|Bright winter day in the Austrian Alps.|
Wishing Everyone Many Brilliant Moves for 2015!
The first Bay Area chess event of 2015 is in the books. The New Year Championship drew 180 players to the San Francisco Airport Hyatt for $13,000 in prizes. Elite Chinese Grandmaster Xiangzhi Bu dominated the strong Open section, finishing a full point ahead of the other two GMs. Yours truly finished with a respectable but unsatisfying performance. Click here for USCF rated results.
The largest local adult tournament of the year is just 10 days away! The Golden State Open, which attracted almost 300 participants a year ago, guarantees a $25,000 prize fund. Note that this event moved 25 miles south from Concord to the Dublin-Pleasanton Holiday Inn, near BART. Register soon and view the advance entries at ChessAction.com.
If you enjoy following top level international chess festivals, then you're in luck! The Tata Steel Tournament at Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) begins this weekend. The Masters section features World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway plus four more of the Top 10: Italian-American Fabiano Caruana, defending champion Levon Aronian of Armenia, Dutch-Russian Anish Giri, and the young American immigrant (from the Philippines) Wesley So. The Challengers include the Czech David Navara, the young Chinese star Wei Yi, and a pair of American Grandmasters with strong ties to the Bay Area: Orinda native Sam Shankland and the now 14-year old prodigy Sam Sevian. Each section is a 14-player round-robin, meaning 13 rounds, beginning on Saturday at 4:30am PST. Make sure to check out the live internet coverage when you wake up (especially Twitter and Instagram).
Happy New Year to All!