Spokane Chess Club

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   Michael Cambareri scored a perfect 4.0 to top the 12-person field competing in the Triumphant G/61 tourney held at club on March 16 & 23.  The event was played over two weeks, both of which corresponded with Gonzaga men's basketball NCAA tournament games.  The start of the third round was delayed several minutes while everyone watched the Zags topple West Virginia!

  Kevin Korsmo took second place with a 3.0 score and claimed the over 1600 prize.  The prize for the 1500 section was shared by Walter van Heemstede Obelt and Dave Griffin (2.0), while Ted Baker won the under1500 section with the same score.  The USCF cross table link is posted on our Recent Results page (link at left).

  There will be a Quick Quads (g/20) played on March 30.




    John Donaldson recaptured the title of champion of the Dave Collyer Memorial, winning the 25th edition of this event with a perfect 5.0 score.  Second seed Jim Maki (4.5) took second place after defeating Curt Collyer in the final game of the event.  Third place (4.0) was shared by Carl Haessler and John Julian. With four master/international masters and another four experts, this field was the strongest top end to ever compete in the Collyer.  The field of 59 (plus two house players) was the same as the previous year.

     The event began quietly enough, with but a single upset in the first round, although that (as is often the case) stood up as the biggest upset of the event. Nick Martonick scored a 454 point victory that stood for the entire event.  The second round saw a few more upsets, including two experts falling, and a pair of large upsets involving provisionally-rated players.  Loyd Willaford's 371 point victory won the prize for the biggest upset of the round.

     Curt Collyer took a third round bye to deal with a persistent cold, but the other three top seeds were pushed into the late evening before winning.  John Donaldson defeated Michael Cambareri in the night's last game.  Donaldson's clock showed sixteen second remaining, to Cambareri's four seconds, when the IM completed a mate with a knight, bishop, and pawn.  Expect to see that game written up in Northwest Chess. Missoula veteran Frank Miller won the upset prize for the round with a 371 point conquest.

    Round four saw the six remaining perfect scores match up: David Arganian against John Donaldson on board one, Jim Maki and Chris Kalina on board two, and Carl Haessler and John Julian on board 3. Donaldson won against the Seattle expert, while Maki drew Kalina, making his first Collyer appearance since 2009.  In the next to last game of the round, Julian pulled out the victory over Haessler. That result y also was the biggest upset of the round.

    Round five saw Donaldson have to work hard to defeat Julian, and the victory cemented a clear first with a perfect 5.0 score.  Maki and Collyer played the last game of the tourney before Maki fended off Collyer's attack and claimed the victory and a clear second place.  Haessler rebounded by defeating Kalina and shared third place with Julian.  The two split that prize and the class A first prize.  David Griffin achieved the top upset of the final round.

    There were numerous other winners.  Arganian and Kalina split the Expert prize with scores of 3.5. Five players shared second in class A with 3.5 scores: Scott Caldwell, Braxton and Garrett Casey, Mark Havrilla, and Karl Reutter.  The two class B prizes were shared by Dan McCourt, Jim Skovron, and James Stripes.  First place in class C went to youngster Jonathan Geyman (3.0) of Idaho, while Griffin and Martonick (2.5) shared the second place prize.  Class D was won by Shancie Wagner (2.5), while William Merry (2.0) took second in the class.  Youngster Varun scored 2.0 in his very first USCF tournament to win the class E/unrated prize, while second in that category was shared by Greg Callen and Cecelia Valeriotte (1.5).  Another youngster, Arnav Wadikar, won the prize for best performance by a provisional player.  His performance rating for the event was over 1,000 points higher than his rating!

    The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702262862

    The weekend kicked off with the traditional lecture and simul from John Donaldson at River Park Square on Friday, February 24.  The topic of this year's lecture was the gold medal won by the U.S. team at the Chess Olympiad.  John captained the team to its first gold in 40 years!  Fifteen players took on the IM after the lecture, with the challengers scoring two victories (by Michael Cambareri and Jason Cross), and one draw (Alex Herron).  For the rest of us, it was an opportunity to begin preparing for next year!

    John Julian won the eight player blitz tournament at RPS preceding the lecture. The cross table link for that event is found here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702241202


 Recently at Club

    The club's March 9 meeting featured a double round robin blitz night, with Michael Cambareri winning the event with a perfect 8.0 score.  Michael also topped the eight player March Sanity g/25 quick event held at club on March 2.  Dave Griffin finished second with 2.5.  The cross table link for both events can be found on our Recent Results page (link at left).




    James Stripes won his first club championship, coming back from a lost position when Karl Reutter's time trouble led to imprecise play that allowed James to mount a winning counter attack.  The new champion claimed to have been lost in four of his five games, but survived all of them to achieve a score of 4.5.  Improving on the old Ben Franklin adage, James sagely stated: "mental discipline and hard work improves luck." 

    For awhile, it looked like there was possibly going to be a massive tie for first, as Karl appeared to have James on the ropes and close games among the other contenders suggested multiple draws were in the offing.  However, on a night when white won only two of the games, James's escape on board one led to a single champion.  When the other games concluded, Michael Cambareri and John Frostad tied for second place with scores of 4.0.  Michael claimed the second place prize and John the 1600 category prize.  The 1500 prize went to Jason Cross (3.0), while Alex Herron (3.5) won the 1400 category.  Logan Faulkner (2.5) claimed the under 1400 category prize.  The biggest upset prize went to Cecelia Valeriotte, whose upset final round draw just edged Ron Weyland for the prize.

       The club's Winter Championship began its five round run on January 19 with 19 players taking part. The field expanded to 20 players for round two.



   The 82nd Montana Open is being played the weekend of April 1-2 in Missoula.  This fine tourney rotates among several Montana chess centers, with this year's event being the closest to Spokane.  There are a couple of car loads of club members heading east to the Big Sky, so consider the Open in your chess plans.  See the flyer on our Area Events link (at left).




   For the second time in four years, Dishman Hills has won the GSL team championship.  Dishman scored 2.5 from 3 to win a round robin tournament held at Gonzaga Prep on March 3, 2017.  Dishman edged Shadle 3-2 in the first round match that essentially decided the event.  Shadle finished second with a 2-1 score.  An undermanned Ferris team saw its top two players, Alex Nguyen and Tai Chu sweep all three of their games, but it was not enough. Ferris did draw its match with Dishman in the final round.  Nguyen won the trophy for top individual performance.

  A cross table link to the event will be posted on our Scholastic Events page (link at left) when the event is rated next week.

 The winning Dishman Hills team with coach Ron Jackson:





2016-2017 Grand Prix Updated for New Year

        This season's club grand prix standings have been updated through the beginning of the year.  Defending champion Michael Cambareri maintains his lead, but Pat Herbers and Karl Reutter are in striking distance.

        Complete details, and the updated Scoring Rules, are available on our Grand Prix page (link at left).


Recently at Club

        Club returned from holiday break on January 12 with a night of quick quads.  Michael Cambareri was a perfect 3-0 in winning Quad A, while Louis Blair and Logan Faulkner shared the top honors in Quad B with scores of 2-1.

        Five players took part in a round robin blitz night on December 15, the last night before the holidays.  Michael Cambareri topped the field with a score of 7-1, while Alex Herron finished second with a score of 5-3.  The cross table for the event can be found on our recent results page (link at left).

       The club's December 8 meeting saw 12 present at club; six of them took part in a round robin g/10 quick tourney.  The event was won by Jason Cross with a perfect 5.0 score.  Michael Cambareri (4.0) finished second.  The cross table link can be found on our Recent Results page. 



Bishop's Sacrifice

 by Dr. James Stripes


The Bishop's Sacrifice Youth Tournament was played at St. John Vianney School in Spokane Valley, Washington on March 18, 2017.  There were four youth sections and a parents competition.

            Alex Herron finished with a perfect 5.0 in the K-12 section.  Varun Ambalavanan (4.0) lost to Alex in round four, but won his other four games. He took the second place trophy.  Evan Craciun (4.0) won first in seventh grade. He finished behind Varun on tie-breaks largely because his loss came in round two, leading to slightly easier pairings. Cameron Simonds (3.5) was first in grade six; Christopher Bruceri (3.5) was the top eighth grader.  Aiden Oos-MacFadden won biggest upset with an astounding 648 point gap between his rating and that of one of his victims.

            Seven of the sixteen players in K-5 could have played in K-3, but opted for stiffer competition. Three players finished on top with 4.0 each; Benjamin Johnson drew with both of the other two, winning first place on tie-breaks.   Vishal Achanta and Rohan Dhillon also finished without a loss, both drawing Benjamin and one other player. Vishal was second on tie-breaks, and Rohan took home the trophy for top fourth grader.  Cole Knapton (3.5), who lost to Benjamin in the first round, won three straight before drawing Rohan in the last round. He took home a trophy for his efforts.   Matthew Hou (3.0) won the upset trophy for that section.

            Brax Proszek, playing in his first scholastic tournament, won first in the K-3 section with 4.5. Second place went to Elijah Tobin, the only 4.0, and Brax's fifth round victim.  Grade level trophies went to Zihan Wang (3.5), second grade, and Rishi Achanta (3.5), third grade. Andy Bao (3.0) won the upset trophy. The K-3 section was the largest with twenty players.  Most were in grades two and three, but included one kindergartner.  He finished with an impressive 3.0.  Due to such stiff competition, Yashas Hithalamane should be well prepared for the state tournament six weeks from now.

            With only six players, the K-1 section was played as a round robin, rather than a Swiss as the other sections. Henry Cartwright (4.5) gave up a single draw to Nicholas Lucas, beating all the others. Nicholas won the kindergarten trophy. Ethan Lactot and Collin Craciun drew each other and both lost to Henry. As a consequence of his other draw being against a player finishing higher in the standings, Ethan won the first grade trophy.

            Team competition was hot with seven schools represented by four or more players each. Libby again won top honors with 14.0. All Saints School earned their first team trophy with a 13.0 second place finish. Shakar Achanta was perfect in the parents section. Combining his score with his highest scoring son gave them a solid 7.0, winning a chess book.

            FM Jim Maki saw more of these games than anyone because of devoting most of the day to game analysis; more than half of the sixty youth players brought their game scores to his table.  James Stripes also saw several dozen games as he provided game analysis when other duties did not interfere. Judges on the playing floor saw parts of many games.  One game judged checkmate by the players featured a position that could not be reached legally.  However, in accordance with a firm non-interference policy, the judges did not interrogate the players with the intent of discovering how a king on f4 could be checked both by a knight on h3 and a bishop on c1. That the king had no escape was clear to the players and judges present.

             Another game featured a deft bishop move by the player of the Black pieces.  After he moved his bishop to c6, there were threats towards White's pawn on f3. Each player had a rook on the open e-file. White could have taken Black's rook, but that would have allowed Bxf3+, when the Black bishop would be forking White's queen and king. Black's threats included an exchange off rooks on e1, which would have deflected White's queen from its defense of f3.  The game ended with checkmate a few moves later.   Black's coach was pleased to see how his student coordinated pieces in attack.



  Our Scholastic Events page is updated when flyers for events are received. Event reports will also be published there as received, along with the ratings report cross table link.