Spokane Chess Club



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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



        After a quiet first round without an upset, the club's Winter Championship saw the top seed fall in round two when Dave Griffin upended Michael Cambareri.  There are five undefeated players entering the third round, with another 1/2 point back.  The event began its five round, six week run on January 22  with 22 players (plus a house player) taking part.



        With the beginning of the new year, it is time to turn to the serious chess season.  The  Dave Collyer Memorial will be played for the 23rd time (!) the weekend of February 28-- March 1.  International Master John Donaldson will return to Spokane on February 27th and give his popular lecture and simul.  Both of those events will again take place at Riverpark Square's Kress Gallery.  This is the one event every regional chess player looks forward to.  Please mark your calendars and prepare for a weekend of great chess to ring out February.

        The Younker's Blitz tourney will be played in the Kress Gallery from 3:50 to 6:00 as a warm up for the Donaldson lecture.  See our Area Events page for more details.

Recently at Club

    Six players took part in a round robin quick tourney at club on January 15.  Michael Cambareri scored a perfect 5-0 to take first over Darren Russell (4.0).  Alex Herron (3.0) won the u/1600 prize.  The cross table link for the tourney can be found on our Recent Results page (link at left).

  After a nice break for the holidays, your club resumed on January 8 with a night of Blitz chess.  A dozen were at club and nine took part in this rated round robin event.  Alex Herron topped the field with a score of 7.7-1.5, Michael Cambareri and Darren Russell were second with scores of 7-2.  All participants won two books.  The cross table can be found on our Recent Results page.

   The club's 2014 calendar closed with a two-night, four round Christmas Chaos g/45 tourney held December 11 and December 18.  Darren Russell was a perfect 4.0 to top the dozen player field.  Eighth grader Alex Herron finished second at 3.0. The best u/1800 prize was shared by Ted Baker and Walter Van Heemstede Obelt, each of whom scored 2.5.   Steve Wallace (2.0) won the u/1400 prize.  The cross table link can be found on our Recent Results page.



        This year's GSL High School Individual Championship was a senior dominated affair.  Shadle Park senior Trevor Bowers and Gonzaga Prep senior Mitch Kilayko each scored 4.5 to become co-champions.  Mitch took home the first place trophy after defeating Trevor in a blitz game with the black pieces.  The two had drawn their fourth round game on board one.  Mitch, the top seed, then broke fellow Gonzaga Prep senior Joey Verchotta's nine game GSL tourney win streak to clinch the tie for first while Trevor had to defeat fellow Shadle senior Max Lund on board two to set up the play-off.

        A total of 34 players took part, with ten from both Shadle and host school Rogers, while Prep sent seven to the event.  Defending champion Verchotta lead a group of four at 4.0 who tied for third overall.  Joining him were Shadle senior Jomell Pajarillo and Prep teammates Daniel Bassler (a junior) and Alexander Carlson (a freshman).  Nathan and Noah Rivers of Northwest Christian finished at 3.5 each to claim seventh overall.  Nearly a third of the 34 player field were first timers.  Bassler was the top scoring newcomer at 4.0, while Abdul Hakkani was Shadle's top newcomer at 3.0.  A pair of Rogers newcomers, Brandon Stanley and Zacheri Galligan topped their team with 2.0 scores.  All four of the highest scoring newcomers won pins as prizes.  Shadle senior Alex Carpentier took home the biggest upset trophy with a 633 point upset in the first round.

        The cross table link for the event is on our Scholastic Events page.



        At the half-way point of the Grand Prix season, Jeremy Krasin has rallied to overtake defending champion Michael Cambareri by not quite 5.5 points.  Jeremy had taken the initial lead, but on the strength of his victories in the Eastern Washington Open and the Fall Championship, Michael had overtaken Jeremy in the mid-fall.  David Dussome is comfortably in third place, while Darren Russell has edged ahead of Brad Bodie for fourth place.  The club's Winter Championship and the Collyer Memorial will have a lot to say about the next report, which is due in early March.

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


Scholastic Report


Local Events Continue to Grow

by Dr. James Stripes

The Black Knight's Joust drew 81 players on 22 November 2014. They came from as far as Pullman to the south and Sandpoint to the north. It was the largest chess tournament in Spokane since the Washington Open in 2009, and the largest scholastic event in the area since the 2009 state championship.

 Seven different schools had at least four players, making the team competition strong in the elementary divisions. Saint George's School led with 16.5, followed by Pioneer School (14), The Oaks (13), and Northwest Christian (12.5).

 Due to 46 entries in K-3, the section was broken into K-1 and K-3 divisions of 17 and 29 players, respectively. Mythreya Dharani was perfect in the K-1 with 5.0, followed by Per Sande (4.0), Ben Barrett (3.5), and Cole Watkins (3.5). In K-3, five players finished at the top with 4.0--Sam Morris, Varun Ambalavanan, Connor Gosselin-Harris, Ryan Waters, and Josh Lubanski (in order of tie-breaks). Sam beat Varun, but lost to Ryan, and Varun beat Ryan. Connor and Josh did not play others in the top-five, but each had a win and loss against players finishing in the next five places.

 In the K-6 section, Tariq Ravasia was nearly perfect. He won against Ethan Kessler, winner of the last tournament, in round three. Then he beat the top seed, Garrett Casey, in round four. In the last round, however, he drew Suhang Liu and both finished with 4.5. Tariq had the better tie-breaks because Ethan and Garrett both finished with 4.0. The cumulative score tie-break gave third overall to Garrett because he played Tariq one round later.

 Three elementary age players elected to play up in the eleven player K-12 division. Savanna Naccarato finished in first with 4.0 ahead of Alex Popescu (also 4.0). Savanna beat Alex in their encounter, but she lost to Braxton Casey, who finished with 3.0. Also finishing with 3.0 were Alex Herron, Logan Faulkner, Dawson Jury, and David Sposito.

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




   Michael Cambareri has won the club's Fall Championship, defeating Jeremy Krasin in the final round to finish with a 4.5 score.  Jeremy (4.0) finished tied for second with Brad Bodie and Dave Griffin.  Brad and Jeremy shared the u/2000 prize while Dave took the u/1800 prize.  Other prize winners included Sam Comi (3.0), who won the u/1500 prize, while the u/1200 prize was shared by Bill Rottmayer and Cecelia Valeriote (2.0). The cross table link is posted on our Club Championship page (link at left).





        The annual Turkey Open in Missoula drew 34 participants this year.  Jim Skovron of Great Falls won the event with a 4.5 score to top the field.  The Spokane CC was well represented, with ten players from the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene (and Colville) area making it one of two large groups in attendance.  The Blackfeet CC also turned up with a group nearly as large, adding lots of new faces to the mix.  The Spokane contingent featured the three top seeds in Jeremy Krasin, Brad Bodie, and David Dussome.  Jeremy and Brad (4.0) tied for second place.  The event was well run by a T.D. triumvirate of Bob Rajala, Gary Solomon, and Dan McCourt.  




     Michael Cambareri was a perfect 5.0 to win this year's Eastern Washington Open.  Second place in the field of 35 with 4.0 scores were Brad Bodie, Dan Hochee, and Darren Russell.  Brad and Darren shared the class A prizes, while Dan took home the biggest upset prize along with first prize in class C.  Class B was won by Mark Anderson, who led a contingent of five from Montana's Blackfeet Community College, with a 3.5 score.  Second in class B went to Steve Fabian, Kevin Korsmo, and Dan McCourt with 2.5 scores.  Second in class C was shared by Dave Griffin and Alex Popescu with scores of 2.5.  The class D and under section was won by Gary Solomon, who was returning to tournament chess for the first time in 40 years, with a strong score of 3.5.  Pat Kirlin finished second in the class with 3.0.

    The tournament started without a single upset in the first round, but that changed in the second round when draws on four of the top six boards narrowed the perfect scores down to four players after only two rounds.  Those players met in round three, leaving Michael Cambareri and Jeremy Krasin alone at 3.0 after the first day's action.  Michael prevailed Sunday morning, guaranteeing no worse than a tie for first as he stood a full point up on the field.  He easily dispatched city champion Nikolay Bulakh, who had defeated him in the city championship match in August, to claim the EWO crown for the first time.

    Hochee had a strong Sunday, pulling off the two biggest upsets of the tourney in consecutive rounds.  His round four upset over an opponent 342 points high than him was topped with a 405 point upset the next round.  His weekend's work boosted his rating 145 points!

    There were 11 players from Montana competing this weekend, giving the event a definite Big Sky flavor. Quite a few Spokane club members plan to return the favor at the Turkey Open in Missoula on November 8-9.

    The link to the USCF cross table for this event can be found on our Eastern Washington Open page (link at left).

Recently at Club

        The club's October 30th meeting saw 11 players take part in a round robin event.  David Dussome scored the top marks with a 8-1 score against rated competition.  Jeremy Krasin was second at 7-2.  The cross table link can be found on our Recent Results page, link at left.






        Jeremy Krasin won this year's edition of the Spokane Falls Open with a score of 4.5, topping the undefeated David Dussome in their final round encounter.  David and Michael Muff (a Minnesota resident), tied for second with 4.0.  It was the third straight year that Jeremy won the event with a 4.5 score!  That is consistency.

        David Dussome claimed the class B prize, while Mark Anderson (Montana) and Ron Kirsch (Tacoma) were second in the class with 3.5 scores.  Walter van Heemstede Obelt (3.0) took the class C prize, with Dan Hochee and Ron Weyland second in the class at 2.5.  Young Alex Popescu (3.5), who played on board one in round 3, won the Under 1400 prize and claimed the biggest upset with a 565 point upset in round 1.  Alex was seeded 21st in the 28 player field and will start fifth grade next month. The second prize in the class was shared by Logan Faulkner, Jeff Jaroski, and Pat Kirlin with 2.5 scores.  

    The event was played at the Schoenberg Center August 16-17 in conjunction with the City Championship match between defending champion Nikolay Bulakh and Michael Cambareri.  The cross table can be found on our recent results page (link at left).



        Challenger Michael Cambareri won the first two games of the city championship match on Saturday, August 16, but Nikolay Bulakh battled back to claim victory in Sunday's games to force a g/10 play-off in which the first player to 3.0 would win.  Michael won the first and third games to go up two to one before Nikolay won game four.  After a fifth game draw, Nikolay held on to his crown with a win in game six.  The match was as exciting as any ever held since the revival of this event in 2001.




         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.