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Max Barnes wins 1st Norman Fall Class 

November 14, 2022 
Sixty-two players from Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas came together this weekend for the inaugural Norman Fall Class Championship, held November 12 & 13 in Norman.

PHOTOS: 1. Maxwell Barnes with the black pieces in his round 4 game with Marvin Lee  2. Matt Dalthorp with the white pieces in his round 4 game with Leo Xie.  3. Jake Williams with the white pieces against David Buck. 

Format was five rounds, G/90;+30, one open section. Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall, 1st in classes A, B, and C & D combined, plus an upset prize, a prize for the top-scoring unrated player, and a perfect score bonus. 


The latter went to Maxwell Barnes, who finished first overall with a perfect 5 out of 5. Five players tied for second place with scores of 4.0: Matt Dalthorp, Marvin Carlson, David Buck, Joshua Li, and Rylan Lopez. Carlson was the Class A winner. Buck and Li split the Class B prize. Lopez won for Class C/D. 

The prize for biggest upset went to Arya Roy Choudhury (940), who won his round 5 game against a high Class C player. Another upset victory worth mentioning happened in the third round, when unrated Leo Xie won a game against a Class A player. Xie, the father of longtime Oklahoma players Kelvin and Maxwell Xie, finished his first tournament with an impressive score of 3.5 and the prize for top unrated.

Michael Langston was the organizer, with Milam Dobbins as chief TD and Joe Veal assisting. Tom Nichols provided the venue and the sets. View the results here.


A big turnout for our year-end celebration

December 17, 2022
It was quite a crowd in the playing hall at Harvard Avenue this weekend! Seventy-eight chess players participated in this weekend's Holiday Open, some of them from Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas. Ten players were first-time tournament competitors.


There were three perfect scores in the event: Ezra Dubé, Kipp Opperman, and Milam Dobbins scored 4 out of 4 points to tie for first place in the U1300. Three winners tied for the first-place spot in the Open, as well: Viraj Singh, Joe Veal, and Max Barnes tied for first place with 3.5 out of 4 points.

Our thanks to Chief TD Harold Brown and assistants Jim Berry, Chris Dooley, and Tom Braunlich. Thanks also to all the players and parents who took time out of their holiday schedules to come play and help make the event such a fun one for us all. Happy holidays!

Results are here. Photos are on the media page. 

6th Frank K. Berry Memorial held in OKC

September 11, 2022 Eighty players competed in three sections at the 6th Frank K. Berry Memorial, held in Oklahoma City on 10 & 11 September 2022. Tom Braunlich was organizer and chief TD. 

FM Ryan Amburgy won the 35-player Open section with 4.5 points out of 5. NM Bill Orton of Arkansas finished second with 4.0. Kansas player Luke Tran, who drew Amburgy in the fourth round, ended with 3.5 points and a tie for third with three Oklahoma players and a Texan: Matt Dalthorp, Max Barnes, Joe Veal, and Elbert Fang (respectively).

William Lin scored 4.5 points to win the Reserve (U1700). Tied with 4.0 were Stanley Crown and Garrett Hunt.

Brothers Ethan Nguyen and Long Nguyen tied for first place in the Novice (U1300). Just behind them were Erik Gonzales and Arya Roy Choudhury, both with 4.0 points. 

Results are here.


Photos by Jake Williams.

Amburgy wins third state Blitz title

FM Ryan Amburgy finished at the top of the Open section at this year's Blitz Championships, held October 1 at the Chandler Baseball Camp. It was the third year in a row for Amburgy, who scored 11.5 out of 14. Behind him with 9.5 points were David Luscomb, Matt Dalthorp, and Maxwell BarnesShaun Graham (12.0) took first place in the U1700. Jacob Schultz (10.0) was second, and Viraj Singh (9.5) finished third. Gabriel Waters (11.0) won the U1000.  Just a half-point behind was Arya Roy Choudhury (10.5) in second. Brian Marshall and Kirthika Duggisetty tied for third with 9.0 points.  View the crosstables here.

Our heartfelt thanks to host Michael Bay for welcoming us once again to his beautiful facility in Chandler. Thanks also to Jake Williams for letting us use the outstanding photos he captured at the event. 


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A strong finish for Oklahoma's 2022 Invitationals team

August 2, 2022

Our congratulations to Oklahoma's 2022 Oklahoma National Invitationals Team! Our representatives at this year's U.S. Open overcame some of the toughest competition in the nation to finish at No. 14 overall. Some highlights:

  • FM Ryan Amburgy finished eighth with a score of 4.0 in the Denker.

  • Elizabeth Braddy scored her first victory over a National Master. She finished with 4.0 the #12 spot in the Haring. 

  • Liam Applegate scored the biggest upset in the Rockefeller when he beat an opponent rated almost 500 points higher.

  • NM Tom Braunlich's 3.5 score included a draw against a GM.

Max Barnes wins Texas Summer Championship

July 31, 2022

It's been the hottest month of the year for Oklahoma player Maxwell Barnes, whose sizzling streak of summer wins continued at the July 30 Texas Summer Championship in Plano. He finished in clear first place in the event's Open division, scoring 3.5 out of 4. 


Luscomb wins DCC FIDE V, scores big in Houston

July 25, 2022

Q: What's rising even faster than this summer's temperatures? A: David Luscomb's rating. Two weeks after his strong showing in the Oklahoma Open, Luscomb went 5 for 5 for a clear win at the DCC FIDE Premier V. He followed that with an outstanding (4.0/5) performance at the Houston Chess Festival, sending his rating to an all-time high (so far) of 2093. UPDATE (AUGUST 1): Following two one-day events in Dallas this weekend, Luscomb has reached 2100.

An Oklahoma invasion!

PHOTO: most, but not all, of Oklahoma's 30-player contingent at the 2022 Kansas Open & Championships. Oklahomans made up a quarter of the field at the event. Our group included tournament veterans, scholastic up-and-comers, and unrated players; plus moms, dads, and a grandfather competing alongside their kids.


July 25, 2022

There was a four-way tie for first at this year's Kansas Open & Championships, and half of it was from Oklahoma. Maxwell Barnes and Oscar Wang tied for the win in the Open division, along with Kansas's Jason Wawrzasek and Aayush Wadwha. Oklahoma newcomers also finished in the money in the Amateur, where Eric Bader (4.5) finished clear second and Hamilton Pensamento tied for third with fellow Oklahoman Leon Harvey (both 4.0). 

Three Oklahomans finished with plus scores in the Reserve: Viraj Singh (3.5), Garrett Hunt (3.0), and William Lin (3.0). Camilo Rubiano and Elliot Yii had plus scores in the Amateur section, and Yii took home the second-place Scholastic prize.



THE SIDE EVENTS: Blitz & Bughouse

The first-place tie in the main event's Open was the second tie of the weekend for Barnes and Wang. On Friday night, the pair ended up tied for third in the Kansas Open Blitz Championship. They finished just a half point off the winner, scoring 8.0 out of 10. Raymond Jiang (7.0) was a point behind them and a point ahead of fellow Oklahomans Camilo Rubiano, Elizabeth Braddy, Viraj Singh, and Hamilton Pensamento (all 6.0).

No record exists of this year's Kansas Bughouse Championship, so all we can tell you is that a lot of us played, and it was a blast.

Hats off to organizer Thomas Tran and chief TD Tony Dutiel for hosting this  outstanding event and for welcoming us to another Kansas triple crown. Results of the main event are posted here.

TIED AT THE TOP—TWICE! Maxwell Barnes and Oscar Wang tied for first in the Open/Championship section at the 2022 Kansas Open & Championships. They also tied in the blitz side event, where both scored 8.0 to finish in third.

A ten-player Team OK at 5th Queen City of the Prairie

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July 17, 2022

Ten Oklahoma players participated in the Fifth Annual Queen City of the Prairie Open, held July 15–17 in Euless, Texas. Our thanks to the Alliance Chess Club and organizer/chief TD Louis Reed for hosting another outstanding event. 

Some highlights: 

Raymond Jiang and Purvit Soni tied for 2nd in the Reserve (U1800). Max Barnes tied for 2nd in the Open and won the Saturday-night blitz outright. And Joe Zacharias's impressive 3.0 score in the Reserve earned him a big ratings jump from 1556 to 1603!


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90 players, including five former state champions, at 2022 Jerry Spann Memorial

June 26, 2022

We had some surprises at this year's state championship. Old friends we hadn't seen in years showed up to play; those included a five-time Oklahoma state champion and four others who have held that title. There were some exciting games and a few stunning upsets. But when the dust settled, it was no surprise to see who was holding the State Champion plaque. With a perfect 5.0 score, FM Ryan Amburgy has been named Oklahoma's state chess champion for 2022. 

The 2022 Jerry Spann Memorial Oklahoma Open & Championship was held June 25 & 26, 2022 at the 17 West Hotel in Tulsa. Harold Brown was TD. We welcomed 90 players this year: 37 in the Open, 22 in the Reserve (U1700) and 31 in the Amateur (1300).

NEW CHAMP FOR 2022: FM Ryan Amburgy (right) swept the Championship division and earned the 2022 state champion title.

This year's state championship marks the first time since 2003 that Oklahoma's official state championship bears the Jerry Spann name. At its meeting in J​anuary, the OCA board voted to reinstate the name Jerry Spann Memorial Oklahoma Open & Championship, the name OCA members chose for the event in 1968.

The winners of the 2022 Jerry Spann Memorial Oklahoma Open & Championship are: 

1st: FM Ryan Amburgy (5.0) 🏆STATE CHAMPION

2nd: Joshua Alexander (4.0)

Eight players tied for third with 3.5 points each. In tiebreak order, they are: NM Julian Proleiko, Newman Shen, David Luscomb, Matt Dalthorp, James Yanik, Elizabeth Braddy, Luke Tran, and Rahul Pai.


Elizabeth Braddy and Newman Shen split the top U1900 prize.


1st: Viraj Singh and Raymond Jiang tied for first with 4.5 points each. ​

3rd: Kenneth Jones scored 4.0 to win third place.

Top U1500: Joseph Zacharias

AMATEUR (1300)

1st: Jonah Brandenburgh (5.0)

2nd: Miles Bright & Kirthika Duggisetty tied for second with 4.0 points each

Top U1000: Elson Ding

Top unrated: Fiby Li and Chad Higgins

Our thanks to Josie Braddy and Dore Stanford for taking photos at the event. Some highlights are below. You can view the rest of them here


The Oklahoma team at the 20th Annual Red River Shootout, a match between chess players from Oklahoma and Texas.

The Oklahoma team at the 20th annual Red River Shootout, held on 23 April at the Treasure Valley Casino in Davis. FRONT ROW: Joe Zacharias, Jake Ferguson, Carl Latino, Rubin Wells, Wayne Hatcher, Bruce Wells, William Lin, and Gianluca Rodriguez. BACK ROW: Rishi Rathi, Andrew Kennedy, co-captains Jim Berry and Rebecca Rutledge, Preston Koloen, Shaun Graham, Viraj Singh, and Eli Mooney.

Oklahoma continued its winning streak against Texas with a 17.5 to 10.5 victory in the 20th Annual Red River Shootout (RRSO), held April 23 at the Treasure Valley Casino Hotel in Davis.


The RRSO is a team match that pairs each Oklahoma player with a Texas opponent of similar rating. A place on the RRSO roster is a serious commitment,  since each player has a designated opponent from across the state line. Oklahoma co-captains Jim Berry and Rebecca Rutledge are grateful to everyone on the team for making the commitment and showing up ready to play on Saturday. 

One veteran and three first-time RRSO players finished with perfect 2/2 scores for Oklahoma. Jake Ferguson won both his games, as did newcomers Preston Koloen, Rishi Rathi, and Gianluca Rodriguez.

On the top board, Wayne Hatcher (1921) scored 1.5 points against Thomas Capps (2048). Viraj Singh and Andrew Kennedy also finished with a win and a draw against their Texas opponents. RRSO regulars Bruce and Rubin Wells scored a point each, as did first-time players Joe Zacharias and William Lin. Eli Mooney, who graciously stepped in to fill a last-minute vacancy, gave Oklahoma the half point that completed the team's seven-point win over Texas.

Our thanks to Tom Crane, the event's lead organizer and the Texas team captain, for his hard work making the event such an enjoyable one for everyone who participated. Results are posted here.

NM Tom Braunlich is the 2022 Oklahoma Senior Champion

Oklahoma Senior Open & Championship held in Stroud
by Harold Brown

Fourteen seniors competed in the 2022 Oklahoma Senior Open and Championship at the Cattle Country Lodge in Stroud, Oklahoma. The field included four national masters, three of whom (Tom Braunlich, Tom Amburn and Chuck Unruh) have ten state championships between them. NM Mark Hulsey, a former state senior champion, was the fourth national master in the field.


Braunlich and Unruh tied for first place with 3.5 out of 4.0, splitting first and second-place money, with Braunlich declared the 2022 Oklahoma Senior Champion. Along with the title, Tom earned the right to represent Oklahoma at the John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions in Rancho Mirage, California this summer, with a stipend to support his attendance. 


Chris Dooley won the Class A prize and Mike Mulford (Missouri) won the Class B prize. Leon Toliver and Danial Smith shared the Class C prize. Our Class D/Unrated winner was a first-time tournament player: 84-year-old Richard Kayholm of Dewey.

A record may have been set for the most coffee consumed per capita in a chess tournament. Nobody withdrew. This demonstrates that these seniors are committed to chess. If you're 50 or older, watch for the announcement for our 2023 senior championship. We hope you'll plan to compete! View the results here.

PHOTOS BY MIKE TUBBS. 1. NM Charles D. "Chuck" Unruh with chief TD Harold Brown and assistant TD David Luscomb. 2. Chris Dooley with the black pieces against Unruh. 3. NM Tom Braunlich with the black pieces against NM Mark Hulsey.

A 17-player OK contingent at this year's SW Class

By Joe Veal


February 25, 2022  There were many pitched battles among the 383 players who competed in the 13th Annual Southwest Class Championships, February 17–21 in Dallas. David Hater was chief tournament director, and Louis Reed led the staff of assistant TDs on the floor. The event was organized by Continental Chess.


Oklahoma was represented in all seven sections of this year's event: Master, Expert, A, B, C, D, and E. Of the 17 Oklahomans who played, three won cash prizes and there was a honorable mention.


Scholastic player Rishi Rathi (Edmond) took first in Class E with a score of 6.0 out of 7. He won $600. In Class C, Parker Inglett (OKC) tied for 1st in the with a score of 5.5, winning $1200 in what was only his third tournament. In Class B, scholastic player Elizabeth Braddy (Edmond) finished with 5.0 out of 7 and won $100.


Amburgy breaks 2300!

Our honorable mention was NM Ryan Amburgy, who won 5.5 out of 9 in the Masters division. With this performance, he attained a milestone few Oklahomans have ever reached: Ryan has achieved a USCF rating over 2300. He is the third person in Oklahoma chess history to achieve this milestone before graduating high school.


On behalf of both OSCO and OCA, I would to thank all the Oklahomans who participated in this hallowed event. My thanks also to Continental Chess for running it. Until next time! 

Amburgy wins Mid-America Blitz!

With a perfect 8.0 score, NM Ryan Amburgy took first place in the Blitz tournament during the 26th Annual Mid-America Open, March 25–27 in St. Louis. He and another Oklahoma player, Maxwell Barnes, competed in the main event's elite Majors section. Rebecca Rutledge (U1500) and Steven Valverde (U1200) rounded out the Oklahoma contingent at the event. 

"Chess gave him a purpose"

Oklahoma says goodbye to longtime player, organizer John Green

Soviet GM Eduard Gruefeld called him the toughest player he faced in his Oklahoma simul.  Joe Veal called him "reasonable and kind... the last of the Oklahoma chess hippies."


The organizer of Oklahoma's only National Chess League team, John Green spent a lifetime playing chess, teaching others, and filling up the margins of chess books with notes. "It seemed to me that chess gave John a purpose," said Veal.

When we learned of Green's passing, we reached out to Oklahoma players so they could share their memories of him. The article, "The Last of the Oklahoma Chess Hippies," is the cover story in the debut issue of Oklahoma Chess Magazine, which hit the stands (our OCM page) today. Read it here

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John Wilbur Green III

January 20, 1952 – December 8, 2017

More archives   2021  |  2018–2020


Spann's name restored to state championship

Read about it in the debut issue of Oklahoma Chess Magazine

January 20, 2022

The OCA board voted in January to restore Jerry Spann's name to the Oklahoma Open State Championship. Read about it in Issue No. 1 of Oklahoma Chess Magazine, which in 2022 has taken the place of "the old OCM"—Oklahoma Chess Monthly. Also in this issue: a game the late John Green played with NM Tom Braunlich, a recap of the Holiday Open, a cool puzzle from Jerry Casteel, and games featuring Max Barnes, Ryan Amburgy, Stone Burton, Khumar Rezzaq-Shannon, Jerry Casteel, Omar Abouzhar, Vaughn Rees, Rahul Pai, player of the month David Luscomb, and NM Howard Zhong, our current state champion. 

Oklahoma Chess Magazine is a bimonthly journal covering Oklahoma chess news and history. The current issue, plus Frank Berry's "Okie Database" and OCM back issues from 2016 to the present, can be found on our
Oklahoma Chess Magazine page.

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