Congratulations to Cornelius Rubsamen (left) for winning the Hawaii State Closed Chess Championships on December 23. This tournament was organized by TD Damian Nash in an effort to crown a Hawaii Chess Champion after the Open tournament unfortunately had to be cancelled.

This is his tenth time! Two wins and two draws were enough to clinch clear first place and the trophy. Here he makes peace with Hawaii chess newcomer Chad Badgett of Kauai who drew all four of his games. Bill Shea is seen in the background.

Chad Badgett nearly defeated Evan Zheng in a brilliant game. He went for repetition of position in time pressure and so both players split the $25 best game prize.

Cornelius accepts the $150 first place prize from tournament director Damian Nash, who was seeded second but finished at 50% along with three others. Kevin Erick earned the full $100 second place prize because he the only other player with a plus score at 2.5 points. Just like last year, Evan Zheng’s hopes for the state title were spoiled in the last game of the tournament when Kevin Erick showed beautiful technique in a R+2B vs. R+B+N endgame.

Hawaii State Closed Championship Participants 2017

The tournament participants. Back row: Chad Badgett, Cornelius Rubsamen, Damian Nash, Chris Tyau, Evan Zheng, Kevin Erick. Front row: Charles Sonido, Larry Pagtama. Not pictured: Bill Shea.

Cornelius vanquishes Damian Nash in the third round after Nash played the Advanced Caro Kann aggressively with a kingside pawn storm, going for a win with the black pieces. In the background Bill Shea and Chris Tyau fight to a draw.

Hawaii’s highest rated master, Lloyd Kawamura, came to watch and “share the air” of the strong tournament. HCF board member Larry Reifurth also enjoyed watching the 3rd round games.

Special thanks to Tom Zheng for finding such a beautiful playing site next to the Ala Moana Mall. A huge mahalo also to Robert Welch at the Armchair Adventurer at Dole Cannery and Bughouse Master Fred Haley for making this tournament possible at the eleventh hour.

See the tournament cross table/rating report here.

Mahalo to Damian for organizing this tournament and for this report and pictures!