Paul Motta of Missoula scored a perfect 5-0 to top 38 other players and win the title of Montana Open Champion. John Julian and Jim Skovron tied for second behind Motta with 4-1 records. Julian also had the Best Junior (under 20) score.
Paul employed several gambits throughout the event, which resulted in some short, exciting games with plenty of piece sacrifices. One game went only nine moves!
Motta's perfect score was almost overshadowed by the exceptionally strong showing of the younger players. Scott Young, a Missoula eighth-grader, scored the biggest upset of the weekend with an endgame win against Grand Prix Champion Jim Skovron, while two 12-year-olds, Kirk Lundby and Garrett Morkill, racked up the 2nd and 3rd best upsets. Alex Morkill and Dan Copeland also scored big upsets.
Steve Buck had the Best Senior (age 60+) score. Legendary, chess traveler/adventurer, Robert Feldstein of Brooklyn, NY, marked off three more wins in his quest to achieve 50 victories in each state.
Class awards went: A--Paul Motta, Missoula, B--Haluk Beyenal, Bozeman, C--Russ Kubisiak, Missoula D--Chris Copeland, Spokane, E--Garrett Morkill, Spokane
|See tourney results here|