaments that have some rounds/schedules at dual time controls and others at regular-only time controls only get regular rated. Due to expanding the time control from d5 to d10, the round times of the first three rounds of the 2-day schedule were changed from 9am, 11:30am, and 2pm to 9am, 11:45, and 2:30. This will also generally give players a little more time off in-between the first three rounds which we thought would be good. Players under 19 in the U1600 section have the option of paying a lower entry fee and competing for trophies instead of cash prizes. Last year trophies were awarded to these players if they would have won money had everyone played for money. The problem with this is that these players might have to wait until all the games in the U1600 section have finished to see if they are going to be able to select a trophy. This year it was changed so trophies were awarded to players if they scored a at least a certain number of points (and the number of points needed varied based on rating) so right after they finish their last game they know if they are going to be able to select a trophy. We had online registration for the main event this year (through the Northwest Chess online registration system). Supposedly multiple players didn’t play in the Oregon Open last year since they didn’t know of a way they could pay in advance (there was no way to pay online and they didn’t have a checkbook to be able to mail a check) and they didn’t want to pay the extra $20 it cost to register on-site. Having online registration is also a nice convenience for the players as well as the organizers since having online registration got a higher percentage of players to pre-register which made the on-site registration a lot easier to handle (but of course there are still those players who are incapable of pre-registering even if their life depended on it!). This year we had some extra digital clocks instead of just analog clocks available for those who didn’t follow the instructions in the tournament information (which was in bold writing!) of bringing a digital clock so these players wouldn’t have to use analog clocks (although a couple of players strangely used their analog clock instead of coming to get one of the extra digital clocks we had). (The PCC has a few digital clocks it provides at all of it’s tournaments now and Micah Smith also brought his supply of digital clocks he has but we almost ran out of the extra supply of digital clocks during several of the rounds so please don’t always reply on us to provide a digital clock for you!). The time control of the blitz side event changed from G/3;d2 to G/3;inc2 due to the same reason the Portland Blitz Championship did so (see the July 2017 archives). We also lowered the entry fee and prizes for the blitz since for most players that may play in the blitz, it’s simply a fun event that they may play in if they have the time and energy between rounds 3 and 4 of the main tournament and we thought most players would prefer a lower entry fee for it. The blitz prize distribution also changed from 1st, 2nd, 1st U1900, 1st 1500 to 1st, 2nd, 1st U2100, 1st U1900, 1st U1700, and 1st U1500 (with eligibility generally being based on the higher of a players regular and blitz rating) so more players would have a more legitimate shot at winning a prize (and having under prizes at 2100, 1900, 1700, and 1500 makes the under prizes different from the main tournament).
GM Jim Tarjan won the forty-four player, FIDE and US Chess rated Open section with 5/6 and won $2000. FM Tanraj Sohal (from British Columbia), LM Josh Sinanan, Jose Gatica, and Jason Yu tied for second with 4.5/6. They split the second, third, 1st U2200, and 2nd U2200 prizes, each winning $575. Joshua Grabinsky (from Coquille), Brendan Zhang, NM William Lapham, Jerry Sherrard, and NM Paul Shannon (from Bend) split the 3rd U2200 prize with 4/6, each taking home $40. Joshua also achieved his 5th Candidate Master norm and thus was awarded the Candidate Master title. Big rating gains and other titles were achieved in the Open section by Daniel Shubin (around 70 points and a new peak rating), Samuel Deng (1st Category title), and Ethan Wu (1st Category title).
Addison Lee and Steven Merwin tied for first in the sixty-one player U2000 section with 5/6. They split the first and second place prizes, each winning $800. Jarrod Tavares (from New York), Karl Cosner, Michael Hosford, and Mika Mitchell tied for third with 4.5/6. They split the third place prize, each winning $100. Roshen Nair and Advaith Vijayakumar split the 1st and 2nd U1800 prizes, each winning $400. Alex Machin (from Boise), Jake Winkler, James Tsai, and James Nelson split the 3rd U1800 prize with 3.5/6, each taking home $50. Big rating gains and titles in the U2000 section were achieved by James Wei (from Boise, around 110 points and a new peak rating), Albert Li (around 105 points), Hung Le (around 90 points and a new peak provisional rating), Zachary Zhang (around 70 points and a new peak rating), Zoey Tang (around 70 points, a new peak rating, and the 3rd Category title-and her performance was good enough that she achieved a 2nd Category norm as well), Jack McClain (around 40 points), William Holloran (2nd Category title), Simon Ventor (3rd Category title-and his performance was good enough that he achieved a 2nd Category norm as well), James Tsai (3rd Category title), and Abbie Wu (3rd Category title).
Eric Erard and Daniel Wilke tied for first in the forty-four player U1600 section with 5/6. Daniel had chosen the lower entry fee and trophy prize option. Due to this rating he needed at least 5 points to win a trophy and thus he won a trophy. This meant Eric got the $500 first place prize to himself. Daniel also gained around 55 rating points, achieved a new peak rating, and achieved the 4th Category title. Raj Kodithyala, Jon Strohbehn, Cassandra Roshu, and Ethan Zhang were the next best finishers, all with 4.5/6. Raj, Jon, and Cassandra split the second and third place prizes, each winning $167. Ethan had chosen the lower entry fee and trophy prize option. Due to his rating he needed at least 3.5 points to win a trophy and thus he won a trophy. He also gained around 135 rating points. David Roshu, Jerrold Richards, and Vaughn Wampole (from Pennsylvania) split the 1st U1400, 2nd U1400, and 1st U1200 prizes with 4/6, each winning $367. Vaughn also gained around 105 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Jerrold gained around 40 rating points and David achieved the 4th Category title. Nikhil Samudrala and Neena Feldman also finished with 4 points and would have won money but they choose the lower entry fee and trophy prize option. Based on their rating, they both needed at least 3.5 points to win a trophy and thus they were both eligible to select a trophy and Nikhil did so while Neena declined. Nikhil also gained around 155 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Neena gained around 145 rating points. Austin Tang and Bob Liu split the 3rd U1400 prize, each winning $100. Bob also gained around 245 rating points and achieved a new peak rating while Austin gained around 160 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. Nick Tran won the $200 unrated prize with 2/6. Other big rating gains in the U1600 section were achieved by Felicity Wang (around 190 points and a new peak provisional rating), Vishruth Raj (around 115 points and a new peak rating), Ryan Min (around 95 points and a new peak rating), Alejandro McClain (around 80 points and a new peak rating), and Jordan Henderson (from Coqulle, around 35 points and a new peak rating). There was one other player playing in their first US Chess rated tournament, Tung Dao.
Micah Smith ran the blitz side event which got a nice turnout of twenty players. Joshua Grabinsky finished first with 8/10 and won $60. Eric Erard finished second with 7.5/10 and added $40 for second place to the $500 he won for finishing first in the U1600 section in the main event. Eric also gained around 95 blitz rating points and achieved a new peak blitz rating. James Colasurdo and Ethan Wu split the 1st U2100/unrated prize with 7/10, each taking home $12.50. Ethan also gained around 85 blitz rating points and achieved a new peak blitz rating. Kevin Xu (from Boise) won the 1st U1900/unrated prize with 6.5/10, winning $25 and gaining around 65 blitz rating points and achieving a new peak blitz rating. James Wei (from Boise) and Daniel Wilke split the 1st U1700/unrated and 1st U1500/unrated prizes, each winning $25. James also gained around 40 blitz rating points and achieved a new peak blitz rating. Alejandro McClain gained around 90 blitz rating points and achieved a new peak blitz rating.
Sunday Quads (September 17): This month’s edition was run by Micah Smith with assistance at registration from Chad Lykins, who also played in the event. Mike Hasuike also helped clean up the facility in the morning. The tournament got a good turnout of twenty-two players and was split into four quads and a six player Swiss. The Swiss was made up of the bottom six players to try and avoid two family members from having to play against each other. Isaac Vega won quad 1 with 2.5/3 and gained around 35 rating points. He declined to take a book. Fedor Semenov won quad 2 with 2.5/3, winning a book and a small trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with 2.5 points. He also gained around 90 rating points and has now gained rating points and achieved a new peak rating in his last eight US Chess rated events! David Roshu and Arlo Maslen tied for first in quad 3 with 2/3, with Arlo winning their matchup in round 3. They both won a book and were both eligible to receive a medal as scholastic players who won their section with 2 points and Arlo took a medal but David declined. Arlo also gained around 40 rating points. Pierre-Hadrien Beauchet won quad 4 with a perfect 3-0, winning a book and a trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with 3 points. He also gained around 60 rating points and achieved a new peak rating. William Nobles added around 35 points to his provisional rating in quad 4. Arnold Yang, who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, swept the Swiss with a perfect 3-0, winning a book and a trophy. Pace Lykins, Christopher Morrissey, and Paul Maslen tied for second in the Swiss with 2/3. Paul also gained around 125 rating points. There was one other player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Arthur Yang. Note that next months Sunday Quads is on the fourth Sunday in the month, October 22, a week later than usual.
Tuesday Quads (September 5-23): This month’s edition was run by Mike Morris and got ten players. This isn’t bad turnout for the Tuesday Quads considering the tournament started the day after the Oregon Open ended. Due to the spread in ratings, it was split into a quad with the top four rated players and a six-player Swiss with the bottom six rated players. Due to the Club Championship starting on the last Tuesday in September, this month’s Tuesday Quads were limited to three rounds with there being only three available Tuesdays in the month. Karl Cosner swept the quad with a perfect 3-0 and gained around 40 rating points. David Murray swept the Swiss with a perfect 3-0. Brian Berger, Gregory Markowski, and Hugo Hartig tied for second in the Swiss with 2/3. Note there are no Tuesday Quads in October due to the Club Championship.
Game in 60 (September 30): This month’s edition was run by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Mike Hasuike, who also played in the event. It got an excellent turnout of thirty-six players and thus was split into two sections of eighteen at the midpoint of the field based on rating. FM Steven Breckenridge swept the upper section with a perfect 4-0 and won $84. NM Matt Zavortink, NM Jason Cigan, and Jay Dayal tied for second with 3/4 and split the second place prize, each taking home $16. Jack McClain, from Eugene, won the $48 U1800/unrated prize with 2.5/4. Zoey Tang swept the lower section with a perfect 4-0 and won $84. Jon Strohbehn, Avi Gupta, and Patrick Morrissey tied for second with 3/4. Jon and Avi split the second place prize, each winning $24 while Patrick won the $48 U1200/unrated prize. Patrick also gained around 225 rating points and achieved a new peak rating! Other big rating gains in the lower section were achieved by Michael Schuff (around 160 points and a new peak rating), Arlo Maslen (around 65 points and a new peak rating), Havish Sripada (around 60 points and a new peak rating), and Henry Westlund (around 50 points and a new peak rating). There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Manu Isaacs.