PNW Players do Well in Reno

The annual Washington Chess Federation event drew 66 players in two sections of 33 players each. The Seattle Chess Club was the playing site with Fred Kleist directing. Curt Collyer of Seattle won the Challenger section with 3.5-.5. Reserve Section ended in a tie for first at 4.5-.5 between Robert Allen of Tacoma and Vikran Ramasamy of Kirkland. All but one lone player from British Columbia were from Washington.

CLICK HERE for USCF Crosstable of the event.

CLICK HERE for a number of pictures on a facebook post.
The 31st Annual Reno Western States Open was held Oct 17 to 20, ambulance
2013. There were 201 players in 8 sections including a Blitz Event. As usual Jerome Weikel of Reno was the organizer and TD.

CLICK HERE for Crosstables

37 players in the Open section with 6 players getting 4.5-1.5 scores. Check the crosstable for the list.
Gil Lapid Shafriri of WA was the best PNW scorer at 3-3. Corey Russell of Medford had 2.5-3.5 as did Aaron Putman of Seattle, recipe

The Expert Section was won by Aaron Grabinsky of Coquille, Oregon with 5.5-.5. Preston Polasek of Lafayette, Oregon had 4-2. Fred Kleist of Seattle was at 3.5-2.5 as was Edwin Battistella of Ashland, Oregon.

Drayton Harrison of Seattle won the A Section with 6-0. At 3.5-2.5 was Ritchie Duron of Oregon. At 3-3 was Mike Schemm of Seattle.

In B Section Ralph Anthony of Mukilteo, WA scored 3.5-2.5. At 3-3 were Dan Mayers of Idaho, Ewald Hopfenzitz of OR plus August Piper of Seattle.

In the C Section Kerry Van Veen of Seattle WA, Josiah Perkins of Coquille, OR, Bernard Spera of OR all scored 4.5-1.5 to tie for 2nd., Joshua Grabinsky of Coquille, OR was the only 4-2 score.

Best score by a PNW player in the D Section was by Tim Sheehan of WA at 4-2. At 3-3 was Sarai Perkins of Coquille, OR. She also won a side game.

20 players took part in the Blitz tournament won by Enrico Sevillano of CA with 10-0. Nick Raptis of Portland was 2nd at 7.5-2.5.

CLICK HERE for the article by Randy Hough on the USCF website about the event.

Per this article the Seattle Chess Club won the team prize.

Challengers Cup
The annual Washington Chess Federation event drew 66 players in two sections of 33 players each. The Seattle Chess Club was the playing site with Fred Kleist directing. Curt Collyer of Seattle won the Challenger section with 3.5-.5. Reserve Section ended in a tie for first at 4.5-.5 between Robert Allen of Tacoma and Vikran Ramasamy of Kirkland. All but one lone player from British Columbia were from Washington.

CLICK HERE for USCF Crosstable of the event.

CLICK HERE for a number of pictures on a facebook post.

Information added by WCF Secretary Gary Dorfner:

The Washington Challengers’ Cup was held Oct. 26-27 at the Seattle Chess Club. There were in all, pharm
33 players in the Open and 33 players in the Reserve. The winners were: Open Section 1st Curt Collyer 3.5 $255.00 (he will be seeded into the state championship); 2nd Josh Sinanan, prostate
Dereque Kelley, David Bragg, Harley Greninger and Bryce Tiglon 3.0 $32.00 each; 1st U2100 Jofrel Landingin 2.5 $125.00; 1st U1900 Nicolo Gelb 2.5 $125.00. Reserve Section 1st-2nd Robert Allen and Vikram Ramasamy 4.5 $157.50 each; 1st U1600 Breck Haining and Zuberi Wilson 3.0 $47.50 each; 1st U1400 Eugene Chin 2.0 $95.00; 1st U1200 Cheyenne Zhang and Augustus Herbst 1.5 $47.50 each. TD for this event was Fred Kleist.

2013 Spokane CC G/10 Event

Pairings of Rd 1. 17 players.
Pairings of Rd 1. 17 players.
Took a few photos during round 1.

Nick Raptis of Portland won the event 4-0.


USCF Crosstable

On Oct 26 8 players sat down to some G/10 chess in Spokane.

CLICK HERE for USCF Crosstable

Spokane Chess Club report from a facebook post


Nikolay Bulakh was a perfect 14.0 in sweeping this eight player double round robin event held at the Spokane Valley Library. Michael Cambareri (11.5) finished second. Brad Bodie (9.0) won the under 1800 prize, cialis while Travis Jones (6.0) won the under 1300 class prize. Dave Griffin again directed this event and donated $100 to the prize fund and all of the entry fees also were returned as prizes.

Eastern Washington Open Results

Spokane CC posts on facebook

Leslie Wins EWO

Cam Leslie swept the field to win the 2013 Eastern Washington Open with a perfect 5.0 score. Second place (4.0) was shared by John Julian and Nikolay Bulakh; Nikolay’s score also won the class A first prize. Second prize in class A went to Jeremy Krasin (3.5). Nicholas Wolff won class B (3.5) after falling to Leslie in the final round, page while second in the class (3.0) was shared by John Dill, Kevin Korsmo, and Walter Van Heemstede Obelt. Ted Baker and Dave Griffin (3.0) won the class C prizes. Ted also scored the biggest upset of the tourney (503 points in round 1) to win the upset prize. Pullman high school sophomore Peter Schumaker (3.5) easily won the class D/under prize, while second place in that category went to another rapidly improving newcomer, David Dussome (2.5). Steve Wallace and Harold Wetmur (2.0) tied for third.

There were 29 players competing this year in addition to two house players. Loyd Willaford directed the event this year, which once again was played at Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center.

CLICK HERE for USCF crosstable

Portland CC Fall Open Results

In an event held Oct 11 in Salem 111 players in 10 sections played chess under the direction of chief TD Jeff Dobbins. The sponsor of the event was the Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation.

CLICK HERE for the USCF crosstable.
On National Chess Day weekend, advice Oct 12-13 49 players took part in a two day event at the Portland Chess Club. Lennart Bjorksten scored 4.5-.5 to top the 21 players in the Open Section and win $250.00. Perfect 5-0 score by Vinka Doddapaneni won the $175.00 top prize in the Reserve Section. Chief TD: GREGORI ALPERNAS

Crosstable on Portland CC website CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE for USCF crosstable

Seattle CC October Quads Results


So this is blogging. Hmm. It’s easy enough to share your news and opinion in a blog, audiologist I suppose. The real question is not whether you can write it, but whether anyone will read it. I like to write, and as an ego-inflated chessplayer, I know I’m pretty good at it. Judging by the quality of some rather successful internet writers I’ve seen, though, being good at it isn’t really necessary. The average reader doesn’t seem to care much about the quality of the writing or the coherence of the argument. (It’s not fair to pick on internet writers exclusively, of course. The quality of many best-sellers is also abysmal.)

Ah, that’s always a good way to start: insult your readers. Guaranteed to generate positive word of mouth. But of course you, dear reader, are not the average internet surfer, but rather are chess-blog readers of distinction and erudition (there, definitely getting back on track). So rather than shoveling any more, let me explain why I’m going to write the occasional post on the NWC blog, and why you should read it.

About two years ago, as I was winding down my most recent stint as editor of the print version of NWC magazine, I began working on an editorial. This was a labor based on one of my pet peeves (a fertile subject for bloggers in general), and in order to support my arguments I asked Rusty Miller to gather some data from back issues of NWC. He kindly took some time away from his genealogical research to dig into 30-year-old issues (probably stored in 30-year-old boxes, for all I know), and in general he confirmed my supposition.

In a nutshell: tournament prize funds and entry fees in Washington and Oregon today are substantially the same as they were 10, 20, and even 30 years ago. Chess money in the Pacific Northwest has not adjusted for inflation.

Well, that wasn’t very difficult. Why didn’t I write that editorial a couple years ago? What’s the trouble here? It doesn’t seem a very controversial conclusion — it’s really just a simple fact, right?

Yes… if that was all there is to it. It’s the side-effects, the unintended consequences, the well-meaning, knee-jerk, populist tournament organizers and chess clubs, the political repercussions… (Huh? What’s he going on about now?)

Here’s what’s been happening. Adult tournament participation has been declining. One reason for this is the internet, of course. You can go online to any number of free or fee sites to play games any time of the day or night. It’s mostly blitz, but there’s always someone there to play, more or less at your level, no driving to a club at hours of their convenience, no parking, no waiting for a game. Heck, if you want you can play naked, no one will know. Go ahead and scarf that pizza, you’ll only smear your own computer, and if you just want to watch there are probably some very strong players duking it out. It’s not exactly tournament chess. Prizes are rare and difficult to win, and you can’t go out to lunch with your buddies or your opponent to post-mortem the game. Every so often you get whomped by a computer cheat… But I digress.

The point is that when fewer people come out to play at the local club tournament, the state or regional championship, or what have you, the tournament organizers try to figure out how to get the numbers back up, or at least hold onto the players that they have. And the very first knee-jerk impulse is this: lower entry fees. Yes, by making it cheaper to play chess, it becomes more accessible to more players. More people will come, right?

Wrong. For two reasons.

First, lower entry fees means lower prizes. Second, if you lower the cost, you make it more accessible… to whom? People who have little money.

Not everyone plays for prize money, of course. A vast majority really can’t expect to win prize money at most tournaments, right? So, does it matter if there are prizes? Many chessplayers play for the love of the game. Yes, but many don’t want to invest a bunch of money as well as their time just for the love of the game. As it also pertains to the lack of inflation in entry fees and prizes at relatively high-end events, it’s important to note the principle is not the expectation of winning, but the reasonable (read: optimistic) possibility of winning. And the amount your inflated ego says you have a semi-realistic chance at must be about double, or at least more than, what it would take to cover all expenses including entry fee, travel, and lodging. More on this later, complete with actual tournament data, but suffice to say that tournaments that might have seemed worthwhile to travel to a few decades ago now fail the test due to inflation.

Second, if you lower the cost, you make it more accessible… to whom? People who have little money. Like, college students, the unemployed, the homeless. People who spend all their cash on alcohol and cigarettes… (Nope, no stereotyping here.) I’m not saying there should not be events that cater to people with no money. However, keep in mind that millionaires rarely socialize at soup kitchens. (Huh? Let me elucidate.) If your club or tournament is designed to attract the dregs, don’t expect a lot of cream. (Oh yeah, sure, that was much more clear.) One last try: rich people don’t hang out with the unwashed. (Oh. So?)

Despite the large number of chessplayers who never do really amount to much in the world of business outside of chess (such as myself), there’s a small subset of players who actually get, you know, jobs and careers and the like. They usually disappear from chess for years or even decades while they make their way in the world, then they find some leisure time or start taking some of their three years of accumulated vacation time, and they look at playing in tournaments again. They are not, repeat, not, going to end up playing in the free-entry-no-prizes special at the club with 10 members who all smoke and play pinochle.

In 2011 the Portland Chess Club with their Centennial celebration tournament showed the way to bring some of these successful-type semi-retired former players out of the woodwork. They ran an event with $10,000 in prizes. The total number of players was significantly larger than a standard Oregon Open, which is normally the biggest event of the year in the Portland area, and there were quite a few faces returning to chess after extended absence.

Woo hoo! That Centennial was big, right? Huge prizes, way more than regular tournaments… Well, no, actually. Yes, it was bigger than anything seen recently (this was the year before the US Open came to the greater Portland area). But… Consider the Oregon Open. Over 30 years ago, the Oregon Open prize fund was $3000. Today, the Oregon Open prize fund is… $3000. If it had kept up with inflation, the Oregon Open would be offering something like $11,000. In other words, the Centennial was what the Oregon Open should be every year. The Centennial, in order to really be a big contrast, should have offered prizes on the order of $35,000.

The only tournaments that have, in fact, adjusted prizes (and entry fees) upward in the last 30 years (I’m not kidding) are the ones that got brief corporate sponsorship from Inside Chess back in the 1990s. Not to toot my own horn (too much), but in fact these were all events that I organized, and the sponsorship was my idea. I was wearing multiple chess hats back then, serving as WCF President as well as working at International Chess Enterprises, the publisher of Inside Chess. Starting with the 1992 Washington Chess Convention (featuring the Washington Open), and continuing with the Washington Class Championships, we upgraded these events from rather tiny local tournaments to gatherings worth traveling to play. That was the good news. The bad news is that since the mid-1990s, these events have also stagnated.

So, what’s the problem? Why don’t organizers just increase the entry fees and prizes? The risk (and every tournament involves risk to the organizer) would be proportionately the same as it was decades ago, right? Why not just go for it?






Part of playing room at Seattle CC, <a href=
there photo taken by Russell Miller ” width=”1467″ height=”1100″ class=”size-full wp-image-1184″ /> Part of playing room at Seattle CC, dosage
photo taken by Russell Miller

6 sections of 24 players total were played at the Seattle Chess Club on October 5. Fred Kleist of Seattle was the chief TD. Section winners were:
Roland Feng, otolaryngologist
Samuel He and Nicolo Rainier (tie), Faris Gulamali, Boas Lee, Aaryan Harshawardhan, Freya Gulamali.

CLICK HERE for USCF crosstable