Tuesday, April 30

7th Schutt Memorial Blitz This Sunday!

GM Browne faces the Fpawn in 2011. Yes, that's a Caro Kann!
Over the past half decade, the Ray Schutt Memorial has become the largest and most prestigious annual blitz tournament in the Bay Area.  The last three years saw an average of over 45 players, including many masters with several GMs + IMs.  The 2-time defending champion IM Daniel Naroditsky and 6-time US Champion GM Walter Browne have already committed.  Come down for a fun afternoon of chess in the City!

7th Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament Sunday, May 5
Location: 57 Post Street, San Francisco (Montgomery BART)
FORMAT: Five double-round Swiss

TIME CONTROL: G/4 + inc/2
(bring your digital clock)

ENTRY FEE: $10 (free for GM/IM)
This tournament is UNRATED. (Membership in USCF not required)

PRIZES: $750 total
1st place: $300
2nd place: $200
3rd place: $100
4th place: $75
5th place: $50
6th place: $25

These prizes are guaranteed due to the generosity of the Schutt family.
Every player takes home a book, including new ones by GM Browne and IM Naroditsky!

REGISTRATION: 1 to 1:45 pm on-site only

There will be no registration in advance.  The tournament will be held between roughly 2 and 4 pm. The entire event will last from 1 to 5 pm. The Schutt family puts on a tremendous spread of food and drink each year. Even if you don't play, please come and enjoy the atmosphere as we pay respect to the popular 2300 rated master.

I regret never knowing Ray. However, we did play one tournament together, and apparently sat next to each other in the first round. It was the 1998 CalChess Labor Day held in Union City, and, rated 2124, I played up. Ray finished with 3.5 while I scored 2.5.   

Note from Fpawn: I plan to attend both the Powell G/45 on Saturday and the Schutt Blitz on Sunday. Health permitting, I will play in both tournaments. I really look forward to meeting people, especially my old friends and students.

Monday, April 22

Chess Events Around the World

Alexander Alekhine
Mikhail Tal

One of the best ways to improve in chess is to play through master games.  I strongly encourage any student rated 1800+ to regularly review the games of recent elite Grandmaster tournaments.  Watch the world's top rated players or pick your own favorites.  Bay Area fans often follow American stars Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky or local prodigies Sam Shankland, Daniel Naroditsky and Sam Sevian.  Chinese families, for example, may cheer for Wang Hao, Ding Liren or rising star Wei Yi, who currently leads the national championship at just 13 years old.

What should you pick up from these games?  If you're an A player, you will want to learn from the positional strategies and tactical creativity of the super Grandmasters.  As you improve, you should imitate the style of your superiors.  Chess experts and masters will concentrate on their favorite openings, picking up new moves based on the latest trends.

In some sense, growth of the internet has diminished the importance of studying collections of games by the champions of yesteryear.  Nonetheless, any disciple of Caissa should read a few classics, e.g. Alekhine's Best Games of Chess (2 volumes), Life and Games of Mikhail Tal and My Sixty Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer.  The internet offers an expanding wealth of information to supplement the foundation presented in these books.  The modern chess student benefits from the resources at his fingertips, but must stay dedicated to keep up with an evolving body of theory.

My favorite website to watch tournaments is, of course, the Internet Chess Club.  You can also find quality chess reports, analysis, photos and videos elsewhere on the net, including Chessbase, Chessvibes, Chessdom, and The Week in Chess.  The MonRoi game database covers the top boards at major American tournaments.  (Hint: add these to your bookmarks.)

The international chess calendar is filled with exciting events over the next two months.

Magnus plays on "The Pulpit Rock" 2000 ft above a fjord to promote Norway tournament.

  • 3rd FIDE Grand Prix in Zug, Switzerland (thru April 30) - 12 players including 11 of Top 20; favorites = Karjakin, Topalov, Nakamura; dark horse = Giri
  • Alekhine Memorial in Paris (the Louvre) and St. Petersburg (thru May 1) - 10 players all 2700+; favorites = Aronion, Kramnik, Anand; dark horses = Adams, Ding Liren
  • US Championships in St. Louis (May 2-13) - 24 players including 19 GMs; favorites = Kamsky, Gareev, Onischuk, Robson, Shankland; dark horses = Shabalov, Ramirez 
  • Norway Chess in Stavanger (May 7-18) - 10 players including 7 of Top 10; favorite = World #1 Carlsen; dark horses = anyone except Hammer could win!
  • 4th FIDE Grand Prix in Madrid (May 22 - June 4) - 12 players including at least 9 of Top 20; favorites = Caruana, Topalov, Nakamura; dark horse = TBA
  • Tal Memorial in Moscow (June 12-24) - 10 players including 6 of Top 10; favorite = World #1 Carlsen; dark horses = two Russians: Kramnik and Morovezich

Advice to Chess Parents Reprinted

2010 CalChess 9-12 team champs from Saratoga High, a record 6th consecutive title.

This is one of my all-time favorite posts; I am publishing it for the fifth time. This advice seems especially relevant now: the CalChess Scholastics takes place this weekend, April 27-28.

The main point is that a parent's behavior is critical for a youngster to feel confident and play well. I have seen many examples of parents discouraging their children, instead of positive reinforcement. Is it any surprise that many of the same juniors quit chess soon?

If you haven't entered the State Championship yet, the final online entry deadline is Thursday ($20 late fee). If you already registered, check out the 897 advance entries here (as of 4/24). Good luck!!

The annual CalChess State Scholastic Championship take place this weekend. As a chess coach, I spend my time preparing juniors for the most challenging weekend of their lives. What role do the parents have? How should a parent behave at a chess tournament? I published this article several years ago and now is a good time to reprint it.

CalChess is state chapter for NorCal.
To start out, you should prepare your child with the necessary food and rest before and during the weekend. Make sure to get plenty of sleep; an extra hour of sleep will help a lot during the last games at the end of each long day. Of course, the kids need something big and healthy to eat for breakfast (very important) and between each game. Those players in the older sections tend to have longer games and may wish to take a bottle of water and a small snack (chocolate, candy, or gum) with them for each round.

Somewhat more challenging is to strike a balance between keeping your child focused between rounds while not draining all their energy. Refrain from chess activities, except for reviewing the tournament games briefly with a coach or a computer. Avoid blitz and bughouse between rounds because both games cause the children to play impulsively instead of carefully thinking about the best move. Older kids may wish to bring a book or a deck of cards to play with their friends. Younger kids may prefer video games. Another idea may be to bring a ball and go outside for a little while—enough to relax but not too much to drain all of their energy.

What should the parent say right before the round? My advice is simple: try your best and have fun! For example, one big aspect to trying your best is to take your time during the game. Of course, when you get to the board, make sure to be respectful to the opponent and parent. While chess is a war game, the battle should take place only on 64 squares.

The hard part about the motto “try your best and have fun” is to stick to it afterward. If your child tried their best, then you must encourage them no matter what the result. Never get angry with your son or daughter simply because they lost, even to a lower rated opponent. A few common and legitimate reasons to get upset include moving too fast, lack of focus by looking at other games or failure to record the moves. Most children will be eager to talk about the game afterward and even parents who aren’t strong chess players may pick up key details (e.g. “I blundered” or “I had a win but I lost” or “I didn’t see his piece”). Be aware that even chess players who try their best might blunder and miss a move that they should have seen.

Let me close by profiling four kinds of parent behaviors that I hope to discourage.

1. Parent measures performance merely by wins, losses and rating points. They become upset when the child draws or loses to a lower rated player, without considering whether the game was well played or the opponent simply had a good day. My response: Chess ratings are based on a statistical formula that predicts your winning percentage. For example, a player rated 200 points higher should win 75% of games and one rated 400 points high should win 90%. We must come to expect an occasional bad result against a lower rated player. Even an improving player may have one bad game or a disappointing tournament. As I’ve told many people, progress typically comes through two steps forward and one step backwards. Look at the big picture instead of every single game.

2. Parent relies on Fritz too much. I have seen many cases where a parent reviews a game with Fritz or another computer program and finds out that the child missed one or more key tactics. The parent will typically quote a computer evaluation, often mentioning scores like +5. My response: No human can play like Fritz and even top Grandmasters sometimes overlook mate in 1 (Kramnik) or hang a piece for no reason at all. Fritz is merely a tool to get better but an impossible standard to measure your performance against. Parents (and even coaches) sometimes forget or never realized how much more difficult it is to play the game with the clock ticking than to review it afterwards with a computer.

David Chock and Daniel Schwarz, former students and friends.
3. Parent hates child’s rival(s). Unfortunately, I see all too often when a parent measures his or her own child against the result of the rival. It is important to score more points or achieve a milestone first. The child is often forbidden to socialize with the rival, purely for competitive reasons. My response: In recent years, the best young players in the Bay Area have benefited from the interaction with their closest rivals. Masters Nicolas Yap, Drake Wang and Daniel Schwarz, who all graduated from High School in 2007, competed for the same trophies at the CalChess Scholastics for an entire decade, yet also forged strong friendships that included many hours of chess analysis and blitz games. The benefits of having friends in the chess community and someone to study with far outweigh any competitive disadvantage. Take the opportunity this weekend meet your child’s rivals and their parents. Set a positive example for the children to follow.

4. Parent lives vicariously through their child’s achievements. Most parents are proud of the success by their son or daughter, but a few take it to another level by bragging. They seek success, often even more than the kids. Those same parents become resentful when the result does not meet expectations. My response: It is always of utmost importance that your child has fun. Juniors who don't truly enjoy chess (independent of their parents) simply will not improve as rapidly. You can lead a camel to water, but you cannot force it to drink. Unfortunately, these youngsters, who often have been pushed hard for many years, become prime candidates to drop out of chess entirely as they turn 13 or 14.

For another insightful perspective on competitive chess parents, please read two reports on Chess Life Online written by New York parent Mark Schein from the venue of the recent Bert Lerner National Elementary School Championships. Mr. Schein writes about years of experience attending national competitions as a father. Click here for the first article and the second article.

Sunday, April 7

Three Superb National Champs!

Siddharth Banik (by Shorman)
Rayan Taghizadeh (by Shorman)

The last pawn has been pushed and one more Scholar's Mate was played.  Mercifully for the directors and parents, the fifth SuperNationals has drawn to a close.  Some kids proudly show off their shiny trophies while others bemoan lost opportunities.  Regardless of their final score, fond memories of a weekend in Nashville will remain for many years for the record 5,335 participants.

Once again, the delegation from Northern California--82 players strong-- has left their mark.  Out of seven championship sections, three were won by Bay Area stars.  Many hearty congratulations go to Siddharth Banik (K-8), Rayan Taghizadeh (K-5) and Chinguun Bayaraa (K-1)!  Andrew Hong (K-3) scored 6.5/7, but alas, that proved sufficient only for 2nd place.  In K-9, FM Cameron Wheeler and NM Vignesh Panchanatham fought valiantly with aspirations of a tie for 1st, but both succumbed in the final hour of the 7th round.

Two teams captured national titles.  Mission San Jose Elementary of Fremont competed in K-1, K-3, K-6 and K-8 (if you count Hopkins Junior High).  Amazingly, they finished Top 5 in all four sections, and captured a surprising 1st place in K-6 (ahead of I.S. 318)!  Coach Joe Lonsdale has conducted a championship team for several years, incredibly with a different bunch of students each time.  Crosstown rival Gomes Elementary already tasted success at the annual CalChess Scholastics, and now they upgraded by winning K-5 nationals!  Last year's K-8 national champions from Kennedy Middle competed in K-9 and came within a half point of a repeat performance.

Final Standings

K-12 Championship (327 players)

Taylor McCreary - 3.5

K-9 Championship (145 players)

FM Cameron Wheeler (KENN) - 5.5 - 5th place trophy
NM Vignesh Panchanatham - 5.5 - 6th place trophy

Pranav Srihari (KENN) - 5.0 
Joshua Cao - 4.5
Justin Wang (IRVG) - 4.5
Daniel Ho (IRVG) - 4.0
Solomon Ruddell - 4.0
Vikram Vasan - 4.0
Arhant Katare (KENN) - 4.0
Nikhil Jaha (IRVG) - 3.0
Kingsley Wang (KENN) - 3.0
Amarinder Chahal (IRVG) - 2.5
Kennedy Middle School - 17.5/28 - 2nd place team
Irvington High School - 14.0/28 - 6th place team

K-8 Championship (256 players)

Siddharth Banik - 6.5 - NATIONAL CHAMPION
Allan Beilin - 5.5 - 6th place trophy
Armaan Kalyanpur (HOPK) - 5.0 - honorable mention
Shalin Shah (HOPK) - 4.0
Isaac Ruddell - 4.0
Alvin Kong (HOPK) - 4.0
Eric Zhu (HOPK) - 4.0
Hopkins Junior High School - 17.0/28 - 5th place team

K-6 Championship (198 players)

Amit Sant (MSJE) - 5.5 - 13th place trophy
FM Tanuj Vasudeva - 5.0 - 15th place trophy
Christopher Pan (MSJE) - 4.0
David Pan (MSJE) - 4.0
Anjan Das (MSJE) - 3.0
Mission San Jose Elementary - 16.5/28 - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

K-5 Championship (355 players)

Rayan Taghizadeh - 6.5 - NATIONAL CHAMPION
Anthony Zhou (WEIB) - 5.5 - 22nd place trophy
Ganesh Murugappan (GOME) - 5.5 - 23rd place trophy
Joanna Liu (GOME) - 5.0 - honorable mention
Jason Zhang (GOME) - 5.0 - honorable mention
William Sartorio (GOME) - 4.5 - U1400 class prize 

Daniel Mendelevitch - 4.5
Atri Surapaneni (WEIB) - 4.0
Serafina Show (WEIB) - 4.0
Jeremy Chen (WEIB) - 3.5
Gomes Elementary School - 20.0/28 - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Weibel Elementary School - 17.0/28 - 8th place team

K-3 Championship (278 players)

Andrew Hong - 6.5 - 2nd place trophy
Milind Maiti - 5.5 - 9th place trophy
Chenyi Zhao - 5.5 - 18th place trophy

Rishith Susarla (MSJE) - 5.0 - 20th place trophy
Ben Rood - 5.0 - honorable mention
Zhiyi Wang - 5.0 - honorable mention 

Callaghan Mccarty-Snead - 4.5
Oliver Wu (WEIB) - 4.5
Louis Law (WEIB) - 4.0
Annapoorni Meiyappan (MSJE) - 4.0
Kavya Sasikumar (MSJE) - 4.0
Jeffrey Liu (MSJE) - 4.0
Eshaan Mistry (WEIB) - 3.0
Aaron Lee (WEIB) - 3.0
Mission San Jose Elementary - 17.0/28 - 5th place team
Weibel Elementary School - 14.5/28 - 9th place team

K-1 Championship (349 players)

Chinguun Bayaraa - 7.0 - NATIONAL CHAMPION
Maurya Palusa - 6.0 - 8th place trophy
Pradyum Chitlu (WEIB) - 5.0 - honorable mention
Stephen He (MSJE) - 5.0 - honorable mention

Weslie Chen (WEIB) - 5.0 - honorable mention
Aidan Chen (MSJE) - 5.0 - honorable mention
Arnav Lingannagari (MSJE) - 4.5
Kevin Pan (MSJE) - 4.5
Vasudeva Rao (MSJE) - 4.0
David Sartorio - 4.0
Allyson Wong (MSJE) - 4.0  
Erin Law (WEIB) - 3.5
Aaron Hu (WEIB) - 3.0
Mission San Jose Elementary - 19.0/28 - 5th place team
Weibel Elementary School - 16.5/28 - 11th place team 

If you find a typo or someone else worthy of mention here, please email me.

Saturday, April 6

SuperNationals Update #3

The evening round on Saturday is often very difficult, for two reasons.  First, it is the third round of high pressure competition in one day.  Second, the top contenders begin to square off against each other.  After the dust settled, two Bay Area kids remain perfect: Rayan Taghizadeh and Chinguun Bayaraa.  Five more stand at 4.5/5 with a shot at earning a share of first in their section, including masters Cameron Wheeler and Vignesh Panchanatham, both in K-9.

Unlike recent years, none of the Bay Area school teams appear poised to win a national championship.  Still, four teams are currently in the Top 4: Kennedy Middle School in K-9 (3rd and 2.0 behind leaders), Hopkins Junior High in K-8 (4th and 3.0 behind leaders), Mission San Jose Elementary in K-6 (4th and 3.5 behind leaders) and again MSJE in K-1 (3rd and 2.0 behind leaders).

Sunday is crunch time!  The games begin early--at 7am PDT.  Good luck to all!

BREAKING NEWS from Nashville: Siddharth Banik won K-8, Rayan Taghizadeh won K-5 and Chinguun Bayaraa won K-1!!! Congratulations to all three National Champions!  

Standings After Round 5
After Round 6 in Blue
Click here for Pairings and Standings

K-12 Championship (327 players)

Taylor McCreary (1837) - 3.0 - 3.0

K-9 Championship (145 players)

FM Cameron Wheeler (2291) - 4.5 - 5.5! in three-way tie for first
NM Vignesh Panchanatham (2202) - 4.5 - 5.5! also in the three-way tie
Joshua Cao (2030) - 4.0 and defeated #2 seed NM Velikanov (2293) - 4.5
Daniel Ho (1856) - 3.5 - 4.0  
Pranav Srihari (1884) - 3.0 - 4.0
Justin Wang (1714) - 3.0 - 3.5
Kennedy Middle School - 4 players - 15.5/24 and in 2nd place (1.0 behind)
Irvington High School - 4 players - 12.5/24 and in 6th place

K-8 Championship (256 players)

Allan Beilin (2161) - 4.5
Siddharth Banik (2117) - 4.5 - 5.5!
Armaan Kalyanpur (1933) - 4.0
Alvin Kong (1662) - 3.0 
Shalin Shah (1615) - 3.0
Sayan Das (1411) - 3.0
Hopkins Junior High School - 6 players - 13.0/20 and in 4th place

K-6 Championship (198 players)

FM Tanuj Vasudeva (2150) - 4.0 - 5.0 and playing on board 2
Amit Sant (1735) - 3.5 - 4.5
David Pan (1503) - 3.0 - 3.5
Mission San Jose Elementary - 8 players - 13.0/24 and in 3rd place

K-5 Championship (355 players)

Rayan Taghizadeh (2021) - 5.0 - 5.5! in four-way tie for first
Joanna Liu (1847) - 3.5 - 4.5
Ganesh Murugappan (1761) - 3.5 - 4.5
Anthony Zhou (1741) - 3.5 - 4.5
Jason Zhang (1497) - 3.0 - 4.0
Daniel Mendelevitch (1405) - 3.0 - 4.0
Atri Surapaneni (1345) - 3.0 - 4.0
William Sartorio (1358) - 2.5 - 3.5
Gomes Elementary School - 5 players - 16.5/24 and in 5th place (and tied for first!)
Weibel Elementary School - 6 players - 14.5/24 and in 8th place

K-3 Championship (278 players)

Andrew Hong (1692) - 4.5 - 5.5! and playing on board 2
Milind Maiti (1612) - 4.0 and beat World U8 bronze medalist Christopher Shen (1866) - 4.5
Rishith Susarla (1609) - 4.0 - 5.0
Chenyi Zhao (1558) - 4.0 - 4.5
Callaghan Mccarty-Snead (1485) - 4.0 - 4.5
Oliver Wu (1366) - 3.5 - 3.5
Ben Rood (1798) - 3.0 - 4.0
Annapoorni Meiyappan (1225) - 3.0 - 4.0
Zhiyi Wang (1170) - 3.0 - 4.0
Kavya Sasikumar (823) - 2.5 - 3.5
Mission San Jose Elementary - 6 players - 15.5/24 and in 3rd place (only 0.5 behind)
Weibel Elementary School - 4 players - 11.5/24 and in 11th place

K-1 Championship (349 players)

Chinguun Bayaraa (1644) - 5.0 - 6.0!! and still occupying board 1
Maurya Palusa (1306) - 4.0 after losing to Chinguun - 5.0
Stephen He (808) - 4.0 - 4.0
Pradyum Chitlu (806) - 4.0 - 4.0
Aidan Chen (781) - 4.0 - 4.0
Weslie Chen (664) - 4.0 - 4.0
Allyson Wong (236) - 4.0 - 4.0 
Kevin Pan (1277) - 3.5 - 3.5
Arnav Lingannagari (494) - 3.5 - 4.5
Erin Law (377) - 2.5 - 3.5 
Mission San Jose Elementary - 8 players  - 16.5/24 and in 6th place
Weibel Elementary School - 4 players - 14.5/24 and in 12th place

If I missed anyone worthy of mention, please email me or leave a message on Facebook.

SuperNationals Update #2

The storm has landed. Let the madness begin.  (Photo by Elliott Liu)
The challenge on the first two or three rounds of any Nationals tournament is simply to survive the upset parade.  Case in point: the top seed in K-9 lost in the first round and the second seed lost in the third round, to Bay Area expert Joshua Cao!  Amazingly, all but two of the Bay Area stars have survived three rounds without any blemishes--one kid drew and the other lost.  Of course, the competition will tighten up today.

After round 4, I count 7 perfect scores and another 7 kids who are just 0.5 off the pace.  So far, so good!  Special mention goes to Milind Maiti for beating the World U8 bronze medalist!

Standings After Round 3
After Round 4 in Blue
Click here for Pairings and Standings

K-12 Championship (327 players)

Taylor McCreary (1837) - 2.0 - 2.0

K-9 Championship (145 players)

FM Cameron Wheeler (2291) - 3.0 - 3.5
NM Vignesh Panchanatham (2202) - 3.0 - 4.0
Joshua Cao (2030) - 3.0 - beat #2 seed NM Velikanov (2293) - 3.0
Pranav Srihari (1884) - 2.0 - 3.0
Vikram Vasan (1837) - 2.0 - 2.5
Justin Wang (1714) - 2.0- 2.5
Daniel Ho (1856) - 1.5 - 2.5 
Kennedy Middle School - 4 players - 10.5/16 and in 2nd place
Irvington High School - 4 players - 8.0/16 and in 6th place

K-8 Championship (256 players)

Allan Beilin (2161) - 3.0 - 4.0
Siddharth Banik (2117) - 3.0 - 4.0
Armaan Kalyanpur (1933) - 2.0 - 3.0
Shalin Shah (1615) - 2.0 - 2.0
Sayan Das (1411) - 2.0 - 3.0
Alvin Kong (1662) - 1.0 - 2.0
Hopkins Junior High School - 6 players - 10.0/16 and in 5th place

K-6 Championship (198 players)

FM Tanuj Vasudeva (2150) - 2.5 - 3.5
Amit Sant (1735) - 2.0 - 2.5
David Pan (1503) - 2.0 - 2.0
Christophen Pan (1366) - 2.0 - 2.0
Anjan Das (1151) - 2.0 - 2.0
Mission San Jose Elementary - 8 players - 8.5/16 and in ??? place

K-5 Championship (355 players)

Rayan Taghizadeh (2021) - 3.0 - 4.0 and sitting at board 1
Anthony Zhou (1741) - 2.5 - 3.5
Ganesh Murugappan (1761) - 2.0 - 3.0
Jason Zhang (1497) - 2.0 - 3.0
Daniel Mendelevitch (1405) - 2.0 - 2.0
William Sartorio (1358) - 2.0 - 2.5
Serafina Show (1320) - 2.0 - 2.0
Jeremy Chen (1002) - 2.0 - 2.0
Joanna Liu (1847) - 1.5 - 2.5
Atri Surapaneni (1345) - 1.0 - 2.0
Gomes Elementary School - 5 players - 11.0/16 and in 5th place
Weibel Elementary School - 6 players - 9.5/16 and in 12th place

K-3 Championship (278 players)

Andrew Hong (1692) - 3.0 - 3.5
Milind Maiti (1612) - 3.0 - 4.0 - beat World U8 bronze medalist Christopher Shen (1866)
Rishith Susarla (1609) - 3.0 - 3.0
Callaghan Mccarty-Snead (1485) - 2.5- 3.5
Oliver Wu (1366) - 2.5 - 3.5
Ben Rood (1798) - 2.0 - 3.0
Chenyi Zhao (1558) - 2.0 - 3.0
Louis Law (1118) - 2.0 - 2.0
Eshaan Mistry (899) - 2.0 - 2.0
Edwin Thomas (1022) - 1.0 - 2.0
Aaron Lee (763) - 1.0 - 2.0
Weibel Elementary School - 4 players - 9.5/16 and in 8th place
Mission San Jose Elementary - 6 players - 8.5/16 and in 9th place

K-1 Championship (349 players)

Chinguun Bayaraa (1644) - 3.0 and still occupying board 1 - 4.0
Maurya Palusa (1306) - 3.0 - 4.0
Kevin Pan (1277) - 3.0 - 3.5
Stephen He (808) - 2.0 - 3.0
Pradyum Chitlu (806) - 2.0 - 3.0
Aidan Chen (781) - 2.0 - 3.0
Weslie Chen (664) - 2.0 - 3.0
Vasudeva Rao (588) - 2.0 - 3.0
Aaron Hu (515) - 2.0 - 3.0
Arnav Lingannagari (494) - 2.0 - 3.0
Mission San Jose Elementary - 8 players  - 12.5/16 and in 3rd place
Weibel Elementary School - 4 players - 11.5/16 and in 8th place

If I missed anyone worthy of mention, please email me or leave a message on Facebook.

Friday, April 5

SuperNationals V This Weekend

Once again, the magnificent Grand Ole Opry in Nashville hosts the granddaddy of all scholastic chess tournaments.  Held every four years like the Olympics, the SuperNationals draws young chess enthusiasts from across the country, representing their hometown schools and competing to bring home giant trophies.  The 2009 edition attracted a record 5,300 players to Music City, a mark that has apparently fallen.

Indeed, the final tally of advance entries reached 5,344, a number that includes withdrawals, but does not include last minute entries and a few inevitable no-shows.  Despite the distance, an impressive delegation of 82 will represent Northern California, led by a trio of masters who sharpened their skills around the world.  Six schools will compete for team trophies, seeking to demonstrate that the hottest spot for scholastic chess is Fremont and not the Bronx.

No doubt, this will be a weekend filled with ups and downs, stunning victories and maddening upsets, the glee of success and the agony of defeat.  The letters NY automatically indicate that the rating is 200 points too low.  The top boards will be occupied by budding prodigies, perhaps a new generation of American Grandmasters.  A mass of humanity spills from the cavernous hallways into the vast courtyards, filled by nervous soccer moms and hockey dads all praying for the same answer to the same question: Did my son/daughter win?  Three grueling rounds on Saturday can wipe out even the most energetic kids and adults.  Having attended two of the previous SuperNationals, I can personally attest to the stressful atmosphere--and I didn't play!
The following is a list of the top rated players in each section and the six school teams from Northern California.  Check back here for periodic updates throughout the weekend.

Unfortunately, the Pairings and Results appear to be quite a mess.  It is nearly 11pm PDT and there are no results in most sections, or they put standings for Unrated into the file for the Championship section.  Now they took down *all* of the results.

K-12 Championship (329 players)

#139 Taylor McCreary (1837)

K-9 Championship (145 players)

#3 FM Cameron Wheeler (2291)
#7 NM Vignesh Panchanatham (2202)
#18 Solomon Ruddell (2065)
#23 Joshua Cao (2030)
#43 Pranav Srihari (1884)
#53 Daniel Ho (1856)
#54 Arhant Katare (1838)
#55 Vikram Vasan (1837)
Kennedy Middle School (Cupertino) 4 players (Wheeler, Srihari, Katare, Wang)
Irvington High School (Fremont) 4 players (Ho, Wang, Chahal, Jaha)

K-8 Championship (260 players)

#3 Allan Beilin (2161)
#5 Siddharth Banik (2117)
#25 Armaan Kalyanpur (1933)
Hopkins Middle School (Fremont) 6 players (Kalyanpur, Kong, Shah, Zhu)

K-6 Championship (203 players)

#1 FM Tanuj Vasudeva (2150)
#37 Amit Sant (1735)
Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont) 8 players (Sant, Pan, Pan, Das)

K-5 Championship (359 players)

#2 Rayan Taghizadeh (2021)
#15 Joanna Liu (1847)
#29 Ganesh Murugappan (1761)
#31 Anthony Zhou (1741)
Gomes Elementary School (Fremont) 5 players (Liu, Murugappan, Zhang, Sartorio)
Weibel Elementary School (Fremont) 6 players (Zhou, Surapaneni, Show, Mandadi)

K-3 Championship (280 players)

#4 Ben Rood (1798)
#13 Andrew Hong (1692)
#18 Milind Maiti (1612)
#22 Rishith Susarla (1609)
#27 Chenyi Zhao (1558)
Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont) 6 players (Susarla, Meiyappan, Thomas, Liu)
Weibel Elementary School (Fremont) 4 players (Wu, Law, Mistry, Lee)

K-1 Championship (351 players)

#1 Chinguun Bayaraa (1644)
#10 Maurya Palusa (1306)
#13 Kevin Pan (1277)
Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont) 8 players (Pan, He, Chen, Rao)
Weibel Elementary School (Fremont) 4 players (Chitlu, Chen, Hu, Law)