Master Trek Recap - August 29, 2009

Posted: September 3rd, 2009 by Daniel Rensch

The first Master Trek of the 2009-2010 Grand Prix Cup Season was held on August 29th at ASU. To say that ACE Chess “hopes this tournament was a sign of things to come” would be an understatement. So many wonderful things happened at the this tournament, that we can’t help but start looking forward to more: From the opening ceremony and awards for the 2008-2009 Grand Prix Cup; to the incredible turnout of 80+ participants; to a field of players that was a strong as any Master Trek ever, American Chess Events LLC was very pleased, and we hope that our faithful “Trekkers” were too.

Starting in the top section (2000 and Up) we had five players rated over 2150! Even FM Daniel Rensch got in on the action, and after barely holding off young Eric Qi in round two, Danny went on to win the remainder of his games to take first. Performing at a very high level was Tucson’s Bryan Hu, and if not for a loss to fellow Tucsonan NM Leo Martinez in the final round, Bryan would have had a perfect day. Rounding out the top five was Hu in second, Martinez in third, NM Joel Johnson in fourth, and John Gurczak in fifth.

In 1700-1999 Section we saw the triumphant return of an Arizona Veteran (this guy used to beat Danny Rensch when he was just a kid): Bill Pace. Congrats to Mr. Pace on a perfect day that saw him gain almost forty rating points. The rest of the section was a pure battle of wits between several young players who feel they should already be in the 2000 and Up Section: Daniel Bryant too second place with three points; Daniel Pecherski and Tom Mayka captured third and fourth places in that order, each finishing with two and a half points; while fifth through eighth place belonged to Isaac Martinez (who made the trip down from Las Vegas), Kinsleigh Wong, Yash Pershad, and Peter Fenger in that order respectively.

The 1400-1699 Section saw the emergence of a player who is sure to become a regular Trekker over the coming months (and a possible “Dark Horse” pick for the MVP of that Section): Noah Raskin had a perfect day and finished with a four wins and no losses score. Truth be told, his only close game came in round one when he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Soren Alethia-Zomlefer. Thomas Mathine continues to make great strides, and he finished in clear second with three and a half points out of four. Third place belonged to Kendrick Nguyen, fourth to Neil Talanki, and fifth to Soren-Alethia Zomlefer. Sixth through ninth all finished with two and a half points out of four, and will all receive Grand Prix Points for their tie for fifth place.

In the 1000-1399 Section, Nicolas Johnston tried to get me to “bend the new rules” and allow him to play up in the 1400-1699 Section. I politely refused and said, “Just win all your games and you will be in that section next time”! Well, win all his games he did, and sure enough, he gained over one hundred rating points and will be competing in the 1400-1699 Section for the remainder of the season. Congrats to Nic! Joshua Perkins, A.J. Anthony, Todd Bryce, and Michael Sauer rounded out the top five.

Finally, the 500-999 Section saw several first time Trekkers not only “jump into the waters”, but “make some splashes” doing it! Taylor Bader, Eric Nelson, Gage Reitzel, and Javi Urcuyo all competed in a Master Trek for the first time, and they all finished in the top ten. Although, first place was left to a Trek veteran: Nathaniel Schmidt went perfect with four wins and no losses. Bader, Smith, Alethia-Zomlefer, and Wang rounded out the top five, and all scored at least three points out of four.

Thanks again to all for coming! We will see you back at ASU on September 12th for the second Master Trek Grand Prix Cup tournament of the season. Let us know what you think by making a comment or two below!