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Recap: Veterans and Juniors Make 5-Way Tie for First at IM Walter Shipman Memorial Open

Posted: 9 months, 3 weeks ago

By IM Vignesh Panchanatham

BayAreaChess hosted the second of its 2018 BAC Championship series events this past weekend. This particular tournament was held in honor of IM Walter Shipman, a local chess legend who passed away two years ago. The open section was headlined by 1 GM and 3 IMs as well as the local cast of talented juniors.

This event, as well as will all subsequent championship events, held the first round of the three-day section (Friday night) at the BAC office in San Jose. On Saturday and Sunday, the 5-round event, which drew 93 players, transitioned to the Santa Clara Convention Center. This change from past years accommodates the rising level of interest in local tournaments and represents a more comfortable and spacious playing venue.

In the Open Section, GM Enrico Sevillano, IM Cameron Wheeler, NM Ivan Ke, Henry Wang, and your author tied for first with 4/5. In the fourth round, GM Sevillano and IM Wheeler fought to a long, tough draw in a game that lasted until nearly the starting time of the final round. I, on the other hand, lost in a complicated middlegame to Ivan Ke, setting up a four-way tie for first heading into the last round. Both Ke and Henry Wang were able to pull off upset draws against their higher-rated opponents, paving the way for me to join in shared first place with a rebound win.

Ke took advantage of my miscalculation in the chaotic middlegame to claim victory. With both of our kings exposed, I over-pressed on the kingside and paid the price.


In the U2000 section, Shaashwath Sivakumar and Dmitri Dobrynin shared first with 4.5/5. Brett Cooper breezed to a perfect 5/5 to claim first place in the U1600 section. Full standings and rated results here.

For the continuously expanding population of improving youth chess players, the CalChess Scholastic State Championships will be held next weekend April 6-8 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. More than 1,000 players are expected to compete over multiple sections, including the top 3-day FIDE-rated K-12 Championship section.

The next BAC Championship event will be the GM Mamedyarov Championships held April 27-29, held in honor of current world no. 2 and San Jose Hacker first board, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

After that is the Best of the West Class Championships during Memorial Day Weekend in late May, with a prize fund of $16,000! Several out-of-town GMs, including Melik Kachiyan, are expected to come and vie for the $2,000 first prize. Register early!

The tournament was organized by 2017 Organizer of the Year, and BayAreachess Executive Director Dr. Judit Sztaray, and directed by Deputy Director, Abel Talamantez. To find out more information about all upcoming Bay Area Chess events, visit www.bayareachess.com or email ask@bayareachess.com.