Saturday, February 28, 2009

Melvin Zhang becomes a National Master

Melvin Zhang, who has played at the Boylston since he was a boy and had been active in Mass scholastic chess, attained the title of National Master at the Amateur Team East, probably becoming the most recent chess master from Massachusetts.

Melvin is a sophomore at Boston University and doesn't play tournament chess much these days. In fact, his last event was the AMATE in 2008 and he closed that year at 2198.

Playing board one for this year's version of the BU Terriers, he edged over that last hurdle to reach 2202. Close, but he gets the cigar. Congratulations Melvin. I am personally very proud of you, and I must say, relieved, since I have felt in suspension since last February.

The BU board two, WFM Roza Eynullayeva, also had a terrific result, earning 5.5 points and placing #23 of the 1201 players in Parsipanny.

BU freshman Ben Burkholder was on board 3;
BU engineering senior Barry Lai
and team advisor, chaufeur, and photographer Robert Oresick alternated on board 4.

Oddly enough, the BU team won the title of best team from Massachuessts. Considering all the great teams from MA, I can't believe this is correct. Maybe no one else signed-up on the sheet in the MA column. In any case, in the tradition of dis-investigative chess journalism, we will let sleeping dogs lie and stones-unturned and hope for the plaque in the next Fedex bag.

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