Gerstoft Gallops To Glory w/ 6 1/2 Pts
Carlos Martinez Wins the Best Under 1600 w/ 5 Pts
Philip Gerstoft Made Quite A Splash With A Big Performance @ #202
Phil Gerstoft (6 1/2) has been playing in the Gambito tournaments for a little over a year now, fairly sporatically. He developed a reputation as a good young player with lots of potential. One time I beat him with my favorite opening, and then the next time we played, he was well prepared and thrashed me convincingly! Some people thought of him as a bit strange because he claimed he could go through hundreds of training bots on the web in no time. Well, no one is doubting his sanity now, as he swept through the Reserve field without a loss for 6 rounds before finally losing quickly to the young and talented Carlos Martinez (5) in Round 7.
Carlos Felipe Martinez has done very well playing in the Super Gambitos
Phil, who is rated 1474, started off with a win in Round 1 against John Higa (3 1/2), a 1271 player from Las Vegas, no big surprise there, but then he shocked the crowd by defeating the #2 rated player, Esteban Escobedo (6) in Round 2. But he was far from done; in the following rounds he polished off, in order, the #3, #4, and #5 rated players in a row! By round 6 he was running out of opponents and beat the #11 seed, before finally losing to Carlos in Rd 7. In the last round Phil finally met the #1 rated Eric Leung (4 1/2), who had gotten off to a slow start and had taken byes in Rounds 3 & 4. They drew that game, but it was no Grandmaster draw, it was an exciting duel that just happend to end in a draw. So the the #6 seeded player, Philip Gerstoft, a Class C player, ended up winning $200 and the whole Reserve Section, which consisted of 14 players rated under1800.
Esteban Defeated The Young Carlos Martinez In A Round 1 Game
Esteban Escobedo had to settle for $100 for 2nd BU1800. He might have had a better shot at winning the $200 Best Under 2000 prize in the Open Section, as there were only 4 Class A players entered in that section, but Esteban didn't know that going in and signed up for the Reserve Section in advance.
Carlos won $200 for the Best Under 1400, a very nice prize for such a young man. He got a big round of applause too, when accepting his prize money at the end of the tournament.
Third Best U1800 was Arthur Taylor (5), who was the only other player besides Phil to beat Esteban. And that game was a crazy one, with Art nearly losing on time. They were playing without a time delay clock, and both players wished they had one at the end of the game, but as TD I refused their request - you can't switch to a time delay just because you want more time at the end of the game, even if both players agree, it's just not legal! Sometimes a TD can put players on a time delay clock if there is an unclear claim of no losing chances with an analog clock, but this was not the case here. In fact I advised Art, after giving Esteban 2 minutes for an illegal move by Art, that he could claim a draw since he only had a few seconds left, and was clearly winning, but that he risked losing on time if he continued, but Art refused the offer and went for the win, a big risk in my opinion.
Art Taylor Cracks A Smile Early In The Game With Esteban Escobedo
Earlier Art had not noticed that he had failed to punch the clock hard enough to register (a Saitek clock), and Esteban was certainly not going to inform him of this oversight, in fact no one was allowed to say anything, and for once no one did, as his time slipped away in front of a big crowd watching the game. I really thought Art was going to lose on time, and it looked like Esteban had found a sanctuary for his King, but Art did manage to checkmate him before his flag fell. And he did it with a Rook and a Queen instead of two Queens that he could have had, inexplicably not turning over the Rook to indicate a Queen after he Queened a second pawn! Weird game! Art is well known for paying too little attention to the clock and focusing only on the board. But the clock is an important part of the game, it can cause you to lose, so you need to be aware of the clock when you are in time trouble! Some players do the reverse and worry so much about the clock that they can't think of any good moves when their time gets low!
Stanley watches Phil & Keith, while Sam Barboo & Brian Keel also play
Keith Bresee (4 1/2) finished just out of the money, along with Eric Leung. Keith had several exciting games too, especially his game with Phil that could have gone either way, it was a real slugfest. The game is pictured above, but you can't tell how crazy it was from that. I will try to see if Phil still has the scoresheet, but it is probably incomplete as there was a wild rush of moves at the end.
Rob adopted a stray black kitten that appeared at the club, the cat is almost invisible here, but he's there, trust me!
Rob Dolan (4) and Steven Dahl (4), two newcomers to the Gambito, won the 2nd and 3rd BU1600 for $75 each. Aaron Ibarra (3 1/2) and John Higa finished just out of the money. John's son Joshua Higa (3) did very well for such a young player, I am not sure how old he is, but he looks to be about 6, or maybe 8 years old! Brian Keel (3) of Arizona and Sam Barboo (2 1/2), down from LA, didn't have the best results, but they stuck it out until the last round. In fact only Pete Danker (0) withdrew in this section, after losing his first two games.
Steven Dahl of Victorville did pretty well considering he hasn't played a rated game in about 15 years!!
Attendance was lighter than expected at 28 total, not counting house players, compared to 32 last year, but the US Championship kept many players away, and the biggest Charger game in ten years also hurt, but we were all thrilled to see the Chargers pull out the victory on the TV in the club office! Next year we should do better. Put it on your calendar, the first weekend in December 2005!