Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2009 Southern Idaho Open: Garrett scores Four!

Garrett Reynolds remained on board one throughout the short, but intense four-round ICA event, and cinched another perfect tournament with 4.0 pts. Round 4 featured U1400, Rick Weathers facing off with Garrett in a long duel that appeared to keep Garrett unusually focused and attentive to his game. In the end, Garrett asserted his championship status. However, Rick Weathers (1385) was also having a great tournament by beating Fred Bartell (1718) and Hugh Myers (1585) in previous rounds. A great finish for both competitors.

The last round featured upsets including Tom Booth (1500) over Jeff Roland (1794), and a draw with Caleb Kircher (1540) against Bartell. An exciting end occurred between Dan Looney and Jeff Baggett, where Dan, with pieces and pawns up, lost on time. In the U1400 section, one of the last games included chess newcomer, Joey (unr.) and Aaron Proferes (845). In the last game standing, Barry Eacker and Richard Cohen fought a very positional game that ended with a resignation on a rook combo that Barry set up on the back rank.

Prize winners included: 1st place was Garrett Reynolds (4.0), sharing 2nd & 3rd place were Jeff Baggett and Tom Booth (3.5), sharing 4th place was Jim Stark and Barry Eacker (3.0). Caleb Kircher and Jeff Roland received books donated by Glen Buckendorf, ten-time Idaho Champion. In the U1400 section: 1st place was Rick Weathers (3.0), and sharing the second place prize were 5 players (2.0) - Kevin Ness, Kevin Patterson, Michael Ye, Adam Porth, and Jamie Lang.

Besides the quality of the games (see Nick Bruck v. Dan Looney, Rnd1), the tournament featured a wide field of various abilities (range 621-1925) and ages (10- 80+), 33 opponents, and an average player rating of 1330. Kevin Patterson did an excellent job playing George Lundy for a win, while simultaneously posting the football score of the Broncos and Vandals games. I noticed many participants more concerned about that trouncing than their own. Maybe we should have paused the games for a few hours and headed to the pub!

My games were fair at best.  Against Fred Bartell, I was too "chicken" to execute a Knight sacrifice that would have snagged two pawns in front of his castled king.  In my game against Richard Cohen I did, however, have the gumption to try this with a future fork on a knight and bishop and a simultaneous discovered attack against a rook.  I won the rook, but tempo losses for me saved his bishop and knight.  These extra pieces were well-placed and I succombed soon afterward.  Play and learn!  Wood River was also represented by Jeff Baggett (3.5 pts.) and Erwin Kett (2.0 pts.). Five WRHS Chess team also played and decided long games are where it's at! Newcomer Andrew  (1.5 pts.) commented, "I beat an adult!" after reflecting on his game against Alexandr Vereshchagin. Shane  (1.0 pt.) thought these games were "radically" different from scholastics and wants to come again. We hope to see more students and newcomers in future tournaments. Please look forward to another ICA tournament in January, in Boise.

Thank you ICA and Barry Eacker providing such an enjoyable tournament.

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