Last weekend, we ran our annual “Upside Down” Open. This tournament flips the prize pool, paying out the most for the lower events, which is a fun change for the entry-level players. This 4-star tournament featured 7 rated events and 1 fun event over two days. The U900 kicked off the weekend and paid out over $600 (!). Standouts in the group stage include undefeated top seed Ayush Jain (898), as well as Brandon Mino (215), Weiguo Jiang (848), and Bryce Milford (736), all of whom went 6-1. Once into the single elimination round, Ayush and Brandon continued their dominance all the way to the finals. In the battle for 1st place, Brandon edged out the young local in a close 4th game (10,-7,7,11) and claimed the top prize. Congratulations Brandon!
The next event up in rating was the U1300, which ended up being a smaller event with only 7 players. With the group stage determining the final podium finishes, each match had a bit more meaning behind it. As the day progressed, twins Bryan Zeng (932)n and Cliff Lin (903) made it known they were not to be trifled with on the bottom of the table. They each upset 3 players rated above them and through the group standings into chaos. Top seeds Raphael Orenstein (1294) and Danny Wan (1193) each ended the day with only one loss each, Danny succumbing to Cliff in 4 games, and Raphael to Danny. This last match broke the tie for first and established the final two positions, giving Danny the gold. Young Bryan Zeng took 3rd all the way from the 6th position. Congratulations Danny!
Next on the docket was the U1550. 24 players were broken up evenly into 4 groups for the initial round. This event was up for grabs, with none of the groups going according to the seeds. When the dust settled, eight competitors advanced into a single elimination bracket to determine the victors. The last four players standing were Richard Perez (1533), Sangram Kadam (1488), Deepak Kulkarni (1215), and Lalit Kapoor (1380). Each semifinal match up went four games, with Rich losing to Sangram and Deepak falling to Lalit. Perez was able to win a close match for 3rd against Deepak in 4 games (8,9,-11,9). In the finals, Sangram and Lalit battled back and forth until Lalit was able to take charge in the fifth. Gram fought, but it was not enough, as Lalit took the final game and the match (3,-6,5,-7,6). Congratulations Lalit!
The U1700 had 15 players entered, making 3 groups of 5 with the top 2 advancing from each group. In two of the groups, the top seeds went undefeated with ease. In group 2, however, there was a 3-way tie at the top to determine who came out. Adi Jain (1484) and Changbo Lu (1663) ended up advancing and made the most of their good fortune. Changbo won his quarterfinal and semifinal matches without dropping a game on his way to the finals. On the other side of the bracket, Adi got a quarterfinal bye, then came back from down 2-0 in the semis to get a rematch with Changbo. In the group stage, Changbo beat Adi 3-2 in a very close match. In the finals, Adi got his revenge, winning the match 3-1 (9,-11,8,8) and claiming the top spot. Congratulations Adi!
In the U1900, ratings didn’t seem to matter much in the initial rounds. During round robin play, each group had a player advance without a loss, though 3 of the 4 came from the #2 spot. The only #1 seed to do so was the overall top seed Tony Ma (1892), who played in three different events and had a great tournament. Tony was not put under real pressure until the finals, where he was met with the unorthodox playing style of Phil Dadzie (1722). Phil’s combination of spinny penhold underhand chops followed by blistering attacks got him a chance to take first place, but Tony had other ideas. After getting down 2-1, Tony dug deep and won the next two convincingly and won it in 5 (-3,3,-6,6,3). Congratulations Tony!
Our second highest rated event was the U2150. This time, Tony Ma was able to upset the order and went undefeated from the 2 spot! Tony continued his inspired play and found himself playing in the finals once again. On the other half of the bracket, Jerred Miklowcic (1977) had to play an equally rated Wayne Carney (1977) in the quarterfinals. Jerred won efficiently in 3 games, moving on to a semifinal match up with Brandon Moody (1723). Brandon managed to get a game, but Jerred had rebounded from his opening stage hiccups and advanced, beating Brandon in 4. Brandon found himself slightly overmatched in the 3rd place playoff, losing to Bella Xu in the 4th. Jerred and Tony met in the finals, with Jerred having hopes of rectifying a loss to Tony at the 2018 Butterfly Cary Cup earlier this year. Tony played well, but Jerred established himself early and never looked back, winning in three games (4,9,9) and taking the U2150 title. Congratulations Jerred!
Our sole fun event this tournament was the U3500 Doubles. No single player could be rated over 2100, though this threshold was not tested, as the highest rated player to participate was Edward Li at 1979. 15 teams were seeded into 3 groups of 5, with only 1 team making it out to compete for the prizes. All three advancing teams did so without losing a match and all three came from the #2 spot in their respective groups. One pair that advanced was the team of Adi Jain and Tony Ma, both of whom won rated events on their own. The other two teams consisted of Oscar Galavis (1789) with Sue Nolte (1599) and the family pairing of Shiguang Lu (1721) and Changbo Lu. As Adi and Tony did in other events, they played well and blew through their competition, securing their place atop the podium. Congratulations (again!) to Adi and Tony!
The Open event had 12 total players in two groups, including a very late entry of Triangle’s own AJ Carney (2398). The top 4 seeds in this event were all left-handed, including two players visiting from Brazil. Daniel Peterossi (2266) and Heverton Guedes (2367) both played well and with a true passion for the game. Heverton was the top seed in his group and played as such, not dropping a single game. Daniel was cruising in his group until his final match against top overall seed AJ. AJ won 3-0, but each game was close (10,10,10). In the semifinals, due to geographic separation, AJ and Daniel met again and put on a show. Having played earlier, each came into the match with knowledge of the other and new strategies to employ. Daniel played well and had a chance, but AJ fought back, winning the fourth game at deuce and the fifth at 9, propelling him into the finals. On the opposite side of the bracket, Heverton laid waste to his opponents and sailed into the finals without dropping a game. Once there, he and AJ traded blows, with three out of four games being decided by the two-point minimum. In the end, AJ couldn’t adjust his timing and Heverton let out a yell as he closed it out in 4 (9,-13,6,10). Congratulations Heverton!
For more pictures from the weekend, check out our Facebook Album.
To view some of the matches, please check our YouTube Page.