L'Heritage Classique Octo Championships Tournament Report

08.13.09 Twenty-five chess players took part in the L'Heritage Classique Octo Championships on July 25 & 26, 2009 held at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston. This was the first event organized in Maine by ChessDreams, an organizer and sponsor of more than forty USCF-rated and non-rated chess events in California, prior to moving to Maine.

TD Akagi Kayashima congratulates Eric Beacage for winning the Laurentian Octo Champion title. Many players expressed an interest in having a local chess club in Lewiston during this event, so Eric called a meeting between rounds in the hunt for an agreeable site.

Thanks to Akagi Kayashima for organizing and directing this event and for contributing to this report.

L'Heritage Classique Tournament Crosstable

The L'Heritage was a long time control event using Game/120 for the first two rounds on Saturday, and Game/150 for the Final Round held on Sunday. The twenty-four player field (along with one house player) were divided into three championship sections comprised of eight players each, according to their USCF ratings.

Although each Octo section used the Swiss pairing system, ChessDreams rewards the highest two honors for the players who reach 'Board One' in the final round of their respective octos. This differs from the standard method used in USCF Swiss-paired events in that the player with the second highest number of points is usually not one the two players who reach the final round 'championship game'. ChessDreams titles these two final round contestants as "Champion" and "Challenger". All awards given out at the end of the event included cash, title, and trophy. A list of all title winners is provided below:

QUEBECOIS CHAMPION David Plotkin
QUEBECOIS CHALLENGER Alan Schalk
QUEBECOIS U2000 CHAMPION G Paul Waterhouse

ACADIAN CHAMPION John Gaspar
ACADIAN CHALLENGER Jerry Boucher
ACADIAN U1100 CHAMPION Stephen Kaluzynski

LAURENTIAN CHAMPION Eric Beaucage
LAURENTIAN CHALLENGER Ted Serban

OVERALL LADIES CHAMPION Anne York
SCHOLASTIC CHAMPION Max Berube

In addition to the regularly scheduled tournament games, players were encouraged to take advantage of the free "extra rated games" offer, which allows players who finish early to continue playing rated chess with any available USCF-member on hand. These G/60 bonus games allowed several new, un-rated players to obtain their first provisional ratings by the end of the tournament, and provided a fun activity in the skittles room apart from the main event.

One of the key highlights of the L'Heritage Classique was a rare simultaneous exhibition provided by Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn following the final round of the tournament. Eugene vanquished a field of nineteen players, but yielded a draw to Curt Brock, who was the only player to show up holding a copy of Eugene's book, "Chess Openings for White Explained". Congratulations, Curt! In addition to the simul, Eugene took the time to answer players' questions and provided a detailed history of his chess development and personal background. GM Perelshteyn had recently returned from a spectacular performance in the Canadian Open, where he drew international chess star Alexei Shirov in the final round with the black pieces.


Acadian U1100 Champion Stephen Kaluzynski arrived early to help Chess Dreams organizers Anne and Akagi Kayashima set up boards and pieces.


Anne York (Kayashima), the overall Ladies Champion and top seed in the Laurentian Octo, makes some rapid opening moves against Laurentian Octos Challenger Ted Serban in Round 2.


The second round battle between U1100 players Brian Roderick and Stephen Kaluzynski (foreground) started as a French Advance. In the background are the up-and-coming Serban sisters, Claudia (background) and Olympia, who were paired against Gerald Mathieu and Joshua Shulman, respectively.


Acadian Octo Champion John Gaspar contemplates his move against Challenger Jerry Boucher during the final round on Sunday. In the background, Laurentian Octo Champion Eric Beaucage is contesting Challenger Ted Serban.


Overall Scholastic Champion Max Berube faces off in a critical game with scholastic challenger Olympia Serban in the final round on Sunday.


Even though she lost this scholastic championship game against Max Berube, Olympia Serban held an even bishop vs knight endgame until Max brought his king up the board to promote an advanced kingside pawn.


Paul Waterhouse re-emerged from many years of chess retirement to win the Quebecois Octo U2000 Champion title. His secret weapon: comfortable Hawaiian shirts!


Quebecois Octo Champion David Plotkin (seated left) shares a light-hearted moment after the final round of the championship with TD Akagi Kayashima and Acadian Challenger Jerry Boucher.


GM Eugene Perelshteyn examines his position against Quebecois Octo Challenger Alan Schalk during the exhibition simul. Standing behind are John Brady and Jerry Boucher. David Plotkin interprets a tricky queen and pawn ending moments before.


"Hmmmm. Why is this player so difficult? It's like he read my book on this line!" GM Perelshteyn seeks a way around Curt Brock's defense.

ChessDreams is thankful for all of the support they received from both participants and non-participants, and plans to hold a second event in 2010, once the overall chess calendar can be established later this year.


Comments

This looks like an outstanding event and a very welcome addition to tournament activities available for Maine players. It's also a very hopeful sign that an active club may be re-established in the Lewiston area.

Many thanks to Akagi for his efforts and contributions to Maine chess!

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