Andres Hortillosa

Andres Hortillosa

My 2008 New England Masters Experience USMilitaryChess  I participated in the 2008 New England Masters held August 11-15, 2008 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. While it was a 9-round Swiss tournament (USCF and FIDE rated), the field was limited to 50 entrants. However, only 44 players (4 GMS, 8 IMs, 11 FMs and 1 WFM) representing 12 Federations showed up on game day. In the end, only two players earned IM norms, Victor Kaminski of Canada and Parker Zhao of the US.
All Inter-Service photos on this blog are by NTD Ron Braud. Pitts vs. Dulger, Round 6 Adkins vs. Smith, Round 6 Dixon vs. King, Round 6 Macaspac vs. Bucholtz, Round 6 Nichols vs. Carrelli, Round 6 Pagtam vs. Pihl Ranario vs. Drake, Round 6 Recinos vs. Keough West vs. Echaure, Round 6
Baniel keeps his lead despite losing his sixth round game to Choate, the Navy’s top seed. Eight players (Keough, Bucholtz, Dulger, Ranario, Echaure, Macaspac, Pitts and Choate) are behind Baniel’s heels at four points each.
Specialist Jhonel Baniel of the Army Medical Department demolished Air Force surgeon Dr. (Colonel) Sam Echaure in the last round of the 2008 US Armed Forces Inter-Service Chess Championship to secure top honors finishing with 5.5 points. A week-long stellar performance earned him a hallowed place in the tradition-rich annals of military chess. His name is forever etched in the record books alongside world famous players like IM Emory Tate.  
Baniel beat Ranario in round five to take sole lead in a 20-player field with 4.5 points. Dulger who is proving to be the sensation of the tournament is only half a point behind. Baniel’s score reflecting his solid performance is enough to guarantee a team spot on the US Armed Forces Team for the NATO event. The Army is now tied with the Air Force, each team with 19 points. Individual scores and team standing will be posted in the next entry.  
This year’s edition of chess rivalry between the armed services is already showing hints of historical proportions. For the first time ever in the history of military chess, a lone Air Force tigress laid waste to a field of mesmerized men by defeating the top boards of both the Army and Navy teams.  
Duke imploded against Drake and lost quickly in 22 moves. He recklessly blundered a pawn and the right to castle on move six, which can only be attributed to a classic case of simple oversight. It got worse on move ten when he allowed a knight fork on e6. The game was totally lost at that point. Duke came very close to making the team in his first try. I am sure he will have many chances in the years to come.  
Macaspac continued his winning streak to nine games. Donovan managed yet again to lose a winning advantage this time against West. I am sure he is disappointed with the outcome of this game. In a sense, he handed West a gift. His outside chances to take the 6th spot on the team have been kept alive courtesy of Donovan’s many errors especially with his 66th move. West’s 66…a4 is a blunder but it is hard to suggest anything better. I am not sure if either player is really aware of the truth in the position.
Macaspac is now 10-0. Tomorrow, he gets a chance to tie Tia’s record. That alone will motivate him to try harder and that will be bad news for King as the latter needs at least a draw to make the team or earn a playoff with Duke.
This year’s invitees to the annual championship are listed below. Other top Army players like SSG Rudy Tia (seven-time champion), LTC David Hater and LTC Michael Cerezo were not in attendance. 1LT Arthur MacaspacFort Dix, NJCPT Christopher PittsWilliam Beaumont Army Medical CenterChief, Health Physics WBAMCFort Bliss, TXSPC Jhonel B. BanielC Co LRMCLandstuhl, GermanyCOL Michael DonovanNational Nuclear Security Agency, NA-16Dept of Energy, Wash DCSGT Darryl L. West377th TSC, G6 SectionCamp Amfjer, KuwaitSPC Sherwin DukeArmament Aviation ElectricianFort Campbell, KYPVT David CoronaPACOMFort Lewis, WAPFC Christopher KingEWS OperatorCamp Casey, South KoreaSGT Christopher FlotoSecond class DriverFort Schafter, HISGT Christopher DrakeHUMINT CollectorFort Bragg, NCSGT Daniel FisselCENTCOM…


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