Friday, July 4, 2008

Bucking the trend in South Carolina

When I mentioned that the Legendary Georgia Ironman went undefeated at the SC Open, someone asked if he had drawn all his games! "No", I answered, "He won one!" We kid the Ironman...After checking out the wall chart, a plus one score in that field was actually quite good.
When the Drifter did not show for the Friday night G/10, I mentioned to Scott Parker, President of the GCA, that I thought he had gone to play in SC. Scott said he didn't know why anyone would want to play in that event, as the first two prizes would be taken by the two GMs. A surprising thing to hear from someone in his position! Evidently 40 players thought otherwise... There were almost as many in the open section as the other two combined! With the 48 in the other sections, the turn-out was good enough to RAISE the prize fund. The Greenville Chess Club paid out 145% of the promised prizes! When is the last time you heard of the organizer paying out MORE, in lieu of less?
Tim reports that only one of his games was of the short variety, and that being because of the gospel music! "Bacon, it was sad to see a world-class GM like Ftacnik drilling holes in his ears with his fingers, trying to keep out the noise!" I'm reminded of the time I played in SC and this lady said that if the south was the bible belt, then SC was the buckle!
It has been my experience that, when playing in tournaments like this, the local players really get up for the tournament. It's not like playing in a larger city like Atlanta where if you have a bad result, you can get it out of your system by playing the next week, or at least the next month. If you have a bad result in these smaller places, it will stick in your craw for at least six months...maybe a year!
I watched the whole Ken Burns documentary on the War Between the States and what I recall most vividly is the part about some Yankee, near the end of the war, when all we had left was the very young and the very old, captured a "soldier" who was barely older than a child. He had no gun, only a piece of wood cut into the shape of a rifle. "Why are you fighting?" the Yankee asked. The boy from the hills of the great state of Tennessee answered, "Cause y'all down he'are." That's the kinda attitude one finds in the smaller tournaments, whether in Greenville or Rollo, Mo.
Take a look at the crosstable to see what I mean. Wayne Christensen lost one and only drew the other and packed it in...Klaus Pohl, the Victor Korchnoi of Southern Chess, could not even win a game; losing two and drawing two, and did not play in the last round...And that in his own back yard! Chumachenko, a Senior Master, lost his last two games to finish at 3-2, in the same score group as Tim Brookshear and David Vest, who won two, drew two, losing only one, and that to the man who tied with the Dzindzi man for first, NM Chris Mabe. The other GM, Ftacnik, was held to not one, but two draws, and finished clear third. Michael Christiansen led the Georgians with 3 1/2.
Tim said that an amusing thing happened after his last round game. He was playing Paul Farb, the fellow who "tied" for first in the "A" section at the Ga St Champ. I say "tied" because Mr Parker came down saying that Willie Calhoun was a piece up vs Farb in the last round and would win the game. I said that with Willie, one never knows. Imagine Scott's surprise upon learning that Farb had won the game, thereby tying Jim Mundy for first, and had asked Michael Mulford to write part of his check to Willie, as he "owed him for the hotel room." Funny thing, Farb was one of the last people to leave the center Sat night and Willie was nowhere in sight, having left much earlier! Anyway, Farb was winning the game and evidently outside telling anyone within earshot how he had a won game and what he was going to do with the prize money. Obviously, Farb does not know that the Legendary Georgia Ironman goes down like rot-gut. Hard! After the draw, this lady came up to Tim and asked him how he had done. When informed that he had drawn the game, the lady said that was good, but that she had hoped he would've won the game because of what Farb was saying!
Hearing about this tournament makes me wish I coulda been there. Maybe next year!

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