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Collyer Memorial

     The Dave Collyer Memorial, sponsored by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation, is the Spokane area's premiere chess tournament.  Gary Younker started the tournament in honor of longtime chess organizer (and strong player) Dave Collyer who passed away at a young age.  Gary Younker himself died way too young.  Friends of both men began the Gary Younker Foundation, dedicated to promoting chess in the Inland Empire Region of the Northwest, with a special emphasis on youth chess.  The Collyer Memorial is now held each year in memory of both of these outstanding men.  The event is normally played on the last weekend of February.


2018 (Feb. 23-25)

   The 26th Dave Collyer Memorial will be held the weekend of February 23-25, 2018.  Once again, the tourney will be played at the Millwood Presbyterian Church's Community Center.  There also will be a blitz tournament at River Park Square on February 23, followed by a lecture and simul by IM John Donaldson.


2017 (Feb. 25-26)

     The 25th Dave Collyer Memorial, held the weekend of February 25-26, was a reunion of sorts.  Six of the former champions were in attendance, and quite a few of the “regulars” who have attended the event in years past turned out once more for a celebration of good chess and friendship.

     John Donaldson recaptured the title of champion of the Dave Collyer Memorial, winning the event with a perfect 5.0 score.  Second seed Jim Maki (4.5) took second place after defeating Curt Collyer in the final game of the event.  Third place (4.0) was shared by Carl Haessler and John Julian. With four master/international masters and another four experts, the top end was the strongest to ever compete in the Collyer.  The field of 59 (plus two house players) was the same as the previous year.

     The event began quietly enough, with but a single upset in the first round, although that (as is often the case) stood up as the biggest upset of the event. Nick Martonick scored a 454-point victory that claimed the prizes for biggest upset of the round and for the entire event.  The second round saw a few more upsets, including two experts falling, and there were a pair of large upsets involving provisionally-rated players that did not qualify for the upset prizes.  Loyd Willaford's 371-point victory won the prize for the biggest upset of the round.

     The main drama of the first day occurred after the second round when Jeremy Younker, son of tourney founder Gary Younker, had to be taken to the hospital due to a surprise onset of kidney stones.  Mika Mitchell performed the emergency transport and returned in time for his third round game!  Jeremy’s event ended after the first two games, but he is on the road to recovery and feeling better.

     The third round saw third seed Curt Collyer take a bye to deal with a persistent cold, but the other three top seeds were pushed into the late evening before winning.  John Donaldson defeated Michael Cambareri in the night's last game.  Donaldson's clock showed sixteen seconds remaining, to Cambareri's four seconds, when the IM completed a mate with a knight, bishop, and pawn.  Expect to see that game written up in Northwest Chess! Missoula veteran Frank Miller won the upset prize for the round with a 371- point conquest.

    Round four saw the six remaining perfect scores match-up: David Arganian against John Donaldson on board one, Jim Maki and Chris Kalina on board two, and Carl Haessler and John Julian on board 3. Donaldson won against the Seattle expert, while Maki drew Kalina, who was making his first Collyer appearance since 2009.  In the next to last game of the round, Julian pulled out the victory over Haessler. That game also was the biggest upset of the round.

    Round five saw Donaldson work hard to defeat Julian, and the victory cemented a clear first with a perfect 5.0 score.  Maki and Collyer played the last game of the tourney before Maki fended off Collyer's attack and claimed the victory and a clear second place.  Haessler rebounded by defeating Kalina and shared third place with Julian.  The two split that prize and the class A first prize.  David Griffin achieved the top upset of the final round.

    There were numerous other winners.  Arganian and Kalina split the Expert prize with scores of 3.5. Five players shared second in class A with 3.5 scores: Scott Caldwell, Braxton and Garrett Casey, Mark Havrilla, and Karl Reutter.  The two class B prizes were shared by Dan McCourt, Jim Skovron, and James Stripes.  First place in class C went to youngster Jonathan Geyman (3.0) of Idaho, while Griffin and Martonick (2.5) shared the second place prize.  Class D was won by Shancie Wagner (2.5), while William Merry (2.0) took second in the class.  Youngster Varun Ambalavanan scored 2.0 in his very first USCF tournament to win the class E/unrated prize, while second in that category was shared by Greg Callen and Cecelia Valeriotte (1.5).  Another youngster, Arnav Wadikar, won the prize for best performance by a provisional player.  His performance rating for the event was over 1,000 points higher than his rating!  Kalina, a northwest chess veteran who now makes his home in Minneapolis, traveled the furthest for the event – driving from Minneapolis to Spokane in two days!

      The weekend kicked off with the traditional lecture and simul from John Donaldson at River Park Square on Friday, February 24.  The topic of this year's lecture was the gold medal won by the U.S. team at the Chess Olympiad.  John captained the team to its first gold in 40 years!  Fifteen players took on the IM after the lecture, with the challengers scoring two victories (by Michael Cambareri and Jason Cross), and one draw (Alex Herron).  For the rest of us, it was an opportunity to begin preparing for next year!  In a sign of what was to come as he continues to knock the rust off his chess game, John Julian won the eight-player blitz tournament at RPS preceding the lecture.

       One significant streak came to end, and one continued, in this year’s event.  Jim Waugh’s retirement from chess (his 88th birthday is April 29), ended his streak of playing in the Collyer at 24.  Dave Griffin is now the only person to have played in all 25 of the tourneys.  He and Willaford were the only two from the original 1993 field of 31 to play in this year’s event, while a third member, Kevin Korsmo, continued as director. 

       The event was sponsored once again this year by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation in memory of former chess organizers Dave Collyer and Gary Younker. A $1,000 donation permitted a guaranteed prize fund of $2,500 for the special occasion of the 25th tournament.  Several players also made personal donations to the prize fund.  Tito Tinajero once again obtained the use of the Millwood Presbyterian Church’s Community Center for the event.  He led a group of volunteers that included Ted Baker, Michael Cambareri, and James Stripes in setting up and taking down the facility.  That spirit of selflessness continues the legacy of Dave and Gary that we celebrate every year.

       The USCF tournament cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702262862

       The cross table link for the blitz event is found here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702241202



2016 (Feb. 27-28)

        This year's event saw a lot of "firsts."  It was the first time the tourney has been played outside of Spokane, and the first time that the championship was won by Michael Cambareri and James Maki.  The two scored 4.5 to top the 59 player (plus 2 house players) field.  The tourney was held at the Millwood Presbyterian Church's Community Center.  Third place (4.0) was shared by Viktors Pupols, David Arganian, Steve Merwin, and Mika Mitchell (with Arganian being top Expert, and Merwin & Mitchell topping the class A category). 

        Top seed Maki suffered a second round draw, moving second seed Pupols to board one for the rest of the event.  The two met in the fifth round while Cambareri battled Mark Havrilla on board two.  Cambareri's attack broke through and gained him the point.  Meanwhile, Maki and Pupols battled until they were the last game going.  Maki pulled out the win and joined Cambareri on top -- the first Collyer victory for each of them.

        There were a lot of other prize winners.  First place in class B went to Steve Buck (3.5), with a crowd of Steve Fabian, Dan McCourt, Jim Skovron, and Jeremy Younker sharing second at 3.0.  The two class C prizes went to youth -- Nick Havrilla and Garret Casey each scored 3.5 to win their class prizes.  Five players scored 2.0 to share the class D prizes: Arlene Bodie, Hedda Campbell, Jeff Jaroski, Colin Phelps, and Bill Rottmayer.  The class E and unrated first prize went to Anthony Raelund (3.0), while another newcomer, Dr. Shancie Wagner (2.0) claimed the second prize.

        There were quite a number of upsets, including eight victories over opponents rated at least 300 points higher.  The prize winners were Cecelia Valeriote (687) and Ted Baker (486).   

        The unofficial prize for the furthest travel to the tourney once again belongs to Jerry Morton -- this year he came all the way from Tashkent, Uzbekistan!  Jerry had to depart after the Friday night events, but has already promised to return for next year's tourney!

        The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201602281932 



2015 (Feb. 28 -- March 1)

         A California connection of IM John Donaldson and Darren Russell, a recent transplant to Spokane, won the 23rd Dave Collyer Memorial with 4.5 scores.  Donaldson took his first four games before drawing with Tim Moroney in round five, while Russell played the "Swiss Gambit," being held to an upset draw in the first round before winning his final four games to tie for first.  There was a four way tie for third place between Moroney, Alan Bishop, Steve Merwin, and David Dussome.  That foursome also split the A and Expert prizes.  This year featured six first round upsets, while round two featured an upset on board two and two class A players following to class C players.  Several youth players had strong events, highlighted by Savanna Naccarato scoring 3.5 (losing only to Merwin in an exciting scramble in round four) and Garrett Casey scoring 3 points.

         The other prize winners included Steve Fabian first in class B; six tied for second in the class.  The class C prizes were shared by Ted Baker, Alex Popescu, and Peter Schumaker.  Naccarato won first in class D, while second was shared by Jeff Jaroski and Pat Kirlin.  Garrett Casey won first in class E, while Michael Munsey finished second.  The top two upset prizes went to Jeremy Younker (573 points) and Savanna Naccarato (521 points).  A total of 56 players competed for the $1800 guaranteed prize fund.

         The weekend kicked off with a Friday blitz tourney won by Nikolay Bulakh (6.0) over Darren Russell (5.5), followed by the ever popular John Donaldson lecture and simul.  This year the IM went 13-1-1 in the 15 board competition.

         The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201503016042

         The USCF cross table link for the Younker's Blitz:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201502274752



2014 (Feb. 21-22)




        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 scored 6.0 to sweep the blitz on his way to a perfect weekend.  The blitz cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201402216372

        The USCF main tourney cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201402237582


2013 (Feb. 23-24)


Three Share Second


        The 21st installment of our premiere event, the Dave Collyer Memorial, once again saw IM John Donaldson top the field with a perfect score of 5.0.  He turned back Jeremy Krasin, who had the only other perfect score, in their fifth round encounter.  Krasin tied for second with Mark Havrilla and Jon Middaugh.  The threesome collected the prizes for second, third, and first in class A. 

        A score of 3.5 was the magic number for most of the other prize winners: the expert prize shared by John Julian and Steve Merwin; second place in class A, which was shared by Nikolay Bulakh, Dave Rowles, and James Stripes; and the first and second prizes in class B which were shared by Adam Attwood and Steve Fabian.  That tally also was good enough for first place in the E/unrated category, where the award went to another newcomer, Xiaoman Chu, an exchange student at St. Georges school in Spokane.  He ended the event with a provisional rating just over 2000!

        The class C winners were Bill McBroom and Ron Weyland with scores of 2.5.  Newcomer Jacob Beverly of Enterprise, Oregon, was a big winner.  His 3.0 score won him the $100 first prize in class D, and his final round upset (412 points) scored the $100 prize for largest upset.  Second place in D went to Jim Burney with an even 2.5 score.  Savanna Naccarato scored 2.5 to take second place in the E/unrated category.  Arlene Hiatt took the second upset prize with a second round draw against a player 749 points above her!

        There was a field of 53 players this year (plus a house player), which was once again played at St. Anne's Children's Center's conference room.  A late Friday afternoon/evening storm caused problems in the mountains to the east, which prevented one player from making it over and cost another player his first round game when slow travel prevented a timely arrival.  But aside from those travel problems, the tourney was once again an enjoyable reunion of old and new chess friends.  The field saw a large number of first time entrants, including both those new to the game and old-timers returning after decades of absence.  A total of $1800 in prizes was awarded, although several players returned their winnings to the club or the Gary Younker Foundation.  Once again, the participants showed the good sportsmanship and love of the game that is a hallmark of the Collyer tourney.

        The cross table link for the event: http://main.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201302245232-10328357

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        Area favorite IM John Donaldson once again gave a Friday night lecture and simultaneous exhibition at Riverpark Square on Friday, February 22.  He needed just two hours to sweep the 17 player field!




        Our friends from the University-Community Chess Club in Missoula have done it again.  We recently received a beautiful wall plaque from the UCCC which lists each of the winners of the first 18 Dave Collyer Memorial tournaments and also has room for the next 18 years!  Included with the plaque were pictures of some of Missoula's finest posing with it.  We owe special thanks to Bill McBroom, Dan McCourt, Bob Rajala, John Hay, Jim Wierson, Sherwood Moore, Dale Gross, and all the other Missoula chess players who help make our local tournaments special.

        The plaque, pictured below, will be displayed at Ellen Collyer's home between tournaments.




2012 (Feb. 25-26)



After the first day's action, there were five perfect (3.0) scores in this year's 20th Dave Collyer Memorial among a field of 64 players.  By the end of the final round, only John Donaldson was still perfect.  It was the fifth perfect score in the history of the event.  In addition to winning the first place prize, John also won the Stephen Christopher Memorial Perfect Score prize of $200 donated by long time northwest chess figure Rusty Miller.

         Second place went to James Stripes (4.5), whose only record blemish was taking a third round ("old man's") bye Saturday night.   Third place (4.0) was shared by Paul Bartron, John Julian, Steve Merwin, and Jon Middaugh.  Jon took the first class prize in A, while the other three shared the prizes for third place and Expert. 

        A score of 3.5 was the magic number for most of the remaining prize winners.  Five of those players shared the second prize in Class A: Ryan Ackerman, Nikolay Bulakh, Kairav Joshi, Cameron Leslie, and Dave Rowles.  The same score gave Dan McCourt and Steve Fabian the Class B prizes.  Likewise, that score was the winning tally in Class C for Richard Williams.  Second place in Class C went to Ron Weyland with a 3.0 score.  The Class D category prizes were won by Jim Burney and Peter Schumaker with 2.5 scores.  The Naess sisters from Norway (currently living in Moses Lake until June), Maria and Sara, shared the Class E section prizes with 2.0 scores.  They also claimed the second and third place biggest upset prizes ($50 each), with Sara's upset only ten points below the top upset achieved by Ron Weyland ($100).  They both claimed scalps of players rated more than 700 points above them!

        A large contingent of youthful players -- 9 scholastic youth in fifth grade or younger -- augmented the turnout and helped make the 20th Collyer the youngest in event history!  A special prize of a magnetic wooden travel set donated by John Dill, coach of the Northwest Christian chess program, went to Nick Seleski who recorded a 814 point upset win in round two.  The upset did not qualify for prize money because it involved a provisionally rated player, but was still the most impressive upset of the event.

        The event was without incident except for a late Saturday morning snow storm that dumped five inches of snow in just a few hours.  It prevented one sleep-in player from making his morning game on board one and sent another player home after the first round.  By mid-afternoon, though, the roads were clear and the snow was melting, leaving only slush to be dealt with the rest of the weekend.

        A special 20th anniversary plaque, featuring a photo of Dave Collyer and Gary Younker (along with a very young Curt Collyer) was handed out as a door prize to each entrant.  An anonymous donor spent over $600 providing 75 plaques for players.

        The cross table for the event can be viewed here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201202269352-10328357


2011 (Feb. 26-27)

Bartron & Donaldson Top 19th Collyer

      An exciting final round of this year's Dave Collyer Memorial left two atop the standings with 4.5 scores: top seeds John Donaldson and Paul Bartron.  They fought to a draw and then awaited the result of the board two battle between Ryan Ackerman and Chris Copeland to see if a third winner would emerge.  The board two contest also ended in a draw (as did five of the seven top boards) when both parties were down to very little time left on the clock.  Chris and Ryan were joined in third place with 4.0 by Mike Schemm.  In addition to the third place prize, Schemm won the Expert category and Ackerman & Copeland took the first Class B category prize.

        The first day's action ended with five players having a perfect 3.0 score: Donaldson, Bartron, fourth seed Steve Merwin, and teenagers Nikolay Bulakh and Ryan Ackerman.  Ryan took Sunday's fourth round off to visit friends and family, leaving the others to slug it out on the top two boards.  And slug it out they did.  Both games went into king and pawn endgames and were settled with little time left on the clock. Donaldson stopped Merwin, while Bartron turned back his youthful challenger.  The fighting spirit was shown throughout the round, with only three of the 26 games resulting in draws.

        The final round saw the top two seeds meeting on board one.  As the only perfect scores, they had the only chance to win a $100 perfect score prize offered by the Gary Younker Foundation. Meanwhile, a pair of challengers sitting at 3.5 met on board two -- Ackerman and Copeland -- with hopes of gaining a tie for the championship if a board one draw resulted.  As with the previous round, this one went late as well, with nearly one third of the games approaching the four hour mark.  Board one ultimately drew when the players reached an endgame in which no one could advance. While a lot of the out-of-towners left when their games were complete in order to beat the weather, quite a few locals stayed to watch the results. Five of the top seven boards ended in draws, most in the last few minutes of play.  The result was many ties among the prize winners.

        There was a 7-person log jam for the Class A prizes involving (in rating order) Diwakar Rana, Dave Rowles, Pat Herbers, Michael Cambareri, Cameron Leslie, Nikolay Bulakh, and Kairav Joshi.  All scored 3.5.  Your editor got writer's cramp from writing all those checks!

        Second place in Class B went to Steve Buck (3.5). The Class C prizes were shared by Ted Baker, Michael Clark, and Richard Schumaker with 3.0 scores. The Class D prize winners were Peter Schumaker and Rory Peterson with 2.0 scores.

        The biggest upsets were bagged in the first round.  Soon to be 82-year-old Jim Waugh once again pulled off the largest upset, topping a player 442 points above him.  Ted Catton claimed the second upset prize when he upended an Expert in the first round -- a 391 point differential.  The two prize winners were tops among 17 upsets of at least 125 points or more!!

        The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201102278711-10503728 


Fourth round action at the 2011 Dave Collyer Memorial (photo by Adam Attwood)


   There were 57 entrants in this year's event, which was the first marred by bad weather.  A heavy snowstorm midweek, followed by subzero temperatures Friday and Saturday mornings, threatened to hurt turn out.  While the tally was down a few players from recent years, a number of hardy travelers arrived from outside the area -- nine from Montana, six from the Seattle-Tacoma region, and several from Idaho and Oregon.  Bad pass conditions to the west did encourage some players to leave early, but none of the pre-registered canceled out due to the weather.  Regional chess players are definitely a strong lot!

      The Collyer weekend kicked off with the traditional Friday night lecture and simul from popular IM John Donaldson.  The IM was nearly perfect in the Friday night simul, where he won 16 of 17, dropping only a game to Nikolay Bulakh.  The simul followed a lecture on the U.S. team's adventures at the Olympian in Siberia last October, and the return of Yasser Seirwan to the U.S. championships.  The lecture was well-attended and well-appreciated.



Donaldson & Malugu Win 18th Collyer Memorial

           John Donaldson and Satyajit Malugu won the 18th installment of Spokane's premiere chess event, the Dave Collyer Memorial, held February 27 & 28, 2010, at St. Anne's Children's Center in Spokane.  The top seeds met in the final round and reached a draw after entering the early middle game without advantage to either party.  The result set a final round trend as five of the top seven boards drew, most after extended play.  For Donaldson, the title was the ninth win in eleven years.  Malugu, a recent transplant to Bellevue from New Jersey, made his first appearance in the tourney.

        A group of five finished one-half point back at 4.0 to claim third place.  Steve Merwin (4.0) took the expert category prize, while the other four finishers split the third prize and the two Class A prizes: Cyrus Desmarais, Mark Havrilla, Jim Skovron, and Phil Weyland.  

        Three tied for the Class B prizes with 3.5 scores: Stephen Buck, Dan McCourt, and Jeremy Younker.  The Class C prizes were shared by five players with 3.0 scores: Ben Blue, Bill McBroom, Jerry Morton, Aaron Nicoski, and Doug Sly.  There was another three-way tie in the Class D/Unrated category, where 2.5 scores were posted by Bryant Baird, Jeremy Krasin, and Murray Strong.  Murray also claimed the top upset prize ($100) after a strong first day showing when he drew with a Class B player and beat an expert (708 point upset) and a Class A player.  The second biggest upset belonged to Pullman sixth grader Peter Schumaker (586 point upset).  The two were nicely rewarded by the USCF: Murray's rating jumped 142 points, while Peter's climbed an even 100!

    A total of 63 players took part, tying last's year tally as the second largest Collyer tourney.  A large number of the participants were first timers at the event and we hope to see many of them back next year.  Two players traveled quite far to play this year.  Wayne Hatcher drove up from New Mexico to make another appearance in this event.  Meanwhile, world traveler Jerry Morton, who has come from central Asia for two of the past Collyer tourneys, topped his previous travels by coming all the way from Australia this year!  Way to go, Jerry!

    This year's $1600 guaranteed prize fund was again supported by the Gary Younker Foundation, which was started in memory of long-time Spokane chess stalwart Gary Younker who founded this event in honor of his old friend, David Collyer.  Friends of both regularly contribute to the foundation which promotes chess in eastern Washington.  In addition to the Collyer tourney, the foundation recently backed the 2009 Washington Open and the 2009 Washington Elementary Chess Championships held in Spokane.

The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201002284271-10328357

The weekend's festivities kicked off with  IM John Donaldson giving a lecture and playing a simul on Friday evening at Riverpark Square's Kress Gallery.  The lecture covered John's experiences at the world Team Championships in Turkey in January.  John captained the U.S. squad to a surprising Silver Medal finish.  John then took on 23 players in a simul, and managed to win 19 of the games in just over 2 hours of work!  Travis Elisara, Cameron Leslie, and Dave Rowles all managed wins, while ten-year-old Hannah Merwin offered a draw after winning a piece off of the IM!  He accepted and the youngster had a great memory for her scorebook.





Collyer, Sinanan Win 17th Collyer Memorial

     National Masters Curt Collyer and Josh Sinanan won the 17th Dave Collyer Memorial, topping the 63 player field with a score of 4.5.  NM Nat Koons, Daniel Gay, Peter Watts, and Michael Cambareri tied for third (and won the A and B prizes) with scores of 4.0.  Gay, a 1995 rated teenager from the Portland suburb of Tigard, held IM John Donaldson to a draw in Saturday night's third round action.  That left the 3 NMs in the lead heading into Sunday morning.  Koons and Sinanan played a wild game that ended in a draw.  Collyer had the white pieces against Donaldson and they battled late into the time control before Collyer set a mating net that won the point.

    The fifth round saw Collyer and Koons battle until a single rook pawn was left on the board, leading to a half point for each.  Sinanan topped Steve Merwin to join Collyer at the top of the standings.

    There were plenty of prize winners.  Merwin and Paul Schuey, who returned to competitive chess after a five year absence, shared the $100 Expert Prize.  Gay and Watts shared the Class A prizes.  Cambareri was tops in Class B, while second place ($75) went to Nathan Armstrong of Southaven, Mississippi.  Nathan was in the area and dropped in to play.  Travis Elisara and Henry Pallares shared the Class C prizes.  First place in the D and under section went to unrated Odysseus Rodriguez of Yakima, an unrated player trying his first over the board competition.  The second prize was split by Mike Clark, another unrated player from Yakima, and WSU student Aaron Nicoski, a native of Vancouver, Washington. 

    The biggest upset prize ($100) went to Pat Kirlin, and the second biggest upset ($50) was won by Ron Weyland.  In all, $1600 in prize money was awarded again this year.

     Nearly every round saw multiple games go to the wire.  Saturday night's third round saw six games playing right to the end of the time control, and most of the other rounds similarly had several games running to the maximum time.  There were few easy draws; the fighting spirit of the event continued to the end of the last round, with much of the field still present when the tourney finally finished.

        There field of 63 was  the second largest Collyer tourney ever.  The cross table can be seen on our Collyer Memorial link at left.

        Festivities kicked off with the tenth Friday night Simul & Lecture from International Master John Donaldson at River Park Square.  The lecture discussed the recent Bronze medal performance of the U.S. chess olympiad men's team that was captained by John.  He shared some stories of what the event was really like and then analyzed the final game of the Kamsky-Topalov match.  In the ensuing simul, 19 challenged the IM, with two (John Julian and Cameron Leslie) emerging victorious, and Dr. Ward Chow achieving a draw!  Way to go!  This was the best showing against the IM in quite awhile

  (JC Mies, left, ponders move at simul)

     Below: John Donaldson in action at the the simul.



2009 Collyer Action

Round 1 (photo by Adam Attwood)

The first round pairings presented a special surprise when the computer (unassisted by any humans) paired Curt Collyer, son of Dave, and Jeremy Younker, son of tournament founder Gary Younker, together on board 3 (photo below).  The pairing was reminiscent of many when the two were youths growing up in Spokane and ended in a victory for the NM.

Photo courtesy of Randy Countryman.


The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200903010061-10328357