A group of eight U.S. Open players and family members made the short drive to the Lake Cane Tennis Center for the annual tennis event, braving the brutal Orlando humidity to trade the chess board’s ranks and files for the court’s squares and rectangles. Adding to the fun this year on August 9th were door prizes and a grand prize generously donated by USCFSales.com and giveaways provided by US Chess.
The players ranged in tennis ability from beginner to experienced league players. The chess ability ranged from 1000 on up to IM Eric Rosen, and included a master (Vyom Vidyarthi) and an expert (Timothy Woodard). In the sprit of the U.S. Open’s characteristic of class players getting a chance to play GMs, the tennis competition featured a rotating round robin in which the beginners and the league players played together.
In the end, the winner of the $50 gift certificate to USCFSales.com was the chief tournament director of the scholastic invitationals, Jon Haskel of Florida.
The door prizes were won by chess mom Lisa Blakeman of Texas whose son Cole is playing in the Open and Aakash Madadi of Florida. Blakeman received a US Chess Women’s Program mousepad and Aakash won a US Chess 80th Anniversary ball cap by being the closest guess to the trivia question, “What year did Chess Life revert back to that title after being called Chess Life & Review for a number of years?” (1980 is the answer.)
Vyom Vidyarthi is a 12-year-old master from California who was tied for the lead in the Open as the day began. He has appeared on the pages of CLO before: He recently won the National Elementary Championship’s K-6 championship at the same event where his sister Omya won the K-3 championship.
Eric Rosen had been the number-two singles player on his high school’s varsity team before going on to earn his IM title. Vyom appears to be well on his way to becoming a similar double threat.
Please plan to join us at next year’s Open in Saint Charles, Missouri!