Last BayAreaChess Championship of 2017 – Closing the year in style

Accurately reflecting the rapid growth of chess strength in the northern California, the Bay Area Chess Winter Championship, the last BAC Championship of the year, fielded 2 GMs, 3 IMs, and a host of masters. What an exciting event to close the old year!
Bay Area Chess Winter Co-Champion, GM Mark Paragua
In the Open Section, GM Mark Paragua and IM Cameron Wheeler tied for first with 4.5/5, with IM Teddy Coleman taking clear third. GM Paragua drew against GM Conrad Holt and defeated IM Steven Zierk en route to his successful finish.
Bay Area Chess Winter Co-Champion, IM Cameron Wheeler
After dropping a half point in the first round, IM Wheeler came back with four straight wins, including a last-round triumph over GM Holt. IM Wheeler took advantage of his opponent’s tactical oversights in time trouble to launch a strong attack against the weakened kingside. Please, see the game annotated by IM Cameron Wheeler himself.
[pgn][Event "BAC Winter Championship"]
[Site "Milpitas, CA"]
[Date "2017.12.17"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Wheeler, Cameron"]
[Black "Holt, Conrad"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D46"]
[WhiteElo "2465"]
[BlackElo "2465"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]{In the last round I was paired
against a much stronger opponent on the top board.}1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3
Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bd3 dxc4 6. Bxc4 Nbd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Qc2 {
Transposing to line with 5. Nc3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6} e5 10. Rd1 Qc7 11. h3 exd4 12.
Nxd4 Ne5 13. Bb3 Re8 14. e4 Ng6 15. Nf5 Bh2+ (15... Nxe4 16. Nh6+ {This is
much stronger than 16. Nxe4 Bxf5 17. Nf6} gxh6 17. Nxe4) 16. Kh1 Be5 17. Bg5
Be6 (17... Bxf5 18. exf5 Nf4 {=}) 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. exd5 Rad8 21.
dxc6 bxc6 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Re1 Ne5 24. f4 Ng6 25. Qc4 c5 (25... Rf8 {was
necessary to stop the game continuation}) 26. Re7 Nxe7 27. Nh6+ Kh8 (27... gxh6
28. Qxf7+ Kh8 29. Qxf6#) 28. Nxf7+ Kg8 29. Nxd8+ Kh8 30. Nf7+ Kg8 31. Ng5+ Kh8
32. Qb5 {Qe8 is diffcult to stop. If 32... Nc6 then 33. Nf7 Kg8 34. Ne5 does
the trick} 1-0[/pgn]
In the U2000 section, Kristian Clemens took clear first with 4.5/5. Sricharan Pullela scored a perfect 5/5 to claim first place in the U1600 section. As usual, registration was filled up completely, with a total of 90 players. BayAreaChess is happy to announce that starting in 2018 this event series will be moving to the Santa Clara Convention Center with a larger capacity of 150 to accommodate the rising popularity of the BAC Championship series. We hope to see returning and new players, and grow this event to the most popular championship series in the West Coast. Organizer is also planning to make the AB section FIDE rated within the next few months, and eventually moving this event for an all-sections FIDE rated event by the end of 2018. The next upcoming tournament will be in the New Year. The 2018 New Year Championship will be held at the Hotel Biltmore Santa Clara from January 5-7. More information: Register at: The tournament was organized by 2017 Organizer of the Year, and BayAreachess Executive Director Dr. Judit Sztaray, and directed by STD Richard Koepcke and Arthur Liou. To find out more information about all upcoming Bay Area Chess events, visit or email Click here to show email address.
Dr. Judit Sztaray is the Executive Director of Bay Area Chess. She won the 2017 US Chess award for “Organizer of the Year”.       Vignesh Panchanatham is an International Master, ranked 5th in the U.S. for 17-year-olds. In addition, he is a 2017 SuperNationals Co-Champion, 2016 National High School Co-Champion, and 2014 Pan-American Youth U16 gold medalist.