Salt Lake Open Chess Tournament

The second annual Salt Lake Open was held at the Warnock Building of the University of Utah, on Saturday, March 19, 2016, in three separate divisions: Open, Reserve (unrated/1600), and Booster (unrated/1000). Let’s now look at what happened in the Open Section, in which the highest-rated players competed.

Open section of tournament - after rd-2

Open-Section standings after the first two rounds of the Salt Lake Open

Of the five players with ratings over 2000, four of them were among the eight who won their first two games. The highest-rated competitor, before this chess tournament began, was Brandon Clarke: 2335.

Four of the 29 players in the Open section had ratings less than 1000 and two were unrated. Four were Class-A (1800-1999), and ten were Class-B (1600-1799).

Brendon Young had played in the Reserve section of the Utah Speed Championship, just three weeks earlier. Now he was playing against the big boys of chess.

Four players in the Open section of the March 19th tournament had played in the Open section of the Speed Championship on February 27th:

  • Bryan Leaño
  • Alexander Gustafsson
  • Stephen Gordon
  • Grant Hodson

The young grandmaster Kayden Troff did not compete in the Salt Lake Open this year (he did play in the earlier speed tournament, and won with a perfect score).

Final Standings in the Open Section

First place to Brandon Clarke: 4-0

Second place to Bryan Leaño: 3½-½

There was a five-way tie with a score of 3-1:

  • Stephen Gordon
  • Eric Hon
  • Alexander Gustafsson
  • Juan Zhang
  • Steve Hoisington

Side Notes on the Tournament

Perhaps most noteworthy was the participation of Gatlin Black and Brendon Young, who both did exceptionally well in a tournament for children one week earlier: The Utah K-6 Elementary Chess Championship (held on March 12th). Gatlin had a perfect score in that chess event, in his sixth-grade section. Brendon tied for first among the fifth-grade kids.

Gatlin Black got an even score against the big boys, in the Salt Lake Open tournament: 2-2. His rating before that March 19th competition was 1464, but that went up to 1484 from his play in the Salt Lake Open.

Highest-rated section in Salt Lake Open

Open division of the Salt Lake Open chess tournament, March 19, 2016

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Speed time-control tournaments in Utah

Two chess tournaments were held on Saturday, February 27, 2016, in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah, both of them with some form of Blitz time control.

Rating improvements for children in a Utah chess tournament

Two chess tournaments were held on Saturday, February 27, 2016, in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah, both of them with some form of Blitz time control.

Gift of a Chess Book

Written especially for the raw beginner, the chess player who knows the rules of the game but not much about how to win, Beat That Kid in Chess is ideal for the novice. It uses the new teaching method for the royal game: nearly- identical positions (NIP) . . .

Chess Book for a Teenager

Most chess books are purchased by the players who use them, rather than by those giving them as gifts. One exception is a gift-book for a beginner. A new entry in that genre is Beat That Kid in Chess. We’ll now compare it to an older book, Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors.

Chess Books for Children

While marketing my chess book (and researching potential competition for my Beat That Kid in Chess), I found several publications that could be very beneficial for children. Since these books do not appear to be directly competing with mine, I feel no hesitancy in mentioning them.

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