I wasn't able to play in the Far West Open here in Reno a couple of weeks ago, though I'm absolutely, unequivocally going to play in the 25th annual Western States Open at the same venue this October. Michael Aigner has a nice report on the March event over at the USCF website. I liked this part:
The Weikel family organizes these two annual events with the support and sponsorship of the Sands Regency hotel. Their goal is to create a chess festival atmosphere more commonly found in Europe. They provide boards and sets and players in the Open section can be identified by both a nameplate and the flag of their state or country. GM Larry Evans gave two free lectures to participants in the main tournament and GM Sergey Kudrin played a simul with game analysis afterwards. The main tournament is played at a leisurely 7-hour time control. Perhaps most importantly, staying at the Sands did not tax the player’s checkbook as the room rate ranged from $27 on weeknights and $54 on the weekend.
So I want to invite everyone to come and play at the Western States this October. Right now the page doesn't seem to be working, but as soon as I have something I'll post a link and we can start making plans for some kind of chess blogger's convention there!
Let me know if you're interested.