Saturday, October 16

Play Chess in Reno Next Weekend!

To those readers not flying to Greece on Sunday, I highly recommend the annual Western States Open in Reno starting in just five days. Unfortunately, I can't attend one of my favorite events because of an extended illness.

The Western States is one of the largest and strongest annual chess events west of the Continental Divide. Come to watch the Grandmasters play! Organizer Jerry Weikel, his wife Fran and the entire staff work diligently to make the weekend as enjoyable as possible for all. In fact, the Western States draws more players from Northern California than any local adult event except Labor Day. If you still have doubts, check out my article in the February 2008 issue of Chess Life about the 25th anniversary tournament in 2007.
  • Event: Western States Open
  • Dates: October 22-24
  • Location: Sands Regency in Reno (map)
  • Format: 6 round swiss in six sections (Open, Expert, A, B, C, U1400)
  • Schedule: Registration: Fri 9-10. Rounds: Fri 12, 7, Sat 10, 6, Sun 9:30, 4.
  • Time control: 40/2, 20/1, SD/30 (up to seven hours!)
  • Prize fund: $37,000 based on 400 players, $25,000 guaranteed.
  • For more information, visit the Reno Chess Club website.
  • At this late date, register on-site on Thursday evening or Friday morning.
  • Click here for the advance entry list (149 entries).
Although the tournament is held at a casino, the chess rooms are on the second floor, above the gambling floor. Surprisingly, the chess event is actually quite kid-friendly. One suggestion: If you request a room in the Regency or Dynasty towers, the children can ride the elevators between your hotel room and the tournament hall without passing through the casino at all.

Many students find it difficult to attend because of school. If you can, skip classes on Friday; otherwise take a round 1 bye and drive up in the early afternoon. Unlike most other 3-day tournaments, Reno doesn't offer a 2-day schedule. Despite this conflict, plenty of local juniors play in Reno each year, including many of my students.

Postscript: Students of mine may wish to visit my house in Davis on the way to or from Reno. I live just two minutes away from I-80. While I am sick, I would love to say hi. Please email me if you're interested.

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