Record-breaking turnout at this year's Oklahoma Open
One hundred players competed in three sections at the 77th Jerry Spann Memorial Oklahoma Open & Championship, held June 3 & 4 in Oklahoma City. It was the largest turnout in more than thirty years.
Winner of this year's title was 16-year-old Maxwell Barnes, who scored 4.5 out of 5 in the 36-player Open. The 8th seed coming into the event, Barnes had a slow start (with an upset draw to 26th seed Joe Osley). But he rallied by winning his last four games, topping it off by defeating the defending champion and top seed FM Ryan Amburgy in the final round. Barnes's win makes him the second-youngest Oklahoma state champion in the title's 77-year history.
Amburgy tied for second with David Luscomb (4.0 points), and the top U1900 prize was shared by three players who scored 3.5 out of 5: Chris Dooley, Erik Nickels, and Joe Veal.
MAX BARNES IS 2023 OKLAHOMA CHESS CHAMPION
Maxwell Barnes accepts the state champion's plaque from former state champion NM Tom Braunlich.
In the Reserve (U1700), William Lin and new player Dimitris Diochnos tied for first with 4.5 points each. Tiebreaks awarded Diochnos the title. Shane Stonehocker and Chris Lofthus were just behind the winners, with 4.0 points each.
Winner of the Amateur (U1300) was Hyrum Moses, who scored 4.5 out of 5. The University of Texas junior had not played rated chess since the 2018 scholastic state championship. Tied for second with 4.0 points each were Anurag Roy Choudhury, Hayden Olmstead, Zach Monahan, and Vish Vonteddu, who gave Moses his only draw of the event.
Chief tournament director was Paul Covington. He was assisted by Ishmael Kissinger and Rebecca Rutledge. Don't miss the feature article by Tom Braunlich in the new issue of Oklahoma Chess Magazine.
Some photos of the event are below. View the rest of them here.
Oklahoma players kick off summer in Dallas, Chicago
30 May 2023
Memorial Day weekend saw Oklahoma chess players head to two other states: Illinois for the Chicago Open and Texas for the Texas State and Amateur Championship. In Chicago, FM Ryan Amburgy scored a respectable 4.5 out of 7 in the GM-studded Open. But the big news came from the U1900, where Naren Pullela scored 6.0 out of 7 and took home a $2k prize.
Oklahoma players in Dallas this weekend were Max Barnes, Joe Veal, Elizabeth Braddy, Raymond Jiang, Jeff Carter, Arya Roy Choudhury, Anurag Roy Choudhury, Ishak Hossain, and Rebecca Rutledge. Veal and Braddy were the top scorers, with 5.5 and 4.5 (respectively) out of seven points. Braddy's resulting 1804 rating makes her Oklahoma's newest Class A player. Ishak Hossain also rose in class as a result of his performance in the event, as did brothers Arya and Anurag Roy Choudhury.
A few photos from Texas are below. Results of the 2023 Texas State & Amateurs are here. Results of the 2023 Chicago Open are here.
RRSO XXI: It's a draw
The 21st Red River Shootout was held 13 May 2023 at the Lake Murray Lodge in Ardmore. Oklahoma and Texas were tied going into the match, and Oklahoma was a 677-point underdog. But thanks to some outstanding play that resulted in a few thrilling upsets, we're still tied. Final score: 11-11. Results are here.