Northwest Chess

This is a Northwest Chess archival page. For current information and links, click on Home.
NWC: Home > Articles > Old News > 2018

Selected Old Chess News (2018)

News items previously appearing on the Northwest Chess home page:

For NWC magazine contents and PDF files, see the magazine back issues page.

Important note: Please read "From The Publisher’s Desk" in the December 2017 magazine. There has been an increase in state membership dues for the first time in 15 years, starting in January 2018. See the PayPal membership application page to make a payment, or see the printable membership/subscription form. Life memberships are also available - please inquire if interested.

December magazine! The December issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 11/28. It's a 32-page issue with "2018 PCC Club Championship," "Portland Fall Open" and "October 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Norman Friedman Memorial" by Jeffrey Roland, "Three Washington Players at 2018 WYCC" by Igor Shubin, "2018 Washington Challenger’s Cup" by Josh Sinanan, "GM James Tarjan Simultaneous Exhibition" by Russell (Rusty) Miller, and a back-cover photo of "Chess Set at Pawns and Pints Meetup" by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Josep Companyo at Norman Friedman Memorial by Adam Porth.

Neff on King 5! NM Elliott Neff, CEO of Chess4Life and author of the new book, A Pawn's Journey, was recently interviewed on King 5 TV - see "This CEO is helping kids one checkmate at a time."

World Championship - Carlsen Wins!! The match was tied 6-6 (all draws) after the 12 long time-control games, but Carlsen dominated in the rapid chess tiebreak, winning 3-0. Defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway played challenger Fabiano Caruana of the U.S.A., for the FIDE world chess championship. The match began 11/9 in London, and ended on 11/28. See the official match website. Also see "Championship Countdown" by John Henderson, follow John's blog throughout the match, and follow the US Chess coverage. | See The Next "Next Bobby Fischer" on Slate (

Scholastic Chess Story! See "Chess for Success helps kids focus, connect and enjoy 'new ideas': Season of Sharing 2018" on the Oregon Live (The Oregonian) website.

WCF hats! WCF President John Sinanan reports, "Our friends at Embroiderrific made some more WCF hats and beanies for the WA Class. The cost for either WCF-branded embroidered hat (beanie or baseball cap) is $16.95 + tax." If you are still interested, please let Josh know in case any are still available. (contact: Josh Sinanan,

IM Minev named to FIDE Trainers Hall of Fame! As reported by IM John Donaldson, "IM Nikolay Minev (1931-2017; see 2017 news page) lived most of his life in his native Bulgaria and Seattle and contributed greatly to the chess life in both places, but his greatest impact was in Greece. Before his arrival in the late 1970s the country had no Grandmasters and only a handful of International Masters. When he left the situation had completely turned around. His most famous pupils were Grandmasters Grivas and Skembris but he had an impact on the careers of close to a dozen titled players. His legacy lives on with them."

November magazine! The November issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 10/23. It's a special 48-page issue with "Ora Annette Buckendorf (1928-2018)" from the Times News, "68th Annual Oregon Open" and "September 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "CJA Award For Best State Magazine," "Oregon Closed State Championship" by Sarah McCoy, "Washington Women’s Championship" by Mary Kuhner, More Washington Women’s Championship" by Anne-Marie Velea, "Even More Washington Women’s Championship" by Stephanie Velea, and a back-cover photo of "Students Learn To Play In Rathdrum, Idaho" by Adam Porth. Cover: Matt Zavortink and Owen McCoy by Josh McCoy.

Chess Olympiad! As reported by IM John Donaldson, "The Chess Olympiad starts in Batumi, Georgia, on Sept. 24 (2018). The United States, defending champions, enters the 180 country event as the top seed with an average rating for its first four boards (Caruana, So, Nakamura and Shankland) of 2772. Right behind it are Russia (Kramnik, Nepomniachtchi, Karjakin and Jakovenko) at 2764 and China (Ding, Yu, Yi and Hao) at 2755." Also see "Flying Start" on the John Henderson blog. Updates (10/5): As reported by John Henderson, "In the Open section, China edged out the United States and Russia to clinch the gold medal and the Hamilton-Russell Cup, while in the Women’s section, China likewise squeezed out Ukraine to take gold and the Nona Gaprindashvili Cup." Both involved tiebreaks; see the article for details. Also see "Olympiad Wrap-Up: Amazing Result!!" on Elliott Neff's blog.


Chess companion wanted - Mr. John Epley (photo at left), age 88, is no longer able to travel to his chess club in Vancouver, Wash. due to a disability, and would like someone to visit and play chess. According to daughter Cathy, "Dad is 88, has severe aphasia, which means he can’t talk, read or write anymore because of damage from a stroke in 2009. He can still play chess, but he is slow. Everyone loves him. He lives in Vancouver in an adult care home off Mill Plain and 97th. I am willing to pay someone to come one to two times a week. It is as much about companionship as the chess. The person should have good chess skills and not be a novice. I am looking for a companion but also for some serious competition because it is hard for him to find intellectual stimulation with his disabilities. Dad was president of his chess club in high school and also played in college, and then on and off thereafter. Chess is the one hobby he can still enjoy despite his disabilities. Contact: Cathy Epley, 503-516-7173, email

Donaldson retires from MI! The Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco has announced the retirement of its Chess Room Director, IM John Donaldson. "John's contributions have been outstanding. Over his 20 years of service, John has worked tirelessly to make our chess program one of the most respected in the country. He lead our Tuesday Night Marathon to become the largest weekday chess tournament in the country. He has helped to introduce the game of chess to many who have entered our building and has organized and hosted approximately 17 weekend tournaments a year. John faithfully published a weekly club newsletter since the early 2000's to share game scores and history of the club and he has been a dedicated advocate for the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club during his many chess related excursions around the world. We cannot thank John enough for the recognition and prestige he has brought to the Mechanics' Institute through his various accomplishments with the U.S. Chess team and on his own merit. John will be sorely missed!"

October magazine! The October issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 9/24. It's a 32-page issue with "Upset Drama At Spokane Falls Open" by James Stripes, "August 2018 Unrated Rapids" by Brian Berger, "Boise Chess Club #20" by Jeffrey Roland, "2018 Vancouver Open" by Jacob Mayer, "2018 Vancouver Open Sacrifices" by Phillip Seitzer, "Seattle Classic" by Jacob Mayer and Josh Sinanan, "Truelson At The Seattle Classic" by Joseph Truelson, "More Seattle Classic" by Eric M. Zhang,  "Jason Yu Becomes National Master" by Josh Sinanan, "Mini-Tournament No. 7, Return Of The Mouse Trophy" by Jeffrey Roland, "Coquille Summer Of 2018" by Nancy Keller, "Seattle GM Summer Camps And Flood" by Jacob Mayer and Josh Sinanan, "August 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, and a back-cover photo of Dustin Herker at Las Vegas International Festival by Nancy Keller. Cover: Bill Rottmayer at Spokane Falls Open by James Stripes.

It's a Tie! The 6th Sinquefield Cup, staged at the Saint Louis Chess Club, ended in dramatic fashion with an unprecedented three-way share of the title - see "A Walk in the Forest" on John Henderson's blog (posted 8/28); also "Carry On Caruana" (posted 8/31). Note that two of the tied players, M. Carlsen (Norway) and F. Caruana (USA), will meet for the world championship this fall.

September magazine! The September issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 8/30. A few copies were available at the Oregon Open on Sunday. It's a 32-page issue with "ICA Summer Classic" by Jeffrey Roland, "4th Annual Rose City Sectionals" by Brian Berger, "US Chess National Senior Invitational" by Michael Presutti, "2018 Players Memorial" by Adam Porth, "East Idaho Senior Games" by Jay Simonson, "July 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger and Isaac Vega, "2018 Washington State Championship Brilliancy Prize" by Josh Sinanan/Curt Collyer/Jacob Mayer, "Aaron Grabinsky Third IM Norm In Philadelphia" by Aaron Grabinsky, "Photo of past CJA Awards" by Adam Porth, and a back-cover photo of Drew Machin by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Jerrold Richards and Morgan the Dog by Brian Berger.

New Master! See Jason Yu becomes National Master on the NWC blog.

NWC CJA award certificate (2018)NWC Wins CJA Award! Northwest Chess is pleased to once again be the recipient of the Chess Journalist Award for Best Magazine / Newsletter, one of "The Top Four" awards, awarded by the Chess Journalists of America (CJA). The 2018 award certificate, shown here, names Editor Jeffrey Roland. Congratulations to Jeff and all of our NWC magazine contributors. This is five years in a row for Jeff!

Pan-American Youth follow-up! We had previously reported that several local youth chess players would represent the U.S. at the 2018 Pan-American Youth Championships in Santiago, Chile, July 21-29. Now that it's over, we're pleased to report that Sophie Velea and Anne-Marie Velea won gold medals in the girls under 10 and girls under 14 divisions, respectively, with Anne-Marie also earning the title of Woman FIDE Master. Both of them will continue to represent the U.S. at future events in Spain and Greece, and at the 2019 Pan-American Championship in Ecuador. 22 countries participated in the 2018 tournament, with Team USA winning 1st place! Photo of Team USA courtesy of Monica Olaru. Also see the post on the NWC blog.

International Chess Day! Although many people remember July 20 as the anniversary of the first manned lunar landing in 1969, did you know it's also International Chess Day, the anniversary of the founding of FIDE in 1924? See John Henderson's blog post.

Juvenile facility seeks volunteers - Echo Glen is a Washington State juvenile detention facility and a school operated by the Issaquah School District. The facility has approximately 125 male and female youth in residence. If you are intersted in volunteering to help these youth reach their untapped potential, please read more about the facility and its chess program, or email Susan at

43rd World Chess Olympiad! This event, along with the annual FIDE congress, will be held Sept. 23-Oct. 6 in Batumi, Georgia. Official website: IM John Donaldson is expected to once again be the U.S. team captain.

August magazine! The August issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 7/24. It's a 32-page issue with "Idaho Senior Open" by Jeffrey Roland, "Portland Summer Open" and "June 2018 Unrated Rapid" by Brian Berger, "Summer Chess Barbeque at Presutti’s" and "Boise Chess Club #19" by Jeffrey Roland, "June 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "More Games From The Washington Open" by Various Players, "The Brian Black Dedication Event" by Gary Dorfner & Vivi Barton, and a back-cover "Group Photo at Idaho Senior Open" by Janos Fucsko. Cover: Hans Morrow, winner of 2018 Senior Open, by Jeffrey Roland.

'Chess' the musical! This show is playing in Lake Oswego at various times until Aug. 12. See the review on the Oregon Live website.

July magazine! The July issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 6/27. It's a 32-page issue with "Friday Night Blitz In Twin Falls" by Adam Porth, "GM Hou Yifan Visits Seattle" by Josh Sinanan & Xuhao He, "Washington Open (A Personal Account)" by Andrey Terekhov, "Raelund Wins Inland Empire Open" by Kevin Korsmo, "The Anatomy Of A Blunder" by Cleveland Ray Johnson, "Penguin Extravaganza" and "May 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "2018 BCC #18" and "Northwest Chess Scanning Project" by Jeffrey Roland," and a back-cover photo expressing that "Isaac Vega really likes penguins" by Josh Sinanan. Cover: 2018 Washington Open Winner GM Andrey Gorovets by Jeffrey Roland.

Pupols wins Marshall Award! Longtime chess master and WCF life member Viktors Pupols has been named a winner of the annual Frank J. Marshall Award from US Chess, along with Franc Guadalupe of Texas. This award is given "for being an outstanding ambassador for chess and lifetime contributions to the game." Congratulations, Vik!

Now Available!
Chesstoons Drawn by Brian Berger:
Book 1: November 2013-October 2015
Book 2: November 2015-February 2018
Online books are free for private non-commercial use. For any commercial use, re-publishing, etc., please contact the NWC Business Manager or Publisher.

June magazine! The June issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 5/30. It's a 32-page issue with "Letters To The Editor" by Jerrold Richards & Cleve Johnson, "2018 Idaho Open" by Jay Simonson, "Oregon Senior Open" by Brian Berger, "2018 OSCF State Championship" by Owen McCoy, "Jack Schrader (1935-2018)" by Russell Miller, "April 2018 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "US National Junior Congress 2018" by Vijay Sankaran, Igor Shubin, and Stephan Jiang, "2018 WA State Middle School Chess Champion Mahalakshmi Arasu," "Grand Pacific Open" by Naomi Bashkansky, and a back-cover photo of "Rusty’s Socks" by Russell Miller. Cover: Michael Abron at the Idaho Open by Jeffrey Roland.

Local Juniors Qualify! The US Chess Federation recently announced (on May 8) the list of junior players who have qualified to participate in the 2018 World Cadet Chess Championships to be held in Galicia, Spain, Nov. 3-16, 2018. 14 Washington and Oregon players qualified either for this event or for the World Youth (ages 12-18) event, which will be held in Halkidiki, Greece, Oct. 19-31, 2018! Please see the blog post on this website, and congratulations - Looks like some travel coming up!

Scholar Award! The U.S. Chess Federation (US Chess) named five recipients of the 2018 Scholar-Chessplayer Awards, and we're pleased to report that Seth Talyansky, age 17, from Portland, Oregon was one of the five. See the article on the US Chess website. Seth previously appeared on the cover of Northwest Chess for May 2017 - see the 2017 news page.

U.S. Championships! - The 2018 U.S. Chess Championships were held April 17-29 at the Saint Louis Chess Club for the tenth consecutive year. Congratulations to new U.S. Chess Champion GM Sam Shankland, with a final score of 8.5 out of 11, going undefeated. World championship candidate GM Fabiano Caruana finished a close second with 8 points, losing only once.

In Memoriam (reported by Russell (Rusty) Miller) - Jack Arthur Schrader of Vancouver, Wa., and originally from Oregon, passed away on Apr. 18 at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter, 5 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters. Jack was a man of many talents, of which chess was one, playing at a respectable amateur level. A number of his cartoons have appeared in Northwest Chess. Photo: Jack Schrader at Biscuits restaurant. Photo courtesy of Esther Schrader.

Local youth to represent U.S.! - Sophie Velea will be the Official U.S. Representative for Girls U10 at the 2018 Pan-American Youth Championships in Santiago, Chile, July 21-29! Stephanie Velea and Bryce Tiglon also qualified by Personal Rights by achieving gold medals at the 2017 North American Youth. See the official news on the US Chess website, and congratulations to Sophie, Stephanie, and Bryce! Note (added 4/25): Stephanie and Anne-Marie Velea also had great results at the All-Girls National Chess Championships held Apr. 20-22 in Chicago. Stephanie tied for 1st place in girls under 12 and Anne-Marie took 2nd place in girls under 14. Photo at right: Stephanie and Anne-Marie Velea at the April event. Photo courtesy of Monica Olaru.

Reported by US Chess - Congratulations 2018 World Championship Candidate GM Fabiano Caruana! US Chess proudly congratulates GM Fabiano Caruana for winning the Candidates Tournament in Berlin, Germany. The entire American chess community, along with chess fans around the world, will be excitedly anticipating his match against World Champion Magnus Carlsen this November 9-28 in London, England. Also see "The Candidates Lift," "Absolutely Fabi-lous!," "The Shape of the Challenger" (and other related postings) on John Henderson's blog.

GM Yasser Seirawan stuff (reported by Rusty Miller) - A History of Chess Openings (on YouTube, 41-min. lecture from Oct. 2014) and doing commentary for the 2018 world championship candidates match, March 10-28 in Berlin.

May magazine! The May issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 4/25. It's a 32-page issue with "Letter To The Editor" and "Letter To The Northwest Chess Board" (with various responses) by Micah Smith, "2018 PCC Spring Open" and "PCC March Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Kings vs Princes Match V," "2018 Intermat Candidates Tournament" and "Seattle Super Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "2018 Washington President’s Cup" by Jacob Mayer, "Annotated Game" by Ralph Dubisch, and a back-cover photo of GM Julio Sadorra doing a pushup at Kerry Park by Jacob Mayer. Cover: US Chess Master Owen McCoy (now rated 2201 as of 4/14) by Sarah McCoy.

April magazine! The April issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 3/28. It's a 32-page issue with "Spokane Chess Club Officers" by James Stripes, "2018 Idaho Closed State Championship" by Jeffrey Roland, "Introduction to the Inman vs. Machin Game" by Garrett Reynolds, "PCC February Game 60" by Brian Berger, a Letter To The Editor by John P. Christy, "Dave Collyer Memorial" by Kevin Korsmo, "2018 Washington State Girls Championship" by David Hendricks, "Megan Lee Lecture" by Josh Sinanan, "2018 Washington Closed State Championship" by Josh Sinanan, and a back-cover photo of Alex Machin by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Roland Feng and Alex Machin, by Jacob Mayer and Jeffrey Roland.

Seattle Sluggers Update! - The Sluggers ended the 2018 season with a bang on Wednesday 3/7 by clobbering the division-leading Chengdu Pandas 9-7! See the full write-up about the match on Also check out commentary of the match on the Nakamura's Knockouts channel. The Sluggers finished with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses, tied with the San Jose Hackers, just missing the playoffs but avoiding relegation. Final pre-playoff standings: Josh Sinanan would like to thank Sluggers management - Eddie Chang, Tian Sang, Siva Sankrithi, and Jacob Mayer. Also, many thanks to our fans and sponsors for supporting the team. We will be hard at work in the off-season to improve the team and come back stronger in the years to come!

See the original blog post (about the Sluggers qualifying for the league in 2018). Note that the PRO Chess League is truly international - the Sluggers first match was held on Jan. 18 against the Australia Kangaroos!

March magazine! The March issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 2/28. It's a 32-page issue with "Shah Mat" by Glen O’Harra, "John (Johnny) D. Walker (1948-2018)" by John Donaldson,, "2018 Washington Junior Closed" by David Hendricks, "Neil Dale Memorial" and "PCC January Game 60" by Brian Berger, "2018 BC vs WA Challenge Match" by Josh Sinanan, "Chess Poem from the Idaho Closed - Peace" by David Zaklan, Miscellaneous Games, "2018 Washington Junior Open" and "2018 WA State High School Individual Championship" by Gary Dorfner and Josh Sinanan, "Tacoma News" by Gary Dorfner,, "Washington Closed Bios," "2018 Idaho Blitz Championship" by Jeffrey Roland, and a back-cover photo of Bryce Tiglon and Roland Feng by Jacob Mayer. Cover: Kevin Xu, Idaho State Blitz Champion by Dylan Porth.

In Memoriam (reported by IM John Donaldson) - National Master John (Johnny) D. Walker (1948-2018) passed away on Saturday 2/10. He was one of the strongest players in Washington during the early and mid 1970s. A late developer, who began his chess career at Bothell High School under the direction of Stephen Christopher, he ended up playing in six state championships (1970-75), continually improving his performance culminating in his win in 1975 with the excellent score of 5.5 from 7. (See list of Wash. chess champions.) Photo scan courtesy of John Donaldson.

Walker played almost all of his chess in the Northwest, but did participate in a World Open around 1973 and won a tournament in Italy roughly a year or two later. He played very little after 1976, one short-lived comeback being the 1984 President's Cup in Seattle. Walker, who was a regular at the Last Exit Cafe, was a strong blitz player who played quickly and used his skill in rook and pawn endings to rescue many a difficult position. He had a narrow opening repertoire, but what he played he knew well, particularly his favorite English Opening.

Chess Olympics! See "Global Moves: Americans in Chess Olympiads," on the World Chess Hall of Fame website.

GP Final Results! 2017 Neil Dale Memorial Grand Prix final standings and results are available from links on the GP page. Checks were mailed to the winners this week (on 2/8), or some winners will receive NWC subscriptions if not currently members of their state chess organization. Congratulations if you're one of the winners!

February magazine! The February issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 1/25. It's a 32-page issue with "Northwest Chess Open" by Duane Polich, Letters To The Editor, "PCC Winter Open" and "December 2017 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Chess4Girls Strategy Session Report" by Shifi Somji, "Another Washington Class Game" by Viktors Pupols, "December 2017 Seattle Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "Pan-American Intercollegiate" by Walter Borbridge assisted by Benjamin Mukumbya, "Washington Winter Classic" by Josh Sinanan, "Aaron Grabinsky at Pan-American Intercollegiate" by Aaron Grabinsky, "January 2018 Seattle Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "A Piece Of Idaho Chess History" by Mark McAllister, "2018 BCC #17" by Jeffrey Roland, and a back-cover photo of David Zaklan by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Stephanie Velea and Sophia Velea by Duane Polich.

Bryan Black memorial chess park - The non-profit Puyallup Parks Foundation would like to dedicate a new outdoor chess park to the memory of Bryan Black, a very good local chess player and one of the U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers killed in action last October. The new chess park is planned for Pioneer Park in downtown Puyallup. There will also tentatively be a chess tournament the weekend of the dedication. For more information and/or to make a donation to the chess park, see (Submitted 1/12/2018 by Phil Watson.)

Fischer series of books! IM John Donaldson recently gave an interview for the Perpetual Chess Podcast, much of which is spent discussing the Fischer series of books. The interview is available at Including in the book series is BOBBY FISCHER: THE LATER YEARS 1963-2008 by John Donaldson and Eric Tangborn.

January magazine! The January issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 12/27. It's a 32-page issue with "What’s In A Logo?" and "Western Idaho Open" by Jeffrey Roland, a Letter To The Editor by Cleve Johnson, "World Senior Chess Championship" by David Rupel, "Norman Friedman Memorial," "Southern Idaho Open" and "2017 South Central Regional Scholastic Tournament" by Adam Porth, "WA Challenger’s Cup/WA Challenger’s Cup Scholastic" and "WA Class Championships" by Josh Sinanan, "Oregon Class Championship" and "PCC November 2017 Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Coquille at National K-12 Championship" by Nancy Keller, and a back-cover photo of Gaby Dagher by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: DeWayne Derryberry and Larry Parsons by Jeffrey Roland.

Tournament NewsSee 2018 tournament news page