The concept of regional open tournaments is not new to Idaho, but it is many years since the North Region has had any ICA presence. In fact, Jeffrey Roland directed a North Idaho Open in 2006 and 2004 attracted 14 players and 18 players, respectively. There are no previous records of a NIO. This year marked the 2nd NIO and 12 players competed.
I visited the Coeur d' Alene Chess Club 3 weeks ago and spoke with Jim Maki about reviving the ICA in the north and he said, "we're just waiting" and indicated that we should put something together soon. So, three weeks later, the North Idaho Open was reborn! The original venue was scheduled for North Idaho College (where the CDA Chess Club plays on Fridays), but good help is hard to find sometimes and last week they said "wait, we're closed for the holidays!" Zoinks! Principal Trent Derrick at Lakeland High School rescued the tournament and said we could play there.
Saturday, November 24 at 10 am twelve players from Washington and Idaho began play with the World Championship commentators on the big presentation screen in the classroom. Kenneth Erickson (1810) emerged with a perfect tournament score 4.0/4 with Walter Van Heemstede Obelt (1599) winning 2nd place and Jason Bennetch (1351) and John Weaton (1698) tying for 3rd place. Payouts were 50% (based on 30).
The next tournament in the north is December 22 (Winter Solstice).
Kenneth Erickson $25
Walter Van Heemstede Obelt $12.50
Jason Bennetch $10
John Weaton $10
Adam Porth $3.33
Dylan Porth $3.33
William Merry $3.33
Finn Belew $10
Darwin Porth $10