Eastern Washington Open

This page contains the event reports for the Eastern Washington Open dating back to 2003!  Scroll down to check out the old stories, photos, and the cross table links.

2018 Eastern Washington Open (Sept. 29-30)

James Stripes and Tito Tinajero tied for first in this year’s Eastern Washington Open.  Each scored 4.5 by winning four contests and taking a bye.  Stripes outbattled Gonzaga Prep Junior Braxton Casey, winning when the youngster stumbled in time trouble.  Likewise, Tinajero beat your editor in the last game of the event when his hapless opponent missed a two move mate and flagged in another time scramble that ended shortly after the board one match between Casey and Stripes.

With Stripes and Tinajero claiming the first and second place prizes, there were plenty of class winners:  Brad Bodie and Casey shared the A prize, while John Frostad, Kevin Korsmo, Walter van Heemestede Obelt, and John Wheaton shared the B prizes.  David Peoples scored 4.0 to win the class C first prize handily, with Jeremy Burnett and Sam Sauder sharing second in the class.  Pat Kirlin (3.0) won the D and under category, while Grace Deng and Robert Hill shared second.  

Finally, Tito also won the biggest upset with a victory against an opponent rated 259 points higher.  Ted Baker directed the tournament for the first time.  A total of 26 players participated.

USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201809308432 

2017 Eastern Washington Open (Sept. 30 — Oct. 1)

      The 2017 installment of the Eastern Washington Open was won by Michael Cambareri, Kairav Joshi, and Steve Merwin.  Each scored 3.5 in the five round event to best the field of 18 (17 plust one house player). The small size of the event was unusual, as was the concentration of players in the A and B categories; only two entrants were rated below 1599.  Another very unusual feature was the score differential by color.  In each round, black outscored white.  The final round saw black go 7.5-.5!  In all black won 24, drew 6, and lost only 6. 

   The play was uniformly strong, with most games (unsurprisingly with the balanced field) running to late in the time controls.  Some individual performances stood out.  Tito Tinajero had an excellent tourney and gained 104 rating points while winning two games and drawing one, with but a single loss (and a third round bye).  The first day’s action left him as the only 2.5 score.  The only perfect first day belonged to Kairav Joshi, who marked his return to over the board tournament chess with an excellent outing.  Kairav took a fourth round bye, an action that precluded meeting Tinajero on Sunday morning.  Instead, both of the frontrunners ran into the top seed, Cameron Leslie.  The expert, who recently returned to the area, had to miss the first day’s action.  He was seeded in for pairing purposes (but not prizes) at 2.5.  He took on Tinajero on board one in round four.  Tito sacked a bishop for a draw by perpetual check.  In the fifth round, Joshi and Leslie battled out in one of the last games of the day.  Joshi missed a win in a time scramble and then lost his queen on a skewer.  By that point, Cambareri and Merwin had already won to force their way into a tie.  The final game of the day saw eighth grader Garrett Casey draw Tony Telinbacco after reaching a balanced endgame.  Telinbacco, currently living in Colorado, is moving to Spokane soon and decided to check out area chess activity. 

   The top three shared the first and second prizes, as well as the top class A prize.  The other prize winners were: Garrett Casey and Tony Telinbacco, who tied for second and third in class A with 3.0 scores; Tito Tinajero was first in class B with 3.0; Jason Cross and Walter van Heemstede Obelt (2.5) shared the second and third prizes in class B; Sam Rainey (2.0) topped the class C/under category, while Louis Blair and Bill Rottmayer claimed the second and third prizes.  Walter also took the top upset prize with a 367 point upset in round four.

    The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201710018522

2016 Eastern Washington Open (Oct. 1-2)

        Local chess veteran Brad Bodie and newcomer Joseph Roberts, attending college in Moscow, Idaho, tied for first place in this year’s Eastern Washington Open.  The pair drew their third round encounter and then each went 1.5 the second day to finish on top with 4.0 scores.  That left them 1/2 point ahead of Michael Cambareri, John Julian, Steve Merwin, Karl Reuter, and Dan McCourt.  Bodie and Julian fought to a draw with seconds left on their respective clocks in the final round, while Roberts topped seventh grader Garrett Casey in a fascinating endgame where he first sacked an exchange and then a bishop to connect two passed pawns that rolled over Garrett’s two rooks enroute to promotion. 

        The tournament finish was indicative of the battles that marked every round of the tournament.  There were 29 players taking part in this year’s installment of the EWO.  With 1/3 of the field class A or stronger, the event shaped up to be very competitive, and it certainly lived up to that expectation — there were no perfect scores after the first day’s action. Roberts, an unrated player who only joined the USCF for the tourney, was the lowest ranked player, but the unrated label was misleading.  Joseph had played competitive high school chess in Mexico, competing in national competitions and earning a FIDE rating of 1961.  Although he had not played competitively for a bit, the rust was not much in evidence.  His performance should give him a provisional rating near the Expert category.

        The winners split the first prize of $125 and the Unrated prize that otherwise would have gone to Roberts.  That left Steve Merwin to win first in class A, with Romie Carpenter (3.0) second.  Karl Reutter and Dan McCourt won the class B prizes, while Sam Comi and Jason Cross, who literally just moved to Spokane, tied for the class C prizes with their 3.0 scores.  Second in the class D/Unrated section went to Frank Miller (2.0).  Even the biggest upset prize was competitive — the four biggest upsets all featured victories in the 400 to 430 point spread, with Jason Cross’s victory edging Ron Weyland’s for the prize by only 13 points.

    This year’s event was played at Gonzaga’s Jepson Center. 

    The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610029212 

2015 Eastern Washington Open (Sept. 26-27)

    Michael Cambareri, the top seed, swept to a perfect 5.0 score in winning this year’s edition of the Eastern Washington Open.  Second place went to newcomer Karl Reuter, a Gonzaga University student playing in his first USCF-rated event.  Karl took first prize in Class D/Unrated, while second place in that class went to two other newcomers, high school sophomore Alex Nguyen and Ernest Tinajero, each of whom scored 3.0. 

    Youthful players dominated the event, particularly two who were playing on the top boards on Sunday.  Braxton Casey upset Class A players the first two rounds enroute to tying for the second Class D prize and claiming the biggest upset prize.  His only loss was suffered on board two in the last round.  Savanna Naccarato, a recent high school graduate, played a very strong event and only lost in the fourth round on board two during a time scramble.  She scored 3.5 to win the Class C prize.

      The Class A prizes were shared by Brad Bodie (lost to Cambareri in fourth round), Nikolay Bulakh, and James Stripes, each of whom scored 3.5.  Mark Anderson (who lost to Cambareri in round five) also scored 3.5 to win the Class B first prize, while second prize in that section (2.5) was shared by John Frostad, Mitch Kilayko, and Travis Miller.  Second place in Class C went to Sam Comi (3.0). 

    There were a total of 30 players entered in this year’s event.

    The cross table link:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201509278802

2014 Eastern Washington Open (Oct. 4-5)

        Michael Cambareri was a perfect 5.0 to win this year’s Eastern Washington Open.  Second place in the field of 35 with 4.0 scores were Brad Bodie, Dan Hochee, and Darren Russell.  Brad and Darren shared the class A prizes, while Dan took home the biggest upset prize along with first prize in class C.  Class B was won by Mark Anderson, who led a contingent of five from Montana’s Blackfeet Community College, with a 3.5 score.  Second in class B went to Steve Fabian, Kevin Korsmo, and Dan McCourt with 2.5 scores.  Second in class C was shared by Dave Griffin and Alex Popescu with scores of 2.5.  The class D and under section was won by Gary Solomon, who was returning to tournament chess for the first time in 40 years, with a strong score of 3.5.  Pat Kirlin finished second in the class with 3.0.

      The tournament started without a single upset in the first round, but that changed in the second round when draws on four of the top six boards narrowed the perfect scores down to four players after only two rounds.  Those players met in round three, leaving Michael Cambareri and Jeremy Krasin alone at 3.0 after the first day’s action.  Michael prevailed Sunday morning, guaranteeing no worse than a tie for first as he stood a full point up on the field.  He easily dispatched city champion Nikolay Bulakh, who had defeated him in the city championship match in August, to claim the EWO crown for the first time.

     Hochee had a strong Sunday, pulling off the two biggest upsets of the tourney in consecutive rounds.  His round four upset over an opponent 342 points high than him was topped with a 405 point upset the next round.  His weekend’s work boosted his rating 145 points!

     There were 11 players from Montana competing this weekend, giving the event a definite Big Sky flavor. Quite a few Spokane club members plan to return the favor at the Turkey Open in Missoula on November 8-9.  Loyd Willaford ventured down from Colville to direct the event for the third consecutive year, which was once again played at Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center.

     The link to the USCF cross table:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201410050642

2013 Eastern Washington Open

    Making it two years in a row, 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, 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.   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.  Arlene Hiatt pulled off the biggest upset, a win over an opponent with a 569 point rating differential, in the final round.

    Loyd Willaford directed the event again this year.  29 players and two house players took part in the event which again was played at Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center.

The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201310136962

2012 Eastern Washington Open

        Cameron Leslie (4.5) defeated Nikolay Bulakh on board one in the final round of this year’s Eastern Washington Open to win the event. This was the second EWO crown for Leslie, who shared the title in 2010.  Mark Havrilla and Dan McCourt each scored 4.0 to tie for second and claim the first place prizes in the class A and class B categories respectively. Second place in class A went to Bulakh and Jeremy Krasin with scores of 3.5, while a 3.0 total gave Brad Bodie and Steve Jones second place in the class B category.

        Dave Griffin scored 3.0 to win the first class C prize, and Ted Baker and Murray Strong (2.5) shared second in class C.  Ed Dodd and Patrick Kirlin scored 3.0 to win the top two class D/E/unrated prizes, while Jim Burney and Savanna Naccarato  scored 2.5 to finish third in that category.  Brad Bodie won the biggest upset prize.

        26 players took part in the action at Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center on October 6-7, 2012. Loyd Willaford directed the tourney.

        The USCF cross table link:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201210075562

2011 Eastern Washington Open

    John Julian scored 4.5 to top Richland’s Mark Erickson (4.0) and claim first prize in this year’s EWO, which drew a field of 35 on October 1-2.  A crazy first day saw draws on the top two boards in every round, leading to seven players sharing the lead at the end of the day.  John was the only one of the group to win both of his Sunday games to claim the title.

    The class prizes provided quite a few winners.  John Dill scored 3.5 to win the B section, while Dave Griffin recorded the same 3.5 score to win the C section.  Four players tied for second in class B with 3.0 scores: Ted Catton, Alex Chow, Rob Martin, and Dan McCourt.  Three players shared the second class C prize with 2.5 scores: Frank Miller, Bob Rajala, and Ron Weyland.  The class D and under prizes were split by Pat Kirlin, Maria  Naess, and Nathaniel Scapopo.  The biggest upset prize went to Jerry Morton for his first round draw with Mark Erickson. Quite a few of the ten provisional players scored nice “upset” victories, but they did not qualify for the prize which was limited to non-provisional ratings.

    The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201110023131-12677638

2010 Eastern Washington Open

    This year’s installment of the Eastern Washington Opendrew 31 players to Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center October 9-10.  First place was shared by four: IM Dave Sprenkle, Kairav Joshi, Cam Leslie, and Avi Subedi, each of whom scored 4.0. They split the first and second prizes, the class A prizes, and first in class B (Joshi). Other prize winners included Jeremy Krasin (2nd in B) and Tyler Goering (1st in D/under), who finished with 3.5 scores, and Richard Williams (1st in C) and Jim Burney (2nd in D/under) with 2.5 scores.  Kairav also won the biggest upset prize.

    The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201010100111-14257948

2009 Eastern Washington Open

John Julian was a perfect 5.0 in sweeping the 2009 EWO, which was played October 3-4, 2009, at the Schoenberg Center.  Elston Cloy (4.5) finished second. There were 38 players this year, including several newcomers who figured in the prize awards.

        The Class A prize went to Cameron Leslie (4.0), with Mark Havrilla and Dave Rowles sharing second with 3.5 scores.  The Class B prize went to Ryan Ackerman (4.0), while second place was shared by Kevin Baker, Ed McLaughlin, and Avinaya Subedi (3.5).  The Class C prizes were split by Chris Copeland and Loyd Willaford, each of whom scored 3.5.  The Class D/Unrated prizes were shared by two unrated newcomers — Dallas Filan, a student at EWU, and Kairav Joshi of Lake City High School (Coeur d’Alene).  Their 2.5 tallies bested the twelve players in the category.

        The biggest upset prize was claimed by Helena, Montana’s William Spencer, who bagged a player rated 890 points above him!  Way to go, Bill!  Bill donated the $50 prize to the Gary Younker Foundation, a sponsor of many regional chess events.

The top two finishers (courtesy of Elston L. Cloy II)

The USCF cross table report:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200910046871-12802247

2008 Eastern Washington Open

    The 2008 Eastern Washington Open was again played at the Schoenberg Center September 27-28.  John Julian and Sattar Sattarov topped a small (22 player) but top heavy field with 4-1 scores.  Each won $137.50.  Mark Havrilla and Mika Mitchell topped the A category with 3.5 scores.  Ed McLaughlin won the first place B prize ($65) with a 3.0 score and also had the biggest upset ($50).  Second place in B was shared by James Stripes and John Walton, each with 2.5 scores.  Chris Copeland topped the C category with a 2.5 score, while the other four class members shared second place (2.0): Ryan Ackerman, Taylor Coles, Nick Harvilla, and Ron Weyland each won $10.  The two “D” category players, Matthew Grover and Jim Waugh, drew with each other and shared the D prize with 1.0 scores.

The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200809280651-10328357

2007 Eastern Washington Open

   Top seeds Steve Merwin and Mika Mitchell won the 2007 Eastern Washington Open played September 29-30, 2007.  They topped runner-up David Meliti by half a point.

Some of the happy warriors from the 2007 Eastern Washington Open (above and below).

The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200709308741-10328357


2006 Eastern Washington Open

     National Master Curt Collyer, the top seed, won the 2006 Eastern Washington Open played September 16-17, 2006.  He scored 4.5 in the five round event to edge out John Julian and Phil Weyland by one-half point. Collyer drew with Julian in the final round.  He had defeated #2 seed Steve Merwin in the fourth round to take a half point lead into the final round.  Weyland had battled back from a first round upset draw to have a shot at sharing the title, but settled for a draw with Dave Rowles in board two action in the final round.

    There were a total of 34 players competing in this year’s event.  Collyer won $150 for his victory.  Julian and Phil Weyland each won $100 by tying for the second and third prizes.  Rowles, Michael Cambareri, and Chris Kalina split the $100 in Class A prizes with 3.5 scores.  Rob Martin of Helena, Montana, and Niles Desmarais of Chelan, Washington, took home the $100 in Class B prize money with scores of 3.5.  Mead High School’s Kevin Baker scored 3.0 to win the $65 Class C first prize, while another high school student, Ken Erickson, took the $35 second prize with a 2.5 score.  Ron Weyland of Post Falls, Idaho, and father of Phil, took the Class D prize with a 3.0 score.  The second place prize in that section was shared by Ryan Ackerman, Pat Kirlin, and newcomer Chad Coles.  The top upset (for a game not involving provisionally rated players) prize of $50 went to Dave Griffin for his first round draw with Phil Weyland — a time scramble rook and pawn endgame that saw both players in constant danger.

The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200609177971-10328357

2005 Eastern Washington Open


       “Uncle Vik” did it again.  Just as he first did in 1956 as a teenage wunderkind, Viktors Pupols is again the  Eastern Washington Open champion. His 4.5 score claimed first place in the  30 player event held September 17-18.   He defeated Carl Haessler, the only other perfect score of the first day, in fourth round action.  Pupols then played a long final round game with Curt Collyer that finally ended in a draw when both players had just a few minutes remaining on their clock.  The draw left Collyer in a three-way tie for second with Haessler and Dave Sprenkle, all of whom finished at 4-1.  Pupols claimed the $150 first prize for his efforts, while the three second place finishers each received $67 as their share of the second and third place awards.

     Perhaps the most outstanding result of the tournament belonged to young Zach Countryman, who scored the three biggest upsets of the event!  His victories were over players rated 340, 312, and 246 points above him!  His performance resulted in a rating gain of 130 points.  Zach’s three point total won him the $65 “C” prize as well as $50 for the biggest upset.   

(L-R) Romie Carpenter, Carl Haessler, and Viktors Pupols (seated) are attracted to Dave Sprenkle and Chris Kalina’s third round EWO game.  Photo by Randy Countryman.

      There were quite a few other winners.  Geoff Gale (3.5) claimed the $65 “A” prize.  John Julian and Dave Rowles (3.0) shared the $35 second prize in that class.  Mark Anderson and John Downes (3.0) each received $50 for taking first and second in the “B” category.  A four way tie for the $20 third prize was shared among Adam Attwood, Michael Cambareri, Steve Fabian, and Raleigh Foster. James Stripes and Dave Griffin (2.5) split the $35 second prize in the “C” category.  Pat Kirlin and Vern Johnson (1.5) each won $40 for sharing first and second in the “D” category.

   There were numerous outstanding games, even in the first round where there was not a single upset.  The Haessler-Pupols game was a mutual time scramble with both players slamming at the clock while nearly 20 people watched the conclusion of the fourth round.  Steve Fabian continued his age long tradition of playing on the edge — nearly every one of his games ended with a few seconds (or less) on the clock.  Steve Merwin also played a couple of memorable time scrambles. 

First round action: Raleigh Foster faces off against Pat Kirlin on board 12 while Jim Waugh squares off against John Downes.  Photo by Randy Countryman.

The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200509187921-10328357


2004 Eastern Washington Open

NM Nick Raptis of Portland won the 2004 Eastern Washington Open with a score of 4.5 in the five round event.  He won $125 for his efforts.  Second place was shared by Spokane’s David Sprenkle, Salem OR teenager Drew Serres, and Seattle veteran Hannigan Pitre.  All scored 4.0.  They each received $70.

Nick Raptis faces David Sprenkle in Round 4  (photo by Randy Countryman)

Thirty-four players from four states played in this year’s tourney.  Raptis, the top seed, played on board one throughout the event.  He and #2 seed Sprenkle drew in round four.  Raptis then defeated Missoula, Montana, veteran Romie Carpenter in the final round while Sprenkle drew with Tacoma Expert Paul Bartron.  Pitre joined the second place tie by defeating Chris Drake (1986) who tried too hard to win a drawn endgame.  Serres, who was joined Sprenkle and Raptis as the only players with a perfect score on the first day of the tourney, stopped Steve Fabian to gain the fourth point.  Serres’ only loss was to Carpenter in round four.

Notable upsets were scored by a pair of ten year olds the first day of the tourney.  Alex Chow downed Dustin Benson in the first round despite a 510 point rating difference.  In the second round, Zach Countryman bested Dave Griffin, an upset of 350 points.  Chow continued his winning ways, scoring another upset victory and an upset draw enroute to a 3 point finish.  That was good enough to win the $50 “D” section first prize.  He also captured the upset prize ($25) for the first round victory. 

Third Round Action  (photo by Randy Countryman)

A total of $585 in prizes was awarded after an  “A” prize was added to the advertised$535 guaranteed prize fund because of the strong turnout.  Seven “A” players joined the two experts and two masters in the field.  There was a three-way tie for the “A” prize between Pat Herbers, Dave Rowles, and Carpenter, all of whom scored 3.5.  Each earned $17.

Pitre and Serres took first in the “B” along with sharing second and third overall with Sprenkle.  The class “C” prizes were shared by Bill McBroom of Missoula and Garrett Morkill of Spokane, each of whom received $37.50.  Ken Erickson received $25 for finishing second to Chow in the “D” category.  Fabian, Dustin Benson, and Phil Weyland split the $25 prize for second in “B.”

The cross table can be found on the 2004 EWO link below, along with pictures from the tourney.  This was the first event held in Gonzaga’s Schoenberg Center.  The facility was very nice and won rave reviews from the players.  The club hopes to use the site for future weekend tourneys.

The cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200409199920-10328357

Photos from this year’s event:

Second Round Action

(photo by Randy Countryman)

Romie Carpenter faces off against Drew Serres in Round 4.

(photo by Ward Chow)

First Round Action

(photo by Randy Countryman)

Dave Sprenkle concentrates

(photo by Randy Countryman)

The Fifth Round Begins:

(photo by Randy Countryman)

Fifth Round Contests

(Photo by Ward Chow)

And more Fifth Round Contests

(Photo by Ward Chow)

2003 EWO great success!

The 2003 Eastern Washington Open, played in Spokane on September 20-21, 2003, boasted 42 players – the largest total in at least a decade. National Master David Sprenkle, a recent transplant to Spokane from Florida, topped the field with a perfect score of 5-0 to claim the $125 first prize. Second place ($100) went Seattle teen-ager Rudy Vrana who scored 4.5 and should now move up into the Expert category after  this result. Seven players tied for third and shared the A prizes with 3.5 scores: Tony Berrocoso, Elston Cloy, Chris Drake, Steve Guidi, John Julian, Chris Kalina, and Kirk Steinocher, who all took home $20. They were among the 11 “A” class entrants in the event!

The “B” prize ($50) went to 9th grader Daniel Copeland, who received $50 for that result and also won the $25 upset prize for besting Cloy in round 2. Daniel also scored 3.5. John Downes, 3.0, took second in the class ($25). Dave Griffin and Steve Brendemihl shared the “C” prizes ($37.50 each) when they tied with 3.0 scores. It was Brendemihl’s first USCF event since 1974 and his first rated event since the late 1970s. Welcome back, Steve!

The “D” section was very competitive. Another 9th grader, Jeffrey Burkert, won that section with a 3.0 score. He received the $50 prize. The second place prize was shared by six players: Michael Akopov, Sergey Akopov, Ken Erickson, Vern Johnson, Patri

Players once again came from all points on the compass: four from Missoula, Montana, two from Nelson and Castlegar, British Columbia, three from Richland, one from Genessee, Idaho and a half dozen from the greater Spokane area.

The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200309215410-10328357