The Florida State Championship was held at the picturesque Rosen Shingles Creek in Orlando, Florida. Players from the length and breadth of the state came to compete in the tournament traditionally held during Labor Day weekend. The beautiful hotel complex sit adjacent to a golf course and includes a nature trail. The venue will move to Naples next year.
GM Julio Becerra has been the long-standing Florida State champion since 2006 and successfully defending his title on Labor Day weekend. The Cuban native and Miami resident took two draws in the last two rounds to coast to victory with a final 5/6. There was a four-way tie for second with John Nardandrea, Robert Perez, Dalton Perrine and Peter Dyson all ending on 4.5/6. The tournament had approximately 160 participants with many scholastic players in the class sections.
During the tournament, 15-year old Grandmaster Ray Robson came to the tournament to sign copies of his Dad’s new book on him titled, “Chess Child”. Dr. Gary Robson told The Chess Drum that the idea evolved over a five-year period as he began to watch Ray progress. The book is not a collection of games, but a story about Ray’s development and the challenges Dr. Robson faced raising a young child while also completing his doctoral studies.
The self-published book has gotten favorable reviews in the chess press. While it is much more difficult to move such a book, the Robsons have been making appearances. The book seems to provide lessons of life and parenting as much as how to raise a chess prodigy.
Ray told The Chess Drum that his next tournament will be the Spice Cup which will be held in November 5-7 at Texas Tech University.
GM Ray Robson with his father, Dr. Gary Robson.
For more information on the book, visit Nipa Hut Press.