|The people are playing chess! Credit: Chessdryad|
Unfortunately, the chess community could not secure this breathtaking venue once student leaders moved on. I won a hastily organized People's Replacement event of 2008 in Santa Clara. The 35th edition in 2009 was the last at Pauley. Subsequent years saw the tourney take on a nomadic existence under the auspices of Bay Area Chess, moving to Concord, Fremont, Pleasanton and finally to Santa Clara. The dates also changed from February to July, avoiding a conflict with the popular Amateur Team West national championship.
This historical perspective brings us to the 2014 People's Tournament at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Roughly 175 chess enthusiasts and (for many) their parents participated in a weekend of mental gymnastics, minus the bongo drums. The drummers were replaced by 30,000 fanatic 49ers season ticket holders attending the open house at brand new Levi's Stadium. I cannot name any other chess tournaments held across the street from a major sports stadium! The venue also lies adjacent to the Great America water park, which offers an evening fireworks show to complement the explosive tactics on the chess boards.
|Top boards in final round. Credit: Chessdryad|
Major Prize Winners
- Open: 1st = F.Aleskerov ; 2nd-5th = D.Yang, A.Gorovets, J.Bryant and V.Mezentsev ; U2300 = M.Aigner, J.Stearman
- U2000: Yuan Wang
- U1800: Seaver Dahlgren
- U1600: Sunny Kahlon
- U1400: Shawn Knapp, Sudha Kowtha
|Aigner versus Sevillano in Round 6. Credit: my father|
Read full annotation of the Gorovets game on my website.
Thanks to Bay Area Chess for rescuing a tradition and to NM Richard Koepcke for capably directing over three long days, despite occasional periods of chaos.