A long tournament such as the World Open gives a good indication of the strength of a chess player. William Stewart was playing on one of the top boards in the last round of the U2200 section. If he had won, he would've finished alone in second place. He lost, tying for 9th-14th, with 6 1/2, a full 2 points behind the two winners. Before leaving, I told some of the players that, to win the U2200 section, one would have to play GM chess. Mr Stewart's PR was 2349. It is obvious that he has become a very strong master level player. A few weeks before the WO, William came by the HOP to play in the TNF. He beat Damir in the last round and showed me the game later. He completely outplayed Damir's usual Scandinavian. They were paired in round 7 of the WO and I asked several of the regulars who they thought would win. All picked William. We don't need numbers to know the relative strength of the players! It was no surprise that Mr Stewart won, thereby taking the wind outta Damir's sails...
Damir won 4; drew 3; and lost 3, including the last 2 before withdrawing. His PR was 2130. Ryan Moon won 3; drew 3; and lost 2, for a PR of 2097. Hartley Chiang won 3; drew 2; and lost 3. for a PR of 2116. Michael Easterwood won 4; drew 1; and lost 4, for a PR of 2101. The man who tied for State Champ, Serdar Ozdemir, won 3; drew 3; and lost 2, for a PR of 2082.
Two other HOP players travelled all the way to Philly to be paired. Justin Howle, a newcomer to the scene, lost his first game in the U2000 section, won his next one, then lost again, and decided to become a "zombie." He re-entered and was resurrected. He then had to face Jim Mundy, the man who should have finished all alone at the top in the U2000 section of the Ga St Ch, had it not been for the questionable hijinks of the man who tied with him and the player he opposed, who happened to be a half point behind. The result was a surprise to me, as Justin Howle(d)! Mr Howle won a total of 6 games; drew 2; and lost 4, to perform at an expert rate, just as he did at the Chicago Open, with a PR of 2008. Jim Mundy did not have a good tournament, which surprises me. Then again, it's tough at the WO! Jim won 5, but lost 4, and his PR was only 1911.
I'm looking forward to the TNF tonight to hear the tales from the road!
Do not forget, tonight the EF goes up for the first time EVER! It is $6 for members, an increase of only a buck...and $10 for non-members. JOIN THE HOUSE of PAIN! The membership fee is the same as it was when the Atlanta Chess & Game Center opened in 1991! Can you name anything else that has not gone up in all that time? A membership is truly CHEAP AT TWICE THE PRICE!!!