May 14-15, 2005 San Diego County Championships, Reported by Chuck Ensey, photos by Rick Aeria
3- Way Tie For First Place
Sevillano, Lakdawala & Nita Score 4 Points
Baker, Kishinevsky, Bruno Score 3 1/2; Orozco & Aeria 3
Enrico & Rose Sevillano pose on the patio of the San Diego Chess Club
A total of 65 players competed in three sections at the 2005 San Diego County Championships. Four additional house players were used at various points.
The 4 top rated players in the Open section all took byes either in Round 1 or Round 3, which makes me wonder if one of them could have won the whole thing by playing in all five rounds. I think Enrico Sevillano (4) planned to play all 5 games, I'm not really sure, and I forgot to ask him, but what happened was that he got caught up in a horrible traffic jam and had to take a first round bye. We were in cell phone contact and kept hoping that he would make it in time for the first round, but the traffic was just relentless. One of the other players that came down from Los Angeles said he left at 6:30 in the morning and still barely got here in time (the first round was at 11 AM), and this story was confirmed by several other players, so I felt that this was way beyond the normal type of delay. Although he did not ask for it, Enrico was granted a first round bye due to the very unusual circumstances, while his first round opponent, John Wright (2 1/2), who waited patiently for an hour, got a full point bye. I thought maybe Enrico was going to come in at the last minute and win the game with only five minutes on his clock, because I have seen great players do that before, and I think Enrico even did it once, to a lesser degree at a Gambito. I believe George Zeigler did it once on a Wednesday night, was it against Tom Nelson??... no, I think it was Ed Baluran, but I can't remember for sure.
John Wright from Pasadena is a solid Expert and drew his Round 2 game with NM Robert Richard (2 1/2), plus his next two games too. He withdrew from the tournament in last round, even though he still had a decent chance of winning money. Expert Chris Slupik (2 1/2) also withdrew after four rounds, claiming exhaustion. One of the odd things about this tournament was the high drop out rate in the last round. Ten players out of the 27 player Open Section opted to skip the last round! Some of them were just out of the money of course, but others still had a shot. Bob Richard withdrew after drawing with Alan Sebeckis (2 1/2) in Round 4. Leonard Sussman (1) felt he had blundered badly in his Round 4 game with Jesus Orozco (3), so Lenny withdrew. Jesus was one of the big money winners on the day with a $200 payday for winning Best Under 2000. Adam Corper (1 1/2) lost to Carey Milton (2) in Round 1, breaking his streak of 28 games without a loss, but Adam soldiered on until his Round 4 loss to Ron Bruno (3 1/2), and then he too threw in the towel.
Here is the game that broke Adam's incredible 28 game non-losing streak: Milton vs Corper. A few rounds later Adam lost again to Ron Bruno: Corper vs Bruno. Be sure to check out both of these instructive games.
Daniel Hughan (2) drove all the way from Yuma, so he left early even though he might have tied with Jesus for Best Under 2100. Other last round drop outs were Jim Humphrey (1 1/2), Pablo Pena (1 1/2), Ramin Sinaee (1) and Joel Batchelor (1).
Enrico Sevillano watches as Chris Slupik fought hard to try and hold the draw versus Cyrus Lakdawala, but Cy came up with a nice tactic at the end to win the game
Cyrus Lakdawala (4) was unsure if he was going to play any games at all because he was feeling a little under the weather, so he waited until the last minute for a final decision to go for it. Cyrus always takes a third round bye in these type of events; three long games in one day is too much not only for his ailing back, but for his mental composure too. Bruce Baker (3 1/2), on the other hand, gets stronger as the day goes on, but his weakness is in the morning. Bruce has lost many first round games over the years, so lately he has opted for taking the first round bye. But maybe if he had played Round 1 and won, he might have won the $450 First Place prize, we will never know. As it was, he was shut out of the prize pool completely and won zippo moola. Bruce lost to Enrico in Round 4, but beat Alan Sebeckis in the last round.
Marian Nick Nita of Glendale tied for First Place with two International Masters!
Rick Aeria (3) also got nothing in the money department, since he was ineliglbe for the Under 2100 prize, but he did have the thrill of nearly tying for first place. He went for it full bore in the last round, but lost to Marian Nick Nita (4) of Glendale. It was great to see a lot of players from out of town play. Here is Rick's game with Arizonan Daniel Hughan from Round 4: Aeria vs Hughan.
Cyrus is the official San Diego County Champion, since Nita and Sevillano are not residents of this county. Cyrus drew with Enrico in the last round. He felt he was in a worse position and so offerred a draw but was a little surprised when Enrico accepted it. But it made sense for both players, because whoever lost would have been shut out of the prize money. As it was, they had to share it with one other player, Nick Nita, but they still took home $266 each.
Other players that traveled a ways to get here were Daniel Alvira (2 1/2) of Downey and the Slupik clan from Laguna Hills (Mrs. Slupik and Dad Chris, plus sons Scott, Billy and Ben).
Dimitry Kishinevsky and Ronald Bruno are frequent participants at SDCC events
Both players have gone to Minnesota to try their luck at the Global Chess Challenge
Dimitry Kishinevsky (3 1/2) tied for Best Under 2200 with Ron Bruno. Mario Amodeo (2 1/2) had a good weekend, with upsets over Ron Bruno and Jim Humphrey. Ron lost on time when didn't notice that we were playing 30 moves in 60 minutes as the first control - he had misread the flyer and was thinking it was 40/90, G/60, which was the time control for day two! We made repeated announcements about the different time controls, but Ron wasn't paying attention, he said later he was just getting focused on the game about to begin! But Ron took it well and came back to win $100 along with Dimitry for BU2200. Ron beat the tough Expert Raoul Crisologo (2 1/2) in the last round, while Dimitry beat Mario.
Here is a great game by Mario: Amodeo vs Humphrey
On the patio after the game, John Milton explains what went wrong to Ramin Sinaee, who lost this Round 4 matchup
Another welcome surprise in this tournament was the appearance of John Milton (2 1/2), Carey Milton's brother. I had heard many good things about him over the years, but had never had the chance to meet him. He proved to be just as charming and friendly as Carey, and many people say he is just as good if not better in terms of chess ablilty. He drew a long and difficult last round game with Alex Garcia-Betancourt (2) that was the last game of this event to finish.
Premier Section (rated Under 2000)
Ben Barquin probably should have won this game with Felipe Camacho, but a draw was still good enough to win First Place for Ben, who will soon have an Expert rating
Ben Barquin (4 1/2) was the big winner in this section and that should come as no surprise to regular readers of this website, as Ben has been winning many Gambito Open prizes all year, in fact he is second only to Cyrus Lakdawala on that prize winnings list. He did face stiff competition from Hercules Madriaga (3) and Alejandrino Baluran (3), two fellow National City club players who are often rated at Expert strength. Ben defeated Hercules in Round 4, and then drew with another famous Filipino player, Felipe Camacho (3 1/2), in the last round. I thought for sure Ben was going to win that game too, but Felipe managed to go into a Rook and pawn ending only one pawn down and was able to hold the draw. Felipe won the Second Place Prize of $150, while Big Ben took home $300.
Thomas Victory (4) won $187 as the Best Under 1900 and John Anderson (4) of La Canada matched that score of four points to force a pooled prize fund for Best Under 1900 and BU 1800, so that John also took home $187 instead of the scheduled $175 for BU1800 and $200 for BU1900. Tom upset Hercules in the last round and John upset Thirunathan Sutharsan (2 1/2).
Nine players finished with 3 points, and unlike the Open Section, there were only two drop outs in the last round. Only one of those nine players was rated under 1700, David Oldham (3), so he won the Best Under 1700 prize of $175. All prizes in the top two sections were paid as advertised. The Open Section prizes were guaranteed, but not the Premier Section, but thanks to a hefty turnout of players registering on Saturday morning (an extra 13 players signed up in this section alone in the last hour before the start of the event!), we had a good total of 28 players in the Premier Section, one more than the 27 who played in the Open Section. Other players who finished with 3 points were, in tie break order, Hercules Madriaga, John Badger (3), Alejandrino Baluran, Chuck Ensey (3), John Bryant (3), Esteban Escobedo (3), Michael Healy (3) and Damani Fair (3).
Reserve Section (Under 1600)
Parviz Soltan lost this last round game to David Brown, another $200 winner
This section was fairly small with only ten players, so it was really the only disappointing one in terms of turnout. There is a scholastic event scheduled for May 22 that may have held down the turnout for some of those players, but still it seemed to me that many of the Class C players from our club and elsewhere in San Diego County missed a big opportunity to win some fairly good prizes, First Place was advertised as $300 and we would have paid that full amount had just a few more players shown up. As is was, David Brown (4 1/2) still won $200 for first, while Santiago Lunas (4) won $100 for Second Place. Rolando Garciagutierrez (3 1/2) also won $100 for Best Under 1500, and Rafael Prieto (3) took the $100 prize for BU1400. A Best Under 1200 Scholastic prize of $100 went unclaimed, as did a book and free lesson prize for unrated players.
We will be adding some games in the next few days, so check back at this site to find out more about the County Championships.
Please note that current ratings shown in the wall charts frequently differ from ratings published in the USCF April supplement, which was used for this tournament.