Monday, March 30

FM Panchanatham Qualifies for Denker

Denker players (L to R): Jack, Colin, Vignesh, Teemu, Siddharth, Cameron,
Jordan Langland (TD), Pranav, Kesav and Tom Langland (TD).

The most heavily loaded Denker qualifier in CalChess history took place last weekend at Bay Area Chess headquarters in Milpitas.  Eight high school masters competed in a high class round-robin with an average USCF rating of  2296!  In a sign of the cutthroat competition, the top three seeds each scored a win and a loss in the head-to-head pairings.  However, the favorites finished undefeated against the other five participants, and the final standings depended on the number of draws allowed.

At the end of a long weekend, 15-year old FM Vignesh Panchanatham (2365) earned a trip to the Denker Invitational at the US Open in Phoenix.  IM Kesav Viswanadha (2386) and FM Cameron Wheeler (2386) took 2nd and 3rd places.  Vignesh beat Kesav in round 2, but lost to Cameron in round 6.  Alas, Cameron succumbed to Kesav in the finale.  Along the way, Vignesh surrendered just one draw, Kesav two, and Cameron three.   Click here for the Denker crosstable.

Denker Qualifier - Final Standings
Vignesh and Rayan at 2014 World Youth.
  1. FM Vignesh Panchanatham (2365) 5.5
  2. IM Kesav Viswanadha (2386) 5.0
  3. FM Cameron Wheeler (2386) 4.5
  4. NM Pranav Nagarajan (2200) 3.5
  5. NM Siddharth Banik (2298) 3.0
  6. NM Jack Zhu (2255) 3.0
  7. NM Colin Chow (2261) 2.5
  8. NM Teemu Virtanen (2218) 1.0

Two more qualifiers occurred alongside the Denker last weekend.  In another clutch victory for the #3 seed, 12-year old FM Rayan Taghizadeh (2226) scored 1.5-0.5 against his highest rated competitors to qualify for the Barber Invitational (restricted to K-8 players).  Click here for the Barber crosstable.  The National Girls Invitational qualifier followed a similar script, when 12-year old Simona Nayberg (1821) scored 1.5-0.5 against her top challengers.  Click here for the Girls crosstable.

Congratulations to Vignesh, Rayan and Simona for qualifying to represent Northern California in Phoenix during the first week of August.  These scholastic invitationals take place alongside the U.S. Open.   Best of luck in Arizona!!

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