GM James Tarjan Re-enters Team Play With Portland Rain
The Portland Rain is a team of locals, eager to show those outside of Oregon of what they are made. In the words of their team captain, Steven Breckenridge:
"This is a great opportunity for our players to face top competition and gain recognition outside of our immediate geographical area and to have the rare opportunity to play as a team, rather than as individuals. Our participation will help us promote chess and our club to a broad audience here in Portland. We hope this is the first of many seasons to come for the league and for our team."
GM Jim Tarjan:
"Tarjan enjoyed a distinguished career as a grandmaster in the '70s and '80s, retiring from chess in 1984. In 2014, he returned after thirty years away from competitive play. Since then he has been active in the tournament scene, both in America and in Europe. In his first career, Jim represented the United States in five consecutive Olympiads, twice winning gold medals for best individual performance. He finished as high as second in the U.S. Championship. He is excited to make his PRO Chess League debut and to return to team play, where he has always excelled."
NM Nick Raptis:
"Nick, a five-time Oregon chess champion, has been one of the strongest masters in the Pacific Northwest for many years. He has dominated the tournaments at the Portland Chess Club in particular, with hundreds of victories to his credit. He recently took equal first at the strong 2016 Washington Open, and has won several Oregon Opens as well. Apart from his accomplishments at long time controls, Nick also regularly reigns supreme at local rapid and blitz tournaments."
NM Steven Breckenridge:
"Steven is one of the strongest players to have come from the state of Oregon in recent years, having achieved a peak USCF rating of 2430. In college, he played chess for perennial power Texas Tech under the tutelage of Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk. By the time he started school there, he had already won the Oregon Chess Championship twice. He once competed in the World Blitz and Rapid Championships, where he showed that he is also a force to be reckoned with at those time controls. According to Breckenridge: 'The best move is the move which makes your opponent play the worst move.'"
NMs Seth Talyansky, Carl Haessler, Ben Smail, and Jason Cigan all have many state credentials to their name and must be surely be eager to distinguish themselves on a larger stage.
The PRO Chess League welcomes the Portland Rain!
Read up on everything you need to know about the PRO Chess League:
- League Announcement
- Prize Fund for 2017 Season
- 2017 Schedule
- How to join the PRO Chess League
- Are you a chess player looking to join a team? Apply to be picked up as a free agent here!