2003 Nevada State Championship & North v
South Team Match
The annual pilgrimage to Tonopah for the Nevada State Championship and North-South Team Match took place on Saturday, September 27, 2003.
In the State Championship Match, IM Enrico Sevillano was the Southern Nevada Representative, having won the Nevada Open back in June, while Arkia Bayati was the Northern Representative, having booked his place by winning the annual event held at the Reno Chess Club. In the first game Bayati had the white pieces but came unglued pretty quickly as Sevillano uncorked 17...Nxg2, and the end followed pretty swiftly as Bayati couldn't find the necessary defensive resources. The second game started with Sevillano just needing a draw to secure the title. Bayati rejected a three-fold repetition of position early on in an attempt to complicate the game, but as is always the case against players of Sevillano's caliber, just one positional slip up led to the loss of a pawn and the rest of the game was handled pretty swiftly by Sevillano to win the match 2-0.
State Championship Match Results:
The North-South Team Match was played over nine boards this year. Northern Nevada had taken the title the last three years straight and so the Southern team was looking for a little bit of revenge. Unfortunately, things didn't start too well as Mark Patraw lost both his games pretty quickly, although his opponent, Mohammed Soltani, was rated 500 points higher than him. This left the South with an uphill struggle for the rest of the match. Mark wasn't the only southerner to lose in the first games though as Greg Niemi, Alan Amici and Charles Hatherill also lost, with only Brad Zentmyer giving some light to the South after his win against Ron Gentil. The second round began with yet another win for the North as Edwin Straver converted an early pawn advantage on board one against Greg Niemi. Brad Zentmyer gave the South a little bit of hope with his second win of the match, but this left six games in progress, and the South needed to score at least 5 points just to get a tie! Allan Fernandez did his part with a win against David Peterson, and John Trivett took a quick draw in his game. All looked definitely good for the North when Vernon Young won Charles Hatherill's queen, but they ended up agreeing to a draw, with probably an easy win on the board for Vernon. This meant that with just three games remaining, the South needed to win all three just to tie the match! Unfortunately things were not to be as the decisive game was Jerry Weikel's win against Mike Patraw. Jerry battled back from losing the exchange (although the position looked very unclear) and went on to win the ending using his central mass of pawns. So the North won again, this time by a final score of 10-8. The full match result is below and all the games can be viewed using the player at the bottom of this page.
Many thanks are due to John Trivett and Jerry Weikel for organizing the two sets of teams and to all 20 players that turned up at Tonopah to make this once again an exciting tournament.
North-South Individual Match Results: