Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Gambito Opens #430, 429, 428, 427

Gambito #430  7/25/09

26 players, excellent turnout, with the following players, in rating order:

5 Masters: Cyrus Lakdawala, Bruce Baker, Jeff Arnold, Nick Schoonmaker, Jorge Balares

8 Experts: Rick Aeria, Leonard Sussman, Kyron Griffith, Jamieson Pryor, Alejandrino Baluran, Aaron Wooten, Daniel Grazian, and Carey Milton

6 Class A: Robert Belenzon, Roberto Aiello, Chris Wonnell, Chuck Ensey, Madhavan Vajapeyam, and Julie O'Neill

4 Class B: William Delaney, Mike Friedel, Eusy Ancheta, Anthony Harbone

3 Class C: Todd Arone, Fred Cleveland, Libano Rodriguez

We used a McMahon pairing system with Master=3, Expert=2, Class A=1, B/C=0

Here were the prize winners:  

1st Place: Cyrus Lakdawala (6 1/2), $100   Second Place: Jeff Arnold (5 1/2), $60

BU2400: Bruce Baker (5), $60   BU2200: Kyron Griffith (5), $60

BU2000: Robert Belenzon (3 1/2) and Chris Wonnell (3 1/2), $30 each

BU1800: Mike Friedel (3), $60   BU1600: Todd Arone (2), $60

Total Prizes: $460

There were a number of upsets: Kyron Griffith won over Ken Arnold (182 point spread), Alejandrino Baluran won over Jorge Balares (196 point spread) and Todd Arone won over William Delaney (262 point spread)

Biggest rating point gainers were (these are estimated, real results will take a day or two):

Mike Friedel +26 points to 1715, Todd Arone +24 to 1497, Kyron Griffith +21 to 2095, Alejandrino Baluran +20 to 2042  

Welcome back to Jeff Arnold, who we haven't seen for quite a while. He earned a draw with Cyrus in the first round. Nick Schoonmaker and Julie O'Neill of Texas also made a rare appearance and their friend Robert Belenzon of San Diego also joined in the fun. With all the masters, this has to rate as one of our strongest Gambito Opens ever. Too bad a few of our other masters weren't playing too, such as Peter Graves, Avram Zaydenberg or David Hart.

Next Saturady, August 1st: Super Gambito (4 rounds, 2 Sections, $700 Guaranteed Prizes, $25 Entry Fee)

Following Weekend, August 8-9th: San Diego County Championship, see Home page for details          

Gambito #429  7/18/09

Very low turnout of 9 players due to Gay Pride festivities in the park. Leonard Sussman (3) and Raoul Crisologo (3) tied for First, $50 each.Chris Wonnell (1) was BU2000 for $20 and Todd Arone (1) BU1800 for $20. Total Prizes $120. Next year we will hold the event at the National City Chess Club to avoid the parking nightmare.    

Gambito #428  7/11/09

20 players, including 3 Masters (Lakdawala, Baker, Balares), 5 Experts (Griffith, Sussman, Milton, Kaplan, Sebeckis), 4 Class A (Wonnell, Aiello, Vajapeyam, Tagalog), 5 Class B (Dagamat, Delaney, Guy, Friedel, Harbone) and 3 Class C (Kuhn, Cleveland, Arone). Karl Lindberg and Chuck Ensey also filled in as house players in Rd 3 (Karl) and Rd 4 (Chuck). Bruce was the TD and used a "mini-McMahon", that's where Masters and Experts start with 1 bye point and everyone else 0. Here are the prize winners:

First Place: Cyrus Lakdawala (4 1/2), $100

U2400: Leonard Sussman (4), $50

2nd Place: Bruce Baker (3 1/2), $20  Bruce drew with Cy in Rd 4, but lost to Carey earlier    

U2200: Kyron Griffith (3) and Carey Milton (3), $25 each

U2000: Madhavan Vajapeyam (3), $50

U1800: William Delaney (2 1/2), $50

U1600: Tom Kuhn (2), $40

Total Prizes: $360

Super Gambito (#427)  7/04/09   

4 Rounds at G/40 w/5 second delay per move, in 2 Sections 

Great turnout, 33 players! 16 players in the Open Section: 3 Masters (Lakdawala, Baker, Balares), 6 Experts (Tsoi, Sussman, Griffith, Milton, Crisologo, Baluran), 6 Class A (Smith, Qu, Wonnell, Vajapeyam, Delgadillo, Ensey) + 1 crazy guy playing up (Cleveland!) 

We also had 17 players in the Reserve Section, including 11 Class B (Ogden, Arbeiter, Reed, Dagamat, Delaney, Navera, Ibarra, Friedel, Ancheta, Dwayne Edwards, Aaron Householder) and 6 Class C (Scott Householder, Rocio Murra, Caleb Guy, Mayra Murra, Chris Calbat, Matthew Peavy)   

Here were the Prize winners:

Open Section:

First Place: Bruce Baker (3 1/2), $125  

Second Place Cyrus Lakdawala (3), $75    BU2400: Jorge Balares (3), $75

BU2200: Jason Qu (3), $75  2nd U2400: Carey Milton (2 1/2), $25

2nd U2200: Kyron Griffith (2) and Alejandrino Baluran (2), $12 each

BU2000: Eric Smith (2), Chuck Ensey (2), Madhavan Vajapeyam (2), $33 each

Best Game Open Section: Jorge Balares ($15) for win over Carey Milton

Reserve Section:

First Place: Aaron Householder (3 1/2), $80

BU1600: Caleb Guy (3 1/2), $80

2nd Place: Mike Friedel (3) and Nestor Dagamat (3), $15 each

2nd U1600: Scott Householder (3), $30       

Best Game Reserve Section: Mike Friedel ($15) for win over Aaron Ibarra   

Good day for the Householders, Aaron gained 85 points to go up to 1735 and Scott gained 80 to go over 1670, Caleb Guy also gained a huge 116 points to go up to 1700. This event is now rated, you can check the USCF website for results. 

It was nice to see the Murra sisters participate, they did okay, but will do even better in the future as they gain a little more experience with the Gambito Open format. Also we had a player come all the way down from Riverside: Dwayne Edwards, way to go Dwayne. Also welcome back to Edgardo Navera, who has been missing in action for some time now. The same could be said for Kimberly Ogden. We recruited Caleb's dad, Van, to play a house game, so maybe he will be joining us more in the future. Caleb was a little lucky to win his last game against Aaron Ibarra, it seemed like Aaron was winning at the end, but he got low on time and finally overstepped the 5 second time delay limit.

I shouldn't talk about luck, I was very fortunate to win games from two Experts, Crisologo and Sussman. Raoul went slightly wrong in a complicated variation, but then made a fatal blunder at the end of the game. He lost his next two games too, so today was not his day, but everyone has a bad day once in while, I know he will bounce back. Lenny was upset at his loss in Round 2 to Chris Wonnell and sometimes those bad feelings carry over into the next game. Leonard won a pawn quickly against me, but then went terribly wrong in the middle game when he overlooked some saving moves and underestimated a couple tactical shots I was able to pull of while his Queen was out of play after winning a second pawn.

Cyrus Lakdawala was also bemoaning his fate, joking it was one of his worst Gambito's ever, but I don't think so, he still won 2nd Place for $75. He only lost one game, a terrific upset by young, but fast rising, Kyron Griffith. After beating Cyrus, Kyron lost his next two games, exhibiting "the curse of Lakdawala". We have noticed it many times in the past, when a player gets a big upset over Cy, the next few games are often disasters. This has happened to Carey Milton many times and numerous others too. Once Carey beat Cyrus in the first round and then lost the next 3 games in a row! There could be several reasons: 1) the player is drained and tired from the supreme effort need to beat Cyrus. (Like Alekhine, you have to beat him 3 times! You might win the opening, but he will reverse things in the middle game, or if you get past the middlegame, you still have to do it all over again and win the ending, because he will cheat you of the win there unless you are very, very good). And I can imagine Bruce commenting that you might win all three phases, but then he will beat you on the clock!  Only Ali Morshedi seems to have escaped the curse so far. 2) another reason could be that the player gets overconfident after beating Cyrus, now believing he can beat anyone, and therefore the games will just win themselves with minimal effort on his part- wrong! 3) or maybe Shiva is angry that a favorite son has lost and so the curse is real!   

Kyron lost to Bruce Baker in round 3, no shame there, and then he was upset in the last round by fellow youngster Jason Qu, who is capable of upsetting lots of good players. Jason is not an Expert yet like his friends Kyron, Alan Tsoi and Daniel Grazian, but it is just a matter of time now.          

Chuck Ensey  


  1. chuck, kindly double check the prize distribution for those guys who got 2 points in the open sections.. thx. i think the prize money should have been combined for the 5 players... vaja and you...with due respect...chezzedd buzzzzed..

  2. chuck, kindly double check the prize distribution for those guys who got 2 points in the open sections.. thx. i think the prize money should have been combined for the 5 players... vaja and you...with due respect...chezzedd buzzzzed..

  3. No, sorry Ed, you and Griffith are over 2000 and are not eligible for the U2000 prize!

  4. chuck: there's a topic for a discussion to be made: therefore Jason Qu, should take the first prize of U2000 vice overall U2200 since he registered as 1970? as i see it, we take the number of points first and then the category the player is eligible. correct me if i am wrong. thx.

  5. You will have to see me for a full discussion of this topic. I can only go over them breifly here...We have awarded prizes for 8 years using exactly the same rules, but this same point comes up periodically. You have to remember that these are NOT class prizes, but Best Under prizes. What that means is that, as in this case with Jason, a lower rated player can move up and take a higher prize than his class if he scores well. So if Fred Cleveland had scored 3 points, he would have won BU2200, it doesn't matter what his rating is as long as it is U2200. The rule is whoever has the best score takes the prize. So when awarding prizes, say for U2200, we ask ourselves, ok, who had the Best score for a player rated Under 2200. Clearly that was Jason. So yes Jason is eligible to win the U2000 prize and he would have if some one rated U2200 had outscored him, but no one did, so he moves up and takes the U2200. The player is always awarded the highest prize possible. So we start at the top, First Place, and start awarding prizes down the line from there. It can be a little confusing. The same thing happend a few weeks ago at Gambito #424 when Kyron Griffith won the U2200 prize, he was rated 1975 at the time. I initially awarded the prizes wrong, but had to go back and correct my mistake.

  6. hopefully this explains for those who want to ask the same question and at the same time educate us including me...just concerned chess player..bottom line, i just have to play good next time..thx..

  7. I used to be confused by it as well, but it makes sense and is fair the way it is done.

    I need to start doing mental pushups or something, so that my 4th game isn't always an automatic loss.

    Mike F

  8. mike, i think there is a little bit of analyzing in this situation. example, eric smith, played against some expert and loses. chuck, played against some (2) expert and wins...ed (me) played against some "A" player (sometimes i loss to them and win some other day)'s like everybody is merging to one another. in other words we don't actually only play in our section....therefore.. each should share the pot.

  9. Only in strict Class tournaments - like the year end Class Championships at our club, or really big events like the National Open or World Open - do you only play players in your own rating class. In most Swiss events, sometimes you get "paired up", sometimes you get "paired down". It is not always exactly fair, but in the long run it usually evens out. The smaller the number of players in an event, the harder it is to pair players equitably... Also Experts don't share the pot with Class A players because they are more skilled and are expected to do better...Some higher rated players complain about this and think there should only be place prizes -1st,2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. But then no lower rated players would play as they would have little or NO chance of winning any money. And the bulk of the money for the prize fund comes from the lower rated players. The prize fund is already heavily skewed towards the higher rated players, even more so since we put in the U2400 prize. I think the current system, which has been perfected over years, is the best we can do. But I am always willing to listen to well thought out alternate proposals, just submit your idea in writing to me or Bruce and we will consider it...

  10. mike F: once and for all, more vivid and concise explanation from our TD..any addtional comment? chuck thx.

  11. to the site manager: i need somebody to help me delete the picture that is being posted in my column that says ykol (left upper hand side). i don't know how it comes up... that's not me or my family that is being posted. your expertise will be highly appreciated. the original subject will not like it or might be offended thx.

  12. Suggestions: in a super gambito: break down prizes in a 100 points difference:

    Overall 1st prize: 2nd overall:
    Under 2300: U2200: U2200: U2100: U2000: U1900 U1800 U1700: and so forth....alll 1st and 2nd places..only merge both open and reserve....mcmahon swiss....the more the merrier..


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.