Wednesday, March 20

Larry Evans Memorial in Reno

Downtown Reno on Virginia Street.
The Larry Evans Memorial in Reno on Easter weekend--just a week away--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 most of the adult events that the Bay Area has to offer--only the Golden State Open can compare.  Plus there's the opportunity to watch, learn from and compete with strong masters.  Grandmasters Sergey Kudrin and Alexander Ivanov shared top honors last year with FM John Bryant.

After a disappointingly sparse turnout in 2012 (only 149 players), I expect to see a rebound this year.  The long-range forecasts call for pleasant spring weather.  Already 91 players have been registered, including five Grandmasters (Ivanov, Kudrin, Sevillano, Khachiyan and Browne) and three International Masters (Mezentsev, Odondoo and Formanek).  Plus, some of "the usual suspects" have not signed up yet.

  • Event: Larry Evans Memorial (formerly Far West Open)
  • Dates: March 29-31
  • Location: Sands Regency Hotel in Reno, NV
  • Format: 6 rounds in 5 sections: Open, A, B, C, U1400
  • Time control: 40/2, G/1 (maximum length game can go 6 hours)
  • Entry fee: $133-137 + $22 late fee
  • Prize fund: $21,000 based on 250 entries (2/3 guaranteed)
  • See this website for complete details.
  • Check advance entries by section
  • Rating report from 2012.

Look for this sign from I-80.
This tournament last year was my first since surgery in 2010.  I had fun despite being able to only play three rounds.  I hope to play more this year, if health permits.  After facing three opponents age 10 last year, I look forward to being paired with someone, anyone, a wee bit older.  Say hello to me if you read this blog. 

A final note to chess parents: 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.  This weekend is also the final opportunity to practice before SuperNationals in Nashville, TN.