Amateur West

Amateur West

The U. S. Amateur West Chess Championship, sponsored by the Southern Arizona Chess Association, brought 162 players to Tucson over the Memorial Day weekend.  The tournament was divided into Championship, Reserve, and Booster Sections.  Also, three one-day Scholastic Sections featured K-6 graders with ratings under 1,000.  Initially ranked 13th in the 49 player Championship Section, I finished tied for 6th as well as tied for top 1800 and senior with a 4-2 record.  Based on tiebreak, I won the 1800-1899 plaque and a digital clock.  I had wins over David Lopez, New Mexico, who finished 3.5-2.5; Thomas Schucker, a Gilbert High School player, with a 3-3 record; and Laurence Lebovitz, a Scottsdale senior, who scored 3-3.  My two draws were with Steven Pennock, a Catalina Foothills High School student, who claimed a 3-3 record; and Nick Brady, Gilbert, who also finished with a 4-2 score.  My only loss was to Joseph Kruml, Sierra Vista, who tied for first this year and last year with a 5-1 record.  Interestingly, after losing the exchange in my last two games, I proceeded to win endings featuring two bishops.  A great first Arizona chess tournament for “a battling bishop.”

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