Spokane Chess Club



Club Meetings
Recent Results
Club Championship
E. Washington Open
Club Grand Prix
Inland Empire Open
City Championship
Collyer Memorial
Area Events
Scholastic Events
Game Corner
Moscow Man
Remembering 2009
Chess Links
Contact Us


Area Event Updates

Check out several events coming up in the next couple of months by clicking on the Area Events link above!


Currently at Club

         A two week four round Fisher Random tournament is being completed at club on July 24.  The event kicked off July 17 with eight players taking part.  Brad Bodie and Michael Cambareri finished the first night with perfect 2.0 scores.


       There were 14 people in attendance when club resumed July 10 with a g/10 four round double Swiss tourney.  Michael Cambareri and Jeremy Krasin each finished at 6-2 to take first, Nikolay Bulakh (who started a point down after taking first round byes) and Kevin Korsmo were next at 5-3; Kevin won the u/1800 prize.  Jeff Jaroski (4-4) took the u/1400 prize.  The cross table for the event can be found on our Recent Results page.  Next week, July 17, sees the start of a two week Fisher Random Chess tourney.

        Dave Griffin (6.5) topped the g/25 event played June 12 & 19.  Ted Baker finished second (5.5) in the round robin event.  The cross table can be found on our Recent Results page (link at left).




        Michael Cambareri won the 2013-2014 club grand prix competition by a comfortable margin over Nikolay Bulakh.  Jeremy Krasin finished third and John Frostad fourth.

        There were numerous prize winners of donated gift certificates.  Michael won a total of $50 in gift certificates usable at Aunties Bookstore, Uncle's Games, or Luigi's.  Andrew Wolf rode a big Collyer weekend to win four upset-related prizes totaling $20.  John Frostad picked up $15 for topping three categories, while $10 gift certificates will be awarded to Nikolay Bulakh, David Dussome, Steve Wallace, and Jim Waugh.  Dave Griffin, Arlene Hiatt, and Ron Weyland will each claim $5 gift certificates. 

        Complete standing details are found on our club Grand Prix page (link at left).



        Top seed Cameron Leslie swept the field to win this year's Inland Empire Open with a perfect 5.0 score.  Michael Cambareri, who lost to Leslie in round four, was a clear second at 4.0.  They were the only perfect scores in the field of 32 after the first day's action.  The class A prizes were shared (scores of 3.5) by Nikolay Bulakh,  Romie Carpenter, Jeremy Krasin, and James Stripes.  A score of 3.5 also served to give Steve Jones the class B first prize.  Mark Anderson won the second B prize with a score of 3.0.  The class C prizes were shared by Ted Baker, Dan Hochee, and Ron Weyland, each of whom also scored 3.0.  Arlene Hiatt (2.5) won the first class D/under prize.  The remaining prizes in that category were shared by Jeff Jaroski, Frank Miller, Shawn Woods, Cody Woods, & Carson Woods (all with 2.0 scores).  Cody (468 point differential) edged Carson (398 point differential) for the biggest upset prize with a final round upset.  

    Our club's oldest tourney, the IEO was first played in 1954.  A new feature this year saw a dozen players take part in a free outdoor blitz tournament on Friday, May 16, downtown at Wall & Main.  Michael Cambareri gave up only one draw while winning the time-shortened nine round event with a 8.5 score.  The cross tables for both events are posted on our Inland Empire Open page (link at left).




        Longtime club member Clint Fait died May 1 in Cheney.  Clint was a class C player who could only intermittently play rated events in the 90s and 00s due to health issues, but would attend club whenever he could.  While he had not been to club in the past couple of years, he called your editor frequently to keep track on what was happening or to ask a question about a preference in an opening line.  Clint was unfailingly polite.  His funeral was held May 6 at the Spokane Memorial Gardens. The web link to Clint's obituary: http://cheneyfuneral.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2512573&fh_id=13639


Previously at Club

       A total of 16 players competed in the g/45 dual-rated March Madness event that started March 13 and ended on on March 20.  Jeremy Krasin was a perfect 4.0 to top the field.  Second place at 3.0 was shared by Ted Baker, Brad Bodie, and Walter van Heemstede Obelt.  That threesome shared the u/1800 prize.  The u/1500 prize was shared by Jim Burney and John Frostad with 2.0.  The u/1300 prize was won by Travis Jones (2.0), who also directed the tourney.  The cross table for the event can be found on our Recent Results page. 

        Ten players took part in a four round quick tourney (g/20) held at club on March 6.  There was a three way tie for first at 3-1 involving Nikolay Bulakh, Michael Cambareri, and John Dill.  In addition to tying for first, John won the u/1800 prize.  The u/1400 prize was shared by Steve Wallace and Ron Weyland who scored 2.0.  The cross table for the event can be found on our Recent Results page (link at left).

       The club's February 27 meeting saw 14 players turn out, with 10 of them taking part in a double round robin rated blitz tourney.  When the dust cleared, Michael Cambareri was on top with a score of 16-2.  Both of his losses were to Jeremy Krasin who finished third at 13.5-4.5.  Nikolay Bulakh was second at 14-4.  Dave Griffin (10-6) was best under 1800, while John Frostad (4.5) topped the under 1600 category.  The cross table link can be found our Recent Results page (link at left).



        The latest Grand Prix standings are in (through April 15) and show that Michael Cambareri has a lead of nearly 18 points over Nikolay Bulakh, with Jeremy Krasin comfortably in third place.  The complete statistical breakdown can be found on our Grand Prix page (link at left). 




        The 22nd installment of Spokane's biggest chess tournament, the Dave Collyer Memorial, saw three players top the field of 50 with scores of 4.5. Top seed John Donaldson, expert Paul Bartron, and Moscow (ID) stalwart Mark Havrilla shared this year's title after a lengthy and exciting final round on Sunday, February 23.  The final round played long as a strong and evenly matched field resulted in close matches throughout the score groups. On the top boards, three players stood undefeated after the fourth round -- Bartron, Donaldson, and expert Cameron Leslie.  Havrilla was the only 3.5 score, the sole blemish being the third round bye he took on Saturday night.  That situation required all of the top four to win their games in order to claim first prize.  The final round featured Donaldson and Bartron on board 1, while Leslie took on his fellow Moscow resident on board two.  Turning down a draw offer, Leslie aggressively played for the win, only to have an advanced rook cut off and the position turn against him.  Meanwhile Bartron and Donaldson played a sharp game in which the master had a rook and pawn for two pieces.  Havrilla downed Leslie while board one progressed into a rook and two separated pawns versus the two pieces endgame.  Bartron eventually collected the pawns while losing his bishop.  Donaldson attempted to convert his rook against the knight, but eventually agreed to a draw as Bartron succeeded in keeping his knight from getting trapped. 

        The three champions shared the first three prizes.  There were numerous other prize winners.  Leslie and Tim Moroney shared the Expert prize with 4.0 scores.  Nikolay Bulakh took first in class A with another 4.0 score.  Second in class A, with scores of 3.5, were Jeremy Krasin, Mika Mitchell, Dave Rowles, and James Stripes.  Four players with 3.0 scores split the two class B prizes: Ralph Anthony of Mukilteo, Brad Bodie, Jerry Morton, and Jeremy Younker, the son of tourney founder Gary Younker.  The two class C prizes were split three ways by Jacob Beverly of Oregon, George Lombardi, a recent transplant to north Idaho from Alaska, and Ashley Napier of Missoula by way of Scotland.  Each scored 2.5.  The class D prizes were shared by Jeff Jaroski, recently returned to Idaho after moving to Wisconsin and then Montana, and Frank Miller of Montana.  They scored 2.0.  Jeff was handicapped by a fourth round forfeit after a blown tire put him in the ditch awaiting a tow truck on Sunday morning. 

        Younger newcomers were the story in the class E/under section.  Andrew Wolf was the surprise of the tourney.  Rated 953 while playing in USCF events through junior high, he disappeared from tournament play for 10 years to return extremely underrated.  He defeated two 1780 players in the first two rounds before finally falling to Leslie in round three.  His score of 3.0 won the section by a full point and was the only plus score by anyone in the lower half of the tourney.  He also claimed the biggest upset prize.  Second place in the section went to nine-year-old Alden Ortolano of Richland who beat a class C and a class B player to earn his points.  His game showed remarkable maturity for his age, and his second win resulted from outplaying the B player in an even king and pawn endgame.  We can expect big things from Alden over the years.

        The weekend kicked off with three popular events on Friday evening.  John Donaldson gave his always well-attended lecture and then took on 20 players in a simul, defeating 17 while drawing 1 and losing 2.  The afternoon saw a 14-player blitz tournament that brought players in from as far away as Great Falls, Montana. Havrilla won the event with a 6.0 score.  Organizers hope to include the blitz tourney as a part of future Collyer tourneys.

        The link to the USCF cross tables for both the blitz and main tourneys can be found on our Collyer Memorial page (link at left).



1937 -- 2014

        Regional chess, and the Spokane Chess Club in particular, suffered a huge loss with the death of Bill McBroom in Missoula.  Bill, a retired professor of sociology at the University of Montana, was instrumental in building the chess relationship between Spokane and Missoula.  He was a regular at the Collyer Memorial since the second Collyer in 1994.  He helped organize and direct the popular Turkey Open in Missoula and many more events in that region.  More critically to all who knew and benefited from his commitment to chess, Bill was the epitome of the gentleman sportsman.  He handled disruptions, including the occasional flare-up between players or problems with a playing location, with his typical mild-mannered demeanor that reflected his keen intelligence and uncommon good sense.  Whether they knew it or not, everyone who played in this region the past 25-30 years benefited from Bill's leadership in the chess community.  Bill was one of the original supporters of the Gary Younker Foundation and worked hard to promote chess not only in Montana, but in Spokane and north Idaho as well. 

        Bill will be sorely missed.  Here is the link to his obituary in the Missoulan:  http://missoulian.com/news/local/obituaries/william-bill-mcbroom/article_94eebe90-98a5-11e3-883d-0019bb2963f4.html

        Funeral services were Thursday, February 20, in Missoula.  His untimely passing cast a shadow over this year's Collyer Memorial tourney, although he was fondly by all of his chess friends gathered for the event.   Please remember Bill and his family in your thoughts and prayers.



     Michael Cambareri scored a perfect 5.0 score to win the club's winter championship crown by a wide margin.  Four players tied for second with scores of 3.5: Nikolay Bulakh, Brad Bodie, David Dussome, and Kevin Korsmo. Nikolay, Brad, and Kevin shared the over 1700 prize, while David claimed the 1300-1700 prize.  The under 1300 prize was won by Steve Wallace, while Travis Jones and Alex Popescu shared second place in that category.

    The link to the USCF cross table can be found on our Club Championship page (link at left).

We reported previously in the event:

    Round 4:  Michael clinched a tie for the title by moving his score to 4.0 with a victory over John Dill on board one in fourth round action.  John dropped into a tie for second that includes Jeremy Krasin and Kevin Korsmo in the 3.0 category.  Young Alex Popescu continued his ratings climb with another upset victory, pushing his score to 2.5 -- not bad for a fourth grader!

    Round 3:  The third round of the Winter Championship saw the number of perfect scores reduced from five to two.  Michael Cambareri bested Kevin Korsmo in their board one encounter, while John Dill defeated Jeremy Krasin for John's second consecutive upset victory of the event.  Top-seed Nikolay Bulakh, Dill's round two victim, dropped Walter van Heemstede Obelt from the ranks of the perfect scores.  Cambareri and Dill will meet in round four.

    For the second consecutive week, 84-year-old Jim Waugh played the last game of the night, but this time was able to secure the victory.  The previous week, Arlene Hiatt showed great poise in securing a mate in a complicated position against Jim with only nine seconds left on her clock!

    Rounds 1 & 2: The only upset of the first round occurred when fourth grader Alex Popescu drew with Ted Baker.  Alex looks to be rising quickly!


Previously at Club  

    Your club returned from its Christmas-New Year's holiday break with a four round double swiss g/10 tourney on January 9.  Michael Cambareri won this quick event with a 7-1 score.  Each of the 12 contestants played one game with white and one with black against the same opponent each of the four rounds.  Second place was shared by David Dussome and Jeremy Krasin with scores of 5.5-2.5; David won the u/1800 prize. John Frostad won the best u/1400 prize with a score of 4-4.  Three players shared the u/1200 prize with scores of 3-5: Alex Popescu, Steve Wallace, and Jim Waugh.    

    The club headed into the holiday break with a two week Fischer random chess tourney.  Ten players entered the event on December 12 and that number grew to 12 for the final rounds that were played December 19.   Brad Bodie and Michael Cambareri finished on top with  3.0 scores.  Brad defeated Michael in round two, but fell to Alex Chow (back on break from UW) in round 3.




            Dishman Hills, the alternative high school for the West Valley School District, swept the field to win its first team championship on March 7.  Second place went to Shadle Park which edged rival Gonzaga Prep 3-2 in their final round match up to claim the second place trophy.  The top individual player award went to Prep junior Joey Verchota, the GSL individual champion, who won all four of his games on board 1.  Lakeside High School fielded two teams in its initial foray into the team chess event!

        The NWSRS cross table link will be posted on our scholastic events page (link at left) when the event is rated.



March 22, 2014

by Dr. James Stripes

A Day of Upsets


        Savanna Naccarato (5.0) topped the Dragonslayer's competitive K-12 section at Saint George's School March 22 to take the $60 top prize. Shawn Lewis (4.0) was second, earning $40. There were five players with 3.0 sharing third place. Christian Monzingo won the prize for biggest upset ($15), while the others--Alex Herron, Alex Anderson, Logan Faulkner, and Suhang Liu--split the prizes for third and fourth place ($10 each).

        As the highest rated player, Savanna might have been expected to win. However, the top rated players in the other sections fared less well as ten players each scored upsets of 200 points or more. There were also several strong upsets in K-12. Christian started the day with a 277 point upset and then scored a 511 point upset in the second round. An even larger upset of 522 was achieved in the K-3 section by John Paul Schlegel. In the K-6 section, both Malachi Hernandez (311 points) and Emmett Davidson (295 points) won prizes for their upsets.

        Individual trophy winners in K-6 included Ethan Naresh (4.5), Grand Champion; Tariq Ravasia (4.0), first in fourth grade; Dawson Jury (4.0), first in fifth grade; Cameron Simonds (4.0); A.J. Stenbeck (3.5); and Evan Craciun (3.5). All those scoring 3.0 won trophies or medals depending on the strength of their tie-breaks.

        Ryan Waters topped the K-3 section with the day's only other perfect 5.0. Derek Phipps (4.0) was first in third grade, Josh Lubanski (3.5) was first in second grade, Enelyn Arquette (3.0) was first in grade one, and Ethan Shan (2.5) was first in kindergarten. Noah Brody and Kara Chiang each scored 4.0 and won trophies. Those scoring 3.0 won trophies or medals based on tie-breaks.

        The team competition in K-6 earned Northwest Christian its second trophy in March with 14.5 points among the school's top four. Saint George's School and Pioneer School placed second with 13.0 each. North Wall School won the trophy for bringing the most new players.


        The NWSRS cross table can be found on our Scholastic Events page (link at left).


The action at Rook Madness on March 8:


photo compliments of Dr. James Stripes

Verchota Wins GSL High School Individual Championship

        Joey Verchota, a runner-up the previous year, won this year's Greater Spokane League high school individual championship played at Rogers High School on Friday, January 31.  The Gonzaga Prep junior scored the only perfect (5.0) score to win the 34 player event.  Steve Walton of Dishman Hills took home the second place trophy after winning a blitz play-off among the six players who scored 4-1.  Those who tied Steve for second included Curtis Grubb and Peter Glanzer of Shadle Park, Nathan Raver of Northwest Christian, Jacob Schlomer of Gonzaga Prep, and Nathaniel Miller of the host school, Rogers.  Miller took home the biggest upset prize for downing the top rated player in the third round.

        The link to the NWSRS cross table can be found on our Scholastic Events page (link at left)

This year's participants:


Photo compliments of Barb Silvey (Rogers High School)



         Club alum Steve Fabian has put in a lot of historical research and come up with a lengthy (32 page) history of Spokane chess from 1899 to present!  This well-researched article, written in the indomitable Fabian style, is found on our History page (link at left).  Contact information for Steve is at the end of the article, so if you have more insights or any  corrections, please feel free to write Steve or your editor to share your thoughts and contribute to the telling of the club's story.  The club owes an immense thanks to Steve for all the effort he put into writing this article.