Monday, November 30

Shankland and Kraai Draw Top Honors

IM Sam Shankland and GM Jesse Kraai shared first at 4.5/6 in the CalChess State Championship, held at a new venue in Santa Clara. Shankland (photo at left) had superior tiebreaks and earned the title for the second year in a row. Congratulations Sam!! Still a teenager, "Shanky" now has two adult trophies at home; although in a bit of an irony, he never won the CalChess Scholastic Championships!

The winners faced stiff competition from IM Ricardo DeGuzman, IM Dmitry Zilberstein and two teenagers: FM Steven Zierk and NM Greg Young. DeGuzman, Zierk and Young tied for third at 4.0/6, with Young claiming top U2300 honors as well. One interesting tidbit: Shankland, Kraai, DeGuzman and Zierk completed a quad amongst themselves, drawing every single game. (Photo of Shankland versus Kraai at top right.) With a performance over 2600 for his last 12 rated games, Zierk (photo at right) will break 2400 USCF.

The tournament attracted 153 players, almost all from the San Francisco Bay Area. Organizer Salman Azhar of paid out 100% of the $8,100 advertised prize fund, even though it was based on 166 paid entries. In a sure sign of the future, at least 60% of the players were kids, including a majority of the prize winners. And here's one unusual sight: a WIM and a FM played *up* in the Expert section!?
State Champions!
  • Master: IM Sam Shankland and GM Jesse Kraai; U2300: NM Greg Young
  • Expert: Karim Seada
  • Class A: James Kwok
  • Class B: Thadeus Frei (6-0!!)
  • Class C: Jonathan Uesato and Udit Iyengar
  • Class D/E: Leyton Ho; U1200: Rupa Gudiseva


Unknown said...

Your blog got picked by :)

Thanks for writing!

As a few readers of fpawn's blog may know... Bay Area Chess is looking to financially back a $15K prize fund on Memo Day with the all star team of Tom, fpawn, John McC, Richard, and Salman planning it out.


Michael Aigner said...

Sometimes it is good to know people in high places, e.g. within USCF. Anyways, thanks for running the tournament Salman!