Congratulations to my student Steven Zierk for winning the Far West Open blitz tournament this evening in Reno with an undefeated score of 17 wins and 2 draws. Steven defeated two masters along the way: FM Nick Raptis and me. I finished in third or fourth place after a disappointing showing. The 20 player round-robin became as much a test of skill as endurance and the winner passed both with flying colors. Certainly Steven, a 9th grader at Los Gatos High School, has come a long ways since winning World Open U1400 at age 7 and then partially retiring from chess until the beginning of 2007. Although he is still 100 points away, I have little doubt now that Steven will soon become my fourth chess student to break 2200 USCF.
The first round of the main tournament begins on Friday at 12noon. So far, I have met with students Steven, Adam and Nicholas with several others probably hiding from me somewhere in this large hotel complex. I will have three students in the Open section, three in the A section and two in the B section. Wish us all luck!
I just emailed off my first report to Chess Life Online, which should be posted on Friday morning. In the meantime, you may wish to follow the Foxwoods Open this weekend in Connecticut (check out the games link to MonRoi). Everyone's favorite IM Josh Friedel drew with GM Yury Shulman on board 1 this evening.