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.

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 [email protected].


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.


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