Monday, September 1

Shankland PWNS CalChess State Championship

The leaner and meaner FM Sam Shankland (photo at left by Shorman) once again demonstrated that he is a primordial force to be reckoned with in Northern California chess. Although he has yet to win the CalChess Scholastics, "Shanky" can now call himself State Champion after his success over Labor Day weekend at the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn in San Francisco. He scored an undefeated 5.0 out of 6, including this refutation of the St. George's opening essayed by IM Andrei Florean. Shankland drew twice over the weekend against both of the players who tied for second place at 4.5: NM Daniel Schwarz and IM Dmitry Zilberstein. Congratulations to Sam on a successful summer that included an IM norm at the World Open, top honors at Agoura Hills, impressive wins against Grandmasters Shabalov and Erenburg, and last but not least a state title!

Sam Shankland (2410) vs Andrei Florean (2465)
1. e4 a6 2. d4 b5 3. Bd3 Bb7 4. Qe2 e6 5. a4 c5 6. dxc5 b4 7. Nf3 Bxc5 8. Nbd2 d6 9. Nb3 Nd7 10. O-O Ngf6 11. Bd2 O-O 12. a5 Qb8 13. Rfd1 Rd8 14. h3 h6 15. Qe1 Ra7 16. Nfd4 Kh8 17. f3 e5 18. Nxc5 Nxc5 19. Nf5 Nxd3 20. cxd3 Bc8 21. Nxh6 Nh7 22. Ng4 b3 23. Ne3 Be6 24. Bc3 f6 25. d4 Ng5 26. dxe5 dxe5 27. Bxe5 Qa8 28. Bc3 Re8 29. Qg3 Rb7 30. e5 Nh7 31. exf6 gxf6 32. Qf4 Rg7 33. Kh2 Qa7 34. Rd6 Kg8 35. Rad1 Bd7 36. Bd4 Qb8 37. Rd2 Rg6 38. Bc3 Be6 39. Qb4 Qc8 40. Qb6 Bxh3 41. Rd8 1-0

Final standings of Master section
  • 5.0 FM Sam Shankland
  • 4.5 NM Daniel Schwarz and IM Dmitry Zilberstein
  • 4.0 IM Andrei Florean, NM Drake Wang, NM Nicolas Yap
The weekend was marked by a slew of upsets by Northern California's pool of talented younger players against internationally titled masters. The two players that everyone expected to battle for top honors didn't even stay in contention!? GM-elect Vinay Bhat drew twice with teenage masters Steven Zierk and Gregory Young before losing to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo sophomore NM Drake Wang. Joining the upset parade, the Bay Area's most active titled player, IM Ricardo DeGuzman, castled short against a pair of my students, losing to NM Schwarz for the second time this year before also losing to NM Zierk. Even 11 year old expert Yian Liou got into the act by beating veteran IM Walter Shipman for the first IM scalp of his young life! Considering all these upsets, perhaps the smartest person this weekend was two-time defending state champion GM-elect Josh Friedel, who wisely took a break from chess after a busy summer of tournaments.

(Photo by Shorman of the top board action in round 2. On board 1, NM Zierk played GM-elect Bhat while on board 2, IM Zilberstein faced NM Young. Both games were drawn.)
The annual CalChess Labor Day Festival drew a total of 160 players in six sections and paid out the advertised prize fund of about $5,500. Organizer Richard Koepcke received assistance from CalChess President and Chief TD Tom Langland and NTD John McCumiskey. Thanks guys for a smooth and enjoyable weekend!

While I have concentrated on the Master section in this story, I wish to close by recognizing the various champions in lower divisions. Kudos to them as well!
  • Expert = Reynaldo Salvatierra and Dana Mackenzie
  • Class A = Daniel Zheng and Arun Gomatan
  • Class B = Chris Tsai
  • Class C = Harold Parker, Donovan Zhao, Albert Lin and Gabriel Ki
  • Class D/E/unr = Seid Seidov (only 6-0 score of the entire weekend)
Final standings:
Photos by Richard Shorman on ChessDryad.
Photos by Michael Aigner on Flickr.

1 comment:

Chess Manitoba said...

What are you feeding those kids !?
That is a strong group !