(December 8-9, Boise, ID)
Tournament Report by Jeff Roland
The 2012 Western Idaho Open was played December 8-9, 2012 at the BSU Student Union Building in Boise, ID. Jeff Roland was Chief Tournament Director, and George Lundy was Assistant Tournament Director.
There was a special side-event on the Friday night. National Master Joshua Sinanan of Seattle gave a free Simultaneous Exhibition to "all comers" (no board number limit!) and gave each player choice of color. Play for this began at 5:00 PM and lasted until 8:30 PM with the result was Joshua Sinanan 18½-½. The one draw was against Caleb Kircher of Nampa, ID. All 19 games are presented here in order of completion.
Several things about this tournament stand out. First, this tournament was rated by FIDE, the first ever held in Idaho. This tournament was the first time we introduced the ability to capture games via a Monroi Hub, which is a little hand-held recording device used in the big National and International tournaments that allows for games to be broadcast around the world live! Unfortunately, nobody had one of these devices, but we were ready for them. Thanks to our TLA in Chess Life, GM Alex Yermolinsky of Sioux Falls, SD learned of the event and entered the competition. He became, to our knowledge, the first-ever GM to compete in a USCF rated event in Idaho. (Senior Master, Igor Ivanov was rated over 2500 and a Candidate GM, but never became a GM, and Yasser Seirawan was not yet a GM when he came to Idaho in 1976 and 1977 to play in the Idaho Open). On Sunday afternoon before the last round of the tournament, all the players were treated to a free lecture by GM Alex Yermolinsky. The event was also a Grand Prix event (thanks to the big prize fund that was guaranteed), which isn't a record, however, it is unusual for Idaho in recent years.
In addition to Yermolinsky and Sinanan, FM Nick Raptis or Portland, OR also came to compete in the event. These three excellent players were a pleasure to have here in Idaho. They were very open and sharing of their chess knowledge to all the players throughout the weekend. The rest of the players in the tournament were from Idaho.
Thanks to annonymous donations, ICA offered Eight scholastic scholarships to allow students to enter the tournament (either section) for free, however, only three players took advantage of this.
The complete results of the tournament can be found in the Crosstables.
We had two special tables set up at the event. One was a special tribute table for the late Elena Donaldson Akhmylovskaia of Seattle, WA who passed away on November 18, 2012, and the other was a Northwest Chess table. It was planned that we would BLOG on the NWC Blog with round by round updates, however, the tournament took all my time and attention between directing, playing, and taking pictures. I did, however, make an entry on the NWC Blog half-way through the tournament, and subsequently replaced that with a more complete final report.
I would like to thank all who came and particpated in this event. This was one of the most memorable tournaments in Idaho history, and everyone seemed to have a great time. I would also like to thank BSU for beng such a great site for the event, and to the BSU staff who helped us with every detail to make the playing rooms the best they could be.
Lastly, I would like to thank the annonymous people who so generously donated to the tournament so that we could guarantee the Grand Prix prize fund. And to everyone who couldn't make it to this one, I hope to see you in future events.