2017 Hawaii State Closed Championships

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!  

Hawaii State Open CANCELLED

We regret to inform the Hawaii chess community that this year’s State Open and Blitz Championship will be cancelled due to us being unable to secure an affordable and appropriate venue in time.

The 2018 Hawaii State Open and Blitz Championships will be held over Labor Day weekend.  Details on that event will be published as soon as they are available.


2017 Hawaii State Open – 11/24-11/26/17

Aloha Hawaii Chess players!   The 2017 Hawaii State Open and Blitz Championships will be held from 11/24 – 11/26.  Further details are forthcoming.

2017 Hawaii Scholastic Chess Champions Crowned!

2017 Hawaii Scholastic High School Chess Champions

We had a record 158 participants in our 2017 State Scholastic Championships on Saturday, March 25th. It was an exciting finish to a great year.

Based on these results, we will be nominating Dylan Tucker to represent Hawaii at the Denker Tournament of State High School Champions, Adriel White to represent Hawaii at the Barber Tournament of State Middle School Champions, and Kate Takenaka to represent Hawaii at the Girls Invitational Tournament of State Champions. All tournaments will be conducted with the US Open in August at Norfolk, VA.

See the attached zip file for complete results, cross tables and prize winners. (Download and open the zip file for the complete set of PDF files).

See a photo gallery from the event on facebook here.

Here’s a summary list of winners:

High School Individual Winners
Co- Champions – Dylan Tucker (1st on tiebreaks) and Hanseong Kim
3rd Place – Patrick Perry

High School Teams:
1st – Mckinley
2nd – Punahou
3rd – Waipahu

Middle School – Individuals

1st – Adriel White
2nd – Gabriel White
3rd – 6th (in order of tiebreaks) – Gyuyun Kim, Ryder Shintaku, Michael Chen and David Qu

Middle School – Teams

1st – Homeschool
2nd – Washington
3rd – Punahou

Elementary School – Individuals

1st – Caleb White
2nd – 5th (in order of tiebreaks) – Mark Chen, Nicholas Chan, Noah Jost and Cale Thompson

Elementary School – Teams

1st – Homeschool
2nd – Punahou
3rd – Maemae

Primary School – Individuals

Co-Champions – Kyle Ching (1st on tiebreaks) and Micaiah White
3rd/4th – Kevin Ching / Tyson Kuo

Primary School – Teams

1st – Homeschool
2nd – Kamehameha
3rd – Punahou

Also, a week earlier, the HCF conducted the annual girls championship.  This event also had a record turnout of 17 girls. Kate Takenaka of Moanalua Middle School emerged with a perfect score to become this year’s champion.

See the attached PDF for complete 2017 Hawaii State Girls Championship PDF Results.

Winter Chess Mini-Camps

Winter Chess Mini-Camps are starting on Sunday, January 22nd!

Here’s the message from our scholastic director Guy Ontai with more details:

Aloha Kakou!

I am pleased to announce the recommencement of our scholastic chess camps. This time around, the camps will focus on preparing participants for the Hawaii State Scholastic Championships in March. Please see below for more detailed information.

What: The camps will be conducted by nine-time Hawaii State Champion Cornelius Rubsamen. Activities include practice games played under tournament conditions, game analysis, and tactics training.

Why: This series of mini-camps is designed to prepare scholastic chess players for the Scholastic State Championships.

Who: All age groups are welcome.

When: Camps are scheduled from 1-4 p.m. on the following Sundays:

Sunday, 22Jan17
Sunday, 05Feb17
Sunday, 19Feb17
Sunday, 05Mar17
Sunday, 19Mar17

Where: The camps will be held at Jarret Middle School, 1903 Palolo Avenue, Room D1.

Fees: $10 per student for each camp attended. Payable on site.

Guy P. Ontai
Scholastic Director, Hawaii Chess Federation
Mobile: (808)371-2145