Monday, March 30

Don't Forget to Make Plans for Reno!

While I prepare for SuperNationals this week, I want to remind my readers that there is a major adult tournament coming up in a week and a half. The Far West Open on Easter weekend (April 10-12) in Reno has always been one of my favorite events. The trip up into the mountains truly feels like a mini-vacation. Each year, the two Reno tournaments attract more chess players than any of the adult events that the Bay Area has to offer. Plus there's the opportunity to watch, learn from and compete with strong masters. GM Melik Khachiyan (see photo at right) won the 2008 edition ahead of GM Sergey Kudrin, FM Alexandre Kretchetov and local youngsters FM Daniel Naroditsky and NM Steven Zierk.
  • Event: 9th Far West Open
  • Date: April 10-12
  • Location: Sands Regency Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada
  • Format: 6 round swiss in 5 sections (Open, A, B, C, U1400)
  • Time control: 40/120, 20/60, G/30 (maximum length game can go 7 hours)
  • Entry fee: $144-148 until April 3, $11 more on site
  • Prize fund: $22,500 based on 250 entries including $2000 for 1st in Open section
  • Entry form (print and mail this)
  • See this website for complete details.
  • Check advance entries.
  • Rating report from last year.
I expect to see many of my friends and students in attendance in Reno. We always have fun between rounds, including a little pizza party on Saturday. I know conventional wisdom says that casinos and kids do not mix well, but this tournament seems to be an exception. Dozens of kids rated from 800 to 2400 play each year. I recommend to request the Regency or Dynasty tower while reserving your hotel room so that the kids can take the elevator directly to the playing hall without walking through the casino.

Friday, March 27

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

I took these photos at the end of a relaxing day in San Francisco. No chess! The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. I wonder whether any prisoners at Alcatraz (see rightmost photo) did push pawns?

Wednesday, March 25

Are You Ready for SuperNationals?

This is the Big Dance. And I mean BIG. Nearly 4800 players have registered with a week to go and I expect to see up to 5500 kids total. An unofficial world record of 5373 was set in 2005 at Supernationals III in the same venue. The entire humongous resort is sold out, all 2881 rooms. In fact, with a healthy economy, the record would already be history.

The seniors on the Saratoga High School chess team and I were there in 2005. Four seniors are joined this year by one junior and three freshmen (see 2007 team photo at left). This year's squad of Jeff Young, Charles Sun, Brian Wai, Aaron Garg and Evan Ye will be slightly higher rated than the one that took 3rd in 2006, but still seeded only about 7th or 8th (1881 average of the top 4) in the incredibly difficult High School division--14 masters and about 45 experts at the top of a wallchart of more than 335 players. The top ranked team from Stuyvesant High School (New York City) has IM Robert Hess, who just last week earned a GM norm by winning the Spice Spring Invitational, and three experts for a whopping 2177 average. This year for the first time, Saratoga High also fields a team in the K-12 U1600 section: Alex Lun, Avinash Kumar and Sankash Shankar.

The entire Northern California delegation consists of 40 players right now, but I know of three who have not yet registered. Five more of my proteges will attend, for a total of over a dozen students. Two more are in the K-12 section and one will compete in each of the K-8, K-6 and K-5 sections. In Fremont, Mission San Jose Elementary has put together a powerful team (Jerome Sun, James Kwok, Hemang Jangle and Arman Kalyanpur) ranked tops in K-6 at 1739, nearly 200 points above the elite New York City schools. Can the California boys shock the nation and win Elementary School nationals? Finally, I received late word that 2007 National High School co-champion Michael Zhong will be attending for an encore.

I have accepted the invitation of MSJE coach Joe Lonsdale to share his big team room in Nashville. I expect many Northern California players to hang out there. The room seats about 80 but there will be only about 45 players plus their parents. I will be available to review games throughout the entire weekend.

Besides the large turnout and tough competition, the most exciting news from Nashville seems to be visits by former World Champion Garry Kasparov, Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and a variety of other elite Grandmasters including US Champion Yury Shulman and former US Champions Alexander Shabalov and Joel Benjamin. Kasparov (see photo at right) will make four public appearances, including a book signing on Friday afternoon and playing the first move in round 1 on top board of the High School section.
I will be posting daily updates to this blog from Nashville. I also set up my cell phone to make more frequent updates on Twitter throughout the weekend (view my Twitter feed at the right sidebar of the blog).

Tuesday, March 24

Fpawn Rating List - April 2009

I updated the Fpawn Rating List for the April USCF supplement. Since my last blog post in December, the names at the top of the list remain largely unchanged.

Top 5 Students Overall

  1. NM Steven 2311
  2. NM Gregory 2249
  3. Yian 2082
  4. EvanS 2044
  5. Alan 2035
  6. Jeff 2013
  7. MichaelL 2001
(Honorary: FM Danya 2341, NM DanielS 2317 and David 2095)

However, the ratings continue to inch upwards with every month. In fact, my students gained an average of +39 points since the December supplement just four months ago, with 19 gaining points and only 6 posting small losses. Kudos to the following big winners.

Largest Rating Gain (Past 4 Months)
  1. DanielC +323
  2. Suraj +170
  3. Roland +125
  4. Neel +94
  5. Andrew +76
  6. Aamir +74
  7. Brian +71
Special kudos to Saratoga High School chess team senior Jeff Young (see photo by Richard Shorman) for cracking 2000 at this year's People's Tournament, an achievement that in my opinion was long overdue. He was rated 1173 when I began teaching him in November 2003. Jeff's most memorable win came at the 2006 National High School championship when he crushed 2437 rated IM-elect Salvijus Bercys.

Wednesday, March 18

Practice Before Nationals and States

Here is a post that I first wrote in February 2008. With the upcoming national and state championship tournaments, I feel this bit of advice is especially apt now.

Every few months, I beg my students to take advantage of the opportunity they have to practice chess against live opponents on the Internet Chess Club (or even other game sites). In fact, the internet is the #1 reason why kids are more advanced than their counterparts even 10 or 15 years ago. Today anyone can easily find a strong opponent from the comfort of home without having to drive to a chess club or a tournament.
Think about it this way: playing chess is like playing a sport or an instrument. Your coach can demonstrate new techniques to you, but in the end, it all comes down to you executing. You need to spend time repeating your moves or your songs, over and over. Practice makes perfect! In fact, you can't lie to your sports or music teacher because he or she can easily tell who diligent and who was lazy. Chess is not much different.
The fastest way to get a game on ICC is to join one of the so-called pools. When you enter one of the pools, you wait a few seconds (up to a minute or two for the slow pool) and a game with a human opponent near your rating will automatically pop up. You don't need to issue a seek or do anything else. It is that easy! I highly recommend the 15-minute and 5-minute pools to anyone trying to improve or looking for practice.
  • type 5 for the 5-minute pool - practice tactics and try out openings
  • type 15 for the 15-minute pool - more time to think and calculate
  • type 1 for the 1-minute pool - exercise your mouse (warning: fun yet addictive)
Now what are you waiting for? Get off your %$@# behind and get some practice!

Last Round of Sacramento Team Championship Tonight

(This photo of the UC Davis Chess Club is posted on their website.)

The Sacramento Chess Club Team Championship wraps up tonight. The scene will be a bit anticlimactic as the UC Davis Knights already clinched first place with a dominating 6-0 match score and 74% of all possible game points. Last week they defeated the Warriors, a team that many thought would compete for top honors, by a convincing 4.5-1.5 margin (Heiserman defeated Ross on board 1). Thanks to this victory, the Knights lead B-Nam by 1.5 match points heading into the final round. Three teams are tied for third place way back at 50%: the above mentioned Warriors, my squad from Elk Grove and the overachieving King Hunters.

TEAM STANDINGS (after round 6)
  1. UC Davis Knights 6.0 MP, 26.5 GP
  2. B-Nam 4.5 MP, 22.5 GP
  3. Warriors 3.0 MP, 20.5 GP
  4. Elk Grove 3.0 MP, 20.0 GP
  5. King Hunters 3.0 MP, 15.5 GP
  6. UC Davis Bishops 2.5 MP, 18.0 GP
  7. Zoka Zoki Academy 1.0 MP, 12.0 GP
  8. Daze Knights 1.0 MP, 8.0 GP
Kudos to the UC Davis Chess Club and the members of the mighty Knights: NM Jimmy Heiserman, club President Zach Han, Rohan Sathe, Anthony Blessing, Erik Friedlander, Marcus Langston, Brian Eller, Ryan Leung and David Whiteneck.

Here are the unofficial board prize standings. I listed all players who have scored at least 3.0 in the first 6 rounds, or are within a point of the leader. To be eligible for the board prize at the end of the tournament, the person must play 60% of the rounds at that board. Boards 1 and 2 are pretty close to being settled, but at least three players have a shot at winning each of the others. Look at board 5: even Mike Parmon has a shot!

  • 5.5 NM Zoran Lazetich (ZOKA) -- defeated MacFarland, Heiserman and Ross
  • 4.5 NM James MacFarland (BNAM) -- defeated Aigner
  • 4.5 NM Michael Aigner (EG) -- defeated Heiserman and Ross
  • 3.5 NM Jimmy Heiserman (UCD-N) -- defeated Ross
  • 5.5 John Cohen (UCD-B)
  • 3.0 Alonzo McCaulley (WAR)
  • 3.0 Zach Han (UCD-N)
  • 4.5 Kevin Dooley (KING)
  • 4.0 Joe Birt (WAR)
  • 4.0 Romeo Pilar (EG)
  • 3.0 Dalton Peterson (BNAM) -- 3 games on board 3 and 3 games on board 4
  • 4.5 Erik Friedlander (UCD-N)
  • 4.5 Brady Hill (KING)
  • 4.0 Nebojsa Gvozden (BNAM)
  • 4.0 Bob Baker (WAR)
  • 3.0 Robert Russo (EG)
  • 3.5 Everett Penn (WAR)
  • 3.5 Michael Parmon (KING)
  • 3.0 Brian Eller (UCD-N)
  • 2.5 Marcus Langston (UCD-N)
  • 4.5 Ryan Leung (UCD-N) -- 3 games on board 6, 2 on board 5 and 1 on board 4
  • 4.5 Donald Dixon (EG)
  • 4.0 Joel Iniquez-Aguiar (BNAM)
  • 3.0 Justin Garvin (WAR)

Friday, March 13

Check Out Article on Chess Life Online

(Are these kids even old enough to play at an adult tournament?!?!)

My recap from the Western Chess Congress in Concord appeared today on Chess Life Online. Check it out for highlights of the first big money event in the Bay Area since the mid 1990s. Premier section champion FM Daniel Naroditsky kindly annotated his crucial win against IM Sam Shankland and I added some comments on three other games.
A total of 15 current or past students attended, spread out from the Premier through U1700 divisions. Three students won money: Steven Zierk (2311) tied for 2nd overall, Evan Sandberg (2044) shared 3rd in U2100 and Kenneth Law (1705) returned after an extended break from chess to tie for 2nd in U1900 with an impressive 4-1 score. Steven increased his FIDE rating to 2296, four points shy of the FIDE Master title, while 11-year old Yian Liou expects to earn his first published FIDE rating at 2140. Kudos to these successful players and everyone else who tried their best!

I finished with 2.5 out of 5 and gained a few rating points for both USCF and FIDE. I was happy with a pair of draws against IM Sam Shankland and IM John Donaldson, but was upset after hanging a piece in a superior position in the last round, although I miraculously still drew that endgame. It was a nice weekend and I look forward to returning in January!

Wednesday, March 11

Board Standings After Round 5

(Joe Birt covers his face with his hands while Bob Baker remains stoic. These teammates on the Warriors are in the hunt for prizes on boards 3 and 4.)

Here are the unofficial board prize standings for the Sacramento Chess Club Team Championship. I listed all players who have scored at least 2.5 in the first 5 rounds. To be eligible for the board prize at the end of the tournament, the person must play 60% of the rounds at that board. Send any corrections to my email address at the right sidebar.

Click here for the team standings and a brief recap of round 5 (photos included).

  • 4.5 NM Zoran Lazetich (ZOKA) -- defeated MacFarland, Heiserman and Ross
  • 3.5 NM James MacFarland (BNAM) -- defeated Aigner
  • 3.5 NM Michael Aigner (EG) -- defeated Heiserman and Ross
  • 2.5 NM Jimmy Heiserman (UCD-N)
  • 2.5 Valeriy Timofeyev (UCD-B)
  • 4.5 John Cohen (UCD-B)
  • 2.5 Alonzo McCaulley (WAR)
  • 2.5 Zach Han (UCD-N)
  • 3.5 Joe Birt (WAR)
  • 3.5 Kevin Dooley (KING)
  • 3.0 Romeo Pilar (EG)
  • 2.5 Henry Wong (UCD-B)
  • 2.5 Jamshid Alamehzadeh (BNAM)
  • 4.0 Erik Friedlander (UCD-N)
  • 3.5 Brady Hill (KING)
  • 3.5 Bob Baker (WAR)
  • 3.0 Nebojsa Gvozden (BNAM)
  • 3.5 Everett Penn (WAR)
  • 2.5 Marcus Langston (UCD-N)
  • 2.5 Michael Parmon (KING)
  • 4.0 Donald Dixon (EG)
  • 3.5 Ryan Leung (UCD-N)
  • 3.0 Joel Iniquez-Aguiar (BNAM)
  • 3.0 Justin Garvin (WAR)

Saturday, March 7

Quick Update from Concord

(Top boards for round 2 of 3-day schedule: IM Mark Ginsburg vs FM Eugene Yanayt in back and NM Andy Lee vs FM Daniel Naroditsky in front.)

I am currently in between rounds at the Western Chess Congress in Concord. My score is 0.5/2 against a pair of International Masters, which would normally be respectable except that the quality of my play has been rather poor. Last night, I somehow drew a losing endgame versus World U18 Champion IM Sam Shankland. This morning's game was more pathetic; I hung a pawn to IM Dmitry Zilberstein out of the opening--as white. Sigh!

The tournament has approximately 200 players, of which about 90% come from Northern California. I hoped to see more participants from Los Angeles, Nevada or the Pacific Northwest; maybe they will come next year. In many ways, this weekend feels like another Labor Day tournament, except held in the spring. The titled players in the 3-day schedule include IM Shankland and IM Zilberstein (yes, my first two opponents) plus IM Mark Ginsburg (from Arizona) while the 2-day schedule has FM Vladimir Strugatsky, IM John Donaldson, IM Vladimir Mezentsev, IM Ricardo DeGuzman and the enigmatic IM Emory Tate (from Indiana). Surprisingly, there are no Grandmasters present, perhaps because the El Cerrito gang traveled to France for Cappelle la Grande.

The two schedules merge tonight at 6pm for round 3. Click on this link for photos on Flickr.

Thursday, March 5

Sacramento Team Championship Round 5

The UC Davis Knights prevailed 3.5-2.5 in Wednesday's showdown against second place B-Nam. The match was tight throughout and it came down to the top board between NM Jimmy Heiserman and the multiple time Sacramento champion NM James MacFarland. The UCD freshman from Texas drew the game and now the Knights hold a nearly insurmountable 1.5 match lead with just two weeks to go. Congratulations!

While many had predicted a victory by the Knights, few people saw the low rated King Hunters defeating my Elk Grove squad by 4-2! When I looked up after winning a sloppy endgame on board 1, my teammates were literally staggering from a shutout on boards 2-5. I am sure to hear about this score for the rest of 2009. Big sigh!

TEAM STANDINGS (after round 5)
  1. UC Davis Knights 5.0 MP, 22.0 GP
  2. B-Nam 3.5 MP, 17.0 GP
  3. Warriors 3.0 MP, 19.0 GP
  4. UC Davis Bishops 2.5 MP, 15.5 GP
  5. Elk Grove 2.0 MP, 16.5 GP
  6. King Hunters 2.0 MP, 11.5 GP
  7. Zoka Zoki Academy 1.0 MP, 10.0 GP
  8. Daze Knights 1.0 MP, 7.5 GP
Captions for the photos, counterclockwise from top left:
  • NM Jimmy Heiserman, board 1 for UCD Knights.
  • NM James MacFarland, board 1 for B-Nam.
  • NM Steven Ross (on left) and Alonzo McCaulley, boards 1 and 2 for Warriors.
  • Mike Parmon, captain of the King Hunters, making a point to his students.
  • Donald Dixon (on left) and William Lombard, Elk Grove team.
  • Robert Russo (from left), Romeo Pilar and Bernie Lu, Elk Grove team.

Wednesday, March 4

Hip Hop Chess Video

The Hip Hop Chess Federation hosted the second annual Mind over Matter festival last Saturday in San Francisco. The following YouTube video vividly shares the event's atmosphere. Do you recognize some of the chess celebrities? I saw rapper RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, the enigmatic yet legendary IM Emory Tate, top board of the Stanford chess team FM Elliott Liu and prolific author FM Eric Schiller.

As a side note, IM Tate is giving a simul tonight at headquarters in San Jose (4423 Fortran Court). The action begins at 6:45, but make sure to reserve your spot by sending email to contact(at) (limit 20 players).

Tuesday, March 3

CalChess Squeaks by South Africa 8-6

(Samyukta Bhat on left and Evan Ye on right each scored 2-0 to lead the CalChess delegation.)

The friendship scholastic chess match between CalChess and South Africa occurred as scheduled on Saturday morning with only minor complications. Seven members of each team played a pair of 45 5 games on the Internet Chess Club against an opponent halfway around the world. Most of the participants were between age 12 to 14 and rated 1500 to 1800; unlike a similar match against Australia in 2006, none of the well known elite juniors in California played. The tightly contested South Africa match lasted 3.5 hours and the outcome was in doubt until the final 15 minutes.

In the end, the CalChess team won 8-6, winning both the first round (playing black on all boards) and the second round (playing white) by 4-3. However, the local squad had its back against the wall for much of the morning after losing quickly on boards 1 and 2. Since some boards took much longer than others, we were actually down 3.5-5.5 at one point, but with two games still in progress from round 1. We clinched the match when Roland Zhu pulled a rabbit out of his hat to swindle a losing king and pawn endgame (he won!).

The most valuable players for the local team were Samyukta Bhat and Evan Ye, who both scored 2-0. Samyukta, who recently won the 2009 CalChess Girl's Championship, won a drawn endgame in round 1 and then crushed her opponent on the queenside in an instructive King's Indian Defense. Evan first outplayed his opponent in a wild time scramble with both players relying on the 5 second increment. However, in the second game, the Saratoga High School freshman left nothing to doubt when he executed the "Spanish Torture" in the Ruy Lopez.

Samyukta Bhat (1641) vs Byron Ter Morshuizen
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Nc6 7. O-O e5 8. d5 Ne7 9. Be3 Ne8 10. Nd2 f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 g5 13. Qb3 h5 14. h3 c6 15. Rfd1 cxd5 16. cxd5 b6 17. Rac1 Bb7 18. Nb5 a6 19. Na3 b5 20. Nc2 Rc8 21. a4 Ng6 22. axb5 axb5 23. Qxb5 Rf7 24. Nb4 Rfc7 25. Bb6 Nf6 26. Bxc7 Rxc7 27. Rxc7 Qxc7 28. Nc4 Kh7 29. Nxd6 Qxd6 30. Qxb7 Qc5+ 31. Kh1 Nh4 32. Bf1 Qf2 33. Nd3 Qc2 34. Rc1 Qd2 35. Qb4 Qe3 36. Re1 Qa7 37. Nxe5 Qf2 38. Nd3 Qg3 39. Qd2 g4 40. Qxf4 Qxf4 41. Nxf4 gxf3 42. gxf3 Nxf3 43. Re3 Ne5 44. Ne6 Bh6 45. Re1 Nc4 46. Bxc4 Nd7 47. e5 Bd2 48. Re2 Bb4 49. d6 Kg6 50. Bb5 Nb8 51. d7 Nxd7 52. Bxd7 Kf5 53. Nd8+ Kf4 54. e6 Kf3 55. Re1 Bxe1 56. e7 Bh4 57. e8=Q Bxd8 58. Qxd8 Ke2 59. b4 Kd3 60. b5 Ke4 61. b6 Kf3 62. b7 Kg3 63. b8=Q+ Kf3 64. Bc6+ Kf2 65. Qd3 h4 66. Qb2+ Ke1 67. Qdb1# 1-0
Click here to replay Samyukta's game in Chess Publisher's java viewer.

Evan Ye (1658) vs Vikash Magu
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. h3 Nf6 8. Re1 O-O 9. c3 Re8 10. d4 Bb7 11. d5 Nb8 12. a4 bxa4 13. Bxa4 Nbd7 14. Nbd2 h6 15. Nc4 Rb8 16. Na5 Qc8 17. Nc6 Bxc6 18. Bxc6 Rf8 19. b4 Nb6 20. Qd3 Nh7 21. Rxa6 f5 22. exf5 Rxf5 23. Ra7 Rf8 24. Nd4 Bd8 25. Ne6 Rf7 26. Bxh6 Bf6 27. Qg3 Kh8 28. Bg5 Qg8 29. Bxf6 Nxf6 30. Qh4+ Nh7 31. Ng5 Rf6 32. Qxh7+ Qxh7 33. Nxh7 Kxh7 34. Rxc7 Rbf8 35. f3 Nc4 36. Re4 Nd2 37. Rg4 Rg8 38. Bd7 Kh6 39. Be6 Rgf8 40. Rgxg7 Nxf3+ 41. gxf3 Rxf3 42. Rh7+ Kg5 43. Rcg7+ Kf4 44. Rf7+ Ke4 45. Rxf8 Rxf8 46. Rh4+ Kd3 47. c4 Rg8+ 48. Kf2 Rf8+ 49. Kg3 Ra8 50. c5 dxc5 51. bxc5 Ra3 52. c6 e4 53. Bf5 Kc4+ 54. Kf4 Kxd5 55. c7 Rf3+ 56. Kg5 Rg3+ 57. Kf6 Rc3 58. c8=Q Rxc8 59. Bxc8 e3 60. Ba6 e2 61. Bxe2 1-0
Click here to replay Evan's game in Chess Publisher's java viewer.

Board Standings After Round 4

(Coach Zoran leads his Zoka Zoki team by example with 3.5-0.5 on board 1.)

Here are the unofficial board prize standings for the Sacramento Team Championship. To be eligible for the board prize, the recipient must play 60% of the rounds at that board. Two people played twice on one board and twice on another; for now, I ranked them under the higher board. Please send corrections to my email address at the right sidebar.

  • 3.5 NM Zoran Lazetich (ZOKA) -- defeated MacFarland and Heiserman
  • 3.0 NM James MacFarland (BNAM) -- defeated Aigner
  • 2.5 NM Michael Aigner (EG) -- defeated Heiserman and Ross
  • 2.0 NM Steven Ross (WAR)
  • 2.0 NM Jimmy Heiserman (UCD-N)
  • 3.5 John Cohen (UCD-B)
  • 2.0 Charles Brunton (BNAM)
  • 2.0 Bernie Lu (EG)
  • 3.0 Erik Friedlander (UCD-N)
  • 3.0 Romeo Pilar (EG)
  • 2.5 Joe Birt (WAR)
  • 2.5 Kevin Dooley (KING)
  • 3.0 Nebojsa Gvozden (BNAM)
  • 2.5 Brady Hill (KING)
  • 2.5 Bob Baker (WAR)
  • 2.0 Robert Russo (EG)
  • 2.5 Marcus Langston (UCD-N)
  • 2.5 Everett Penn (WAR)
  • 2.0 Brian Eller (UCD-N)
  • 2.0 Brian Hu (ZOKA)
  • 3.0 Donald Dixon (EG)
  • 3.0 Joel Iniquez-Aguiar (BNAM)
  • 2.5 Ryan Leung (UCD-N)
  • 2.0 David Whiteneck (UCD-N)
  • 2.0 Justin Garvin (WAR)

Sacramento Team Championship Round 4

The Sacramento Chess Club Team Championship is the most popular event of the year, attracting some players on Wednesday nights who play in few other local tournaments. This year, there are eight teams of 6 players (plus 3 alternates) with an average rating under 1750 each week. The teams play a round-robin over seven weeks from February 4 until March 18.

The list of top board players is impressive: masters Zoran Lazetich, James MacFarland, Steven Ross, Jimmy Heiserman and your blogger are joined by three others rated above 2000. It is special to see so many of the active chess players in the Sacramento region turn out for this tournament.

After four rounds, two teams have separated themselves from the field. The UC Davis Knights are 4-0 with NM Heiserman and three other players rated over 1800. However, the strength of the Knights lies on the bottom boards, where they field several unrated players. Jamshid Alamehzadeh's B-Nam team trails close behind at 3.5-0.5, featuring NM MacFarland and two 1900s. Tied for third place at 2-2, but unfortunately well out of contention, are Elk Grove (my team) and Warriors (Joe Birt's team with NM Ross).

TEAM STANDINGS (after round 4)
  1. UC Davis Knights 4.0 MP, 18.5 GP
  2. B-Nam 3.5 MP, 14.5 GP
  3. Elk Grove 2.0 MP, 14.5 GP
  4. Warriors 2.0 MP, 14.0 GP
  5. UC Davis Bishops 1.5 MP, 11.0 GP
  6. Zoka Zoki Academy 1.0 MP, 9.0 GP
  7. King Hunters 1.0 MP, 7.5 GP
  8. Daze Knights 1.0 MP, 5.0 GP