|California's newest National Master: Uyanga Byambaa!|
The 2014 Sacramento Chess Championship attracted 90 players old and young to the comfortable Holiday Inn Express on Auburn Blvd over the 4th of July weekend. The weather outside was seasonably hot and the competition heated up as well, with a Sacramento area record $5000 up for grabs! Naturally, the weekend saw plenty of fireworks, both on and off the chess boards. Perhaps half of the participants psyched up for round 4 by watching the scintillating penalty shootout between the Netherlands and Costa Rica on a big screen in the spacious lounge.
The Open section drew 35 entries, including five rated 2200 or higher. The conspicuous absence of defending champion IM Ricardo DeGuzman left the field wide open. Top rated NM Jimmy Heiserman turned in a solid performance of 3 wins and 3 draws, but this proved insufficient for first place. Congratulations to WFM Uyanga Byambaa and her boyfriend Byron Doyle for sharing top honors! They took home $525 each, with Byron earning the trophy on tiebreaks (not that it mattered). Officially rated as experts, both co-champions gained many rating points: Uyanga to 2206 and Byron to 2164. Special kudos to Uyanga for earning the National Master title with her final round miniature against FM Kenan Zildzic!
- Master/Expert: Uyanga Byambaa and Byron Doyle
- Reserve (U2000): Bernie Lu, Ziad Baroudi and Bayaraa Bekhtur
- Amateur (U1600): Srinivas Susarla
National TD John McCumiskey capably organized this event, as he has done each year since 2001. The location on Auburn Blvd offers a quiet and air conditioned playing hall with plenty of elbow room for all sections. The skittles room includes tables, bar stools, sofas, large TV screens, and free wifi internet. Great for chess players and parents alike. Almost perfect--if you ask me.