A ten-player Team OK at 5th Queen City of the Prairie
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.
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!
Results are posted here.
RYAN AMBURGY IS 2022 OKLAHOMA CHESS CHAMPION
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 January, 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)
Elizabeth Braddy and Newman Shen split the top U1900 prize.
3rd: Kenneth Jones scored 4.0 to win third place.
Top U1500: Joseph Zacharias
1st: Jonah Brandenburgh (5.0)
Top U1000: Elson Ding
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.
OKLAHOMA WINS RRSO XX!
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.
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.
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
PHOTO BY MIKE TUBBS Front row: Wayne Hatcher, NM Tom Amburn, Chris Dooley, Steve Byas, Richard Kayholm, Vijayakumar Kurup (TX), Mike Tubbs. Back row: Michael Mulford, NM Mark Hulsey, Istvan Szabad, NM Charles D. Unruh, Leon Toliver, and NM Tom Braunlich. Tournament Director was Harold Brown. and assisted by David Luscomb and Chris Dooley.
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.
Standing: Max Barnes, Chris Amburgy, Ryan Amburgy, Joe Veal, Adley Bufford, Jake Williams, Parker Inglett, Vaughn Rees, Luis Blake. Seated: Elizabeth Braddy, Rebecca Rutledge, Raymond Jiang, Purvit Soni, Viraj Singh, Rishi Rathi (Not pictured: Naren Pullela, Josh Li, Ben Li)
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!
A 17-player OK contingent at this year's SW Class
by Joe Veal
Purvit Soni, Parker Inglett, Josh Li, Jake Williams, Elizabeth Braddy, Raymond Jiang, Ben Li, Vaughn Rees
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.
John Wilbur Green III
January 20, 1952 – December 8, 2017
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.