Monday, January 28, 2008

SanDiegoChess Announcement - Special 5 Round Gambito Open

Like Bobby, I will never play Chess, again.


Rick Vattuone

Bobby Fischer's former attorney


In a message dated 1/27/2008 4:38:18 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:


from Managers of


a reminder that this Saturday, Feb 2, 2008 there is a special 5 round Super
Gambito Open at the San Diego Chess Club with $1,600 in prizes. It will start
at 10 AM, a half hour earlier than the normal 10:30 start time, so we can
squeeze in the extra round. Please get there early. Latecomers will have to
take a bye in the first round. It should be lots of fun, and we expect a good
turnout of about 40 players, I hope to see you there! You can register online
by emailing me at . See our website for more details. 
Thanks, Chuck

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Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Elliott Liu Fan Club

Elliott Liu Fan Club Page -Updated Thursday evening, March 9th 2006  


By Rick Aeria





There are a million stories when you put 64 dedicated and determined contestants to compete for this nation's highest chess titles. This webpage is dedicated to one of these brave contestants. A young teenager from Olivenhain in San Diego's North County. His name is Elliott Liu, born 1990 in Boston, Massachussetts, at age 15 Elliott is one of the youngest participants in what is being hailed as one of the strongest US Championships this century! Elliott attends Bishop's School in La Jolla. I am boggled by how he has the time between school work, playing his cello, football, basketball, travel and yes, his computer video games- to study and improve at chess.

His age (15) and his participant in the U.S. Championship echo of another prodigy -about half a century ago - Bobby Fischer! Yet, his chess instructor IM Cyrus Lakdawala who has been working with Elliott for over six years does not regard Elliott as a prodigy. Hard work, a solid opening repetoire and the resiliency to absorb demoralizing losses and come out fighting again. These are Elliott's characteristics. Cyrus adds that Elliott's inclination to opt for chaotic, incalculable positions make him a very dangerous player. "Elliott's tactical vision," Cyrus modestly opines  "clearly surpasses mine." And yet, Elliott can show a very balanced, sturdy and rock solid positional side just play over his draw with GM Kaidanov in round two.

 Round 1: Elliott faces the dreaded "Yerminator" in GM Alex Yermolinsky. Elliott plays a spirited King's Indian Defence but has the worse of it. Then suddenly the "Yerminator's" circuits go on a 'fritz' and Elliott is lucky to salvage a precious half point. Click here for game.

Round 2: A rock-ribbed solid draw against yet another  former Soviet grandmaster, Gregory Kaidanov. Elliott essays another Bobby Fischer favorite - The Ruy Lopez and Kaidanov steers it to the time-honored Tchigorin Variation. Elliott closes the center and in a blocked position. Play evolves around the two wings.  Play through game here. Elliott later confided that this game took so much nervous energy out of him that he was drained for many days after that.

Round 3: In a promising position, Elliott goes astray and loses to IM Stanislav Kriventsov. Play through the game here.

Round 4: Coming off a disheartening loss, Elliott unleashes a tactical barrage on young Tatev Abrahamyan's position. Abrahamyan defends coolly then flicks out a lethal and brilliant retort 25. Bd5! Elliott spends an enormous amount of time mentally regrouping and steers the game toward survival. Play through the game here.

Round 5: No easy pairing for Elliott. This time he faces the strong Miami IM Blas Lugo. Once again the Ruy Lopez. Lugo deviates early with 5. ... b5 , 6. ... Bb7 and 7. ... d5 and pretty soon a sharp middlegame is reached. Once again Elliott ignites the fireworks with 21. f5 but his queenside looks underdeveloped. Lugo's play comes faster and Elliott gets saddled with an overloaded Queen which Lugo exploits deftly. Peruse this game here.

"If Fischer is God then I'm the Devil!"

- quote from Grandmaster Walter Shawn Browne from the late 1970's. Elliott's opponent today.

Round 6: Omigod! The kid can't catch a break! You would think that at 1 1/2- 3 1/2 Elliott would finally get a cream-puff pairing! No such luck! Instead, Elliott gets paired with a demiurge from the post-Fischer era. None other than Grandmaster Walter Browne who has won or tied for the U.S. Championship title at least six times! Ironically enough, this great man is making his appearance in this U.S. Championship as the U.S. Senior Champion! I sense a major battle looming. Don't miss this clash of generations!

Commentary on game that was in progress

Browne opens with 1. e4 and after 1. ... c5  2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5  6. Ndb5  Elliott uncorks his preparation  6. ... Bc5 !?   I call it Cyrus' Indian Cobra a deceptively little-analyzed, tricky variation that he has worked with for about six months. A perfect choice against a booked-up veteran like Browne. Browne goes in for 7. Nd6+ Ke7 and then Browne goes into a trance as if mesmerized by the hidden complexities of the position. This is the added bonus of the Cobra, eating up the opponent's clock. Against a notorious time-trouble addict like Browne, nothing could be better planned! The surprise move reaps immediate dividends as Elliot is up half an hour after only 7 moves.  After much thought Browne decides to simplify and at least grab the bishop pair by 8. Nxc8+ Rxc8 Then Browne aggressively posts his own king-bishop 9. Bc4 d6 10. Nd5+ Kf8 Slithering away 11. Nxf6 Qxf6 More piece exchanges to defang the cobra? 12. 0-0 Ne7 13. Kh1 To get out of the away a potential Bxf2+ in the future. 13. ... Qh4 Browne is already down to about 40 minutes to Elliott's one hour, but Browne's position looks much more better. Two bishops, better pawn structure. Black's king and central pawns look awkward.


14. Qf3 A multi-purpose move threating mate on f7 and protecting the e4-pawn. 14. ... Qf6 I would have riskily ventured with 14. ... d5 ?!? 15. Qe2 Browne eschews 15. Qxf6 gxf6 16. Bh6+. Time situation: Browne 27 minutes for 25 moves to Elliott 54 minutes. 15. ... g5 ! The cobra uncoils. Elliots has 46 minutes left. Browne wastes little time to reply 16. g3 Qg6 17. Bd2 Browne has picked up the pace. 17. ... Rg8 18. Rae1 Browne brings in his final reserves to the battle. He has 17 minutes left to make 23 moves. 18. ... Rc7 19. c3 Ke8 20. Rd1 Browne has 13 minutes 15 seconds left for 20 moves. 20. ... Kf8 21. b4 Bb6 22. Bb3 Now it's at blitz speed 22. ... Kg7  23. f4 gxf4 24. gxf4 Re8 25. fxg5 Kf8? Perhaps a desperado try like 25. ... Nf5?!  26. Bxf7 Qxf7 27. Rxf7+ Kxf7 1-0 

Round 7: Elliott is paired with Natasha Christiansen, GM Larry Christiansen's spouse. this has been a tough debut for Elliott. The youth scores his first win in the US Championship! Here is Elliott's first win at the U.S. Championship.

"Victory" a poem from Rupert Brooke

"All night the ways of Heaven were desolate,
Long roads across a gleaming empty sky.
Outcast and doomed and driven, you and I,
Alone, serene beyond all love or hate,
Terror or triumph, were content to wait,
We, silent and all-knowing.
Suddenly Swept through the heaven low-crouching from on high,
One horseman, downward to the earth's low gate.
Oh, perfect from the ultimate height of living,
Lightly we turned, through wet woods blossom-hung,
Into the open. Down the supernal roads,
With plumes a-tossing, purple flags far flung,
Rank upon rank, unbridled, unforgiving,
Thundered the black battalions of the gods." 

Round 8: Amid a small controversy about a blog remark that Elliott made a couple days ago. Eliott faced `avenging angel' WFM Hana Itkis in a roiling struggle which at one point seemed very even. The teen from Olivenhain was able to extract a full point from the encounter to go 3 1/2 - 4 1/2  but remains chastened and contrite about his earlier remarks. Here is the game.

Round 9: A match-up between two of the Southland's young teen stars with Elliott and Vanessa West of Gardena, California. This time it was attacking whiz Vanessa who triumphs with white pieces! Here is their game.

Young Eliott at age 12 at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park circa 2003. If you like to see more pictures of Elliott then visit our Exploits of Elliott album. Read write-up on Elliott winning the SDCC June 2005 Player of the Month.



Awaiting 2009

2009 Strongest Club Championship Ever?

By Rick Aeria   January 31st, 2008

The new year brings one of the San Diego Chess Club's most exciting and popular, by virtue of participation, event:  The Alina Markowski Qualifying Tournament for the SDCC Championship.  This is one big open Swiss format of seven (7) rounds to determine the candidates that will vie for the coveted title of club champion.  The format has evolved over the last 30-odd years to its current incarnation.

In the preceding year, four events were identified to seed one player directly to the club final.  They were:

(1) The prior year's club championship winner.  In 2008 it was NM Ron Bruno.

 (2) The San Diego County Championship which was won by NM Peter Graves.

(3) The Fall Swiss which was won by IM Felix Villarreal.

and finally,

(4) The winner of the Open Section of "The Masters" which was Expert (and former NM) Dimitry Kishinevsky.

These four qualifiers await twelve (12) other players who will try to qualify through the upcoming "Markowski Qualifier" starting on January 7th, 2009.

In the past, IM Cyrus Lakdawala achieved a near dynastic dominance of the club championship winning the event in 21 of his 23 tries.  The two instances where Cyrus faltered was when his brother Jimmy Lakdawala, then a senior master (2400+) took first and in 1989 when NM Carl Wagner won.  So it is with more than a little justification that the club  final has been renamed the Cyrus Lakdawala Championship.

Looking back at the past events, Cyrus Lakdawala faced some tough competition from the likes of NM Todd Smith, NM David Hart, SM Valdis Salespurens, NM Carl Wagner, NM Tom Nelson, NM Mark Saylor, NM Robert Richard, NM Petranovich, NM Gustavo Hernandez, NM Bruce Baker, NM Tony Davis and SM Richard Russell to name a few.

This coming year, just the four qualifiers Bruno, Graves, Villarreal and Kishinevsky promise to make this one of the most entertaining and exciting championships.  Add the likehood (barring historic collapses like the Denver Broncos of recent memory) quality players like NM Bruce Baker, NM David Hart, NM Todd Smith, NM Carl Wagner and the ever-popular expert Carey Milton joining the mix.

Speaking of experts, never forget expert and ex-club champion in 2007 John Funderburg who plays stultifying chess in the finals (2007 and 2008) or the evergreen expert (and former NM) Leonard Sussman.  Expert George Ziegler has the potential for winning this event and so does expert Jim Humphrey.  Expert Mario Amodeo has his supporters but I imagine Mario would enjoy the role of spoiler just as well.  Talk about spoilers - there was never one more significant than Brad Salz! In 2006, Brad denied Carl Wagner by winning on time forfeit in the last round. After 17 years Carl Wagner came within a few seconds of his cherished goal! Will expert (and former NM and club champion in 2005) Adam Corper ever return to chess?  Or maybe someone like expert Eric Montany, James Mahooti or Dan Altimirano will make a run at the championship.

From the Mexican contingent, aside from IM Felix Villarreal, experts Ignacio Sainz, Ron Soto, Mariano Lozano and Manuel Herrera are not to be taken lightly.  But the Mexicans face a constant logistical handicap having to cross the border and fight traffic to get to the club, so let's try be more understanding when they arrive a little late.  My favorite is feisty Fausto Robles a gamer and scrapper if ever there was one.

So we wait to see how the saga of the 2009 championships will unfold.  It is not unlikely that a 'Class-A' could win it.  After all, Mark Aiken (now Mark Knight) tied for first with Cyrus in his first championship.  I'm so excited awaiting this upcoming championship I don't know whether to get my popcorn popper going or start studying my Philidor Defence!

Come out and be a part of the excitment and rich heritage of the San Diego Chess Club! 


Sons of Cyrus

Whatever happened to the "Sons of Cyrus"?

By Rick Aeria, January 31st 2008

In 2003, after a very long and successful 21-out-of-23 run at the club championships, Cyrus Lakdawala, the winningest  player to descend from the chess firmament to, ...dominate the San Diego chess scene, decided to hang up his pieces and give others a shot at winning the San Diego Chess Club Championship. 



Naturally, "Father" Cyrus nurtured a hope that his students would carry on his winning tradition.  Call it karma, kismet or destiny but the very next championship in 2004 which turned out to be a long, stormy and acrimonious struggle.  A Cyrus student won! The format was (1) Seven round Markowski qualifier and then a (2) a two sectioned eight man round robin semi-final with the top three from each section qualifying for (3) an all-play-all 6 man final...Boy, we ain't doing that again!

Despite Mark Brooks' cheeky handicapping of 150-1 for my chances which drew the usual guffaws and laughs from the 'patio' crowd,  I happened to have the good fortune to finishing first with NM Robert Richard and won the tie-breaks having defeated Bob for the first time in my life in our individual encounter.  Didn't I place a five-spot wager with Mark?

I had a lot of help first with NM Ruffo Orihuela stubbornly holding NM Bruce Baker to a King versus King endgame draw.  Then tail-ender Adam Corper , also a Cyrus student, holding NM Bruce Baker in the final round to a draw.

Then in 2005 it was Adam Corper's turn and Adam won the championship outright and achieved his master-ranking in the process.  Now the buzz was about "The sons of Cyrus".



In 2006, the sons of Cyrus did not prevail although then-NM Adam Corper gave it a valiant effort and even defeated winner NM Ron Bruno brilliantly in their individual encounter.  This was the fateful year that produced a bizarre finish.  For the final round, Bruno was paired with NM Todd Smith who had fallen out of contention and was playing for pride.  Half a point behind Bruno was NM Carl Wagner who faced expert Brad Salz who was having a rough tournament.  Wagner achieved a winning position and would have repeated as champion after a 17-year hiatus (Wagner won the championship in 1989) but overstepped the time limit and forfeited!  Meanwhile on the neighboring board, the dour Todd Smith despite having an edge most of the game decided that Bruno's defences were holding and offered a draw.  The shocker was Bruno refused the draw offer which would have given him the championship and continued to play on!  A natural fighter in the mold of Fischer!  However a few moves later, commonsense prevailed and Bruno made a draw with Todd Smith.



In 2007, a new face joined the fray - SM/NM Marc Duesterwald of Germany!  Marc was clearly the "class of the field" with a near 2400 rating but he took it too easy and expert and Cyrus student John Funderburg, nicknamed "The Thunderbird" caught Duesterwald in the standings and even won the trophy over tie-breaks! The Cyrusites went wild!  We trumpeted (and looking back...quite obnoxiously too) the "Sons of Cyrus" third victory!

Then things changed.... maybe I got old but most probably lazy just like the lyrics in an old Eagles' song; Adam found true love in his wife, Jade, and faded away from the chess scene; and John? 

In 2008 the race was between a resurgent Ron Bruno and a dazzingly brilliant John Funderburg.  Both men playing exciting chess and winning the admiration of all onlookers.  It the end, Ron Bruno became the first player to repeat his success as champion but John Funderburg was a worthy and honorable runnerup.

If you look back, even the two years that the Sons of Cyrus did not prevail, one of them was in the thick of it.  In 2006, it was Adam Corper finishing second and in 2008, it was John Funderburg giving it his all.



For 2009, eyes turn to relative newcomer expert Eric Montany to uphold the banner of the "sons of Cyrus".  Recently, Eric finished in a tie for first at the 400th Gambito with IM Enrico Sevillano, NM Digesh Malla and Ariel Gerardo.  Could this be a omen of things to come?


Odds on Championship


by Rick Aeria

Since 'expert' oddsmaker Mark Brooks does not frequent the club in the past few years after his infamous 150-1 odds on my winning the 2004 Club Champioship.  I have decided to carry on the tradition - strictly for the humor aspect and give the odds on the various championship contenders,

As this is written on January the 3rd, 2009 - only four players have qualified to the finals and the Markowski Qualifier has not been played. Please take this with a 'grain of salt' and don't get too upset!

RON BRUNO (3-1) National Master Ron Bruno is the reigning club champion and the only one who has repeated as club champion since the legendary Cyrus ("The Great') Lakdawala won it 21 out of the 23 times he played.  Ron qualified for the final by virtue of being the defending champion. Ron is relatively young in his late twenties and in good health.  What is surprising is that Ron learnt the game of chess relatively late - about ten years ago.  Ron has a sharp opening repertoire favoring king pawn openings with White and defending with the Sicilian Defence as Black.  On occasion, Ron will divert to the Alekhine Defence to avoid special preparation of particular opponents.  Ron is a student of the game and can be a difficult man to beat.  Perhaps Ron's biggest asset is  that he has crossed swords with some of the best masters and grandmasters in the Southland and has played them on even terms.

Nothing seems to faze this mild-mannered master off the board except if he gets charged $18 for a pitcher of beer!

FELIX VILLARREAL (4-1) International Master Felix Villarreal has returned to chess after a long absence in 2008.  Felix qualified by easily winning the Fall Swiss Open.  Felix is a very sound player with a solid positional, classical positional style.  Whereas his opening repertoire may be not as 'modern' as some of his fellow masters, Felix relies on the French Defence as his primary weapon to the king's pawn but will also play the Petroff Defence to mix things up.  Felix will try to beat you with patient good moves but if you slip and allow a combination, Felix will most certainly spring that on you too.

Felix suffers from the logistical disadvantage of having to commute all the way from Tijuana, Mexico to play each round.

PETER GRAVES (5-1) National Master Peter Graves is a very experienced player with an aggressive positional style.  Peter usually plays in the quicker Gambitos on Saturday but qualified for the final by winning the San Diego County Champion title.  Peter will play a mored varied assortment of defences but like Felix will tend to favor the Frenc h Defence

Peter Graves suffers from the disadvantage of a long commute from North County, that is why he usually does not play on Wednesday nights.

DIMITRY KISHINEVSKY (6-1) Former master (and now expert) Dimitry Kishinevsky qualified for the finals by winning the open section of  "The Masters' recently.  Many years ago, George Zeigler, once assessed Dimitry's style as a player with 'one big punch'.  The 'one big punch' theory probably correlates with Cyrus' observation that Dimitry has the ability to look for and find the combination we call the 'computer-shot'.  White or Black, Dimitry has a preference for 'fianchetto defences' and is probably the most original and intuitive player amongst the contenders.

The longer time controls on Wednesday nights should favor Dimitry's "deep thinker" style of play.


BRUCE BAKER  (7-1) National master Bruce Baker has a blend of deep chess knowledge and uncompromising aggression.  A natural attacker and initiative-hound, Bruce plays a wide array of systems with black and white but favors king pawn openings.  At 2300+, Bruce, in my opinion is under-rated!  It is difficult to prepare for him as Bruce will sometimes blithley play into your 'preparation' then toss you a theoretical grenade.  I would assess Bruce's chances more highly but winter just isn't his season (even in San Diego).  And winter is when the Markowski and finals are played.  In the past few years, I have observed Bruce play below himself because of a bad cold during these events.  If this trend contiues, Bruce could end up as the "Akiba Rubinstein" of our times -  the strongest player never to have won the club championship. Bundle up, big guy, and take it all the way this year!  I am rootin' for you!

CARL WAGNER (8-1) National master Carl Wagner is a former club champion in 1989, a former National Senior Champion and many time State Senior Champion.  Carl brings many years of competitive chess experience and a carefully worked out opening repertoire that has served him well.  Carl would like to beat you in the quiet of this study.  That is, Carl, is the consummate master of home preparation.  He wins many of his games with Preparation C, 'C' as in Carl.  With Black against the king's pawn, Carl will steadfastly reel out his Najdorf Sicilian and against the queen pawn, Carl will usually throw out his Benko Gambit at you.

JOHN FUNDERBURG (9-1) Expert John Funderburg, nicknamed "The Thunderbird", won the club championship in 2007 and was a brilliant runner-up in 2008.  One curious aspect I have observed about John's play is that throughout most of the rest of the year after the championship, John plays like he is in a deep funk and sheds rating points like a drunken sailor  sheds dollar bills.  Then during the club championships, John snaps back to his lethal mode and plays his best chess.  Once upon a time, we used to joke about John wheeling out museum-openings like the Colle and the Zukertort, not any more.  With Black, John will defend against the king pawn with the French Defence and John is someone who will specifically prepare for you - usually something uncomfortable and even nasty.



Gambito #319

Gambito #319   May Super Gambito on  5/05/07

Turnout: 28 players       Total Prizes Paid: $600

Varun Krishnan Has a HUGE Day!


Young Varun does not look too interested in his encounter with chess master Ron Bruno, the 2006 San Diego Chess Club Champion.

The young man is small in stature but he is growing very large in chess players minds, almost to giant size proportions. Today he defeated Expert Dimitry Kishinevsky in the first round and followed that upset with another one - Expert Jorge Balares in Round 2. But the best was yet to come! In the fateful third round he defeated National Master Ron Bruno in yet another amazing upset. I know Varun has drawn with Masters several times before, including Ron Bruno and Romeo Ignacio, but I don't think he has actually beaten one before, although I could be wrong, I will try to check my records. Regardless, today was his best performance ever.

See Cyrus Annotates to view the game Krishnan-Bruno.

Varun has lifted his rating by a whopping 80 points, from 1897 to 1977. I didn't get a chance to see any of his games except the last part of the game with Jorge, when it was still about equal, but then Varun won a pawn and was also winning on time by a large margin. But Jorge made a fight of it, nearly earning the draw, but his time was so low and the pressure so great (a large crowd was watching) that he lost even more material and then failed to take advantge of a few mistakes by Varun in the scramble to beat the clock.      

Finally, in the last round, Varun was paired with his instructor, IM Cyrus Lakdawala, who was apparently planning on offering Varun a draw at some point, but due to his strong integrity, Cy did not want to just play a 6 move "grandmaster draw" (besides Varun might have turned down the draw, as Cyrus has instructed him to do in the past!) and as the game went on, Cyrus found a winning line and could not turn it down. Still, Cyrus is so much higher rated that the loss did not really hurt Varun's performance rating at all.      

Open Section (18 players)  First Place: Cyrus Lakdawala (4)  $125

2nd Place/BU2200/BU2000 tie: Varun Krishnan (3), Ryan Richardson (3), Dimitry Kishinevsky (3)  $75 each

2nd U2200: Jacoby Johnson (2 1/2) $25   

2nd U2000 tie: Ben Barquin (2), Hercules Madriaga (2), Richard Jensen (2) and Ed Baluran (2) $6 each

Reserve Section (10 players)

A stellar performance by the new player Roberto Rivera, who was unsure of his playing strength, having only played online. He thought he was about 1600, so we put him in this section, but apparently he is much better than that. As an unrated player, he could not win cash prizes, but next week he will be able to, but he will have to play in the Open Section. Based on the 4 wins, the computer gave him an estimated rating of well over 2000.

Best Unrated: Roberto Rivera (4)  Book Prize

BU1800 tie: Chuck Ensey (3) and Jesse Orlowski (3)  $50 each

BU1600 tie: Pratik Khanna (2) and Michael Chen (2)  $35 each

Best Game Prize Open Section $15  Varun Krishnan

Best Game Reserve Section $15  Jesse Orlowski   


Gambito #316

Special Super Gambito #316   4/07/07

This was one of those special 5 round Gambito Opens that we only do about twice a year. Attendance was good at 35, although slightly below our optimistic projection of 40 players for a $1,600 prize fund. We paid out $1,440, so we got pretty close to the goal. All the prizes were reduced by $10 each from the advertised amount, so it was not too bad of a haircut. In the Open Section we had 5 Masters today, 5 Experts and 7 Class A players, plus 1 B and 1 C who played up, for a total of 19 there. We also had 10 B's and 6 C's in the Reserve Section for a grand total of 35 players.   

Note that William Delaney won the Reserve Section despite not being able to play the last round. No problem, he just won his first four games and that score held up to win clear first! Another interesting tale was when Dimitry Kishinevsky won his game with Rick Aeria when Rick lost on time. Dimitry stopped the clock with 1 second left on his own digital readout! Both players had been living off the 5 second delay for the last 15 moves or so. Initially it looked drawish with Bishops of opposite color, but there were Rooks still on the board and each player had a dangerous passed pawn. Rick queened his pawn first and was clearly winning when he hesitated on one move and took longer than the allowed 5 seconds (those seconds fly by very fast when you are trying to make a good move). A tough loss for Rick, who was also distracted earlier in the game when a spectator interfered in the game, thinking an illegal move had been made. NEVER do that! First of all, even if there was an illegal move (which actually there wasn't!), you can never tip off a player, and you can't call flags down either. The game is between the two players on the board and they have to notice these things, not outside kibitzers. It was a low rated player who interfered and I won't embarrass him by mentioning his name, but he should have known better because he has been playing at our club for many years. He did apologize and understands now that what he did was wrong. I just bring it up now so that everyone will know NOT to do this!    

Open Section Wall Chart   event is now rated

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
1 IM Cyrus Lakdawala W 13 B 8 W 6 B 2 W 3
2494 2506   1st $290  1 2 3 4 5
8 Dimitry Kishinevsky B 19 W 1 B 16 B 9 W 6
2129 2148  2nd $140  1 1 2 3 4
4 Bruce Baker bye W 15 B 7 B 6 W 2
2209 2219  3rd $60  1쩍 2쩍 2쩍 3쩍
6 Adam Corper W 18 B 12 B 1 W 4 B 8
2181 2185  BU2200 (tie) $102 1 2 2 3 3
7 Carey Milton B 11 W 17 W 4 B 10 W 18
2101 2100  BU2200 (tie) $102  1쩍 1쩍 2 3
12 Ed Baluran W 21 W 6 B 18 B 3 W 14
1990 1995  BU2000 (tie) $102  1 1 2 2 3
17 Esteban Escobedo bye B 7 W 15 W 13 B 9
1845 1878  BU2000 (tie) $102  1쩍 2쩍 3
2 Marc Duesterwald bye B 10 W 9 W 1 B 4
2393 2371  1쩍 2쩍 2쩍 2쩍
9 Rick Aeria W 16 B 3 B 2 W 8 W 17
2124 2121  1 2 2 2 2쩍
3 Romeo Ignacio B 14 W 9 B 13 W 12 B 1
2220 2208  1 1 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍
10 Leonard Sussman B 15 W 2 bye W 7 B 13
2086 2083  1 1쩍 2쩍
18 Daniel Grazian B 6 W 14 W 12 B 15 B 7
1843 1854  0 1 1 2 2
14 Peter Hodges W 3 B 18 W 19 W 16 B 12
1901 1900  0 0 1 2 2
16 Pirouz Hendi B 9 W 21 W 8 B 14 W 19
1863 1855  0 1 1 1 2
13 Varun Krishnan B 1 W 19 W 3 B 17 W 10
1903 1899  0 1 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
11 Alan Sebeckis W 7 B 5 ---- ---- ----
2047 2061  (house) 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
15 Richard Jensen W 10 B 4 B 17 W 18 B 21
1880 1854  1
19 Jamieson Pryor W 8 B 13 B 14 W 21 B 16
1762 1740  0 0 0 1 1
20 Kimberly Ogden ---- ---- B 21 ---- ----
1647 1657  (house) 0 0 1 1 1
21 Mark Allen B 12 B 16 W 20 B 19 W 15
1495 1486  0 0 0 0
5 David Hart bye W 11 ---- ---- ----
2210 2200 

Reserve Section Wall Chart

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
2 William Delaney B 15 W 5 B 16 W 4 ----
1739 1775  1st $190  1 2 3 4 4
9 Jesse Orlowski B 3 W 6 B 4 W 17 B 12
1647 1664  2nd/3rd (tie) $65  1쩍 1쩍 2쩍 3쩍
6 Chuck Ensey bye B 9 W 3 W 16 B 1
1671 1694  2nd/3rd (tie) $65  1쩍 2쩍 3쩍
5 Aaron Ibarra W 13 B 2 W 17 B 1 B 4
1670 1676  1 1 2 2 3
1 Pejman Sagart B 7 W 4 B 12 W 5 W 6
1799 1790  1 1쩍 2 3 3
12 Daniel Cook bye B 14 W 1 B 13 W 9
1543 1576  1st/2nd U1600 (tie) $90 1쩍 2 3 3
13 Tom Kuhn B 5 W 10 B 15 W 12 B 16
1525 1543   1st/2nd U1600 (tie) $90  0 1 2 2 3
4 Anthony Adamucci B 10 B 1 W 9 B 2 W 5
1684 1687  1 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍 2쩍
3 Arthur Taylor W 9 W 16 B 6 B 14 W 15
1686 1661  1쩍 2쩍
16 Michael Chen W 11 B 3 W 2 B 6 W 13
1300 1376  1 2 2 2 2
15 Pratik Khanna W 2 B 11 W 13 W 10 B 3
1438 1459  0 1 1 2 2
17 Patrick Edwards bye W 7 B 5 B 9 W 11
1153 1200  1쩍 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
11 Anthony Harbone B 16 W 15 B 10 W 8 B 17
1600 1600 0 0 0 0 1
10 Brian Watson W 4 B 13 W 11 B 15 ----
1623 1583  0 0 1 1 1
7 Eric Castro W 1 B 17 W 14 ---- ----
1765 1720  0 0 1 1 1
8 Bill Rhoads ---- ---- ---- B 11 ----
1647 1658  (house) 0 0 0 1 1
14 Gene Fernando bye W 12 B 7 W 3 ----
1484 1454 

Total Prizes  $1,440

Upset Prize, Open Section - Bruce Baker for win over Marc Duesterwald (216 points diff) $10

               Reserve Section - Patrick Edwards for win over Eric Castro (461 points diff) $10 

Best Game Open Section - Cyrus Lakdawala for win over Marc Duesterwald $10  

See Cyrus Annotates for this and several other games from this event

Best Game Reserve Section - Pratik Khanna for win over Brian Watson $10

Gambito #299

Gambito #299 Super Double Gambito 12/02-12/03/06

The Wallchart is too big to be posted here.

Here were the winners:

Open Section


IM Enrico Sevillano at an earlier Gambito this year

First Place  Enrico Sevillano (7) $300, 2nd/3rd tie:  John Bryant (5 1/2) & Romeo Ignacio (5 1/2)  $150 each


Newly minted Master John Bryant earlier this year at the San Diego County Championships 

BU2200  Jorge Balares (5)  $200

Jorge Balares earned draws with Bruce Baker and Enrico Sevillano

2nd/3rd U2200 tie: Carey Milton (4 1/2), Raoul Crisologo (4 1/2) & Richard Gimeno (4 1/2) $50 each

Romeo Ignacio won this Round 2 game against Carey Milton, who was playing the Black pieces here 

BU2000 tie: Ben Barquin (4), Varun Krishnan (4), Daniel Grazian (4) & Chris Borgan (4) $87 each

Varun Krishan was Player of the Month at the SDCC for both September and October. He lost this game against the higher rated Chris Borgan, but still tied for BU2000 at the Super Double Gambito.

Biggest Upset $25  Jorge Balares for draw with Enrico Sevillano (275 points)

Best Game Prize $25 won by Richard Gimeno for a win over Richard Jensen. See game on Cyrus Annotates.

Reserve Section

Michael Taylor vs Jesse Orlowski in Round 3  

First Place  Michael Taylor (6 1/2)  $200, 2nd Place William Delaney (6)  $100

William Delaney as White vs William Wijaya in Round 6

Third Place  Chuck Ensey (5), Arthur Taylor (5) & William Wijaya (5) $17 each  

BU 1600  Nestor Dagamat (4) $150, 2nd U1600  David Whitten (3) $75, 3rd U1600  Tom Kuhn (2 1/2) $25    

David Whitten got an upset win in this game vs Nestor Dagamat, he also upset Arthur Taylor

Biggest Upset $25  David Whitten (1276) for win over player rated 1707 (431 points)

Best Game Prize $25 for the Reserve section was won by Arthur Taylor for win over Tom Kuhn. Game will be posted on Cyrus Annotates shortly, along with a few others from this event. 

See the Pictures page for lots of photos taken by Richard Jensen.  

Turnout = 33 players, down from the average of 37 and less than the hoped for 40 players, but still a decent turnout. The full prize fund of $2,000 (based on 40 players) was paid anyway, thanks to generous donations from Jorge Balares, Gene Arnaiz and Chuck Ensey. Thanks guys, for helping keep this a fabulous tournament. Everyone who played had a great time, there were lots of fun times and plenty of excitement. Right now I am busy going through all the games that were submitted for Best Game Prizes. I must say there are quite a few good ones to choose from. As usual, Cyrus Lakdawala will annotate the winners. By the way, we missed Cyrus, he was unable to play this year. Also congratulations to Enrico Sevillano, a frequent Gambito winner, but this is his first Super Double Gambito win. So now in six years we have five different winners, only Cyrus has repeated. Other winners have been Bruce Baker, Dimitry Kishinevsky and Joel Banawa. Joel and Dimitry were unable to play this year and so was Adam Corper, who was in London. Rick Aeria had to work and Ron Bruno also couldn't make it, so there are 6 top players right there who missed this year's Gambito Championship. Next year we might considering holding it in November when more players might be able to play.


Gambito #291

Gambito #291  Special 5 Round October Super Gambito

Open Section Wall Chart

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
1 IM Cyrus Lakdawala W 10 B 2 W 13 W 7 B 8
2500  2508  1st $350 1 2 3 4 5
8 Leonard Sussman bye W 15 B 4 W 3 W 1
2063  2096 U2200 (tie) $125 1쩍 2쩍 3쩍 3쩍
4 Romeo Ignacio B 16 W 19 W 8 B 10 W 9
2211  2206 2nd (tie) $125 1쩍 1쩍 2쩍 3쩍
6 Dimitry Kishinevsky bye W 12 B 7 W 15 B 2
2130  2103 U2200 (tie) $125 1쩍 1쩍 2쩍 3쩍
12 Alejandrino Baluran bye B 6 W 16 B 20 W 7
1993  2008 U2000 $150  1쩍 2쩍 3쩍
19 Norlino Tagalog W 20 B 4 B 5 B 18 W 13
1800  1822 2nd U2000 $75 1 1 1 2 3
9 Raoul Crisologo bye W 16 B 2 W 5 B 4
2054  2070 3rd (tie) $35 1쩍 2 3 3
5 Jorge F Balares W 17 B 13 W 19 B 9 W 11
2180  2161 3rd (tie) $35 1 1 2 2 3
2 Reynaldo Del Pilar B 11 W 1 W 9 B 13 W 6
2317  2299 1 1 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍
7 Rick Aeria B 18 W 14 W 6 B 1 B 12
2111  2102 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍 2쩍
10 Richard Gimeno B 1 W 18 B 14 W 4 B 15
2049  2057  0 1쩍 1쩍 2쩍
13 Ben Barquin B 3 W 5 B 1 W 2 B 19
1991  2001  1 2 2 2 2
3 Bruce Baker W 13 B 17 W 18 B 8 ----
2225  2205  0 1 2 2 2
18 Esteban Escobedo W 7 B 10 B 3 W 19 B 17
1812  1815  1 1 1 1쩍
15 Peter Hodges bye B 8 W 11 B 6 W 10
1942  1933  1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
11 Carey Milton W 2 B 20 B 15 W 14 B 5
1935  1923    0 1쩍 1쩍
20 Kimberly Ogden B 19 W 11 B 17 W 12 ----
1657 1671 0 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
16 Hercules Madriaga W 4 B 9 B 12 W 17 ----
1909 1901 1 1
17 Richard Jensen B 5 W 3 W 20 B 16 W 18
1854 1839 0 0 0 1
14 James Mahooti bye B 7 W 10 B 11 ----
1970  1954

Reserve Section Wall Chart


Alan Tsoi not only raised his rating to a new high, he pocketed $250 for First Place 

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
5 Alan Tsoi B 11 W 13 B 10 W 1 B 4
1662  1748 1st $250  1 2 3 3쩍 4쩍
1 Chuck Ensey bye B 8 W 11 B 5 W 2
1779  1791 2nd $100 1 2 3 3쩍 4
10 Caleb Guy B 3 bye W 5 B 2 W 9
1578  1650 U1600 $150 1 2 2 3 4
11 Bill Rhoads W 5 W 3 B 1 B 13 W 12
1542 1646 2nd U1600 $50 0 1 1 2 3
4 Khris Juroshek bye B 2 W 12 B 9 W 5
1667 1675 3rd $50 1 2 3 3
2 Robert Aiello B 9 W 4 B 13 W 10 B 1
1749  1725 1 2 2 2쩍
13 Nestor Dagamat B 8 B 5 W 2 W 11 B 3
unr.  1592/05 1 1 1 1 2
9 Gene Arnaiz W 2 B 12 bye W 4 B 10
1628  1600 1 2 2 2
3 Aaron Ibarra W 10 B 11 W 8 B 7 W 13
1710  1658  0 0 1쩍 1쩍
8 Jesse Orlowski W 13 W 1 B 3 B 12 W 6
1637  1609  0 0 1 1쩍
12 Pouyan Azarshahri bye W 9 B 4 W 8 B 11
unr.  1429/04 1 1 1쩍 1쩍
6 Kimberly Ogden ---- ---- ---- ---- B 8
1657  1668 0 0 0 0
7 Brian Kelly ---- ---- ---- W 3 ----
1648  1632 0 0 0 0 0

Open Section Upset Prize $20 Ben Barquin

Reserve Section Upset Prize $20 Caleb Guy

Total Prizes $1,700


NTC Super G (#262)

March 4, 2006 at NTC!   Gambito #262    March Super Gambito  4 rounds at G/30


49 Players Tie the "Gold Rush" Record

Reported by Chuck Ensey and Rick Aeria

 Revised September 29th, 2008


I very rarely try to a revise of a reported event but this singular Gambito event has so much significance for the San Diego Chess Club history and heritage.  This event was made special by the participation of Grandmaster Aleks Wojtkiewicz.  Just about the only U.S. Championship participant from a galaxy of chess stars that were available on this tournament rest day.

Sadly, this was a farewell performance from a brilliant chess troubadour as Grandmaster Aleks Wojtkiewicz succumbed to a perforated intestine and massive bleeding on the evening of  July 14th later that same year. 

Here is a  on Aleks, a very special chessplayer


Picture of Grandmaster Aleks Wojtkiewicz


Under brilliant sunny skies amid cool breezes and a plethora of chess talent with the participants to the 2006 US Chess Championship mingling between autograph signings, simuls, chess instruction, blindfold chess exhibitions and photo ops - the 262nd running of the Gambito series, a Super G, was held outdoors at the NTC Promenade. Only one lone representative was dispatched from the ranks of the US Championship participants, grandmaster Aleks Wojtkiewicz but that seemed to be sufficient as "Wojo" plowed through his opposition for a perfect 4-0!


 Standing in the "dusk"

IM's Enrico Sevillano & Cy Lakdakwala

Left standing in the dust and sharing 2nd and 3rd prizes were the two regular Gambito paladins, IM's Cyrus Lakdawala and Enrico Sevillano with 3 1/2 - 1/2. A strange quirk in the computer pairings had the former Polish  grandmaster avoid playing either of them although they were paired (and drew).

Super expert John Byrant gave Cyrus some stiff competition in their encounter and the game was a thrilling crowd-pleaser as Cyrus unravelled from complications to deliver mate.

Fellow website contributor Andy Bell downed Dimitry Kishinevsky in round one and was ready to do the same to me in a well-played game (for Andy) but made the fatal mistake of waiting for resignation instead of forcing it and was handed a very, very unfortunate loss. Sorry Andy!

Probably lost in the hurly-burly of action was young Simone Sobel's convincing win over expert Carey Milton. Simone, a former San Diegan now lives in Florida and is an avid chess fan and player.

Note that Filipino expert Raoul Crisologo has defeated Mexican master Ruffo 'El Fabuloso' Orihuela twice in as many months. Raoul is definitely establing an Indian sign on his Mexican rival. For his 'reward' Raoul was served up to Wojo in the last round for dessert!

In another entertaining encounter, Thomas Victory lived up to his inspired name and defeated Ed Baluran in a very cool and detached manner. Notwithstanding Ed Baluran's usual histrionics.

The popular Murra chess family was out in force today! Everyone knows what a fine talent Fawsi Murra Jr. is but did you know that the youngest Mayra Murra has been holding her own against the club regulars recently? Older sister Rocio Murra isn't a pushover either. Papa Fawsi Murra Sr. hopes to secure some chess instruction for his talented kids and then we can all watch out! I'm going out on a limb to make a prediction now! If Mayra Murra continues playing chess the way she does and getting good chess instruction and training - I predict she will be one of the participants to the Women's U.S. Championship in four years!

The Tournament was held at the NTC, the site of the US Championship. See their website for map and directions. It's actually pretty easy. The address is 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego. Take Rosecrans from I-5 (or from downtown take Pacific Coast Highway to Barnett, right on Midway, left on Rosecrans) and turn left on Roosevelt off of Rosecrans, follow signs to easy free parking.

$1,000 Prize Fund increased to $1,160

Entry Fee $25, Prizes adjusted upwards to reflect the record  high turnout of 49 players, some players received free entry for volunteering to help the NTC with the kid's simul at 10 AM. The 49 gold diggers tied the long standing Gambito Open attendance record set at Gambito #124 way back on May 3, 2003. Just 1 more player and we would have broken that record!! If you didn't attend, it's all your fault! But that's OK, we were thrilled to have such a great turnout, even including one of the Grandmasters from the US Championship, Aleks Wojtkiewicz. Four lucky players got to play the GM (Khris Juroshek, David Hart, Ron Bruno and Raoul Crisologo), but of course no one could beat him. Still, what a thrill to play a Grandmaster, man to man, over the board, one on one, face to face, mano a mano, etc.

Rick Aeria: I did not seem to notice the difference in the special time controls. usually we use Game in 45 (or Game in 40 with 5 second delay for those using digital clocks). Today's time control was Game in 30 minutes (with optional 5 second delay). Personally, I would like to have more rounds played 5 instead of 4 and the shorter time control (G/30). What do you think? Blog it on the message board.

Khris Juroshek said he had a pretty good game with the GM in the first round. After round 1 was over there were 11 players with 1 point, so the luck of the draw for round 2 fell on the #6 rated NM David Hart. After that round  there were only 5 players with 2 points, and #4 rated Ron Bruno was singled out to play Wojo while Cyrus and Enrico drew with each other and Raoul defeated Ruffo Orihuela. After 3 rounds, Raoul was the only player in the Open Section with 3 points besides Aleks, so they met in the last round. Aleks complained a little bit because he got three Blacks, but if Raoul had been given Black, then he would have had 3 Blacks in a row, which is an even bigger no-no as far as paring rules are concerned, so Raoul was assigned the White pieces. 

The Open Section was the strongest ever seen at a Gambito, with 6 Masters (1 GM and 2 IMs), 8 Experts, 13 Class A and one C in the Open Section (28 total). The Reserve Section had 21 players, with 12 Class B, 2 Class C and 7 Class D or below. Lately we seem to have a shortage of C players, so listen up out there, if you are rated 1400 to 1599 you could be pulling down some easy money at a Gambito!    

Open Section:  First Place $225 Aleks Wojtkiewicz (4)

Second Place tie Enrico Sevillano (3 1/2), Cyrus Lakdawala (3 1/2) $75 each

BU2200/2nd U2200 tie Raoul Crisologo (3), Rick Aeria (3), John Bryant (3), $50 each  

BU2000 $100 David Saponara  - His first Gambito ever and he wins $100!! 

2nd U2000 tie Felipe Camachco (2), Thomas Victory (2), Fawsi Murra Jr (2), Ben Barquin (2), Buddy Morris (2)  $20 each 

Reserve Section (U1800):  First U1800 $120 Norlino Tagalog (4)

2nd U1800 tie Jemar Fragante (3), Ronaldo Selenga (3), Vincent Broman (3), Kyron Griffith (3), $20 each   

BU1600 Justin Colon (3) $75

2nd U1600 Arcencio Caccam (2 1/2) $40

BU1400/2nd U1400 tie Mogan Fox (2), Tom Kuhn (2), $40 each

Best Game $20 Reserve Section - Justin Colon for win over Chuck Ensey

Best Game $20 Open Section - Dimitry Kishinevsky for win over Ben Barquin  

See Best Games 06 to view these games and others   

The event was held outdoors - much to our surprise when we were informed the night before the event that the room we had reserved was suddenly unavailable!! It was kind of fun being outdoors, at least at first, and it did give the spectators at the Chessfest a great view of a real live fast paced tournament, more than if we had been hidden away inside, so that was a good thing.

Rick Aeria chiming in here. First of all I think Chuck Ensey did a fabulous job directing running what is arguably one of the most memorable and novel Gambitos - given the last minute 'surprises'. As for the sun and fresh air, I grew up in tropical Malaysia but the sun even got to me today. Tony Whitt looked so sunburnt by round three I jokingly told him that he was been withdrawn from the tournament for radiation poisoning.

 Also it was nice and sunny, although it was a bit breezy and got rather cold and dark at the end of the day. That was partly my fault because we had a few problems with a laptop computer and portable printer which I had never used before to run a Gambito, and so there was a major delay before the start of the second round while the data was entered and bugs ironed out. The first round was paired by hand, and maybe we should have done the rest of the event that way, but I really like having the computer to do the pairings - it never makes a mistake. The second round started after about a half hour delay and things went relatively smoothly after that. Next time (if ever!) there shouldn't be a problem, I think it have it all figured out now. Anyway, we finished up just as it was getting pretty dark and then we headed back to the club for the simul with Yermo & Shabba. You can read about that on the page GM simul.

Rick Aeria, again: I want to thank everyone that helped load the tables and chairs back into the van, Special 'thank yous' to Justin Colon, Esteban Escobedo, Khris Juroshek, Tony Whitt, David Saponara, Bob Draper, Buddy Morris, Andy Bell, Chuck Ensey, David Hart, Ed Baluran, Ben Barquin, Kim Ogden. Fawsi Murra Jr. and many others for going the extra distance to help us breakdown the site and load it up. Also a special mention and thanks to Dimitry Kishinevsky who did the driving. Dimitry, Ron and Chuck were at the club at 7:30 AM loading the chairs and tables into three vehicles to go to NTC. Now that's dedication! 

Finally, I would like to refer Chuck Ensey over to my friend Dr. Sherri Azimi, an eye doctor, for selecting this hideous urine-yellow background for this web page. I know Chuck wanted a 'gold' theme but this definitely is not it!  Note: Background color moderated with revision.

(Chuck here) Sorry, it was as close as I could get in the "wee" hours of the morning!...  Rick has now improved it... I think... or it could be just my imagination, I'm not really sure.           

Gambito #251

The Fifth Annual Super Double Gambito  12/03 -12/04 at the  San Diego Chess Club,  a two day 8 Round Swiss of G/45, held once a year in December

$2,000 in Prizes!

Good turnout of 37 players: 7 Masters, 5 Experts, 12 Class A, 9 Class B and 4 Class C.

[Note: The opening ceremony by Chuck Ensey included a sincere commendatory statement about Ron Gambito.  -- baker]

Open Section

IM Enrico Sevillano - Baker ... see Cyrus Annotates

Joel Banawa (7), the third highest rated player in the event at 2357, drew with the top two players (Cyrus & Enrico) and beat everyone else, a winning formula that allowed him to capture his first ever Gambito Open for a $300 First Place prize. He becomes the fourth person to win a Super Double Gambito. Previous winners include Cyrus Lakdawala (2), Bruce Baker and Dimitry Kishinevsky. The turnout this year was up significantly from previous years, thus ensuring that we will continue to hold this exciting event. We didn't quite have enough attendees to break even on the prize fund, but it was very close. Just 3 more players would have done it, and as the legend of this event grows it seems that next year it is likely that we will have over 40 players. A good time was had by all, there were no disputes to speak of, and everyone played hard but fair, like the good sports they are. 

Enrico Sevillano and Jesus Orozco in Round 2. Jesus got a draw with Cyrus (rated #1) in the first round and then had to face Enrico (rated #2) in Round 2! A pretty tough start but Jesus was up for the challenge! 

Enrico Sevillano (6 1/2) won $150 for Second Place. He had a first round bye due to traffic coming down here which may have cost him some prize money, he will have to learn to leave earlier, this isn't the first time the bad traffic has hurt his chances! He won 3 games on Saturday, but then drew with Banawa and Lakdawala before finishing up with 2 more wins. 

Cyrus Lakdawala (6) did not take any byes this year, nor any losses, but he did give up 4 draws to Jesus Orozco (4), Joel Banawa, Enrico Sevillano and Bruce Baker (5). Bruce ended up fourth, and so out of the money in the strong field of 7 Masters, a record number of Masters for a Gambito Open. Bruce did say that he felt he played quite well even though the results didn't always show. He lost to Banawa and Sevillano, but drew with Cyrus and Ron Bruno (3). He seemed to take the draw with Bruno the hardest, as he felt he had the game won, but let it slip away in the last few minutes. Of course that happens to a lot of people, but Bruce always expects to win and takes his losses, and even draws, very hard.

Carey Milton (5) equaled Bruce's score and won $200 as the Best Under 2200. The famous swindler pulled off several come from behind victories, most noticeably over Ron Bruno. Ron withdrew after his 6th round loss to Carey, realizing he was then out of the money, and went home to try and purge the upsetting swindle from his mind.

Tying for 2nd/3rd Under 2200 were Raoul Crisologo (4 1/2) and Jorge Balares (4 1/2) for $75 each. Raoul also upset Ron Bruno, plus Dimitry Kishinevsky, while Jorge knocked off Adam Corper (1 1/2), who withdrew after the first day and a fourth round loss to John Bryant (4). John tied for Best Under 2000 with Felipe Camacho (4) and Jesus Orozco. John, Felipe and Jesus all won $117.            

Reserve Section

Chris Borgan (6) was the highest rated player in this section at 1799. He started slow with two byes and then a draw, a win and a draw, but won his last three to clinch First Place and a $200 prize. Khris Juroshek (5 1/2) had the lead in this section from rounds 1 through 7, but lost his last two games. Still, he won $200 as the Best Under 1600.  Anthony Whitt (5 1/2) won 2nd U1800 for $100, while Ricardo Rios (5) also won $100 as 2nd U1600.

Daniel Short (5) was 3rd U1800 for $50. Daniel hadn't heard about the Super Double and came just expecting to pay $15 and play in the Gambito! He hadn't played for a while, and didn't know that this year we raised the entry fee from $15 to $20 (and to $25 for a Super Gambito). But he agreed to play in the Super Double anyway, even paying the late entry fee of $60 (it was $50 for advance entries). For being rusty, he played quite well and he won his last two games, when it really counts (the money rounds!)      

Tom Kuhn (3) and Jesse Orlowski (3) split the 3rd U1600 prize of $50 for $25 each.  Jesse is from the Jedi Knights Club, our Friday night scholastic club that is taught by Bruce Baker. The other Jedis, Kyron Griffith (4) and Daniel Grazian (3 1/2) did not win any money (their ratings have both soared over 1600 this year), but they gained valuable experience.

Kyron Griffith won this game with buddy Daniel Grazian in Rd 7    Photo by Richard Jensen

Daniel and I, Chuck Ensey (3 1/2),  met in the last round, and I thought for sure I had a win (and I did as Fritz pointed out to me later when I got home), but I kept making the wrong moves in a Bishop ending and Daniel was able to draw, much to my consternation. I know how Bruce feels!

At least I got to see the second half of the Charger/Raider game on TV at home . I sold my 45 yard line tickets to my brother in law's friend because I knew I would miss most of the game in order to play in this event. The sacrifices we make to play chess! Nothing is sweeter than beating the Raiders for a true Charger fan, and now that's 5 in a row for the Bolts.     

We will have more games posted here tomorrow and also the Best Upset Prize winners, who we forgot all about in the rush at the end to award prizes. The Best Game winners will take a few more days.

Open Section Upset Prize ($25):  Thirunathan Sutharsan vs Romeo Ignacio, 322 points difference

Reserve Section Upset Prize ($25):  Tom Kuhn vs Kyron Griffith, 366 points difference 

Reserve Section Best Game Prize ($20): Kyron Griffith for win over Ricardo Rios. By the way, only two games were turned in for this section!! Sometimes Reserve Section players are shy about sharing their games. G/45 doesn't lend itself to deeply thought out games, much of it is instinct, especially at the end of the game when flags are rising (or minutes ticking away on a digital clock). The following game might be an example of this.

See game here.

Open Section Best Game Prize ($20): Ben Barquin won for his come from behind victory over Ed Baluran. See this exciting game here

This event has been rated - no room to post the wallchart here, but you can see it at the USCF website and checkout your new rating....     

Gambito #242

Gambito 242 - Special 5 Round Super Gambito on October 1st, 2005

Many of the players said this was one of the best Gambitos ever. Thanks to our newly acquired refrigerator we were able to supply food during the lunch break. Thanks to Chris for firing up those tasty burgers and hot dogs on the barbeque. We plan to repeat this format on February 4, 2006, so save that date!  See main page for more details. 

[Note:  Julian Landaw (USCF expert) drew his last round game with IM Cyrus Lakdawala, defending the ending R vs R+B for 40-50 moves with little time on his clock except the 5-sec delay. This is the highest degree of difficulty.  -- baker]

James "The Brilliant" Mahooti won his game against NM Joe Hanley in the last round, which allowed him to win the BU2000 prize, but more importantly, pushed him over 2000 for the first time! Congratulations, that is quite an achievement, James, your hard work has finally paid off!  

Open Section Wall Chart

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
3 Bruce Baker W 14 B 8 B 12 W 7 B 1
2295 2306   1st-2nd (tie) $250 1 1 2 3 4
2 IM Cyrus Lakdawala B 11 W 5 B 8 W 1 B 6
2510 2509   1st-2nd (tie) $250 1 2 3 3쩍 4
1 IM Enrico Sevillano W 9 B 6 W 4 B 2 W 3
2541 2533   3rd (tie) $35 1 2 3 3쩍 3쩍
4 Ronald Bruno B 15 W 7 B 1 W 8 B 12
2241 2248   3rd (tie) $35 1 2 2 2쩍 3쩍
6 Julian Landaw B 18 W 1 B 21 W 11 W 2
2133 2150   U2200 $125 1 1 2 3 3쩍
8 Rick Aeria B 20 W 3 W 2 B 4 B 7
2101 2118   U2200 2nd $10 1 2 2 2쩍 3
12 Richard Gimeno W 10 B 13 W 3 B 5 W 4
2042 2063   U2200 2nd $10 1 2 2 3 3
13 Jorge F Balares bye W 12 B 16 B 14 W 19
2032 2039   U2200 2nd $10 1쩍 2 3
15 Carey Milton W 4 B 19 W 10 B 21 B 11
2001 2012   U2200 2nd $10 0 0 1 2 3
9 Leonard Sussman B 1 W 21 bye B 18 W 14
2091 2096   U2200 2nd $10 0 1 2 3
7 Dimitry Kishinevsky W 19 B 4 W 18 B 3 W 8
2120 2119  1 1 2 2 2쩍
16 James Mahooti bye ---- W 13 B 20 W 5
1998 2010   U2000 $125 1쩍 2쩍
11 Raoul Crisologo W 2 B 17 W 19 B 6 W 15
2072 2066  0 1 2 2 2
14 Randall Hough B 3 W 20 B 5 W 13 B 9
2027 2026  0 1 1쩍 2 2
19 Alex Uyemura B 7 W 15 B 11 W 17 B 13
1946 1949   U2000 2nd $50 0 1 1 2 2
10 Pablo Pena B 12 W 18 B 15 W 22 W 21
2074 2050  0 0 0 1 2
5 Joe Hanley W 17 B 2 W 14 W 12 B 16
2224 2198  1 1 1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
20 Chang H Kim W 8 B 14 W 17 W 16 B 22
1861 1855  0 0 1쩍
17 John Bryant B 5 W 11 B 20 B 19 W 18
1982 1966  0 0 1쩍
18 Felipe Camacho W 6 B 10 B 7 W 9 B 17
1950 1938  0 1 1 1 1
21 Thomas Victory bye B 9 W 6 W 15 B 10
1800 1800   1 1 1 1
22 Kimberly Ogden ---- ---- ---- B 10 W 20
1756 1742   (house) 0 0 0 0 0

Reserve Section Wall Chart

Name/Rtng/ID Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5
11 Daniel Grazian W 20 B 3 W 8 B 7 B 4
1652 1727  1st-3rd (tie) $116   1쩍 2 3 4
1 Richard Jensen B 13 W 17 B 10 W 14 B 2
1797 1810   1st-3rd (tie) $116 1쩍 2쩍 3 4
8 Chuck Ensey bye W 19 B 11 B 17 W 14
1722 1750   1st-3rd (tie) $116 1쩍 2 3 4
14 Robert Dolan B 2 W 9 W 12 B 1 B 8
1612 1686  1 2 3 3쩍 3쩍
2 William Wijaya W 14 B 20 W 16 B 12 W 1
1765 1756  0 1 2 3 3
7 Pirouz Hendi B 17 W 18 B 9 W 11 B 10
1779 1767  0 1 2 2 3
9 Arthur Taylor W 18 B 14 W 7 B 16 W 17
1680 1679  1 1 1 2 3
20 Jesse Orlowski B 11 W 2 B 13 W 6 W 12
1395 1490   U1600 $100 1쩍 2 2쩍
12 Shaun Sweitzer B 21 W 6 B 14 W 2 B 20
1627 1620  1 2 2 2 2쩍
13 Aaron Ibarra W 1 B 4 W 20 B 18 W 3
1622 1627  1쩍 2쩍
10 Carlos F Martinez B 19 W 15 W 1 B 3 W 7
1653 1656  1쩍 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍
6 Chris Borgan W 16 B 12 W 17 B 20 W 21
1751 1715  1 1 1 1쩍 2쩍
4 Ernesto Victoria bye W 13 ---- B 15 W 11
1765 1764   (house) 1쩍 1쩍 2쩍 2쩍
17 Kyron Griffith W 7 B 1 B 6 W 8 B 9
1543 1568   U1600 2nd $25 1 1 2 2 2
19 Sam Barboo W 10 B 8 W 3 B 21 W 15
1459 1468   U1600 2nd $25 1 2
3 Jemar Fragante B 15 W 11 B 19 W 10 B 13
1768 1721  1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
15 Gene Arnaiz W 3 B 10 W 5 W 4 B 19
1576 1564  1쩍 1쩍 1쩍
16 Andrew Hartman B 6 W 21 B 2 W 9 W 18
1553 1527  0 1 1 1 1쩍
18 Michael Morgan B 9 B 7 W 21 W 13 B 16
1527 1458  0 0 1 1 1쩍
21 Tom Kuhn W 12 B 16 B 18 W 19 B 6
1211 1204   U1400 $75 0 0 0
5 Kimberly Ogden bye ---- B 15 ---- ----
1742 1722   (house)

This event has been rated.

Open Section upset prize $20   Bruce Baker (vs Enrico Sevillano - 247 pts) game here

Reserve Section upset prize $20   Jesse Orlowski (vs Aaron Ibarra - 225 pts)

Best game Open Section $20 ... Carey Milton for win over Raoul Crisologo game here

Best game Reserve Section $20 ... Carlos Martinez for a pretty win over Jemar Fragante. The young but dangerous Carlos uses all four of his minor pieces to checkmate Jemar without the assistance of the Queen or Rooks. See game here, picture below taken by Richard Jensen.      

 Total Prizes   $1,600