Monday, October 19
Countdown to Western States Open
(Photos from past Reno tournaments: parking lot entrance, playing room and lecture hosted by GM Larry Evans and organizer Jerry Weikel.)
The Western States Open in Reno is one of my favorite events to play. I participated in every WSO since 2000, a streak which will end this year because of the timing of my family's annual vacation. Nonetheless, a number of my top students will attend. Check out the advance entry list at the Reno tournament website.
The two annual Reno events offer the opportunity to escape the hassles of work or school. The organizers, Jerry and Fran Weikel, and the Sands Regency Hotel go out of their way to keep players happy. No wonder they come back year after year! The Open section will be strong with a dozen or more GMs and IMs. Even with the poor economy, I am sure that the attendance will approach 300 players, more than any Bay Area adult tournament. The advance entry list shows 170 names as of last Thursday!
Some parents are shy about Reno because of the casino atmosphere. Rest assured that the chess tournament maintains a quiet family-friendly atmosphere. Second-hand smoke has decreased since 2007 when Nevada banned smoking except on the casino floor. I recommend that parents request a room in either the Regency or Dynasty towers so that the kids can take the elevator straight up from the playing hall to your hotel room. Then you only pass through the casino on the way to restaurants.
Best of luck to all players! May all your pawns promote!