1st Annual Neil Dale Memorial Open (March 4-5): After Neil Dale passed away last December, we decided to rename the Portland New Year’s Open (formerly the Gresham Open before this year) to the Neil Dale Memorial Open in honor of Neil (we replaced the Gresham Open with the Portland New Year’s Open at the club so it would be easier for the majority of players to get to the playing site in case of bad weather and since the cost of the facility in Gresham had gone up). Neil started and ran the Gresham Open many times. Neil volunteered countless hours to chess, including running hundreds of tournaments over many decades. See more information about Neil here and here. Unfortunately we had to cancel the original Neil Dale Memorial due to the weather. We decided to reschedule it and combine it with the Portland Spring Open, the next 2-day tournament on the schedule. The original Neil Dale Memorial was going to be one section and have a time control of G/120;d5 but for the rescheduled event we decided to have two sections, Open and Reserve (U1800), and use a time control of 40/90,SD/30;d5, the format the Spring Open uses. The reason we decided to have two sections is because we decided the Clark Harmon Memorial Open would be one section this year (same as it’s been when we’ve run it in the past) and we wanted our two memorial tournaments to have different formats, even more so this year since they are within a month of each other. The reason we decided to use 40/90,SD/30;d5 is because the first day of the tournament can be very grueling with the three long games, even more so with the tournament being two sections since more of the games are likely to be more competitive and thus more likely to last longer, so using 40/90,SD/30;d5 instead of G/120;d5 can help speed up the games and make the first day not as grueling. The tournament still had the $1500 based on 50 prize fund, although the distribution of the prize fund was changed due to it being two sections. Brian Berger gave a short remembrance of Neil before the start of round 1. Micah Smith ran the tournament with help from Danny Phipps at registration. There were thirty-seven players. Jose Gatica and NM William Lapham tied for first in the seventeen player Open section with 4/5. They split the first and second place prizes, each winning $185. Jose also qualifies for the Oregon Invitational Tournament as the top Oregon finisher. However, he certainly would have qualified for the Invitational anyway based on rating and may qualify for the higher level State Championship which runs alongside the Invitational. William is a former Oregon State Champion who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament in almost seventeen years. Karl Cosner and Scott Levin tied for third with 3.5/5. They split the third and 1st U2000 prizes, each winning $83.25. Ethan Wu won the 2nd U2000 prize of $55.50 with 3/5 and got his rating over 1900 for the first time. Will Holloran achieved his 5th, 3rd Category norm and thus was awarded the 3rd Category title. Valentin Molchanov won the twenty player Reserve (U1800) section with a perfect 5-0. He won $111, gained around 65 rating points (enough to put his rating over 1800 for the first time), and achieved his 5th, 2nd Category norm which gives him the 2nd Category title. Anthony Neises, who was playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, finished second with 4/5 and won $74. Konner Feldman and Zoey Tang tied for third with 3.5/5. They split the third and 1st U1600 prizes, each winning $55.50. Zoey also gained around 200 rating points! Abbie Wu, Hugo Hartig, and Ian Fudalla split the 2nd U1600 prize with 3/5, each winning $12.34. Abbie also gained around 130 rating points while Ian achieved his 5th, 4th Category norm and thus was awarded the 4th Category title. Harry Buerer won the 1st U1400 prize of $55.50 with 2.5/5 and gained around 80 rating points. Neena Feldman and Kevin Wu split the 2nd U1400 prize with 2/5, each winning $18.50. Austin Tang won the 1st U1200/unrated prize of $55.50 with 1.5/5. Nobody remaining was eligible for the 2nd U1200/unrated prize and it was not awarded. We thank all of the players who came out to play in support of Neil!
Quad 45 (March 18): This month the time control at the Quad 45 was changed from G/45;d15 to G/45;inc15. As far as we can tell, this is the first ever regular rated PCC tournament that used increment (a blitz tournament back in June 2015 was played with increment due to popular demand). There were several ideas behind switching from delay to increment. One reason is that increment is more fair than delay. For example, with a fifteen second delay, a player who uses one second on a move will have the same amount of time remaining for the game as a player who uses fifteen seconds, which doesn’t seem right. Another reason is that increment helps mitigate time pressure a lot better than delay. A third reason was simply to give players a little bit more overall time for their games. The round times for rounds 2 and 3 were pushed back slightly to accommodate expanding the time control as well as to give players a little bit more time off in between the rounds and the rounds are now scheduled at 10am, 12:30pm, and 3pm. This month’s Quad 45 was run by Micah Smith with assistance from Danny Phipps at registration, who also played in the event. It got a great turnout of twenty-eight players, tied for the second most ever at the Quad 45. Things worked out nicely this time in that we were able to simply have seven quads and didn’t have to adjust anything to avoid family members from having to play against each other and didn’t have to figure out where to put a five to seven player Swiss. One interesting thing that did crop up is that Jimmy Dee and Alex Gee had the exact same rating and one of them was going to have to be in Quad 5 and the other in Quad 6. Jimmy said he didn’t care which quad he was in and Alex said wanted to be in Quad 6 so he could be in the same quad as his two friends he came to the tournament with so Jimmy was put in Quad 5 and Alex was put in Quad 6. There was a clear winner in all seven sections. LM Carl Haessler won Quad 1 with 2/3 and won a book. Aaryan Deshpande, a player from the Seattle area, won Quad 2 with a perfect 3-0. He won a book and was also eligible to receive a trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with three points but declined. James Bean gained around 50 rating points in Quad 2. James Tsai won his quad at the Quad 45 for the second straight month, this time winning Quad 3 with 2.5/3. Quad 3 happened to be made up of the four players in the field who were rated in the 1500’s. James won a book and gained around 45 rating points. After gaining around 200 rating points from the 1st Annual Neil Dale Memorial Open, Zoey Tang added around 55 additional points to her rating by winning Quad 4 with 2.5/3. Quad 4 happened to be made up of the four players in the field who were rated in the 1400’s. She also won a book and a small trophy as a scholastic player who won her section with 2.5. Robert Bowden won Quad 5 with 2.5/3. He won a book, a small trophy as a scholastic player who won his section with 2.5, gained around 40 rating points, and achieved a new peak rating. Thomas Rolfs won Quad 6 with a perfect 3-0 and won a book. Max Alberhasky, who was playing in this first US Chess rated tournament, won Quad 7 with a perfect 3-0 and won a book. Henry Westlund added around 150 points to his provisional rating in Quad 7. There were three other players playing in their first US Chess rated tournament, Alex Gee, Benjamin Saunders, and James Hatch.
Game in 60 (March 25): This month’s edition was run by Lennart Bjorksten with assistance from Michael Hasuike at registration, who also played in the event. It got an excellent turnout of thirty-seven players, including a Life Master and three National Masters. It was the first time since the July 2016 edition that the Game in 60 got 30+ players and was split into two sections at the midpoint of the field, with the upper section starting with an even number of players. NM Jason Cigan won the upper section with 3.5/4 and won $90. NM Matt Zavortink and NM Seth Talyanksy tied for second with 3/4 and split the second and third place prizes, each winning $45. Brian Lee gained around 105 rating points and a new peak rating in the upper section. James Wei, from Idaho, won the lower section with 3.5/4, winning $78 and gaining around 95 rating points and a new peak rating. Jon Strohbehn, Ian Fudalla, Robert Bowden, and Mason Bagoyo tied for second with 3/4. Jon and Ian split the second place prize, each winning $21, while Robert and Mason split the U1400/unrated prize, each winning $30. Mason also gained around 95 rating points. Other big rating gains in the lower section were achieved by Pierre Hadrien-Beauchet (around 295 rating points!), John Kong (around 135 points to his provisional rating), and David Kong (around 50 points to his provisional rating).