Every fifth year in June, we go to Newport, Oregon, to play chess and enjoy the Pacific Coast
The Newport June Open chess tournament is a staple of the Pacific Northwest summer chess experience. Oregon's Pacific Coast lives up to the expectations, as does every natural location of this beautiful state.
2009 Newport June Open
June 19, 2009
This was our first interstate car trip in the USA. Those 300 miles forth and then back were more than what we've ever driven before (e.g. to Vancouver, BC or Spokane, WA). The longer car trips came only later: Yellowstone, San Francisco (twice), Las Vegas (twice) and San Diego (twice). This trip to Newport was a significant step in our plunge into the vastness of America.
After what back then felt like a long drive south on I-5, we bore right in Portland, took OR-99 and OR-18 west to the Pacific Ocean and travelled the rest of our way along the Pacific Coast on the super-scenic US-101. The constant presence of the ocean makes this drive a very special experience.
At the entrance to Newport we ate at Izzy's Buffet and then collapsed at the Waves Motel.
June 20, 2009
Ethan (who was 11) and Naomi (who was 6) started playing chess in the Central Lincoln PUD. Naomi finished her game fast, and we three drove south to the Yaquina Bay State Park, where we toured the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, with its preserved living quarters and the unforgettable Hair Display (click to see)!
After Ethan's game ended, we took him to the Nye Beach, where we ran into a grand wedding party with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.
June 21, 2009
While Ethan played a long game in Round 3, Naomi finished it fast, and we three drove north to see the massive Yaquina Head Lighthouse, with its huge Fresnel lens. After his game finished, we took Ethan there too and visited the Interpretive Center.
We travelled back on the scenic US-101, and through the harrowing bridge in Astoria, OR. At the entrance to Raymond, WA a cop stopped me: "You drove 40 mph in a 30 mph zone!" I remained silent, and he let me off the hook: "Slow down, will ya?" It was Father's Day. Everybody seemed amused, except me. Ethan laughed: "That cop had a really big gun!"
2014 Newport June Open
June 13, 2014
Fast forward five years. This time only Naomi (11) plays in the Newport June Open chess tournament, while Ethan (16) stays at home amid his completion of grade 10 and his early entrance to the university (yay!)
The tournament time control is: game in 90 minutes, with 30 seconds increment each move. This is a good preparation for the upcoming Pan-American Youth Chess Championships in Mexico City, in July 2014. There Ethan and Naomi will play for the US team in the sections Boys Under 16 and Girls Under 12, respectively.
It also should help Naomi prepare for the World Youth Chess Championship in Durban, South Africa, in September 2014, where she will play for the US team in the Girls Under 12 section.
On Friday, June 13, we were delayed by an important business, and started driving late, at 7pm. For speed, we took I-5 all the way south, then OR-34 / US-20 west to Newport, in darkness. We arrived very late at night, around 1am, to Knights Inn Newport, half-dead.
June 14, 2014
In the morning, all three of us went to see the magnificent Pacific Ocean at the Nye Beach. The first round started 12:30pm. After some eloquent speechifying by the organizers, the game began, we left Naomi to play chess and went to the touristy Newport Bayfront.
We devoured some serious seafood at "Ocean Bleu Seafoods at Ginos", then strolled down the promenade. After Naomi finished, we all walked around the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, with its views, rocks, and gulls. We even saw whales in the ocean! Round 2 started at 6pm, and there was still enough daylight for the two of us to go down to the Yaquina Bay Natural Area and see a variety of tidewater sealife.
Photo album: 2014-06-14 Newport June Open, Bayfront Stroll, Yaquina Head Lighthouse And Natural Area
June 15, 2014
Round 3 started at 9am. The organizer H.G.Pitre spoke empathically about the Newport June Open contribution to the local tourist industry and how great this location is for all to come and enjoy. We certainly couldn't agree more!
A leaflet at the hotel alerted us to the Gem & Mineral Show, which turned out to be full of real delights.
The Gem & Mineral Show was next to Bayfront, where we gladly spent some more time until Naomi finished her game, and then we all went to the inside tour of the Yaquina Lighthouse. I always get excited to see its Fresnel lens, made in Paris in 1868!
Photo Album: 2014-06-15 Newport June Open, H.G.Pitre, Gem & Mineral Show, Bayfront, Yaquina Lighthouse
Round 4 started 2:30pm, by which time we two were hungry for the seafood lunch at the classic Mo's Restaurant on the Bayfront. Another stroll along its piers, and we were done. After Naomi finished, we drove back and arrived home around 10pm, still feeling rested.
Stay put for the next posts from these two world-stage tournaments, where our kids will represent the USA:
- Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Oaxtepec, Mexico - July 10-17, 2014.
Ethan in the Boys Under 16 section and Naomi in the Girls Under 12 section. All four of us go.
- World Youth Chess Championship in Durban, South Africa (!) - September 19-30 2014.
Naomi in the Girls Under 12 section. Three of us go, Ethan stays home and starts university.