The 2018 Idaho Open Chess Championship, held at the Pocatello Red Lion Inn, April 14th and 15th, 2018, saw a field of 27 players from 4 states compete for the title of 2018 Idaho Open Champion. Michael Abron, currently from Youngstown, Ohio, won the tournament, the title, and $180 with a perfect score of 5-0. Defending Champion, ICA Vice President, Alex Machin, gave him a run for his money in round 2, but Michael ended up the victor. Michael is on a quest to become the first Black person to play in a USCF rated tournament in all 50 states. His stop in Idaho marked state number 34. After he left Idaho, he was headed for Oregon and California. Then he planned on finding tournaments in Wyoming and Montana. Good luck to him as he continues his journey.
Dewayne Derryberry, Idaho State University (ISU) Professor from Pocatello, Idaho, won 2nd Place and $90, with a score of 4-1. Former Idaho Chess Association (ICA) President, and Northwest Chess Editor, Jeff Roland, of Boise Idaho, and Gary Owen, formerly of Wyoming, now from Preston, Idaho, tied for 3rd place, splitting the $75 prize, with the score 3.5-1.5.
There were also a number of class prizes. The top prize in each class was $50. Bill Arnold of Chubbuck, Idaho, won top under 1800. Dusty Mason of Rexburg, Idaho won top under 1600. David Zaklan, Twin Falls, Idaho; Andrew Kitterman, Boise, Idaho; and Adam Porth and River Shepard, Bellevue, Idaho; tied for top under 1400. Five players tied for top under 1200/under 1000. They are Idaho residents: Talor Robinson and Finn Belew, Boise; Darwin Porth, Bellevue; and John Eisenmenger and Brandon Mason, Idaho Falls.
This was an excellent, well-attended, strong tournament, attracting several notable individuals. The Tournament Director (TD) was ICA Treasurer and Eastern Idaho Regional Trustee Jay Simonson. Apparently, according to Dan McCourt, this was Jay’s 100th USCF chess tournament as Chief TD. ICA President Adam Porth and ICA Vice President Alex Machin both played in the tournament. Former Idaho Open winner Hans Morrow, currently of Farmington, Utah, and Montana Chess Association President Daniel McCourt from Missoula, Montana also played in the tournament.