2013 Western Invitational Chess Camp Complete!!

2013 Western Invitational Chess Camp Complete!!



IM-Elect Robby Adamson, Camp Director of Western Invitational Chess Camp


Hi everyone! The month of July has been perhaps the busiest I have ever had. After finishing the 2013 World Open, I had a few days off before my favorite time of the year – the camp I run called the Western Invitational Chess Camp (www.westernchesscamp.com). This year’s camp was held at the beautiful 4 star resort, Tucson El Conquistador, July 14-18, 2013.

Tucson El Conquistador Resort - camp site

The 2013 Camp had a total of 7 masters and a total of 19 players rated over 2100! Never in the history has the camp been as strong and deep as it was this year. This article is going to THANK all the people that made this camp the best ever in its ten (10) years of existence.


THANKS to www.chess.com for sponsoring the camp, giving all camp participants free diamond memberships (6 months to new members, and 3 months to existing diamond members!). Chess.com was also generous in donating pens and hoodies for the group winners of the camp tournament and hats for winners of the instructor awards.

Main Sponsor for Camp - www.chess.com!!


THANKS to all of the 2013 Instructors. Specially,

THANKS to GM Josh Friedel  http://www.chess.com/members/view/jfriedel for his awesome instruction and special congrats for winning the blitz tournament with a perfect 10-0 score!! Oh, and thanks for the shot glasses!!!

GM-Elect Mac Molner takes on Alejandro Ramirez at the blitz tournament at the Jewish Community Center. (Spectators left to right (Alex Wlezien (TX), Alexander Deatrick, Joseph Kennedy (AZ), Andrew Tang (TX), Grant Oen (NJ) Derek Sachs (WI) and Ford Nakagawa (HI).


THANKS to GM Alejandro Ramirez http://www.chess.com/members/view/LittlePeasant for once again having challenging lectures, his lecture on Chessbase, not going to the Cactus Moon, and for taking every other offering Tuesday night.


THANKS to GM Melik Khachiyan http://www.chess.com/members/view/GMMelik for his vibrant personality, challenging lectures, winning the first bowling match, and for telling awesome stories (details omitted about the Tiger story out of respect for the guilty).


THANKS and CONGRATS to GM-Elect Mac Molner http://www.chess.com/members/view/MacMolner for his final GM Norm, his great debut as an Instructor at the Camp, and for his lecture on his path to GM.

THANKS to IM Levon Altounian http://www.chess.com/members/view/Altounian-ARZ for his long outstanding service to the Camp (taught all 10 years!) and his great lecture on imbalances.


GM Alejandro Ramirez, IM-Elect Robby Adamson, and IM John Bartholomew


THANKS to IM John Bartholomew http://www.chess.com/members/view/Fins0905 for a great second year of coaching, providing Starbuck relief to the Instructors, and for his excellent blogs on this year’s camp. http://www.chess.com/blog/Fins0905/north-by-southwest as well as last year’s camp http://www.chess.com/blog/Fins0905/summer-happenings.

THANKS to IM Danny Rensch http://www.chess.com/members/view/ACEChess for his excellent work with www.chess.com, his very cool lecture on Solitaire Chess, and for his long time support of the Camp.


THANKS THANKS THANKS to my assistant this year, Michelle Martinez, for doing so many things behind the scenes that are too numerous to list everything – but in a nutshell, hosting camp students, running the camp tournament, taking pictures and videos, and oh goodness so much more!! Thanks Michelle!!


THANKS to all 7! Masters this year for attending: Kevin Mo, Cameron Wheeler, Bryan Hu, Michael Vilenchuk, Nicolas Rosenthal, Nick Thompson, and John Williams and 19 players rated over 2100!!!

THANKS to John Williams for attending 9 out of a possible 10 years.


THANKS to our www.chess.com bloggers, Michael Vilenchuk who wrote the initial blog http://www.chess.com/blog/shishkana/western-invitational-chess-camp---the-beginning,

Anna Matlin for her blog http://www.chess.com/blog/Annalytical/getting-in-the-zone-in-arizona, and to Steven Pennock http://www.chess.com/blog/sgpennock1/the-ldquocamp-feelingrdquo

Also THANKS to Steven Pennock for making the Camp video (to be uploaded soon).

THANKS to my webmaster, Jon Shacter for posting camp info and pics.

THANKS to the host families: Pennock, Arnold, Li, Yee, Froehlich, and Martinez. Awesome job!

THANKS to all the parents who helped drive children to lunch and to the evening activities!!

CONGRATS to the Camp Tournament Winners

Group 1 -                    Kevin Mo (Pennsylvania)                                      

Group 2A -                  Anthony Nguyven (Texas)

                                   Max Zinski (Illinois)

Group 2B -                  Bohan Li (Arizona)

Group 3 -                   Rick Sun (Arizona)

Group 4 –                   Carl Dutton (Washington)

                                  Chang Xu (Arizona)

Group 5 –                   Nathaniel Sobery (Illinois)

Kevin Mo from Pennsylvania won Group 1, with impressive score of 4.5/5Could not resist having a card from Bev Mo!!

 CONGRATS to the Camp Instructor Award Winners

Group 1 -                    Anna Matlin (New Jersey)

                                  Michael Vilenchuk (Ohio)

                                  Bryan Hu (Arizona)

Group 2A –                 Steven Pennock (Arizona)

                                 Alex Costello (California)

Group 2B –                 Derek Chen (Arizona)

                                  Alexander Deatrick (Michigan)

Group 3 -                    Aaron Balleisen (North Carolina)

                                  Sreekar Bommireddy (Arizona)

Group 4 -                    David Condon (Arizona)

                                  Nathan Wu (Virginia)

Group 5 –                   Justin Friedlander (Arizona)

                                  Patrick Froehlich (Arizona)

Congrats to winners of the Ye Olde Pueblo tournament after the camp, won by campers Cameron Wheeler, Eldon Nakagawa, and 2012 camper Isaac Martinez.  Pictured: Cameron Wheeler (California) vs. Austin Jiang (Texas), Round 2



 NM Michael Vilenchuk (Ohio) smiles for the camera and Charles Yang (Maryalnd) sports the bright colored hoodie.

IM Danny Rensch vs GM Alejandro Ramirez; John Gurczak (Arizona) smiles (yes it happens) and Scott Treiman (Utah) looks on.

Bughouse was tons of fun too.

 Anna Matlin simuls vs. Bohan Li (Arizona) and Sreekar Bommireddy (Arizona) during the bughouse tournament! Future stud Andrew Tang (Texas) and Nathan Phan (Missouri) looks on in amazement!

Steven Pennock (designer of the camp shirt) with Robby Adamson and Hugh Fox - Bughouse partners!

 IM John Bartholomew and Likeke Aipa from Hawaii

GM Melik Khachiyan, with his students from Hawaii, Ford Nakagawa and Eldon (ELDUNNNNN) Nakagawa

 In-N-Out Burger Michael Reed (AZ - head down), Alec Anderson (AZ), Max Zinski (Illinois - sporty hat), and Alex Wlezien (TX)

Bullet tournament; Cepheus Martinez (AZ) vs David Condon (AZ); Justin Friedlander (AZ) vs Andrew Tang (TX) - 2 future studs in scholastic chess - both going into 2nd grade!!

Zac Cancio (AZ) plays bughouse with his partner, NM Cameron Wheeler

Josh Pennock vs. Rick Sun in group 3 match-up.


Fellow Washington campers: Carl Dutton and Cameron Cummings. 

Instructor Bowling Challenge; Mac Molner wins!

Note: Melik won the first one - but no picture!

Pre-Ye Olde Pueblo Photo at Zinburger (left side from botton - Steven Pennock, IM-Elect Robby Adamson, Josh Pennock, NM Michael Vilenchuk; right side from bottom - Likeke Aipa, GM Josh Friedel, NM Ben Marmont, and John Gurczak. 


Finally, thanks to everyone else that made this camp possible!! Next year’s camp will be held July 13-17, 2014, in Tucson, Arizona. Anyone interested, please email me at robzadamson@msn.com.