History Made at the Annual CalChess State Championship

The 2017 CalChess State Championship took place over Labor Day Weekend at the Santa Clara Convention Center. In both the main event as well as the scholastic side event, the organizing team reported record numbers. In fact, the projected prize fund was increased by 10% because of the massive amount of entries! Over 300+ players decided to escape the 100+ degree heat and play in the biggest regular tournament in northern California, all competing for a total $22,237 prize fund. The Open section fielded 3 GMs and 4 IMs, playing for the state championship trophy and $2780 first prize. Grandmasters Zviad Izoria and Conrad Holt tied for first in the strong open section (both defeating yours truly in back-to-back rounds), with GM Izoria claiming the trophy on tiebreak. The two drew against each other in the second round, and each only allowed one more draw to finish with 5/6. NM Jack Zhu finished clear third with three wins and three draws. IM Vincent McCambridge shared 4th-5th place with NM Hunter Klotz-Burwell, who came out of semi-retirement after not playing for a year due to his first year in college at UCSB. Eight players scored 3.5, tying for 6th through 13th place, including GM Enrico Sevillano, IM Vignesh Panchanatham (author), and other IMs, NMs and strong players. One of them was a new player in the area, Ezra Chambers, who clearly demonstrated he belongs in the open section. He recently moved back from Israel to the Bay Area and had his old USCF rating adjusted to his FIDE rating, placing him in the 2200+ rating range. Annotated below is IM Panchanatham’s (author) defeat at the hands of GM Izoria, as well as NM Ivan Ke’s draw with GM Sevillano.
GM Zviad Izoria with white playing author IM Vignesh Panchanatham
[pgn][Event "CalChess State Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.03"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Izoria, Zviad"]
[Black "Panchanatham, Vignesh"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B10"]
[Annotator "Panchanatham, Vignesh"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Qxd5 5. Nc3 Qa5 6. d4 Nf6 7. Nf3 e6 8.
Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. a3 O-O {Black is slightly passive, but trying to
coordinate pieces to take advantage of the isolated queen pawn.} 11. Re1 a6 12.
Bf4 b5 13. Rc1 Bb7 {The black pieces are all out, but now white has a tactical
sequence available.} 14. d5 $1 exd5 15. Nd4 Rfe8 (15... Nxd4 16. Rxe7 Ne6 17.
Be5 Qb6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 $18) 16. Ncxb5 axb5 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Rxc6 $14 {White
ends up with the bishop pair, and better pawn structure, but black is by no
means out of the game.} b4 (18... Ne4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Rxe4 Bf6 21. Bd2 Qd8)
19. a4 b3 {After allowing white an untouchable outside passed pawn, black is
unable to get back in the game.} (19... Qxa4 $1 $11 {Though it seems scary,
this difficult move actually equalizes because white doesn't have a way to
take advantage of black's precariously placed pieces.} 20. Qxa4 Rxa4 21. Bb5
Ra5 22. Rb6 Rea8) 20. Bb5 Bf8 {None of the other discoveries are effective due
to Bd2.} 21. Rxe8 Rxe8 22. Bd2 Qd8 23. Rxf6 gxf6 24. Bxe8 Qxe8 25. Qg4+ Bg7 (
25... Kh8 {may have been slightly better to allow the bishop more activity.
But it is still basically lost for black.}) 26. Bc3 h5 27. Qd4 Qe6 28. h4 Bf8
29. Qxf6 Qxf6 30. Bxf6 Bc5 31. Kf1 Kh7 32. Ke2 Kg6 33. Bc3 Kf5 (33... d4 34.
Bd2 Ba3 35. a5 Bxb2 36. a6 Ba3 37. a7 b2 38. a8=Q b1=Q $18) 34. a5 Ke4 35. f3+
Kf4 36. Kd3 Kg3 37. a6 Ba7 38. Bd4 Bb8 39. Be5+ 1-0[/pgn]
[pgn][Event "CalChess State Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.04"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ke, Ivan"]
[Black "Sevillano, Enrico"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D31"]
[Annotator "Panchanatham, Vignesh"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]1. d4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 exd5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bg5 Qb6 7. Na4 Qa5+ 8.
Bd2 Qc7 9. g3 Nf6 10. Bg2 Ne4 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. Nd2 Bb4 13. a3 Bxd2+ 14. Bxd2
Nxd2 15. b4 Qd8 16. Qxd2 {White's advantage in activity and development seems
to give him the slight edge here.} O-O 17. Nc5 b6 18. Nd3 a5 19. O-O Ra7 20.
Rfc1 Qd6 21. b5 $1 cxb5 22. Nf4 {The temporary pawn sacrifice undermines
black's d5 pawn and tries for strong central play.} Be4 23. f3 Bg6 24. Qb2 Nc6
25. Rd1 b4 26. e4 dxe4 27. fxe4 Qd8 28. Nd5 Re8 29. Rac1 (29. e5 Ne7 (29...
bxa3 30. Rxa3 Rd7 31. Nf6+ gxf6 32. Bxc6) 30. Ne3 bxa3 31. Rxa3 {may provide a
stronger center}) 29... bxa3 30. Qxa3 Nb8 {An attempt to reroute the knight to
the more secure d7} 31. Rc2 (31. e5 a4 32. Rc3 h6 33. Rdc1 $16 {Black can't
really do anything.}) 31... Rxe4 32. Rdc1 Re1+ 33. Rxe1 Bxc2 34. Qb2 Ba4 35.
Nxb6 Be8 36. Qe2 Kf8 37. Qb2 {White can't take advantage of black's
passiveness.} h6 38. d5 Rb7 39. Qa3+ Kg8 40. Qxa5 Bd7 41. Nc4 Qxa5 42. Nxa5 Rb6
43. Rc1 Kf8 44. Nc6 Ke8 {White clearly has the advantage, but it seems
extremely difficult to convert, so Ke repeated.} 45. Re1+ Kf8 46. Rc1 Ke8 47.
Re1+ Kf8 48. Rc1 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Master, Expert and Section A playing in the Great America I-II-III rooms in the Santa Clara Convention Center
Master, Expert and Section A playing in the Great America I-II-III rooms in the Santa Clara Convention Center
In the FIDE-rated expert section, there was a massive five-way tie for first with 5.0 points. Kireet Panuganti, William Saephanh, Yuan Wang, Sijing Wu, and Milind Maiti split the prize money, though Wu won the trophy on tiebreaks. Shreyas Nayak and Anthony Faulks shared first in the A section, and Faulks came away with the trophy. Guerrer Silvestre won clear first in the B section. Min Zhu also won clear first in the C section. Antonio Cortes secured first place in the DE and under section.
The scholastic side event with 220 participants.
The Scholastic side event was also a great success: 220 excited players competed, and BayAreaChess awarded over 100+ trophies to players with winning records. It was amazing to see so many eager players ready to play and compete at the first tournament of the new school year. The number of school teams clearly showed a lot of potential for the upcoming school year in preparation for the state championships in December, 2017 and April, 2018. Tournament results can be viewed here: The next upcoming tournaments are the US National G/30 and G/60 Championships that are held also at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Come, and grab the National Champion title and have fun over the weekend of September 23-24, 2017. The tournament was organized by 2017 Organizer of the Year and BayAreachess Executive Director, Dr. Judit Sztaray, and directed by Chief TDs, NTDs John McCumiskey, STD Richard Koepcke, NTD Thomas Langland, and STD Jordan Langland. To find out more information about all upcoming Bay Area Chess events, visit www.bayareachess.com or email ask@bayareachess.com.

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