Sunday, August 16, 2009

Southern California Open

31st Annual Southern California Open

9/05 - 9/07/09  Labor Day Weekend  (Sat, Sun, Mon)

at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (see 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego CA 92108   

$20,000 Prize Fund, based on 200 players, 60% of each prize is guaranteed

6 Round Swiss in 5 Sections, 40/2, SD/1 with 5 second delay; Rounds: 10 AM and 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday, 9 AM and 4 PM on Monday

131 Players attended, a good, but not great turnout. Of course we were hoping for closer to 200, but in today's economy it is tough to get people to part with $120, plus hotel costs ($110 a night) if they were from out of town, not to mention the time commitment of a 3 day weekend. A liberal two bye policy allowed many players to attend this event and quite a few took advantage of the irrevocable last round bye that had to be secured upon registration. There was no "fast" schedule or re-entries; we wanted this event to be a pure test of skills at a championship time control (40/2, SD/1).   

76 players from outside of the San Diego area came to do battle on the 64 squares, way more than the 55 local residents who also fought for glory and monetary prizes on the chessboard. It was the first time this event was held at the Crowne Plaza and it was fantastic venue. The lighting was great, the room was spacious, the bathrooms were spotless and well maintained, the hotel staff was exceptionally friendly. Cold water was well supplied in the ballroom, a snack bar was just outside the door and a poolside barbeque on Saturday and Sunday supplied hamburgers, hot dogs and other tasty items for a reasonable price. The ballroom was large, so all the players could fit in one room and there was a separate skittles room for post game analysis. IM Cyrus Lakdawala went over players games on Sunday, providing guidance and tips for those who needed it. A bookstore run by the Ong family of Chess Palace fame also supplied equipment and books for sale. Players came from Mexico, Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and even New York to participate.         

The attendance, although slightly disappointing, was still thankfully enough to cover the guaranteed prizes (60% of $20,000, or $12,000), plus a little extra over and above that. After the word spreads about what a great site this was, I hope that the next time we have an event here, even more players will turn out. John Hillery directed with his usual skill and accuracy, keeping all the rounds right on time, and Bruce Baker, as the assistant TD, kept a sharp eye on all the boards, so that any problems were handled promptly and with a minimum of distraction for the rest of the players.       

The 5 section format was a bit usual (in many tournaments of this size all the players are lumped into just two sections), but it was well received, with a decent amount of players in each section. Imagine the thrill of a Class C or D player leading a section with a great score. It is a wonderful experience for them, plus lots of good fun and great for their confidence. Most players enjoy playing other players right around their same rating rather than getting beat up by much higher rated players. For those who do like a challenge, it is always possible to "play up" a section, and as you can see from the lists below, many players did take that opportunity to really test themselves.   

Each section, other than the large Open section, featured a clear winner for first place with 5 points (no one had a perfect score in this event) AND a clear winner for second place with 4 1/2 points. Kayden Troff, a very young Expert from Utah, was the big surprise of this event. He beat Axel Muller in Rd 1 (Axel was unrated coming in but ended with a post tournament rating of 1910), then he upset IM Ed Formanek in Rd 2. In Rd 3 Kayden lost to GM Ramirez, but then bounced back with wins over NM Gregg Small and NM Giovanni Carreto to reach Board #1 on the last round where he lost to Melik. What a great performance by the cheerful young man. Kayden's rating jumped up 46 points to 2186. Another big rating point winner was Leo Raterman who gained 53 points to 2073, mainly due to a win over Robert Akopian and a draw with Elliott Liu

GM Melikset Khachiyan took first place on tie break points over GM Alejandro Ramirez and Evgeny Shver. Melik won 4 games, but drew with Elliott Liu and Alexandre Kretchetov. Evgeny eked out a win over GM Jesse Kraai in the last round that took up the full six hour time limit. You can see the game on the website.

GM Alejandro Ramirez of Texas won his first round game with Lawrence Stevens, but then drew with Vadim Kudryavtsev in round two. He then won 3 in a row with wins over Kayden Troff, Elliott Liu and Enrico Sevillano before taking a last round bye for the long trip home.        

Be sure to check out the snapshots and comments in our Photos section, Kayden Troff and many others are featured. Thanks to Rick Aeria and his trusty cell phone camera for supplying these shots. By the way, any member of multiply can post photos on our site (assuming they are relevant).        

Here are the players in rating order. Note that the rating used for pairing and prize purposes was the September Supplement (not the most up to date "unofficial" rating). The Open Section was large with 17 Masters, 28 Experts and 13 ambitious Class A players. The 17 Masters included 3 Grandmasters and 3 International Masters.         

1. Open Section, 58 players: 1. GM Melikset Khahciyan (2610) 2. GM Alejandro Ramirez (2607) 3. GM Jesse Kraai (2584) 4. IM Enrico Sevillano (2540) 5. IM Dionisio Aldama (2489) 6. Joel Banawa (2413) 7. Alexandre Kretchetov (2403) 8. Elliott Liu (2358) 9. Greg Small (2313) 10. IM Ed Formanek (2273) 11. Eugene Yanayt (2256) 12. Ryan Porter (2253) 13. Giovanni Carreto (2241) 14. Evgeny Shver (2233) 15. Christian Tanaka (2214) 16. Avram Zaydenberg (2204) 17. Romeo Ignacio (2200) 18. Joseph Ebenezer (2186) 19. Robert Akopian (2177) 20. John Funderburg (2172) 21. Vadim Kudryatsev (2172) 22. Konstantin Kavutskiy (2157) 23. Jared Tan (2142) 24. Alan Tsoi (2142) 25. Michael Brown (2109) 26. Show Kitagami (2102) 27. Varun Krishnan (2101) 28. Rick Aeria (2090) 29. Ignacio Sainz (2083) 30. Lawrence Stevens (2081) 31. Alejandro Nunez Hirales (2074) 32. Eric Zhang (2072) 33. Raoul Crisologo (2065) 34. Michael Nagaran (2063) 35. Kayden Troff (2062) 36. Alejandrino Baluran (2030) 37. Jamieson Pryor (2027) 38. Randall Eng (2019) 39. Randall Hough (2018) 40. Bobby Avila (2017) 41. John Gurzak (2014) 42. Carey Milton (2013) 43. Paul Agron (2012) 44. Leo Raterman (2000) 45. Hin Tsang (2000) 46. John Douthat (1995) 47. Amanda Mateer (1993) 48. Carl Bolm (1976) 49. Simone Sobel (1957) 50. Auluvance Tillmon (1952) 51. Peter Hodges (1942) 52. Felix Perez Blanco (1927) 53. Thomas Fries (1924) 54. Jason Qu (1920) 55. Rick Dyberg (1872) 56. Cheston Gunawan (1837) 57. Alicia Narducci (1837) 58. Alex Muller (unr)  

Prize Winners were:

1st - 3rd Place: Melikset Khachiyan (5), Alejandro Ramirez (5) and Evgeny Shver (5), $1,185 each         

4th - 7th Place: Enrico Sevillano (4 1/2), Dionisio Aldama (4 1/2) and Joel Banawa (4 1/2), $381 each

BU2300: Vadim Kudryatsev (4 1/2), $508

2nd U2300: Ryan Porter (4) and Avram Zaydenburg (4), $127 each

BU2200: John Funderburg (4) and Kayden Troff (4), $508 each

3rd -7th U2200: Robert Akopian (3 1/2), Konstantin Kavutskiy (3 1/2), Show Kitagami (3 1/2), Michael Brown (3 1/2), Raoul Crisologo (3 1/2), Jared Tan (3 1/2) and Leo Raterman (3 1/2), $54 each  

2. Premier Section (U2000), 22 players: 

1. Esteban Escobedo (1989) 2. Jesse Orlowski (1989) 3. Fausto Robles (1936), 4. Charles Cordell (1895) 5. Anthony Ong (1895) 6. John Badger (1878) 7. Jacoby Johnson (1860) 8. Eren Karadayi (1853) 9. David Delgadillo (1852) 10. Luke Neyndorff (1844) 11. Chuck Ensey (1837) 12. Madhavan Vajapeyam (1832) 13. Raul Bugnosen (1822) 14. Steve Morford (1815) 15. Shaun Sweitzer (1753) 16. David Anthopoulos (1744) 17. Christian Glawe (1743) 18. Yash Pershad (1723) 19. Joanne Koong (1675) 20. Leo Kagmar (1650) 21. Harold Valery (1518) 22. Patrick Enrico (1460)

In this section San Diegans dominated. First place winner Esteban Escobedo started out with a loss to young Yash Pershad of Arizona, but then reeled off 5 wins in a row, the last one over local rising star Jesse Orlowski. That was Jesse's only loss, but he also drew with John Badger besides 4 other wins.      

Prize Winners:

First Place: Esteban Escobedo (5), $635   Second Place: Jesse Orlowski (4 1/2), $381

3rd - 4th tie: John Badger (4), Luke Neyndorff (4), Madhavan Vajapeyam (4) and Christian Glawe (4), $95 each    

3. Amateur Section (U1800), 16 players: 

1. Michael Bynam (1797) 2. Marcos Ferrer (1786) 3. Nestor Dagamat (1773) 4. Reneray Valdez (1771) 5. Samuel Katagi (1736) 6. Jason Kammerdiner (1731) 7. Bill Conrad (1726) 8. Ronaldo Salenga (1684) 9. Aaron Ibarra (1676) 10. Chris Jensen (1651) 11. Reed Williams (1641) 12. Matt Souza (1639) 13. Tom Kuhn (1627) 14. Anthony Harbone (1623) 15. Numan Abdul-Mujeeb (1612) 16. Derrick Sia (1604)

Another San Diegan, Reneray Valdez, won this section; he had a draw in Rd 3 to Marcos Ferrer, followed by a bye in Rd 4, but won all his other games. Michael Bynam took a bye in Rounds 2 and 4, but won all 4 of the games he played. I think he was commuting from Santa Monica.   

Prize Winners:

First Place: Reneray Valdez (5), $635   Second Place: Michael Bynam (4 1/2), $381

3rd - 4th tie: Marcos Ferrer (4), Ronaldo Salenga (4), $190 each      

4. Reserve Section (U1600), 16 players: 

1. Albert Lu (1597) 2. Anderson Ju (1570) 3. Gene Arnaiz (1563) 4. Sven Myrin (1553) 5. Armen Sarkissian (1543) 6. Tim Jao (1538) 7. Jonathan Booher (1515) 8. Steve Dahl (1496) 9. Ezekial Liu (1489) 10. Victor Delgadillo (1487) 11. Stanford Talcott (1486) 12. Craig Hilby (1457) 13. Thomas Glazier (1437) 14. Jim Krooskos (1388) 15. Gina Quintiliani (1373) 16. Evan Anthopoulos (1249)

San Diegan (North County?) Sven Myrin won this section, his only loss was to Gene Arnaiz. Craig Hilby of Irvine lost only to Sven and drew with Steve Dahl besides his 4 wins.

Prize Winners:

First Place: Sven Myrin (5), $635    Second Place: Craig Hilby (4 1/2), $381

3rd - 4th tie: Tim Jao (4), Steve Dahl (4) and Thomas Glazier (4), $127 each      

5. Booster Section (U1400), 19 players: 

1. Willie Roy (1399) 2. Morgan Fox (1370) 3. Leonard De Leon (1316) 4. Ramon Umadhay (1292) 5. James Hillard (1287) 6. Jennifer Lu (1273) 7. Rachel Eng (1250) 8. Max Fu Cheng (1204) 9. Kenneth Xu (1103) 10. Claire Negus (1099) 11. Shelley Anthopoulos (1090) 12. Greg Kuhn (1047) 13. Julius Diehr (1011) 14. Andrew Negus (924) 15. Jerry Qu (894) 16. Tygen Zeng (606) 17. Richard Austrum (407) 18. Wesley Zhang (220) 19. Fei Yue Yang (unr)

Leonard De Leon of Chino Hills won this section, his only loss was to Kenneth XuWillie Roy of Huntington Beach lost only to De Leon and drew with Claire Negus.    

Prize winners:

First Place: Leonard De Leon (5), $381     Second Place: Willie Roy (4 1/2), $254  

3rd -4th: Ramon Umadhay (4) and Jennifer Lu (4), $95 each

BU1200: Claire Negus (4), $190

2nd U1200: Kenneth Xu (3 1/2) and Shelley Anthopoulos (3 1/2), $48 each  

 Plus Best Game Prizes: $75, $50 and $25, one reserved for non-Open sections: TBA

State Championship Qualifier, 150 Grand Prix Points     


  1. Let's go local players! As of Sunday morning 8/23, there are 65 total players signed up, but only 27 of them are local, 38 are from outside of San Diego. Come on, I know we can do better than that, we can't let others dominate the me out here, sign up ASAP!! Thanks, Chuck

  2. i don't see our local masters and higher rated experts on the lists? it's like a tradition.

  3. What ever happened to that English master Adam Corper?

    He played interesting fighting games.

  4. Adam got married and since then has only played a few times. He is still around, just busy with other things!

  5. Adam Corper is now the proud dad of Oren Corper. However speaking of other notable missing players, how about Canadian Andrew Bell who also got married and last played in 2006 at the Pechanga tournament?

  6. I think Andy played once or twice since Pechanga, but you are right that he has basically gone MIA, along with his "nemesis" Richard Jensen (the two seemed to enjoy squabbling online). Rich has dropped by a few times but also hasn't played in months.
    Back to the original subject the local signups for this event have now improved, but we are still lagging a bit, I have it as 92 TOTAL, 43 locals (includes El Centro, Imperial and Tijuana), 49 non-locals (Los Angeles, Arizona, Northern California, Nevada and we even have one from Utah). I know of at least 6 more locals who are likley to sign up, but we will probably get many more from LA. So again, lets go, take the plunge, sign up now!! Here are some players I am hoping will sign up soon: Balares, Crisologo, Fries, Nagaran, Rinaldo, Tsang....

  7. We recently celebrated Richard Jensen's birthday at the Great American Grill in Mission Valley along with another chess player, Bill Rose and his wife, Vorena. Richard is seeing a lovely Asian girl, Nina, so I think "the queens we play with, will not excite him."

    We did discuss Rich and Bill's participation but the two were least in the presence of their female companions.

  8. Are we all expected to pay $11/day parking at the Crown Plaza this weekend? Maybe the hotel would arrange for vouchers or even free parking for chess players??

  9. if 50% of BCC/SDCC players registered or decide to play this coming weekend, i think it will be place in the record book or history of the club. just imagine, one of the best chess playing site in san diego. whew!!

  10. i don't think it's necessary to discuss player's personal escapades..let's concentrate on registering players.

  11. I negotiated the parking rate down to $5 (but no in and out privilege, they won't budge on that, darn it). Ace parking owns the parking lot, not the hotel. There is also free parking on the street next to the Hunter restaurant (about 1 block west from the Crowne Plaza) formerly the Hunger Hunter chain, they still have excellent prime rib and they are open for dinner at 4 PM, which is nice for our schedule. There are several blocks of unmetered parking there kind of hidden away, however I can't vouch for the safety of being on the street, so it might be worth the extra $5 to have your car watched by an attendant.

    As far as 50% of the SDCC playing that would be huge, but it is only a fantasy. Too bad, we only get this chance once every 3 years, but it seems hard to get people to play. Do I need to get on my knees and beg?? I am doing it right now!

  12. maybe 25%? also mira mesa players need formal invitation!! what?

  13. let's be nice to out of town players: maybe we can sponsor some out of town players to stay in our backyard, and help them with their budget. since some SDCC players are not playing, maybe we can ask them voluntarily. can we annnounce this on wednesday?..

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