Spokane Chess Club

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   The club's August 23 meeting will be held in Room 327 of College Hall (formerly known as the Administration Building) as the Jepson Center will be tied up in Orientation Weekend events for the new students arriving on campus.  We will return to Jepson on August 30 for the end of the Ajeeb Quads. Use the elevator to the third floor of College Hall; upon exiting room 327 will be a short distance to your right.




    The results from the final afternoon of action are in:  Michael Cambareri retained the City Championship trophy by defeating David Rowles, 2.5 to 1.5, claiming the prize for the fourth consecutive year.  The Spokane Falls Open was won by Brad Bodie and Tito Tinajero, each of whom scored 4.5. Brad, who had the only perfect score heading into round five action, drew with second seed Braxton Casey, while Tito won his board 2 encounter with John Walton to join Brad on top.

    In the City Championship match, the advantage was with black the entire match!  David Rowles secured a draw with black in the first game, and then black won each of the following three games.

    There were lots of prize winners in the SFO, which saw a record turnout of 35 players, many of whom were young scholastic players giving open chess a try!  Sam Rainey and Walter van Heemstede Obelt won the U/1800 prize with scores of 4.0.  David Peoples (3.0) took first in the U/1600 section, while Ted Baker, Louis Blair, and Sam Sauder shared the second prize.  The U/1400 prizes were shared by Max McGougan and Aniket Parlapalli, both of whom scored 3.0.  The top U/1200 prize went to Bryce Leifeste of Eagle Idaho, who also scored 3.0.  Second place was shared by Finn Belew and Justin Clark, each of whom scored 2.5.  Finn also claimed the prize for the biggest upset with a victory over a player rated 322 points above him.  Congratulations to everyone!



   The always popular Ajeeb Quads, which  kicked off on August 9, has now expanded to five sections (20 players) that will finish on either August 23 or August 30.  The Ajeebs have been the club's primary August event since the mid-1990s.

Recently at club

     The July 26 and August 2 club meetings featured a double round robin g/20 Quick Quads, with three games being played each week.  Michael Cambareri won the top squad with a 5-1 score, while Dave Griffin was a perfect 6-0 in winning the second quad.  The cross table link is found on our Recent Results page.

    A highlight of the August 2nd meeting was an appearance by Nate Fewel, making his first visit to Spokane in 5 years.  Nate was the club's strongest player during the mid-1990s and received a chess scholarship to the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he competed on national championship teams.  Nate is a pharmacist living in Texas.  He brought his family up to visit and was able to make time to drop in and talk with some of the oldtimers.  Thanks for the visit, Nate!!



   The old guard stayed in place during the election of officers at the club's annual meeting on May 17, 2018.  Michael Cambareri was selected to serve a second term as president, and Ted Baker and Kevin Korsmo kept on in their roles as secretary and treasurer.  Tito Tinajero is the new vice president.


APRIL 28-29


     Fourth seed Antonius Raelund of Kallispell won this year's Inland Empire Open with a perfect 5.0 score.  Second place (4.0) was shared by Steve Merwin and Sam Rainey.  Rainey also won the biggest upset -- all four of his victories were upsets!  There were lots of other winners: the second class A prize was shared by Braxton Casey and Mika Mitchell.  James Inman was tops in class B (3.5), with Walter van Heemstede Obelt (3.0) second.   Due to Rainey sharing second, the class C first place went to teenager Jonathan Geyman (3.0), while Louis Blair and Sam Comi (2.5) shared the second place prize.  William Merry (2.0) won the D/E section, with Bill Rottmayer and Zihan Wang (1.5) sharing second in the section.   

      The tournament began with a pair of upsets in the first round, with Rainey's first upset the largest of the tourney.  The trend continued in rounds two and three.  Raelund topped Michael Cambareri in a board one slugfest that was highly entertaining.  When the first day's action had ended, the only two perfect scores belonged to Raelund and Rainey.  That pair was scheduled to meet on board one in round four.  The round had a bizarre start, with six of the 23 players missing in action, including both on board one! Raelund, who was staying in Coeur d'Alene, took a wrong turn and entered the east bound freeway back towards Montana rather heading west to Spokane.  He arrived at 10:00; Rainey, who was confused over the starting time, likewise arrived at 10, and a double forfeit was avoided.  Dividing up the remaining time, the two played a g/90 event with Raelund racing to the victory.  While the other late arrivals had varying difficulties, an extremely unusual problem sidelined Sam Comi.  He went to the parking lot in his building only to find that police had closed the street (and most of his neighborhood) for a cancer fundraising run.  Officers removed barrier and opened up the roads at 11, too late to avoid a forfeiture!  Meanwhile, top seeds Steve Merwin and Michael Cambareri drew in their board two encounter.  James Inman of  Nampa, ID, followed up his strong results in the 2018 Collyer Memorial with another good outing. After claiming victory in round four, he was the only player with a 3.5 score and found himself facing Raelund on board one.  Raelund won out, as did both Merwin and Rainey in their contests to claim second place.

    There were 23 players in this year's event, which again was played at Gonzaga's Jepson Center.  The cross table link for the tournament can be found on our IEO page (link at left).



   Lew Allwardt, a club stalwart in the 1990s, died April 30, 2018.  Lew and Gary Younker originated the Spokane travelling contingents to Missoula and other Montana chess destinations.  Someone who threw himself whole-heartedly into whatever activity he undertook, Lew was a serious student of the game, always looking to improve his play.  He brought Georgi Orlov over to Spokane for a clock simul and, in those pre-internet days, would send his games in to masters for analysis and suggestions -- and then freely shared those insights with his opponents at club!  Lew, an electrician with his own business, was also a financial supporter of the club and served as part of Gary Younker's brain trust following the death of Dave Collyer.  One of the friendliest and most outgoing club members of the era, he also worked quietly in the background to help things run smoothly.

   There was an internment service at the Washington Veteran's Cemetery in Medical Lake on May 25, 2018, and a celebration of life later that day at the Cathay Inn on Division Street. 





   The club suffered another loss recently with the death of Rod Stackelberg on March 18.  Rod had not been an active player for many years, but was always a willing helper in the background.  He was a three time club champion in the early 1980s and also served as club president during that era.  Rod, a longtime professor of history at Gonzaga, was the one responsible for moving the club onto the GU campus and served as our faculty sponsor for more than two decades.  Rod was born in Germany and lived there throughout WWII, which ended in Europe on his 10th birthday!  That experience shaped his professional life and he was regarded as an expert in 20th century German history, with special emphasis on WWII.  A memorial service will be held May 19.


 February 24-25


   The action ran late, with quite a few games running to the end of their time controls, but the 26th Dave Collyer Memorial is now complete.  IM John Donaldson, who drew with Michael Cambareri in the final round, shared first place with Spokane chess veteran Dave Rowles.  The two finished with scores of 4.5 to finish 1/2 point ahead of LM Viktors Pupols, Michael Cambareri, John Julian, and Garret Casey.  Casey took home the first place prize in Class A, while the other three split third prize and the expert prize.  The co-championship was the first Collyer title for Rowles.

   After defeating Julian in round four, Donaldson entered the final round with a 1/2 point lead over four contenders.  While Cambareri had to play Donaldson, Rowles and Steve Merwin matched up on board two, while Travis Elisara, having himself a great tournament, was matched against Pupols.  Michael went on the attack against Donaldson, but after the IM blunted that effort, a tight position ensued that made a breakthrough difficult, with the parties eventually agreeing to a draw.  Rowles and Merwin went to the wire, with Dave finishing nicely when Steve got in his typical time pressure.  On board three, Travis put up a good fight, but Viktors broke him down late in the clock for a victory that moved the LM into a tie for third place. 

   Five players finished second in Class A with scores of 3.5: Braxton Casey, Steve Merwin, Jim Skovron, Wilton Strickland, and James Stripes.  The Class B prizes were split by Travis Elisara and Nick Martonick, both of whom also scored 3.5.  The Class C prizes were split by Cleve Johnson and Austin Yeo with scores of 3.0.  David Peoples won Class D with a score of 2.5, while William Merry and Jerry Richards (aided by Morgan, the chess dog) finished second at 2.0.  The Class E/unrated section was won by Alex Rosenkrantz (3.0), while newcomers to Spokane chess tied for second (2.0) in the section:  Brandon Arnold, James Badgett, Walter justice, and Hayden Sweeney. 

     Dallas Filan won the top upset award for defeating Pupols in round 1.  Dallas had been absent from tournament chess since 2011, but recently returned to the region (he now lives in Walla Walla) and picked up chess again.  Badgett, from the San Francisco Bay area, took the second upset prize for a victory in a case where there was a 491 point differential.

   Four players from the initial Collyer event in 1993 also played in this tourney -- Steve Fabian, Dave Griffin, Dave Rowles, and Loyd Willaford.  A total of 60 players took part this year.  The event was played at the Millwood Presbyterian Church's Community Center, the site of the previous two Collyer Memorial tourneys. 

   The weekend kicked off on Friday, February 23, at River Park Square in downtown Spokane.  Six players took part in a double round robin blitz tournament, with Cam Leslie scoring 9 of 10 to easily win the event.  The blitz event was followed by the annual lecture from International Master John Donaldson.  After the lecture, the IM took on 18 players in a simultaneous exhibition.  Rory Peterson was able to secure a victory, and the IM was nicked for a pair of draws, but won the other 15 games.

   The USCF cross table link can be found on our Collyer Memorial page (link at left).


Winter Championship:

Cambareri Clear First   


      Michael Cambareri won the Winter Championship, finishing with a perfect 5.0 score after defeating Walter van Heemstede Obelt in the final round.  Cam Leslie and Tito Tinajero finished second with scores of 3.5 and claimed the second place and class B prizes.  Austin Yeo (3.0) won the class C section, and David Peoples and Bill Rottmayer each scored 2.0 to share the class D section prize.  The cross table link is posted on our Club Championship page (link at left).

Previously in the event:

    Michael Cambareri defeated Tito Tinajero on board one in round four to move his score to a perfect 4.0 and guarantee no worse than a tie for first place.

   Michael Cambareri won the round three battle of experts, topping Cam Leslie to move into first place with the only perfect 3.0 score of the winter championship.  Tito Tinajero, 2.5 after taking a second round bye due to illness, is alone in second place and will meet Michael on board 1 in week four.

     The always popular Winter Championship began its five round/six week journey on January 18, but quite a few club members were victimized by illness, leading to three of the eight games being postponed.  The other five games saw the higher seeded player win.  Byes dropped two more of the undefeated out of the second round competition on January 25, leaving top seeds Cam Leslie and Michael Cambareri as the only two perfect scores. 

    The event is being played at g/90 with a total of 15 entrants and two house players.




  Club stalwart Jim Waugh died January 17, 2018, three months short of his 89th birthday.  Jim was hospitalized on the 15th following a medical emergency and passed away two days later.  After a private family burial service, the Zips Drive-In at 725 East Francis in Spokane celebrated Jim on January 24. 

   In addition, Jim was recalled at the club's meeting on January 25 prior to the start of the second round of the Winter Championship.  There were 24 current and former club players who participated in telling stories about our "Mr. Coffee," including Dave Rowles, Dawn Fields, James Stripes, and Robert "Obie" Obannan.  Jim's gentleness and kindness, and the efforts he made to make everyone feel welcome at club, were some of the common themes of the stories.  Jim will be missed. 

  Attached is the link to the Cover photo of Jim in the June 2013 edition of Northwest Chess: http://www.nwchess.com/nwcmag/back_issues.htm    Scroll down to June, 2013 picture.  A brief story on page 2 explains Jim's history with the Spokane Chess Club.  The picture shows Jim in action at the Inland Empire Open two days before his 84th birthday.