Maryland Sweet 16
MD Sweet 16
Carissa Zheng is 2023 Maryland Sweet 16 Champion!
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By Chris Y Kim
Carissa Zheng, a 12th grade student at Winston Churchill High School in Montgomery County, has won the 2023 Maryland Sweet 16 this weekend (March 4-5) at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC). She is the first female winner of the Maryland Sweet 16 in the nearly 30 years of the event. This was the first time the Maryland Sweet 16 has been held in 3 years, since the pandemic cancelled over-the-board tournaments right after the 2020 version.
It is often the case that a player in the top half after the 1st day who can win both matches on the 2nd day will often win the Maryland Sweet 16. Round 4 featured the match between the top two seeds on Board 1 who were tied for the lead: Nitesh Cherukuri (2055) - Carissa Zheng (2035). Nitesh Cherukuri is in 6th grade in Howard County. Both players had won their 3rd round matches to take the lead at 2.5/3.0. Zheng prevailed in the drama-filled game to win the tournament, which includes a 4-year tuition scholarship to UMBC. The Maryland Chess Association would like to thank all the players and parents who accepted participation on very short notice and endured a power outage at UMBC on Saturday that shortened Round 2.
Here are the final standings in tiebreak order (out of 4 games):
3.5: Carissa Zheng
3.0: Jayant Maheshwari, Anish Mariappan
2.5: Nitesh Cherukuri, Siddharth Kurup, Gabriel Joshi
2.0: Devesh Cherukuri, Sherlock Grigsby II, Michael Deng, Andy Yue
1.5: Joshua Liu, Alexander Zlodorev, Eliot Wu
1.0: Angelina Verma, Sandeep Thimmasamudram
0.5: Anushka Skariah
Round 2 in 2023 Maryland Sweet 16 - Power Restored!
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By Chris Y Kim
Round 2 of the 2023 Maryland Sweet 16 has been completed with a very competitive field. We almost had a 7-way tie for first place again with 1.5 points except for a decisive Board 2 game. Jayant Maheshwari defeated Gabriel Joshi in a tight match to take sole first place with 2.0 points. Round 2 also featured a Board 1 matchup between undefeated brothers Devesh and Nitesh Cherukuri that resulted in a draw.
The biggest news of Round 2 was the restoration of power (from a tree downing a powerline feeding UMBC) around 17:34 this afternoon - assuring that the tournament would continue. Power went out in the middle of Round 1 and through Round 2. Round 2 was shortened to G/60; +30 sec increment, as the building would close at sundown if the power were not restored. Sunlight in the playing room ensured that games could be played, but the room was gradually darkening at the completion of the last two matches of Round 2 when power was restored. Without power, standings and pairing sheets could not be printed - had to be handwritten.
Thank you for all the players and parents for enduring the unusual circumstances and conditions. Below are the results from Round 2; Brief Standings; Pairings for Round 3 for those players that had to leave early after Round 2:
Results Round 2 (White listed first)
Board 1: Devesh Cherukuri (1.0) - Nitesh Cherukuri (1.0) 0.5-0.5
Board 2: Gabriel Joshi (1.0) - Javant Maheshwari (1.0) 0-1
Board 3: Anish Mariappan (1.0) - Siddarth Kurup (1.0) 0.5-0.5
Board 4: Sherlock Grigsby II (1.0) - Carissa Zheng (0.5) 0-1
Board 5: Andy Yue (0.0) - Sandeep Thimmasamudram (0.5) 1-0
Board 6: Michael Deng (0.0) - Eliot Wu (0.0) 1-0
Board 7: Angelina Verma (0.0) - Anushka Skariah (0.0) 1-0
Board 8: Alexander Zlodorev (0.0) - Joshua Liu (0.0) 0-1
Brief Standings (tiebreak order)
2.0 - Jayant Maheshwari
1.5 - Nitesh Cherukuri, Anish Mariappan, Siddharth Kurup, Devesh Cherukuri, Carissa Zheng
1.0 - Sherlock Grigsby II, Gabriel Joshi, Angelina Verma, Andy Yue, Michael Deng, Joshua Liu
0.5 - Sandeep Thimmasamudram
0.0 - Alexander Zlodorev, Eliot Wu, Anushka Skariah
Pairings - Round 3 (Sunday 3/5/2023 10:30am) - White listed first
Board 1: Jayant Maheshwari (2.0) - Nitesh Cherukuri (1.5)
Board 2: Carissa Zheng (1.5) - Siddharth Kurup (1.5)
Board 3: Devesh Cherukuri (1.5) - Anish Mariappan (1.5)
Board 4: Angelina Verma (1.5) - Andy Yue (1.0)
Board 5: Joshua Liu (1.0) - Gabriel Joshi (1.0)
Board 6: Sherlock Grigsby II (1.0) - Michael Deng (1.0)
Board 7: Sandeep Thimmasamudram (0.5) - Alexander Zlodorev (0.0)
Board 8: Eliot Wu (0.0) - Anushka Skariah (0.0)
2020 Maryland Sweet 16 - Benjamin Shoykhet is Champion!
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by Chris Y Kim
Day 2 of the 2020 Maryland Sweet 16 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country (UMBC) exhibited some excitement at the top in addition to extra sunshine courtesy of the Daylight Saving Time change. There were three players undefeated after two rounds, and one player, top-rated Bijan Tahmassebi just 0.5 points behind. In Round 3, co-leaders Benjamin Shoykhet and Shane Jayasundera met with Shoykhet prevailing in a long game. Bijan Tahmassebi and Ryan He also were paired, and despite being the longest game of the round, Tahmassebi could not escape the draw result. This set up a round 4 matchup with between the top ranked players - Shoykhet and He with He needing a win to capture the title. The two players played a relatively quick draw - leaving Shoykhet with the 2020 Maryland Sweet 16 titile. Shoykhet is the recepient of a tuition scholarship to UMBC. He has moved from the St. Louis, Missouri area this past summer.
In tiebreak order, here are the final standings with the USCF ratings:
3.5: Benjamin Shoykhet (2061)
3.0: Ryan He (1941)
2.5: Joseph Tarantin (1917); Bijan Tahmassebi (2176); Andrew Diep (2075); Shane Jayasendera (1983); Chen-Chen Ye (1964); Neel Jay (2087)
2.0: Sean Power (1933)
1.5: Anish Mariappan (1804); Jacob Jones (1906); Gabriel Joshi (1710); Max Mathura (1996)
1.0: Tad Mrozek (1853); Dylan Booth (1890)
0.5: Ariel Joshi (1847)
Results from Day 1 of Maryland Sweet 16
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Day 1 of the 2020 Maryland Sweet 16 has come to a close. There were some upsets in both rounds - notably Ryan He (1941) who has defeated two experts to be one of 3 undefeated players after 2 rounds. He is joined at the top by Shane Jayasundera (1983) and newcomer Benjamin Shoykhet (2061) - previously from Missouri last year.
Tomorrow promises more exciting chess after losing one hour tonight for Daylight Saving Time!
Standings: alphabetical oreder
2.0: Ryan He (1941); Shane Jayasundera (1983); Benjamin Shoykhet (2061).
1.5: Bijan Tahmassebi (2176)
1.0: Andrew Diep (2075); Neel Jay (2087); Jacob Jones (1906); Ted Mrozek (1853); Sean Power (1933); Joseph Tarantin (1917); Chen-Chen Ye (1964)
0.5: Ariel Joshi (1847); Anish Mariappan (1804), Max Mathura (1996)
0.0: Dylan Booth (1890); Gabriel Joshi (1710)
Pairings for Round 3:
1: Shoykhet (2061, 2.0) vs Jayasundera (1983, 2.0)
2: He (1941, 2.0) vs Tahmassebi (2176, 1.5)
3: Jay (2087, 1.0) vs Mrozek (1853, 1.0)
4: Power (1933, 1.0) vs Diep (2075, 1.0)
5: Tarantin (1917, 1.0) vs Ye (1964, 1.0)
6. Jones (1906, 1.0) vs Mathura (1996, 0.5)
7. Joshi A (1847 0.5) vs Mariappan (1804, 0.5)
8. Joshi G (1710, 0.0) vs Booth (1890, 0.0)
MD Sweet 16 Qualification Method
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The players for the MD Sweet 16 are selected using two methods:
- The eight highest rated players based on their published March US Chess ratings.
- The eight players with the highest number of Varsity Points (see below)