National Chess Day in Vancouver WA

National Chess Day was Saturday October 13, 2018.

On that day a Simultaneous Exhibition by Grandmaster James Tarjan was held at the Vancouver Mall, 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Drive, Vancouver WA near Macy’s entrance to the mall by the large chess set on the lower level that gets a lot of play. Play took place over 14 boards and took about 3 hours. A mixture of adults and kids and one woman took part. This was a free event for players and spectators. The grandmaster won all his games.

The organizer was Russell (Rusty) Miller e-mail:

The sponsors were: Vancouver Mall, Northwest Chess, US Chess provided chess mags, Chess Butler provided chess books for prizes e-mail:, Esther Schrader, EinsteinWise Academy provided the sets and boards and their website is:, IQ Credit Union in Vancouver WA provided the pens for players to keep a score of their game.

Pictures of the event can be found on Russell’s flickr account:

Jason Yu becomes National Master

Congratulations to Jason Yu of Bellevue, Washington, who achieved a U.S. Chess rating of 2203 as a result of scoring 5 out of 9 points at the 2nd Annual Seattle Chess Classic, held at Seattle Chess Club August 15-19.  Along the way to the title, Jason scored a draw against GM Tarjan and wins against FM Ignacio Perez and LM Viktors Pupols.  Way to go Jason!!  Here is a link to the crosstable:

Jason would like to thank all the coaches (WGM Elena Donaldson, IM Georgi Orlov, GM Emil Anka and GM Greg Serper) and people from the Seattle chess community that have helped him on his chess journey so far.

Velea Sisters & Team USA Golden at Pan-American Youth!


By Monica Olaru

Sophie Velea and Anne-Marie Velea won gold medals at girls under 10 and girls under 14 in 2018 Pan-American Chess Championship in Santiago, Chile.Anne-Marie received also the title of Woman FIDE Master and Sophie received again the title of Woman Candidate Master.

Both of them will represent USA as official representative at World Cadets in Spain and World Youth in Greece. Also they will represent USA at next 2019 Pan-American Chess Championship in Ecuador.

22 countries participated in this tournament.  Team USA got 1st place.

American Teams Falter in Seattle Summer Team Matches

Here are the final results of the Seattle Summer Team Matches between Teams Carlsen vs Caruana and Spassky vs Fischer.  Pictures from the match can be found on the WCF FB page.

Seattle Summer Team Matches:

Team Carlsen (A) vs Team Caruana (B) (5 v 5)

Team Spassky (A) vs Team Fischer (B) (5 v 5)


Team Carlsen – 17.0

  • Eric Zhang 2050 4.5 $50
  • FIDE Master Anthony He 2337 4.0 $8.33
  • Jason Yu 2156 4.0 $8.33
  • Joseph Levine 1982 4.0 $8.33
  • Vignesh Anand 1964 0.5

Avg. rating: 2098

Team Caruana – 8.0

  • Aaryan Deshpande 2027 2.5 $50
  • FIDE Master Ignacio Perez 2227 1.5 $8.33
  • Brendan Zhang 2165 1.5 $8.33
  • Woman International Master Naomi Bashkansky 2115 1.5 $8.33
  • Daniel Shubin 1884 1.0

Avg. rating: 2084

Team Spassky – 17.5

  • Advaith Vijayakumar 1843 5.0 $50
  • Frank Fagundes 1754 4.5 $12.50
  • Jacob Mayer 1715 4.5 $12.50
  • Melina Li 1704 2.0
  • Ani Barua 1454 1.5

Avg. rating: 1694

Team Fischer – 7.5

  • Derin Goktepe 1570 2.5 $50
  • Penguin Master Isaac Vega 1845 2.0 $12.50
  • Anand Gupta 1622 2.0 $12.50
  • Pirate Master Davey Jones 1783 1.0
  • Ryan Min 1486 0.0

Avg. rating: 1661

Congratulations to teams Carlsen and Spassky for defeating their American rivals!  One must wonder if this is foreshadowing for the upcoming Carlsen vs Caruana World Championship Match.  Someone should let Spassky know that he has finally managed to defeat Fischer!

14 Northwest Juniors qualify for 2018 World Youth & Cadets!

Congratulations to the Northwest chess players who qualified for the 2018 World Youth & Cadets!

​The following local players have qualified for the World Youth (ages 12-18), which will be held in Halkidiki, Greece, October 19-31, 2018:
Open U18:
  • Roland Feng (WA)
  • Bryce Tiglon (WA)
Open U14:
  • Anthony He (WA)
Girls Under 16:
  • Naomi Bashkansky (WA)
Girls Under 14:
  • Minda Chen (WA)
  • Anne-Marie Velea (WA)
  • Sophie Tien (WA)
Here are the qualifiers for the World Cadets (ages 12 and below), which will be held in Galicia, Spain, November 3-16, 2018:
Open U12:
  • Jason Yu (WA)
  • Eric Zhang (WA)
Girls Under 12:
  • Stephanie Velea (WA)
  • Melina Li (WA)
Girls Under 10:
  • Sophie Velea (WA)
  • Zoey Tang (OR)
  • Abbie Wu (OR)

The full lists of US qualified players can be found at the following links:

World Youth

World Cadets

Washington Players Triumph at 2018 US National Junior Congress

L-R: Daniel Shubin, Anirudh Rajesh, Advaith Vijayakumar

By Vijay Sankaran, Igor & Stephan Jiang

The US National Junior Congress was held at Basis Independent Silicon Valley School, San Jose, CA from Mar 10th – Mar 11th. WA kids participated in U12, U10 and U8 sections representing the Seattle Chess Club. In a tightly contested tournament, all the players who were part of Seattle Chess Club team performed amazingly well with quite a bit of long games.  Seattle Chess Club team was declared the clear winner in the U12 section convincingly with 11.5 points.

A small section of games can be viewed here.

Daniel Shubin won the U12 section with a score of (4.5/5) with 4 wins and 1 draw and was declared a clear National Champion for U12 Section. Congratulations Daniel!

Also, contributing to the team’s score in the U12 section were Advaith Vijayakumar (4.0/5) tied for second place and Anirudh Rajesh (3.0/5).

In the U10 section, Brandon Jiang scored (4.0/5) and tied for 2rd place.  Sayali Gijare finished the tournament with (2.0/5) and won some good games.

In the U8 section Mobius Williamson scored (3.0/5).  This was his first national tournament and he played extremely well.

It was a great effort from the players of WA. The team trophy will be located at the Seattle Chess Club.

WIM Megan Lee Lecture

Date: February 9, 2018
Site: Seattle Chess Club
Organizer: Josh Sinanan
Here is the flyer.
The game presented can be viewed here.
Megan presented a lecture featuring highlights from her recent victory at the 2017 North American Open in Las Vegas.  The lecture was followed by a brief Q&A session and a chance for autographs.  About 12 spectators attended.

WIM Megan Lee.
Audience members enjoying the lecture.
About a dozen spectators were present at the lecture.

2018 British Columbia vs. Washington Challenge Match

A Teams: Back row: Tim Moroney(WA), organizer Paul Leblanc, Joshua Doknjas(BC), Javier Cortes(BC), a Chilean chess master attending UBC, Howard Wu(BC).
Front row: Howard Chen(WA), Curt Collyer(WA), Josh Sinanan(WA), John Doknjas(BC), Jason Kenney(BC). Missing: Nat Koons(WA). (photo: Victoria Doknjas)

The second annual BC-WA Challenge Match took place at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Victoria on the weekend of January 12-14, 2018.  The results of the match were similar to last year’s:

BC Masters 12.5 – WA Masters 12.5  Tied Match!

BC Team #2 9.0 – WA Team #2 16.0!

Each team was comprised of five players, each of whom played one game against each member of the opposing team.  The event was sponsored by Victoria Chess, the BCCF, the Washington Chess Federation, the Victoria Chess Club, Thrifty’s groceries, Designer Chess and several of the players.

B Teams: Top row: Oscar Petrov(WA), Sloan Setiadikurnia(WA), Jacob Mayer(WA), organizer Paul Leblanc, Jamie Campbell(BC), Jason Williamson(BC).
Bottom Row: Advaith Vijayakumar(WA), Daniel Shubin(WA), Rowan James(BC), Neil Doknjas(BC), Michael Su(BC).
(photo: Victoria Doknjas)

Cash and trophy prizes were awarded to the top two players on each team as follows:

  • BC Team A: FM John Doknjas 4.5 and NM Jason Kenney 3
  • WA Team A: NM Nat Koons 4.5 and NM Howard Chen 3.5
  • BC Team B: Michael Su 3.0 and Neil Doknjas 2.5
  • WA Team B: Sloan Setiadikurnia 4.5 and Oscar Petrov 4

FM Anthony He wins 2018 WA Junior Closed

Back Row, L to R: Naomi Bashkansky, Oscar Petrov, Anthony He Front Row, L to R: Joseph Levine, Eric Zhang, Daniel Shubin.  Photo credit: David Hendricks, TD.

Congratulations to Anthony He for winning the WA Junior Closed Jan 5-7 with a perfect 5.0 score.  Naomi Bashkansky placed 2nd,  and there was a tie between Oscar Petrov and Daniel Shubin for 3rd place.

Prize winnings:

  •                 $200 Anthony He, and seeded into the WA State Championship
  •                 $170 Naomi Bashkansky
  •                 $65 Oscar Petrov
  •                 $65 Daniel Shubin

This was the youngest field we have had in a long time with one high schooler, 4 middle schoolers, and 1 elementary aged player.  The US Chess Rating Report can be found here.

SwissSys Standings. WA Junior Closed:

# Name ID Rtng Team Grd Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Tot
1 Anthony Bi He 14729222 2316 ING 7 W2 W4 W6 W3 W5 5.0
2 Naomi Bashkansky 14048474 2029 OMS 9 L1 W5 W4 W6 W3 4.0
3 Oscar Petrov 14702968 1902 OVL 8 W4 L6 W5 L1 L2 2.0
4 Daniel Shubin 15185684 1932 OPW 7 L3 L1 L2 W5 W6 2.0
5 Joseph Levine 15694597 1923 EPS 5 W6 L2 L3 L4 L1 1.0
6 Eric Zhang 14668426 2034 LMS 6 L5 W3 L1 L2 L4 1.0

2017 WA Winter Classic

Playing room at the WA Winter Classic.

FM Steven Breckenridge of Gresham, OR, won the the 2017 WA Winter Chess Classic with 7/9 and took home the $500 first place prize!  Steven finished half a point ahead of second place finishers FMs Anthony He and Ignacio Perez, each of whom won $325 for their efforts.

Other Prize Winners in the Championship section include:

  • Jason Yu – 1st U2300
  • Eric Zhang, Chouchan Airapetian, and Wenyang Du =2nd U2300/U2150/U2000
  • Naomi Bashkansky + Joseph Levine =1st U2150/U2000
  • Minda Chen – 1st U1850
  • Advaith Vijayakumar + Jeffrey Yan =2nd U1850
  • Top Female – Naomi Bashkansky
  • Top Senior – Ignacio Perez

Davey Jones of Seattle won the 19-player Challengers section with 6.5 points and won $300.  Half a point behind him were two players who tied for second and third place:  Dan Mathews and Stephanie Velea, each of whom took home $200.

Other Challengers Section winners include:

  • Melina Li + Anirudh Rajesh = 1st U1600/U1450
  • Alex Kaelin + Alison Xiao = 2nd U1600/U1450
  • Angela Chen – 1st U1300
  • Rowan Foxley – 2nd U1300
  • Angela Agaian – 1st U1150
  • Top Female – Stephanie Velea
  • Top Senior – Frank Fagundes

The WA Winter Classic was directed by Fred Kleist, hosted by Seattle Chess Club, and organized by WCF Tournament Coordinator Dan Mathews.

The US Chess crosstable can be found here.

Photos from the tournament can be viewed on the WCF Facebook Page.