Four of my students played in the A.J. Fink Amateur at the Mechanics' Institute on March 1-2. This 2-day adult tournament drew 51 players all rated under 2000 USCF to San Francisco on a nice and warm spring weekend. Jayakrishnan Ramachandran (1878) finished with a perfect 6-0 score to take first place, ahead of swiss gambiteer Ted Belanoff (1898) who won five straight games after losing in the first round. Perhaps not unexpected these days in the Bay Area, most of the money prizes went to juniors, with the notable exception of the overall winner.
My students all finished at 3.5 or 3.0 points. The best performance belonged to 9th grader Rebekah (1570), who scored 3.5 against a tough field including five opponents rated above 1850. On her way to the top U1600 prize, she defeated adult Hovik Manvelyan (1871) and teenager Daniel Quan (1887). After this impressive result, Rebekah's rating jumped to 1656 and soon she will appear in the top 30 of the country for girls under 16! The other strong performance came from 10th grader Michael L. (1772), who ended up with the same score as Rebekah and shared 2nd place U1800. Michael faced three of the top six seeded players back to back to start the tournament, earning a win against Solomon Beilin (1917) and then a draw against the noted Russian expert Yefim Bukh (1921).
(Photo of Rebekah from 2007 CalChess Scholastics by Richard Shorman of ChessDryad.)