Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wood River Weekend Progressive 2012 Results

The tournament was as quaint as the Eastern Idaho Open two weeks ago with 12 competitors vying for the big bucks.  The small tournament was not without competition as five of the twelve were rated 1700 or higher, including chess legend Dan Mayers (1841).  Also, Frank Niro (1700), Caleb Kircher (1816), Jeff Roland (1716), and David Sawyer (1925).  The low numbers caused TD Jeff Roland and consensus among players to have the Reserve Section (U1400) play with the Open Section.  Reservists included Adam Porth, Matt Reidy, Jay Simonson, and Paul Sawyer.

I like the tournament format with games getting "progressively" longer.  We started with G/30 and worked up to G/90 within four rounds.  I would like to start at G/5 and work up to G/90, but rating a tournament like this is too difficult as the templates that the USCF have are not amenable to such.
Dan Mayers has discovered the "fountain of youth" . . .Chess!
Dan Mayers is currently living in Ketchum, however he faced Bobby Fischer while playing and living in New York during the 50's.  One participant even indicated that Mr. Mayers even beat Fischer!  Dan is 90 years old and was delivered to Wood River High School by Frank Niro.  Mr. Niro recently became very active in promoting chess in Idaho and is even sponsoring a 24-hour National Chess Day celebration.
My hero . . .Frank Niro!
Mr. Mayers planted himself on board 101 and patiently played all day at that spot and only occasionally moved around to watch some games. There is certainly some feistiness in this veteran chess player that has faced grandmasters in international and national tournaments.  And he is one of the top rated senior players in the United States.    We decided to assign board 101 to Dan as he was certainly a celebrity that graced our little tournament.
I hope to be playing (and enjoying) chess at age ninety.  
And now for the action . . .

Round 1
Round 1:  I was extremely happy about the game I played against Dan and only started making mistakes after I was under time pressure with less than a minute left.  Fritz said I was 0.10 on move 17.    As time kept ticking and I became more nervous, I completely missed a free queen (see move 28)!   The heat in my cheeks built as I instead gave Mr. Mayers my Bishop - my moves were horrible in the last 30 seconds. I resigned after a "shtupid mishtake" with 22 seconds left, not to mention my other errors just prior the quintessential blunder.  "Sharp as a whip," I heard myself say while shrugging in the end.  Was that a sarcastic self-deprecating remark or a compliment to my opponent?

Round 2
Round 2: I played a former student, wrhs junior Matt Reidy.  Matt began playing in tournaments this last year and I played confidently against him after he dropped a bishop on move 9.  It was good to see him applying some of the ideas I taught him last year.  He played a version of the Colle-Zuckertort, but failed to realize some of the positional advantages the Colle System offers white.

Round 3
Round 3:  This is the worst game I have played all year!  I violated many simple opening concepts and succumbed to basic and straight up play from Cody Gorman from Renaissance Charter School.  Too many pieces moved more than once in the opening and defending e4 with the queen moves the queen way too early.  Move 12 was a big mistake.  I would have fared better with 12. Qd1.  I knew I should have eaten something before this round.  Cody is a provisional 1635, however, during our game he was a provisional 1383.  This cost me seven rating points for the tournament!

A budding chess player, Round 4
Round 4:  My last game was against 8 year-old Jacob Nathan from Idaho Falls.  As a teacher, I appreciate seeing growth in young people and over the course of a year, I have observed Jacob learn solid opening strategies, and more importantly, he observes chess etiquette and behavior standards that he disregarded only a year ago.  Unfortunately, he blundered his queen during the game and never quite recovered after move 14.  I am as impressed with an eight year old playing among all the adults, as I am a ninety year old!

Junior prizes:  Jacob Nathan (1st), Matt Reidy (2nd), and Paul Sawyer (3rd)
Caleb Kircher (3.5 pts.), 1st place tie Open Section, $70
Dan Sawyer (3.5 pts.), 1st place tie Open Section, $70
Cody Gorman (3.0 pts.), 3rd place Open Section, $40
Jay Simonson and I tied (2.0) 1st place Reserve Section, $50
Matt Reidy, right (1.0 pt.), 3rd place Reserve Section, $20 (Shane Taylor on left).
Caleb Kircher, left, plays Jeff Roland, right, while David Sawyer helps analyze

Interesting TD moments:
1.  Can a player who is under 5 minutes stop recording, but have a spectator continue to record?
2. When players choose to play in an Open Section, they are not eligible for the Reserve section prizes.  Does this hold for Reserve Section players?  What if a Reserve Section player actually wins the Open Section?  Do they still only win the Reserve Prize?

Special Thanks to:  Jay Simonson and Jeff Roland for their help in organizing the tournament.

Next Tournament:  24 Hour Chess Celebration

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