Reno Western States Open, Ned Flanders, Everyday Heroes

  • USCF article on Western States Open I played in this tournament with my good friends Francisco Baltier, and Troy Oberg, who both live in Tucson, Arizona this past weekend.  All three of us did really well in the tournament!

Francisco Baltier (right) and Troy Oberg, representing Arizona on Boards 1 and 3 in the Under 1600 section of the 2011 Western States Open in Reno, Nevada

I finished in a three way tie for first in the “B” section with 5 out of 6 points (5 wins, 1 loss).  Francisco finished with 4.5 out of 6 points, winning the second place trophy in the “C” section.  Troy came into the tournament with a 1265 rating, and played up in the “C” section, and finished with an extremely respectable 3.5 points.

All three of us ended the tournament in a higher rating class as well.  I went over 1800, Francisco went over 1600 (and established an all time high rating), and Troy gained an incredible 152 rating points to finish at 1417, becoming a “C” player.

The Western States Open is always an incredibly fun tournament, and the Weikel family does a great job putting it on.  They always have a lot of nice touches like little state flags on the top boards, nice extra events like simuls, lectures, and side tournaments.  It is nice too because the whole family gets involved with running it.

Jerry Weikel, the head organizer, mentioned during the tournament that the “Far West Open”, which is always held in Reno during Easter, will be renamed to the “Larry Evans Memorial”.  They also had a lecture about Evans, who lived in Reno, by IM John Donaldson during the tournament.

Tim and Francisco checking out downtown Reno in between rounds




  • Put the World Open on your Chess "Bucket List"

    The Continental Chess Association’s World Open tournament that is held every year in Philadelphia is moving to Arlington Virginia in 2013.  This tournament should be on every chess players “Bucket List”. 


    I played in it once, and had a great time.  The entry fee is steep, but the prizes are huge if you do well.  It is a long, grueling 9 round tournament, and a real challenge.  People come from all over the world to play in it.  It is the closest thing that US Chess has to a “World Series of Poker”.  I really liked the location in Philadelphia, because it was close to so many historic sites, and was held during the Fourth of July weekend, so there was a lot going on there.


  • Wonder if Ned Flanders sells a left handed chess set?

    Interesting factoid from Science 2.0: Other things that set apart chess players are handedness—while about 90 percent of the general population is right-handed, only about 82 percent of adult chess players are right-handed. This could indicate some difference in brain development that makes people better at the spatial skills you need to be good at chess. But it still doesn’t explain what makes some people better at chess than others.
  • I really love how the USCF will send you an email now, once your tournament has been rated.  If you are not signed up yet for this service, and play in rated tournaments, I encourage you to check it out!  You can update your email preferences here.  You will need to know your USCF ID, and PIN, which can be found on your copy of Chess Life Magazine.
  • Wednesday night chess in Colorado Springs has a new home. Panera Bread at Powers and South Carefree Circle.

    East Coast Deli who hosted previously has changed their closing time to 6pm so there will be no more chess there.

    Please get the word out of the move to Panera Bread, round starts at 6pm every Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

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