Presidents’ Day Open

FIDE Master Elliott Liu played five rounds of consistently strong chess to win the open section of the Presidents’ Day Open with a perfect 5-0 score. The Presidents’ Day Open was a five round swiss system tournament played at the Las Vegas Chess Center at the Learning Village on Fremont Street during the Presidents’ Day weekend on February 14-16. The tournament had four sections with a total of 69 competitors and a total prize fund of $2,000. Patrick Lacey lost to Liu but defeated all other opponents to finish in clear second place in the open section with a 4-1 record. Professional chess teacher Virgilio Reyes finished in clear third place in the open section with 3.5 points. Chad Badgett won the under 1900 section with 4.5 points. Eric Leung and Anthony McCarthy tied for second place in the under 1900 section with 3.5 points each.

Edgar Khachatryan entered the under 1400 section as an unrated player with absolutely no experience in US Chess Federation sanctioned tournaments. But that didn’t stop him from playing excellent chess and winning the under 1400 section with 4.5 points. Yosef Debesai, Diego Santiago, Daniel Bohnett, and Stephen McGrew shared second through fifth place honors in the under 1400 section with 3-2 scores. Like Edgar Khachatryan, the appropriately named Knight Fevella-Postes also started the tournament as an unrated player with no US Chess Federation sanctioned chess tournament experience. And just like Khachatryan, he won the scholastic section with four wins and a draw. Amber Haskins and Arturo Simon tied for second and third place in the scholastic section with 4 points each.

This tournament was the first in a series of three southern Nevada qualifying tournaments for the 2014 Nevada State Chess Championship. Liu’s perfect 5-0 score makes him the favorite to be the top qualifier from southern Nevada. But qualification is based upon a player’s top two scores from the three qualifying tournaments. So Liu will need one more strong result to qualify. The next southern Nevada qualifying tournament is scheduled for the final weekend of April. For more information about upcoming state championship qualifying tournaments in southern Nevada, please visit the Las Vegas Chess Center website.

Juan and Sabrina Jauregui organized the tournament, and Tom Brownscombe and Juan Jauregui served as the tournament directors. To see a complete crosstable for the tournament, including results and rating changes for all players, please visit the member services area of the United States Chess Federation website.

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