Wednesday, January 27

CalChess Top 20 Adults -- February 2010

Surprise, there's a new name leading the Northern California rating list! For several years, the local 500-lb panda was GM Josh Friedel, top board for the San Francisco Mechanics and resident of the infamous GM House in El Cerrito. However, Josh was recently passed by GM Vinay Bhat, the popular San Jose native who rose through the ranks in the mid 1990s while playing nearly every weekend all around the Bay Area.

For all his life, Vinay (photo at right from SPICE 2009, photo below unknown) chased records set by others, such as when he became the youngest USCF master at 10 years, 6 months (broken twice since). He finally reached the top of the hill here in California, ironically while traveling over the hills of Europe, competing in strong chess festivals against dozens of Grandmasters. Despite not playing in America, Vinay's USCF rating jumped upwards in large part thanks to a controversial new regulation that converts overseas events into USCF rating points.

There are three newcomers to this edition of the Top 20 list. FM Andrey Chumachenko returned to the Sacramento Chess Club after spending about five years in North Carolina. SM Gregory Kotlyar and FM Robin Cunningham participated in the CalChess State Championship on Thanksgiving weekend after taking many years off.

CalChess Top 20 Masters (USCF Rating, FIDE Rating)
  1. GM Bhat, Vinay (2606, 2540)
  2. GM Friedel, Josh (2601, 2549)
  3. GM Kraai, Jesse (2549, 2509)
  4. IM Shankland, Sam (2546, 2491)
  5. FM Chumachenko, Andrey (2449, 2325)
  6. IM DeGuzman, Ricardo (2443, 2406)
  7. SM Kotlyar, Gregory (2435, 2306)
  8. IM Zilberstein, Dmitry (2429, 2391)
  9. FM Naroditsky, Daniel (2426, 2337)
  10. IM Pruess, David (2423, 2391)
  11. FM Zierk, Steven (2417, 2359)
  12. FM Strugatsky, Vladimir (2414, 2390)
  13. IM Donaldson, John (2390, 2394)
  14. IM Mezentsev, Vladimir (2380, 2367)
  15. IM Tate, Emory (2380, 2322)
  16. NM Schwarz, Daniel (2349, 2232)
  17. FM Cusi, Ronald (2325, 2322)
  18. IM Ganbold, Odondoo (2322, 2346)
  19. NM Lee, Andy (2315, 2273)
  20. FM Cunningham, Robin (2289, 2304)

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