Utah Open 2015


The Utah Open is one of the biggest chess tournaments in Utah!

We had 81 players show up which played in three separate sections and boy were there fireworks.

Okay it wasn’t quite like that but almost.

In the Open section we had interesting rounds and some upsets took place.

IMG_0173 IMG_0191

Eric Hon took shared first place with a score of 4.0/5.0 taking home the trophy on tie-breaks.

Here is one of his games beating the strong A-player Sam Mason.

[White “Hon, Eric”]
[Black “Mason, Sam”]
[WhiteElo “2077”]
[BlackElo “1893”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Qc7 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Be2 Bb4 8. Qc2
Nc6 9. Nxc6 Qxc6 10. f3 d6 11. O-O b6 12. Kh1 Bb7 13. Be3 O-O 14. Rac1 Rfd8 15.
Na4 Bc5 16. Nxc5 bxc5 17. Rfd1 Rac8 18. Bg5 Rd7 19. Bd3 h6 20. Bh4 g5 21. Bf2
Nh5 22. Be3 Rf8 23. Rd2 Ng7 24. e5 f5 25. exf6 Rxf6 26. Rcd1 Nf5 27. Bf2 g4 28.
Be4 Qc7 29. Bxb7 Qxb7 30. fxg4 Nd4 31. Bxd4 cxd4 32. Rxd4 Rdf7 33. h3 Qb6 34.
Qb3 Rf1+ 35. Kh2 Qa7 36. Qd3 e5 37. Qg6+ Kf8 38. Qxd6+ Qe7 39. Qxh6+ Ke8 40.
Rd8+ Qxd8 41. Rxd8+ Kxd8 42. Qd6+ Rd7 43. Qb8+ 1-0

If you think chess doesn’t take effort.. look at the effort these players are putting into their games

IMG_0148 Jeffery Scott a strong B-player and a member of the Utah Chess Association Board of Directors

IMG_0154 Former Utah Chess President Grant Hodson playing and Stephanie Pitcher Utah’s Female co-champion

IMG_0150 Michael Morris-Pearce a strong A-player

Now the only person who was actually able to beat the Utah Champion Eric Hon is my very good friend Steve Gordon.


Steve became a National Master and is one of the strongest chess players in Utah. Here is an example from the Utah Open of Steve beating down Eric Hon with the Sicilian Defense.

[Round 3]
[White “Hon, Eric”]
[Black “Gordon, Stephen”]
[WhiteElo “2077”]
[BlackElo “2100”]

1. e4 a6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Qb3 Qxb3 6. axb3 Be6 7. d3 Nf6 8.
Be3 Nbd7 9. c4 h6 10. g3 Ng4 11. Bg2 g5 12. Nc3 Bg7 13. Ke2 Nxe3 14. fxe3 O-O
15. Ne1 Rab8 16. Nc2 Bg4+ 17. Kd2 e6 18. h3 Bf5 19. b4 cxb4 20. Nxb4 Nc5 21.
Kc2 Rfd8 22. e4 Bg6 23. Ra5 b6 24. Rxc5 bxc5 25. Nc6 Rxb2+ 26. Kxb2 Rxd3 27.
Rc1 Rxg3 28. Rc2 Bxc3+ 29. Rxc3 Rxg2+ 30. Kb3 Bxe4 31. Nb8 Rd2 32. Nxa6 Rd3 33.
Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nxc5 Bf1 35. Ne4 Bxh3 36. Kc3 f5 37. Ng3 Bg2 38. Kd4 Kf7 39. Ke5
Ke7 40. c5 Bf3 41. Nf1 h5 42. Nd2 Bd5 43. Nf1 h4 44. Nh2 g4 45. Kf4 Kf6 46. c6
e5+ 47. Ke3 Bxc6 48. Nf1 f4+ 49. Kf2 g3+ 50. Kg1 h3 51. Nh2 gxh2+ 52. Kxh2 f3
53. Kg3 f2 54. Kh4 f1=Q 55. Kh5 h2 56. Kh4 h1=Q+ 57. Kg4 Qhg2+ 58. Kh4 Qfh1#

Steve clearly shows he can still beat up the young up and coming stars.

Bryan LeanoBryan Leano

Bryan Leano is one of Utah’s strongest chess players with a peak rating after this tournament of 2120. He scored 4.0/4.0 taking a bye his last round. Here is an example of his strength playing against another top level player, Josh Smith.

White: Bryan Leano
Black: Josh Smith
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Qd2 h5 9.Bc4 Nbd7 10.a4 Ne5 11.Bb3 Bd7 12.O-O Rc8 13.Nd5 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.b3 Rc5 16.c4 b5 17.axb5 axb5 18.Nxb5 Rxb5 19.cxb5 Nxd5 20.Qxd5 Bxa1 21.Rxa1 O-O 22.b6 Be6 23.Qd4 f6 24.b7 Qc7 25.Qb6 Qc3 26.Bd4 Qd2 27.b8=Q Rxb8 28.Qxb8+ Kf7 29.Qb6 Bxb3 30.Qxb3+, 1-0
Overall the Utah Open was very exciting and was an enjoyable tournament. We hope to see more exciting chess and to get to know the chess community here in Utah a little bit better.
Here are some extra photos showing some of the games in the tournament.
IMG_0134 IMG_0135 IMG_0137 IMG_0149
Please leave a comment and let me know what you want to see and what you think can be done better! Thanks

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