We have a new "King of the North" and he ain't a Stark! Caleb Kircher, Nampa, won the tournament with a 4.5/5 points after upsetting our former kings, Ken Erickson and Michael Cambareri.
Despite the fact that the venue was not Winterfell, the Coeur d'Alene Library Community Room was a beautiful facility to hold a chess tournament for the 23 competitors. Players were from Texas, California, Washington and of course, Idaho. Many communities and clubs were represented. CDA Chess Club advisor, Jim Maki stopped in to observe the competition and Jeremy Burnett even quipped, "I keep getting paired with Spokane Chess Club players!" I cheekily replied, "Well then, you should have lost to me."
I would characterize this tournament as one of upsets. There were nine! That is a whopping 20% of the games! If you care about ratings . . .expert's beware! The under-rated are finally starting to rise and this is great for everyone as the ratings will become a bit more accurate.
The tournament was G/45;d5 in order to accommodate library hours and it proved challenging and exciting to watch several games float with seconds for minutes due to delay and the shorter time controls. Players really needed to manage time. On board one, Michael Cambareri (over a minute) and Kenneth Erickson (5 sec.) played nearly 20 moves in a blitzed ending that resulted in an exciting draw after Ken scooped up a king-rook fork in "stark" contrast to a Game of Thrones fork! In another part of the room, Cody Gorman had 2 seconds for nearly 10 moves finally succumbed to Ryan Ackerman with Ackerman's clock dwindling from 3 minutes to nearly 30 seconds. One game even went down to 1 second!
Caleb Kircher (1764) scored three upsets in this tournament. Cambareri (2025) fell in a King-bishop-pawn ending versus King's and connected pawns in an interesting endgame with Kircher in round 2. Erickson (1831) and Kircher amiably ended a draw in round 3. And highly rated Daniel Oshima (1803) lost to Caleb in round 4. In the last game, Dakota Wickel (1666) was hoping to score a second upset using the Fromm's Gambit, but couldn't beat the F4 opening that Caleb mustered.
The largest upset came from Nick Hunt (1394) versus Daniel Oshima (1803).
Caleb won $100, and Ken Erickson and Ryan Ackerman split the 2nd and 3rd place prize of $62.50. Michael Cambareri won a book donated by DeWayne Derryberry for 4th place. Two books from the Senior Master Dan Mayers collection were provided as raffle door prizes, won by Ryan Ackerman and Emilia Jansen.
"Winter is coming" and so too are some high caliber tournaments in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. The Eastern Washington Open will be held Sept. 24, sponsored by Spokane Chess Club, and the ICA's Norman Friedman Memorial will be played Oct. 8-9 in Coeur d'Alene. Play more chess!