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Chou Finds Key to Success

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A full house in the Spring Challenge meant needing two rooms!
A full house in the Spring Challenge meant needing two rooms!
The Spring Challenge tournament continued Monday, April 21 with the number of entrants swelling to 88 players. This meant we had to set up several tables in the adjacent room just to accomodate everybody. 88 players is easily the club's highest ever turnout, eclipsing the Mel Clark Club Championship last month which itself set a record at the time by having 78 players. Our numbers are set to increase further by the inclusion of International Master Tim Taylor who will be playing in the tournament from round 3.

On board 1, David Bassett (2209) had white against John Anderson (1841), with a wild opening leading to black's king being stranded in the center. It looked as though black might be able to hold things together but he simply had too make weaknesses, with his king having to guard pawns and white enjoying a large space advantage.

On board 2, Danny Machuca (1828) took on Matthew Hayes (2108) and played the surprising, but not too uncommon, 1. e4 d5 2. Nc3!? Although this is playable for white, black enjoyed fairly easy development and crashed through on the g file with his rook and queen. Machuca resigned one move before being mated.

The tournament's strength was further increased by the addition of NM Craig Faber (2129), Scott Roods (2111) and Raoul Crisologo (2084). Indeed, Crisologo's rating will be well over 2100 in next month's rating supplement because he has enjoyed success in a number of recent tournaments. Faber had to play Roods and a draw was a reasonable result for both players.

There were also wins for Kelly Zhang (2039), Tom Zapanta (2034) and Dane Hinrichsen (2000). Henry Castro (2069) had a tricky second round match up against David Argall (2000) but emerged unscathed.

There were several upset results, a trend likely to continue the more players we have! Hector Valdez (1465) is the bottom seed in the Open section but that didn't stop him from beating Xavier Armagnac (1676) and with the black pieces too. Bill Kiplinger (1775) had a good position until he hung his queen (!) against Marcus Benton (1514), and finally Jeffrey Chou (1787) enjoyed one of his best ever wins in Arcadia by beating Ke Chen (1911).

The Spring Challenge continues Monday, April 28.