Conejo Valley Summer Open Recap & Results!



     In July 2016, the Thousand Oaks Chess Club hosted its first-ever weekend tournament! The 2016 Conejo Valley Summer Open was held Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, at the beautiful Bethany Church on the Hill. This event attracted 49 players, and we gave out over $1900 in prize money! Taking place in three sections, 3 rounds were played on Saturday and 2 on Sunday at a moderate time control of G/90 d5. The venue was fantastic, and many players expressed their delight at having a local opportunity to play chess over the weekend.


     The strong competition produced many interesting battles, and more than a few upsets! This was especially true of the 9-player Open Section, which consisted of one FM, four NMs, and two strong experts, plus two Class A players. The first round saw upsets on all three boards! (Three players had round 1 byes). After 3 rounds, NM Craig Anderson was in clear first with a perfect 3-0 going into the second day. NM Leo Creger and Matthew Shuben trailed him with 2-1. In Round 4, Anderson ended up losing to Creger, and the two tied for 1st at 4-1, netting them a nice $300 each. Up-and-coming young expert Joaquin Perkins came from behind, winning his last two games, both of which were intense battles that could have gone all three ways for a long time. He took 3rd place with 3.5 points. A-player Renato Dikit took the Best Under 2000 prize. There were only 2 draws in the entire section!



      The middle section, Under 1800, saw a cool 25-player turnout. In the end, young Benjamin Bankhead emerged on top with a perfect 5-0 score, a full point ahead of his closest competitor. His performance as the only perfect score in the tournament earned him $280 in cash and 73 ratings points, pushing his rating over the A barrier for the first time! B-player Patrick Gordon-Davis executed an extreme “Swiss Gambit”; he dropped the first round to 1322-rated 6-year-old Bryan Xie, then proceeded to win the last 4 rounds to finish in clear 2nd with 4-1! Regular TOCC players Samuel Katagi and David Steinhart split 3rd place, and 1445-rated Surya Bhamidipati clinched the Best Under 1600 prize, all with 3.5 points.



The 15-player Under 1400 Section had quite an unexpected champion! In this section, due to the large percentage of kids, we gave out trophies as well as cash prizes. Six-year-old Shravan Sriram, rated only 506 in the July supplement and 795 in the most recent unofficial ratings, came out on top. He had a perfect 4-0 score after the first four rounds (which included taking out the section’s top rated player, veteran Robert Armstrong) then “settled” for a draw in the last round to clinch clear 1st. He took home $160 plus the shiny 1st place trophy. Unrated player Neeraj Verma took 2nd place with 4-1 (he lost only to Shravan). Like in the Under 1800, the 3rd place prize was split between two players; 1030-rated Kaylee Yang and Armstrong. Both got $48, but her better tiebreaks netted Kaylee the 3rd place trophy. She was the lucky one that managed to not lose to Shravan in the final round! The Best Under 1200 prize was split three ways, between August Yin, Gabriel Lin and Ekaterina Kiseleva. Having the best tiebreaks, August clinched the cute mini-trophy. Riday Bhatrai took the Best Under 800 prize outright. All four players finished with 3 points out of 5.


The tournament had a strong showing of players both from the TOCC club and beyond it, great for an inaugural event. Feedback was highly positive, and we hope to be able to hold another one in the near future… so stay tuned! 😉



Click here for all new ratings on the USCF! 

Full standings are below. See also Completed tournaments tab. (includes all winners and prizes)


2016 Conejo Valley Open Final Standings


SwissSys Standings. 2016 Conejo Valley Summer Open: Open Section

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Tot
1 Leo C Creger V 2191 L3 B— W7 W2 W4 4.0
2 Craig R Anderson 2082 W5 W3 W6 L1 W7 4.0
3 Joaquin K Perkins 2017 W1 L2 D8 W5 W6 3.5
4 Pablo Pena 2171 H— W8 D5 W6 L1 3.0
5 Larry L Smith 2252 L2 W9 D4 L3 W8 2.5
6 Matthew Shuben 2140 W9 W7 L2 L4 L3 2.0
7 Renato Dikit 1855 B— L6 L1 W8 L2 2.0
8 Rick Bucaria 1955 H— L4 D3 L7 L5 1.0
9 FM William Duckworth 2277 L6 L5 U— U— U— 0.0


SwissSys Standings. 2016 Conejo Valley Summer Open: Under 1800 Section

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Tot
1 Benjamin Bankhead 1708 W13 W12 W11 W6 W9 5.0
2 Patrick Gordon-Davis 1638 L19 W18 W21 W5 W6 4.0
3 Samuel S Katagi 1744 L12 W8 D13 W15 W11 3.5
4 David Steinhart 1689 W18 W14 D5 L9 W13 3.5
5 Surya Bhamidipati 1445 W23 W9 D4 L2 W14 3.5
6 Phoenix Changkachith 1716 W16 W17 W10 L1 L2 3.0
7 Dmitry Altshuller 1706 L17 W22 D14 D16 W19 3.0
8 Mike Owen 1658 D22 L3 H— W20 W16 3.0
9 Eric A Woo 1629 W20 L5 W19 W4 L1 3.0
10 Naren Krishnan 1602 W15 W19 L6 H— H— 3.0
11 Brent R Bennett 1579 W21 W24 L1 W12 L3 3.0
12 Brandon J Xie 1569 W3 L1 W24 L11 W17 3.0
13 Justin Yao 1554 L1 W25 D3 W17 L4 2.5
14 Antonio Malapira 1469 W25 L4 D7 W23 L5 2.5
15 Kshitij Patibandla 1278 L10 D16 W25 L3 W22 2.5
16 Michael J Moody 1565 L6 D15 W22 D7 L8 2.0
17 Manuelito Pascua 1481 W7 L6 W23 L13 L12 2.0
18 Irina Ivanova 1424 L4 L2 L20 X25 W23 2.0
19 Bryan Xie 1322 W2 L10 L9 W21 L7 2.0
20 Beverly Woolsey 1317 L9 L23 W18 L8 B— 2.0
21 Aryan Gutla 1259 L11 B— L2 L19 W24 2.0
22 Destin T Petri 1401 D8 L7 L16 W24 L15 1.5
23 Han Gunn 1698 L5 W20 L17 L14 L18 1.0
24 Frank Zazanis 966 B— L11 L12 L22 L21 1.0
25 Gerry B Mendoza 1701 L14 L13 L15 F18 U— 0.0


SwissSys Standings. 2016 Conejo Valley Summer Open: Under 1400 Section

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Tot
1 Shravan Sriram 506 W5 W14 W3 W2 D4 4.5
2 Neeraj Verma unr. W6 W13 W9 L1 W7 4.0
3 Robert Armstrong 1386 W15 D10 L1 W8 W9 3.5
4 Kaylee Yang 1030 L9 W5 W11 W10 D1 3.5
5 August Yin 1188 L1 L4 W15 W13 W12 3.0
6 Gabriel Lin 1098 L2 W12 L8 W11 W10 3.0
7 Ekaterina Kiseleva 841 L10 W15 W14 W9 L2 3.0
8 Riday Bhatrai 741 L11 B— W6 L3 W13 3.0
9 Robert Liu 1219 W4 W11 L2 L7 L3 2.0
10 Alyssa Changkachith 1210 W7 D3 D13 L4 L6 2.0
11 Sabrina T Shenker 1194 W8 L9 L4 L6 W15 2.0
12 Sasha Patibandla 1024 L13 L6 B— W14 L5 2.0
13 Elias V Simon 1212 W12 L2 D10 L5 L8 1.5
14 Inika Vellore unr. H— L1 L7 L12 B— 1.5
15 Inay Vellore 1067 L3 L7 L5 B— L11 1.0



  1. Nick you did an awesome job running this event! 👏 It was such a blessing to watch your vision of hosting a weekend event becoming a reality! It was a blast planning and implementing this tournament with you!
    Thank you to our amazing church for the privilege of holding this event at such a scenic location! Thank you to the members of the Thousand Oaks Chess Club for the support and all the players who traveled to be with us last weekend! We truly appreciate all of you! Many Blessings! Cindy (aka Mom)

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