The tenth edition of the Summer Fiesta at the Santa Monica Beach Chess Park saw a few firsts. The entries reached a record of 91 players! The previous best was 53 last year. One of the sections was swept by two siblings to tie for first. And it was also the first time the tournament saw rain during the event. Summer rain hailed down the eve of the tournament and a light drizzle on Sunday morning made everyone hold their breath. But half an hour before the start of the round one, the sun peeked out and it looked to be a calm Sunday.
National Master Jeff Phillips, expert David Bassett, and Class B Alan Whiteman tied for first in the February Open on the Wednesday Knights Tournament. All three scored 3.0/4, as Phillips took a round 2 bye and gave up a draw to Gregory Freeze before downing the previously perfect Bassett. They split the prize while Whiteman took home the larger U1800 as the sole winner. Sixteen players participated including Michael Redden in his inaugural Wednesday Knight event, new ChessPalace member, Steve Newman, and youngsters Caleb Huang and Rianne Ke.
Chess Videos are now available for rent at ChessPalace. Regular adult members and Honorary members can now enjoy chess lessons, games, and lectures from their home. Learn from openings, Grandmaster games, and tactics from the Foxy, Roman, and Polgar series. More videos will be added as they become available. Become part of the ChessPalace family by clicking on the "Membership" tab above.
Gabriel Mee scored a perfect score to win the first ChessPalace scholastic tournament of the year. There was a three-way tie for the U1000 section with Serkan Salik, and brothers Sathya and Vaideesh Sivasubramanian, all going 3.0/4. Salik took top honors with a higher tiebreak. The under 500 saw a four-way tie with Shivam Desai, Andy Luong, Ari Fitzer, and Noah Gregory. The Winter Scholastic was the first tournament for all four players, and Desai picked up a first rating of 886 along with the first place trophy based on tiebreaks.
David Portwood scored a perfect 3 to win in his group with a last round win. Joseph Bellinger took second with 2.0/3, losing only to Portwood. In the second group, Richard Martin also finished 2.5/3, enough to take first in his group. Richard Henri and Yale Warsaw split second prize with 2.0/3.
The 49th Annual American Open (the first tournament to become both an American Classic and Heritage event) drew an improved turnout of 263 players to the Doubletree in Orange, California over Thanksgiving weekend. With five GMs (another two canceled shortly prior), five IMs, and a WGM, the tournament lived up to its reputation as a strong one...and proved, as it has for many years, that a schedule that allows the option of playing on Thanksgiving day works.
ChessPalace edged La Palma, San Diego, and Hemet Chess Club in this year's edition of the Club Match Championship. ChessPalace's victorious matches against Hemet and La Palma came within just half a point each and the victory against San Diego was won by only one and a half points. Runner-up club, La Palma finish with 1.5/3 match points. La Palma routed San Diego, San Diego routed Hemet, but Hemet drew their match against La Palma. The average rating of each club ranged within 75 points of each other; La Palma (1821), Hemet (1763), ChessPalace (1750), and San Diego (1746).