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Rene' Phillips is 2009 Louisiana G/60 Champion

posted Jul 15, 2009, 5:33 AM by Louisiana Chess
Rene' Phillips Wins 2nd Straight
By Adam Caveney

Chess tournament organizers in Louisiana better make sure that they have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case Rene Phillips shows up, because Phillips is hot! After cruising to victory with a perfect 5-0 score at the 2009 Louisiana G/30 Championship in March, Phillips repeated the feat at the 2009 Louisiana G/60 Championship on May 9th by taking clear first and the title with a perfect 4-0 score. After winning his first three games in solid fashion, Phillips won the tourney in the final round with a sacrificial flurry that led to victory over second seeded Alex Steger.

Third seed Ben Bailey had a hiccup in the first round, drawing Jordan Pujol, but rebounded with three straight victories to finish 3-5-0.5 and take second place. Jace Etienne dispatched top seed Adam Caveney in a time scramble in round two and finished with a score of 3-1. That was good enough to tie Henry Charry, who also finished with a 3-1 score, for first place under 2000.

Binh Cohn Doan, playing in his second tournament, and Bijan Khaleghi both finished with a 2.5-1.5 score and shared first place under 1800. Pujol followed up his draw with Bailey with two more wins and won first place under 1600 with a score of 2.5-1.5. Eli Karp and Randy Matherne both finished with 1.5-2.5 scores to split the prizes for first under 1400 and first under 1200/unrated.

A strong and deep field of 27 players, including four experts and five A players participated in the tournament. Stephen D’Aquin played and finished with a very respectable score of 2.5-1.5, losing only to Caveney; a performance that was very impressive because it was D’Aquin’s first rated tournament since 1992.

Steger organized and directed, making his 3-1 score all the more impressive. The next tournament in Louisiana will be the Louisiana Open in Lafayette over Memorial Day Weekend. Details for the 2009 State Championship, which will be held over Labor Day Weekend in Baton Rouge will be available shortly.