Last Saturday, we ran our 2-star 2018 Triangle February Open Tournament. While it was 75 and sunny outside (in late February no less), we still had over 70 players spread out over 5 events and 32 tables. This was by far our biggest February tournament to date, with participation nearly doubling last years numbers.
The day started with the U1350 event kicking off at 10:00. In the 16-player field, top seed Madhav Arepalli (1337) established himself as the early favorite, dropping just 3 games in 7 matches of round robin play in Group 1. The top 4 seeds in this group advanced to the knockout stage. Group 2 was a bit messier, with the 2, 4, 5, and 6 seeds getting out after all being tied for first! Madhav continued his dominance en route to the finals, dropping just a single game, and ended up with a rematch of the emerging 2-seed from his group, Sangram Kadam (760). Sangram was able to win a game during their group-play match but wasn’t so lucky in the finals, with Madhav taking the match in straight games (6,10,6).
The second event to run was the U1750, with a nearly full field of 23 competitors. The top 4 seeds in each group advanced to the single elimination bracket with a few exceptions (Jhon Mendoza was the 5-seed in his group, Christian Mard was also a 5-seed). Once it got the semifinals, however, all that remained were the #1 and #2 seeds from Groups 1 and 3. Shahriar Elias (1650) was able to overcome a 0-2 deficit to Omar Garcia to get into the finals. Gangchen (Victor) Ren cruised into the finals, beating Changbo Lu (1559) 3-0. Shah and Gangchen were the top seeds in their round robin group, with Gangchen taking the first match up 3-1, and the finals finished with same scoreline. Shah fought hard, but Gangchen’s backhand punch proved too much for Shah to handle.
The next event on the docket was the U2050. Both top seeds, Chris Xiao (2006) and Aldin Soneja (1996), went undefeated in their respective groups. Though there were several upsets in the group stage, every match in the single elimination round went to the higher rated player until it got the finals. Though Chris had a 2-0 record against Aldin in previous meetings, his unbeaten streak came to an end as Aldin claimed the title with a 3-1 victory.
The last rated event of the day was the U700. Group 1 was dominated by young Bryce Milford (332) while his dad, Jeff Milford (531), tore through the competition in Group 2. The Milfords seemed to be on a collision course to the finals until Andrew Malone (377) gave Bryce his first loss of the tournament. Jeff fought well against Andrew in the finals, but fell just short and lost 3-1 in a match that had 3 games decided by 2 points and 1 game of 11-0.
The final event played was a fun one, the Brazilian 3-Person Teams. Each team is made up of 3 players, none of which can be higher than 2000, and all of which must collectively be rated no higher than 4600. The perpetual game of musical chairs at the tables provides lots of fun match ups and opportunities for streaks and swings. If one player is able to get a good streak going, both sides get excited, encouraging their teammates to dig deep. This event was also double elimination, so one loss didn’t take any teams out of the running. Coming up the A side of the bracket was a local team comprised of Bella Xu (1570), John Lee (1969), and Chingyao Chou (1031). The team they met in the finals, whom they had knocked into the B side in their second match, was made up of Zelin Ye (1887), Jinpeng Xiao (1665), and Shilan Wu (961). Though they had lost to them earlier in the event, Zelin’s team beat Bella’s in the first match of the finals, forcing a second match due to the double elimination format. In the end, Bella’s team regained their earlier form and closed the deal.
To view more pictures from the tournament, please go to our Facebook album. To view results from the rated events, you can go to the tournament page on Omnipong. Congratulations to all that played and thanks for coming out. See you all next month for the 2018 Butterfly Cary Cup!