433 Compete in First Annual US Chess Members Only Blitz





It’s a Friday night. You want to go somewhere exclusive, where everybody knows your name, but it’s too crowded to have any eyes on you. On March 10, 433 players found the perfect club: US Chess Members Only.

The first annual Members Only Blitz, in honor of US Chess surpassing the 100,000 member milestone for the first time, was a resounding success over two hours and nine rounds of 3+2 blitz.




In the end, five players took home the top prizes with 8/9 scores. On tiebreaks, Adriana Parra (LiadCuba) finished first, with Vidip Kona (vidipkona) second and CM Dhruv Khosla (Fastandfurious_64) rounding out the podium.

Stephen Willy (angryspacevoid) finished fourth despite leading the event until a final-round loss to Kona. IM Justin Sarkar finished fifth with his “Swiss Gambit,” joining the event late but winning all eight games he played.

Parra set the tone for the tournament when he defeated one of the highest rated players, Asish Panda (subham77), in the sixth round.



Parra led the event until his eighth round encounter with Willy, who then took clear first by a full point into the final game.



Kona’s task was clear: win or go home.



Kona’s only blemish was a sixth-round loss to Skler Tunc (chessky2).



Tunc also had a nice tournament, but was knocked out of contention in the final round by Khosla.



To complete the circle, Khosla actually lost to Kona in a crucial fifth-round encounter.



Sarkar managed to stay out of the fray, although his crucial last-round win against Hayk Sardaryan (HaykSardaryan) was the only thing keeping Sardaryan from joining the pack at the top.



Instead, Sardaryan had to ‘settle’ for the honor of top player under 1800. Also joining in on this honor with the same 7/9 score was Saad Al-Deen Mohammad (ChessMD1991).



Overall, 20 players finished with a score of 7/9 better.


top 20


For the rest of the “under” prizes, three players under 1800 finished with 6½/9. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, in this category were Suranga Mihindu Dharmaratne (Surangad), Alex Strobehn (Strobex) and Stuart Yee (boligrafo456).

Several players vying for the top prizes for players rated under 1200 also had extraordinary events. Both Justin Lee (hellomynameis69) and Bach L. Kieu (Bachbean) finished with 6/9. JC Abadesco (JCDGreat), Vedanth Peesapaty (Bambipumpkin) and Suresh Balaji Venugopalan (Suresh3shri) also won prizes for their 5½/9 score.

All prize-winners earned Chess.com diamond memberships, and the top three finishers in each category also earned extensions on their US Chess memberships.