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Scholastic Summer Tournament Season Opens With Exciting Chess

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Twenty elementary school students showed up for the Summer Slam Bash. The favorite was “Adjourn” Puri. He was one of five talented youngsters rated over the 1000 mark. “Adjourn” is currently trained by NM Loal Davis. He had previously been taking lessons from Tournament Director Mike Kummer. Kummer had three students in the tourney: Jaden Meyerstrom, Justin Zhang, and his newest student Agastya Diwan. 

Agastya has been rapidly improving since taking lessons in the spring. He faced off against Jaden in Round 1. Both played the opening superbly. Agastya ended up losing a couple pawns in the middle game and got outplayed in the endgame. 

A big upset occurred when Kids’ Beginner Champion Jenna Song totally obliterated Charlie Pitts’ Traxler Counter Attack. The dubious opening allowed Jenna to go into the Fried Liver Attack. Charlie’s whole plan was to allow the Knight to capture on f7 and get his Queen and Rook forked. Charlie then sacs his Bishop on f2, but Jenna was too smart to take it. Now, Charlie’s attack is stalled and down a rook. Game over!

Jenna Song v. Charles Pitt

In round 2, on the top board “Adjourn” was just too much for Jenna Song. Jaden improved to 2-0 against a visitor from Naples, Florida. Agastya got on the scoreboard. The round lasted for such a long time as Andrew Voelker was not able to checkmate Michael Pugachev in the allotted time. Andrew was clearly winning and had a mate in 2 when his flag fell. The time control for the event was 30 minutes aside with no time delay.  

chess, club, scholastic, knight, tournament, swiss, summer, slam, bashAfter a lunch break it was on to round 3. “Adjourn” put an end to Jaden’s glory streak. Michael Pugachev bumped his score to 3-0 when he back ranked Ben Shoykhet despite being down a knight. Pugachev recently won the Kids’ Beginner Tournament and got a free membership to the USCF. He plays a tough game and with a win in the last round he would end up with a fresh rating of 1500. Agastya Diwan and Justin Zhang both played solid games to stand at 2-1.

In the final round, “Adjourn” squared off against Harper Evan Smith’s student Blake Hebert who was also 3-0. “Adjourn” led wire-to-wire and eventually traded down to a winning rook and pawn endgame. He ended up winning the rook with a skewer. 

Arjun Puri v. Blake Hebert

chess, club, scholastic, knight, tournament, swiss, summer, slam, bashMichael Pugachev was very disappointed that he did not get paired with “Adjourn” in the final round. He played Jaden instead. Pugachev took it out on Jaden early. Pugachev consolidated to a winning pawn endgame. Pugachev won the pawn race. Jaden knows to “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.” Jaden kept pushing his pawns and Pugachev failed to see how to stop them or even force a perpetual check. Jaden got his own Queen and didn’t mess around.  He won the game, captured all the glory and the 2nd Place trophy. 

Michael Pugachev v. Jaden Meyerstrom

Agastya Diwan and Tlyer He played so fast they broke the DGT software. Agastya played good moves quickly and totally knocked He off the board. Agastya earned the 5th Place trophy and has already doubled his rating since he began lessons with Kummer. Agastya trains very hard and is not afraid to play anyone. The tournament wouldn’t be complete without a draw. Justin Zhang and Christopher Holley agreed amicably to shake hands with plenty of play left in the position. Both finished 2.5/4 and out of the Winner’s Circle.

The event was so much fun as GM Ben Finegold and 2013 Summer Slam Bash winner Julian Proleiko provided live commentary. The two also conducted interviews with “Adjourn”, Jenna Song, Jaden Meyerstrom and Michael Pugachev. The next big scholastic tourney will be Sunday, July 5th. The Royal Rumble Bash will be the 2nd of the 3 Bashes this year.  See if “Adjourn” can keep his eye on the Triple Crown this year!