Chess in Equatorial Guinea

Story submitted by Seth Talyansky, email

We, the leaders of the Catlin Gabel Chess Club, investigated the circumstances of chess in Equatorial Guinea (EG), the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, as a project for Spanish class. After Seth’s saga of efforts to connect us with people in EG, which we recount in an article for the July issue of the Northwest Chess magazine, we received a message from Mr. Federico Ele Rano, a passionate advocate for chess in Equatorial Guinea. According to him, the chess players in the country number two dozen, none FIDE-rated. The first “semi-professional” tournament in Equatorial Guinean history was held recently in Malabo, the capital. Federico is looking to establish both scholastic and general competitive chess in EG. In particular, he is seeking help with acquiring chess materials. We’re fundraising for sets, clocks, and books for donation to EG. We have created an online GoFundMe page at

Please see the July issue of NWC (when available) and/or the linked page for more information.

Anthony He becomes Washington’s youngest ever master

Anthony He became Washington State’s youngest ever master on June 5, 2016. Anthony achieved the title at age 11 years, 3 months, and 20 days, breaking the previous record held by FM Roland Feng. Anthony scored 3.5/4 at the WA Open in Lynnwood and gained 21 points to boost his rating to 2199, scoring a win against NM Daniel He and drawing with FM Tian Sang along the way. He then won a game at the SCC June tornado to gain the necessary two more points, topping out at 2201. Congratulations, Anthony!

Anthony He
Anthony He – Washington’s youngest master!

Reported by Josh Sinanan.

Olde Middle School Team Tied for First in K-8 at National Junior High Championship

Congratulations to Bellevue’s Olde Middle School chess team on their outstanding achievement tying for 1st place in K-8 at the National Junior High Championship in Indianapolis, IN, held 15-17 April 2016. Derek Zhang (2148) and Naomi Bashkansky (1993) led the team with a score of 6/7, tying for 3rd place in the 272 player section.  Other members of the team include Brian Chen (1624), Richard Yang (1635), James Lai (1602), Benjamin Mousseau (938), and Aidan Lawler (1366). Vikram Ramasamy (2067) also had great success in the Blitz K-9 event, finished in a tie for 2nd place among 191 participants.

Also, as reported by US Chess, “Maggie Feng finished the tournament with a score of 6.5/7 and became the first girl in history to win the K-9 Championship” … See

Story contributed by Hock San Lee.

Washington players tie for 1st in National High School Championship

Congratulations to Kyle Haining (2191) and Bryce Tiglon (2357) for sharing first place with four other 2400+ rated players at the National High School Championship in Atlanta, GA, held April 1-3, 2016. [All six players scored 6.0 points in 7 rounds.] Kyle pulled off an incredible feat by defeating two 2400+ rated players in the last two rounds. Daniel He (2268) finished a half-point behind at 5.5/7 and placed 9th overall among 284 players. Other notable performances at 5/7 include Samuel He (2263, placed 26th) who went undefeated and drew an IM, and Benjamin Brusniak (1932, placed 34th). Washington players also dominated the Blitz championship with five players finishing in the top 12 – Samuel He (#2), Bryce Tiglon (#3), Daniel He (#5), Noah Fields (#8) and Kyle Haining (#12). Last but not least, the Lakeside team finished 2nd and Redmond High placed 8th in the nation!

Reported by Hock San Lee. | See the US Chess cross table.

Lakeside Chess Team at 2016 National High School Championship.
Lakeside Chess Team at 2016 National High School Championship.

Photo: Back row (L to R): Coach Siva Sankrithi, Masayuki Nagase, Benjamin Brusniak, Justin Yu, Bryce Tiglon, Toshihiro Nagase, Coach Josh Sinanan. Front row: Allistair Yu, Chandler Moy, Wesley Yu, Cheyenne Zhang. Photo Credit: Hideyuki Nagase.

National Junior High Chess Championships

Story contributed by Breck Haining.

Three Seattle Chess Club members, Kyle and Karen Haining and Vikram Ramasamy, played in the National Junior High Chess Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, the last weekend of April 2015. In the National K-9 Bughouse Championship tournament Kyle and Vikram teamed up and won 3rd place. Karen and a boy from Detroit teamed up and won 24th place. 42 teams competed in the bughouse tournament. In the National K-9 Blitz Championship tournament Kyle won 1st place and Vikram tied for 8th place and won 15th place on tie breaks. 181 students competed in the blitz tournament. In the National K-9 Chess Championship tournament, Kyle won 5th place in the K-9 Championship section, Vikram tied for 20th place and won 24th place on tie breaks in the K-8 Championship section, and Karen tied for 5th place and won 13th place on tie breaks in the K-9 Under 1250 section.

Over 900 players from across the nation participated in the chess championship tournament. 140 students competed in the K-9 Championship section. Of these, at least five were National Masters, and another eight had expert ratings. 216 students competed in the K-8 Championship section. Of these, at least four were National Masters, and 15 more had expert ratings.

159 students competed in the K-9 Under 1250 section. 169 students competed in the K-8 Under 1000 section. 183 students competed in the K-8 Under 750 section. 50 students competed in the K-9 Unrated section.

Additional details about the National Junior High School Chess Championships may be found at:

Kyle and Vikram with their bughouse trophies.
Kyle and Vikram with their bughouse trophies.

Some late February results

Results and USCF cross tables for some tournaments held (or completed) in the Northwest in late February:

Spokane Winter Championship (ended Feb. 26) – Darren Russell won with a perfect 5.0 score, raising his rating from 1898 to 1955. USCF cross table link.

Seattle February Tornado (Feb. 22) – Dereque Kelley won with a perfect 4.0 score, raising his rating from 2192 to 2208. USCF cross table link.

Portland February G/60 (Feb. 28) – Nick Raptis and Michael Goffe tied for first, each with a perfect 4.0 score. Had there been another round, they would have played each other in this 31-player event. Raptis, who is also the Oregon chess champion, is now rated 2402, and Goffe 1931. USCF cross table link.

Noah Fields is WA State High School Champion!

Noah Fields, a 9th grader from Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, won clear first place at the WA High School Individual Championship. Noah is a long-time student of IM Georgi Orlov, and his rating has now passed 2100 for the very first time. Along the way, he defeated both of the master-level He Brothers in back-to-back games and held a draw against expert James Colasurdo to clinch the title! For his victory, Noah will represent Washington State at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions this August held alongside the U.S. Open in Phoenix.

The tournament took place Jan. 23-24, 2015 at Lakeside School in Seattle and attracted over 90 players, including two National Masters and a handful of strong experts and class A players. The majority of players took part in the Reserve U1200 section. The tournament was directed by Ben Radin with assistance from WHSCA President Siva Sankrithi and organized by WCF Tournament Coordinator Dan Mathews. It has now been USCF rated: See the crosstable.

Colasurdo vs. Fields at the 2015 WA High School Individual Championship.
Colasurdo vs. Fields at the 2015 WA High School Individual Championship.

Anath Gottumukkala wins WA Junior Open

Reported by WCF president Josh Sinanan.

Recent International Community School graduate Anath Gottumukkala (rated only 1278 USCF, 1634 NW) won clear first at the Washington Junior Open on MLK Monday (Jan. 19, 2015) with 4/4!  For his victory, Anath is seeded into the 2015 WA Premier and 2016 WA Junior Closed.

This was only Anath’s 8th USCF-rated event.  Along the way, he defeated Fred Davis (1850), Arjun Thomas (1781), Quentin Chi (1952), and Toshihiro Nagase (1987) for a performance rating of 2387. See a future edition of Northwest Chess for one or more of his games and a report on the event.

Anath Gottumukkala with trophy at 2015 Washington Junior Open
Anath Gottumukkala with trophy at 2015 Washington Junior Open

Daniel He repeats as winner of Washington Junior Closed

Congratulations to Daniel He for winning the Washington Junior Closed two years in a row! This is a six-player annual invitational tournament of the best junior chess players in Washington. Daniel He finished with 4 of 5 points, drawing twice but going undefeated. Ethan Bashkansky finished a close second with 3.5, drawing three times (including to He) but also going undefeated. All players in the event, including Daniel’s brother Samuel, are rated above 2000 USCF. (A USCF crosstable will be posted when available.) Daniel qualifies as a seed in the Washington State Championship to be held in Seattle in February. Results reported by TD and WCF Scholastic Director David Hendricks.

Daniel He, winner of 2015 Washington Junior Closed.
Daniel He, winner of 2015 Washington Junior Closed.