2022 North American Open Saturday, Dec 31 2022 

The 32nd North American Open was held December 26-30, 2022, in Las Vegas at the Horseshoe, formerly Bally’s. I have previously played in this tournament held between Christmas and New Year’s in 1991 (3-3 record), 1995 (3-3 record), and 2010 (4-3 record). This year my record was a disappointing 1.5-5.5 (three draws) in the Under 1900 section. The tournament has drastically changed in terms of participants. In 1991 and 1995 there were no youth. In 2010 I played one young player. In 2022, all seven of my games were against opponents aged 9-14. I gifted my rating points to my young opponents. Of the 1,069 registered chess players playing in seven sections, I estimate 90% were youth. These are active chess players quickly improving. For example, my first-round opponent, aged 9, was rated 1690 in our game and finished the tournament with a rating of 1782. That is an amazing rating for his age. In the last six years, I have only played in three over-the-board chess tournaments. In contrast, my young opponents have played in 54-154 events. And, they are coming from all over the country – one from Phoenix, Arizona, two from southern California, two from Illinois, one from New Jersey, and one from North Carolina. All seven of my opponents came from Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese descent. They are already among the top players for their age. One nine-year-old was ranked the 30th best and another 46th. I played three girls. One is ranked 34th of girls aged 12, one 26th another 35th of girls aged 13. I was impressed with my opponent’s ability to concentrate and accurate play after my mistakes. I look forward to following their chess careers.

Horseshoe Event Center
Horseshoe Event Center
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Prescott Chess Club Blitz #12 Saturday, Dec 17 2022 

Seven area chess players participated in Prescott Chess Club Blitz #12. This U. S. Chess rated event was held at Yavapai College on Saturday, December 17th. Blitz, also known as speed chess, uses a special timer where each player has five minutes for an entire game. This was a double round robin which means each player played two games, one with the white pieces and one with black, against each of the other players.

Tom Green, Prescott, finished in 1st place with 10.5 points. He won $80 for scoring 10 wins, one draw, and one loss. Neil Wadsworth, Prescott Valley, and Doug Olson, Dewey, shared the 2nd place prize money of $60 for their 7-5 records.

The Prescott Chess Club and Osher Lifelong Institute (OLLI) sponsored this chess tournament. The next rated chess tournament will be held at Yavapai College on Saturday, February 11th.

Prescott Chess Club Quads #18 Sunday, Nov 20 2022 

Prescott Quads #18
Prescott Quads #18

Spencer Lower, Clarkdale, was the top finisher in the Prescott Chess Club Quads #18 held Saturday, November 19th, at Yavapai College. He received $50 by defeating his three opponents in the quad. Lower, a Chess Master, is a two-time Arizona State Champion and was co-champion in the 5th Annual Prescott Open.

Jim Briggs & Spencer Lower
Jim Briggs & Spencer Lower

Jim Briggs, a Candidate Master from Chino Valley, Douglas Olson, a Class A chess player from Dewey, and Hollis Shaffer, a Class A chess player from Prescott Valley, split the $25 prize money for 2nd place in the top quad.

Hollis Shaffer & Douglas Olson
Hollis Shaffer & Douglas Olson

The tournament, divided into three sections, attracted 14 of the area’s top chess players for a full day of chess at Yavapai College. Tom Green, President of the Prescott Chess Club, directed this U. S. Chess rated event which was co-sponsored by the Prescott Chess Club and the OLLI Chess Special Interest Group.

Duncan Reay
Duncan Reay

Duncan Reay, Paulden, topped the Section B quad with a 3-0 record. He received $50 for his first-place finish. David Beyer, Sedona, captured the $25 prize money for his 2-1 record.

Tommy Keenan & Doug Vaughan
Tommy Keenan & Doug Vaughan

There was a four-way tie for first in the six-player Section C. Doug Vaughan, Prescott, Bill Archer, Flagstaff, Thomas Keenan, Prescott, and David Sheen, Cottonwood, split $100 in this section which used the Swiss System for pairing. Each of these players finished with a 2-1 record.

Bill Archer & David Sheen
Bill Archer & David Sheen

The next Prescott Chess Club rated U. S. Chess blitz tournament will be held at Yavapai College on Saturday, December 17th.

Prescott Chess Club Blitz #11 Sunday, Oct 16 2022 

Six Prescott area chess players competed in 30 chess games at Yavapai College on Saturday, October 15th. Each participant played two games against each of the other players. One game with the white pieces and one game with black.  Each game used a special timer giving only five minutes for each player. This type of chess competition is known as blitz or speed chess.

Doug Olson, Prescott, won $70 for topping the field with 9 points out of 10. One point is awarded for a win, 0.5 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. Olson gained 55 rating points to move hm from Class B to Class A.

Jim Briggs, Chino Valley, finished in 2nd place with 6 points. He won $35.

Henry Ebarb, Prescott, was the top-Class C player and below with 5 points. He won $25.

Tom Green, Prescott, directed this U. S. Chess rated chess tournament which was co-sponsored by the Prescott Chess Club and the OLLI Chess Special Interest Group. The next rated chess tournament is scheduled for Saturday, November 19th.

Prescott Chess Club Quads #17 Sunday, Sep 18 2022 

After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, rated chess has returned to Prescott. Jim Briggs, Chino Valley, was undefeated in Prescott Quads #17 held Saturday, September 17th. Briggs picked up where he left off in 2019 when he won Quads #15 and Quads #16. He collected $50 for his recent 3-0 record. Doug Olson, who moved to Prescott from Minnesota shortly before the pandemic, was the second-place finisher with a 2-1 score. He won $25. Their quad was composed of the four top rated players and where each player played one game against the others.

Jim Briggs
Jim Briggs

The tournament, divided into two sections, attracted 9 chess players for a full day of chess at Yavapai College. Tom Green, President of the Prescott Chess Club, directed this U. S. Chess rated event which was co-sponsored by the Prescott Chess Club and the OLLI Chess Special Interest Group.

Prescott Chess Club Quads #17
Prescott Chess Club Quads #17

Randee Dermer, Prescott, topped Section B with a 3-0 record. He received $50 for his first-place finish. Doug Vaughan, Prescott, and Bill Archer, Flagstaff, split the $25 prize money for their second-place finish with 2-1 records. This five-player section used the Swiss System for pairing.

Randee Dermer
Randee Dermer

The next Prescott Chess Club rated U. S. Chess tournament will be held at Yavapai College on Saturday, October 15th.

Petrosian Simultaneous Exhibition in St. Paul, Minnesota Saturday, Sep 25 2021 

On Saturday, March 6, 1982, I played former World Chess Champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian in a simultaneous exhibition in St. Paul, Minnesota. Petrosian was born June 17, 1929, in Tbilisi, Soviet Georgia. In 1963 he defeated Mikhail Botvinnick to claim the World Champion title by scoring 5 wins, 15 draws, and two losses. In 1966, he defended his title against Boris Spassky with 4 wins, 3 losses, and 17 draws. In 1969, Petrosian lost his title to Spassky. In 1971, Petrosian lost to Bobby Fischer in the final match to determine who would challenge Spassky. In 10 Olympiads, Petrosian accumulated a remarkable record of 79 wins, 50 draws, and only 1 loss! He died April 13, 1984.

When Petrosian opened with d4, I chose to respond with a Nimzo-Indian, the same opening, I used to draw against GM Shamkovitch in 1977. Little did I know that Petrosian had played important games against this opening, including his decisive 20th match game against Spassky in their first match. Best known for his prophylaxis, the anticipation of any plan his opponent might devise, Petrosian demonstrated that he is capable of sharp play.

Petrosian, Tigran – Green, Thomas A [E29] St. Paul, Minnesota simultaneous exhibition, 06.03.1982

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 Qc7 8.e4 d6 9.Ne2 b6 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Bg5 Nd7 12.Be3 Ba6 13.Ng3 (Black is slightly better) Na5 14.Re1 Bxc4 (Petrosian for the first time during this simul stopped for a long think after losing this pawn) 15.Bc2 Rac8 16.Rc1 Ba6 (f6) 17.e5 Rfd8? (dxe5 stays ahead) 18.Bg5 Re8? 19.Qh5 (White is winning) Nf8 20.Bf6 Ng6? (dxe5 keeps fighting) 21.Ne4! Nb7? 22.Ng5! h6 23.Nxf7 Qxf7 24.Bxg6 Qf8 25.Bxe8 Rxe8 26.Bh4 (Re3 is stronger) d5 27.Re3 Qf7 28.Qd1 c4? (Rf8)  29.Rf3 Qd7 30.Rg3 Rf8 31.Bf6 Rf7 32.Qh5 Kf8 33.Qg6! Ke8 34.Bxg7 Kd8 35.Bxh6 Kc7 36.h4 Na5 37.Qxf7!! Qxf7 38.Rg7 Qxg7 39.Bxg7 Bb5 40.h5 Be8 41.g4 Nc6 42.Kg2 Ne7 43.Bf6 Ng8 44.Bg5? (Rh1+) Kd7 45.Rh1 Ne7 46.Bxe7 1-0

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