GM Holt Wins the 42nd People's Tournament

Bay Area Chess hosted the 42nd People’s Tournament at UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club from July 14-16. This was the second consecutive time the tournament was hosted at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club, and the event drew over 170 participants. The field included four grandmasters and four international masters, including new Google employee GM Conrad Holt and Stanford student GM Parimarjan Negi. Since this heritage tournament was originally founded and first held in Berkeley, CA, bringing it back to this location was extremely important emotionally for many of the players in the Northern California chess community. The historical site provided a majestic, comfortable, and intimate venue for the distinguished members of the NorCal chess community.
Historical site for the 42nd Peoples Tournament: The Faculty Club at UC Berkeley
GM Holt won clear first in the Open Section with 4.5/5, taking home $1635 after defeating both IM Kesav Viswanadha and GM Enrico Sevillano, and only conceding a third-round draw to NM Jack Zhu. IM Viswanadha, GM Sevillano, and GM Nick De Firmian shared second through fourth places, and IM Elliot Winslow, Joshua Cao, John Canessa, and NM Derek O’Connor split the under 2300 and 2100 prizes. On his route to second place, IM Viswanadha (who will attend Cal in the fall) beat GM Negi! The game is annotated below.
[pgn][Event "People's Tournament"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.07.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Negi, Parimarjan"]
[Black "Viswanadha, Kesav"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[PlyCount "119"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.07.22"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O d6 6. a4 a6 7. c3 Ba7 8. h3 h6
9. Re1 O-O 10. Ba2 Re8 11. Nbd2 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Nf1 d5 14. Qb3 dxe4 15.
dxe4 Qd3 16. Be3 Na5 17. Qd1 Qxd1 18. Raxd1 {The queen trade leads to an equal
endgame, but both sides have chances to grind the win out.} Nc4 19. Bxa7 Rxa7
20. Rd8+ Kh7 21. b3 Nd6 22. N1d2 b5 23. c4 (23. g4 Re7 24. Ra1 Rb7 25. axb5
axb5 $11) 23... bxc4 24. bxc4 Nb7 25. Rf8 Nc5 26. Rb1 c6 27. Rbb8 g6 28. a5 {
For all white's back rank firepower, black is the one who is slightly better.}
Kg7 29. Rfc8 Rb7 30. Ra8 {White finally overextends} (30. Rxb7 Nxb7 31. Kf1
Nxa5 32. Rc7 {White can easily regain his pawn and equalize.}) 30... Nfxe4 31.
Nxe4 Nxe4 32. Rxa6 Rb1+ 33. Kh2 Nxf2 34. Raxc6 Rh1+ 35. Kg3 Ne4+ 36. Kh4 Nd6
37. Rxd6 Rxd6 38. Nxe5 {Black's kingside attack has gained an exchange for a
pawn, and the white king is extremely exposed.} Ra1 39. Rc7 Rf6 40. Rc5 Ra3 41.
Nf3 Ra6 42. Kg3 R6xa5 43. Rc8 Rc3 44. h4 Rf5 45. Rc7 g5 46. hxg5 hxg5 47. Rc8
f6 48. Rc7+ Kh6 49. Rc6 Rf4 50. c5 Rf5 51. Ra6 Rcxc5 {Kesav wins the second
pawn, and the rest is just technique.} 52. Nd4 Rf1 53. Ne6 Rcc1 54. Ra2 f5 55.
Nd4 Rc3+ 56. Kh2 f4 57. Ne2 Re3 58. Ng1 g4 59. Ra6+ Kh5 60. Ra8 0-1[/pgn]
Round 3: Top Boards at the 42nd Peoples Tournament in UC Berkeley, CA
Also in the third round of the open section, Rui Yan and Rochelle Wu battled over the board in the rare pairing! Why is it rare? Both girls are the TOP female players in the country in their age groups, Age 10 and Age 11, respectively. The game ended with Rui’s victory.
Rui Yang Yan (1970) faced Rochelle Wu (2082) in the third round.
The game is annotated below.
[pgn][Event "People's Tournament"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.07.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Yan, Rui"]
[Black "Wu, Rochelle"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B94"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.07.22"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4
Qc7 9. Qf3 g5 $5 {An interesting pawn sacrifice} 10. fxg5 hxg5 11. Bxg5 Qc5 12.
Be3 Ne5 13. Qe2 Qb4 14. O-O-O Bg4 15. Nf3 Rc8 16. Rd4 Qa5 17. h3 (17. Ra4 Qd8
18. Kb1 Bg7 19. Qf2 {Chasing the black queen leaves it only option of
retreating, and then white can take advantage of the extra pawn.} b5) 17... b5
(17... Rxc3 $1 {The typical Sicilian exchange sacrifice is useful here too.}
18. bxc3 Qxc3 19. Qe1 Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Qxa2 $17) 18. Kb1 Nc4 19. Bc1 Qb4 20. Ka1 e5
21. Rd3 Bh6 $2 (21... Be7 22. g3 Qa5 23. Bg2 Be6 {Saving the bishop leaves
white with a better position, but preferable to the game.}) 22. a3 $1 {Once
the queen is dislodged, black's attack mostly fizzles, and white simply grabs
material.} Qa5 23. hxg4 Bxc1 24. Rxh8+ Ke7 25. Rxc8 Bxb2+ 26. Kb1 Bxc3 27. Rxc4
bxc4 28. Rxc3 Qxc3 29. Qxc4 {The piece-up endgame is simple execution.} Qxa3
30. Ng5 d5 31. exd5 Qa5 32. d6+ Kxd6 33. Nxf7+ Ke7 34. Ng5 Nd5 35. Bd3 Nc3+ 36.
Kc1 Qa3+ 37. Kd2 Nb1+ 38. Ke2 Nc3+ 39. Kf2 Nd1+ 40. Kg1 Qc1 41. Qe6+ Kd8 42.
Qd6+ *[/pgn]
In the A section, Felix Rudyak won clear first with 4.5/5, and in the B section, Wenyang Du, Sos Hakobyan, Cailen Melville, and Nathaniel Zhang split first, all with 4/5. Sean Hayes took first in the C section with 4.5/5, and Morgan Fry’s perfect score secured first in the DE section. Complete results can be looked up on BAC’s webpage, and more pictures from the event can be see on BayAreaChess’ Facebook album. The tournament was organized by Dr. Judit Sztaray, the 2017 US Chess Organizer of the Year, and directed by STD Richard Koepcke. For more information about tournaments organized by BayAreaChess, please visit The next major tournament is the Northern California State Championship, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center during Labor Day weekend (9/2-4,


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Bay Area tournaments in the past 6 months, including the Bay Area Chess Championships in June, the People’s Tournament and the Walter Browne Memorial Championship in July, and the CalChess State Championship in […]

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments

Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.