Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wood River Weekend 2009

Jeff Roland, Boise won the one section open tournament with 3.5 pts. out after four rounds of enjoyable chess in the Idaho Chess Association Wood River Weekend Swiss Open chess tournament in Hailey, Idaho. The tournament boasted 14 of the top competitors in the state of Idaho, and from the Wood River Valley. This tournament also attracted two tough opponents from Wyoming and Utah.

All eyes were on table one in the fourth round to see 15-time Idaho State Champion, Larry Parsons play twice and current Idaho State Champion, Garrett Reynolds. As the first moves unfolded, the spirit of the weekend overcame the competitiveness of the two state champions, and they decided to draw after 5 moves. This allowed Jeff Roland an opportunity to show his stuff in his final game against Wyoming competitor, Richard Cohen and take home a tournament win. Larry Parsons, Garrett Reynolds, and Jeff Baggett split the second prize winnings with 3 pts. a piece.

Some notable upsets occurred when Larry Parsons drew against Utah opponent, Doug Finch in a game that used the entire time. In the last round, Tyler Jaramillo scooped up a queen early in the game and won against his own chess coach, Adam Porth. Jeff Roland also obtained a draw against Garrett Reynolds in round 3 which seemed to set the tone of the fourth round for most competitors. Other impressive scores were obtained for two tournament newcomers and valley residents, Erwin Kett and Jeff Baggett. Both players won important games against experienced tournament players.

Four Wood River High Schoolers were among the mix and were very impressive to their opponents. Nick Bruck commented on how different the games were with longer time settings - 4 hour games! And Shane Bruess, Chris Ellis, and Tyler Jaramillo were very close to beating some of the experienced opponents. Richard Cohen said he had to be very careful.

The weekend included opportunities for the chess players to socialize outside of the competition room and play more chess just for fun. The Ketts served up German lunches for all the competitors and the Porths filled the house on Saturday evening for dinner. Richard Cohen awed the chess players with outstanding piano songs and magic tricks. Were it not for the social hours, the chess games might have been more merciless!

Thank you ICA, Jeff Roland, Barry Eacker for support of the tournament, and Lynnet Porth and Mr. & Mrs. Erwin Kett for housing, food, and encouragement to the chess players.

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