Wednesday, September 21

CalChess Top 20 FIDE

Reigning state champion GM Sam Shankland (see photo) sits on top of the CalChess FIDE rating list for September 2011.  I still remember Sam as a B and C player way back in 2004.  He certainly came a long way since those days, winning three of the last four state titles (2008, 2009 and 2011), playing in three straight US Championships, finishing third this year, and defeating Peter Leko, former World Championship challenger, at the 2011 World Cup.  Although Sam now attends Brandeis University in Boston, he plans to play in one or two Bay Area tournaments each year.

Aside from Shankland's meteoric improvement, there are a couple of other noteworthy changes since my last ranking list in February 2010.  First, former state champion GM Josh Friedel moved to Wisconsin in search of happy cows.  Fair travels!  Secondly, teenage FMs Steven Zierk and Daniel Naroditsky upgraded their titles to IM, both gaining over 120 FIDE rating points in a year and a half.  Steven also moved to Boston for college after being admitted to MITWould the state of Massachusetts kindly stop kidnapping the young chess stars of California?!

CalChess Top 20 FIDE
  1. GM Sam Shankland 2553
  2. GM Jesse Kraai 2514
  3. GM Vinay Bhat 2511
  4. IM Steven Zierk 2483
  5. IM Daniel Naroditsky 2472
  6. IM Dmitry Zilberstein 2403
  7. IM John Donaldson 2390
  8. IM David Pruess 2386
  9. IM Ricardo DeGuzman 2382
  10. IM Vladimir Mezentsev 2369
  11. NM Gregory Young 2368
  12. NM Arun Sharma 2331
  13. FM Andrey Chumachenko 2325
  14. FM Ronald Cusi 2313
  15. FM Robin Cunningham 2295
  16. NM Peter Zavadsky 2294
  17. FM Shinsaku Uesugi 2292
  18. NM Yian Liou 2283
  19. NM Sevan Buscara 2271
  20. FM Bela Evans 2262

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