FM Ignacio Pérez is a household name in Seattle chess. An immigrant from Cuba, he has found a home in Washington state and is now a two-time state champion. Held on two weekends, the state championship featured ten qualifiers lead by FM Costin Cozianu (2508 USCF), the 2009 state champion. However, this year Pérez edged out Cozianu and National Masters Tian Sang and David Golub with 6/10. His only lost was the Sang.
(Note: Those who know anything about chess will understand the rich tradition in Cuba. I met a number of players during my trip to the Capablanca Club in Havana and they all had good levels! I remember meeting Nacho briefly in Seattle during the 2003 U.S. Chess Championship. He was kibitzing in a game and immediately he made an impression with the strength of his suggestions. He then proceeded to take several players apart in blitz. Good to see Nacho doing well! Thanks to Hanniegn Pitre for the tip!)