Only ten players came to the House for the 2008 Georgia Senior. Another eleven came to participate in a completely separate tournament for those rated below 1800. Many reasons for the sparse turnout were propounded, chief among them the gas shortage in the Atlanta area. It did not stop Donnie Gray, from Augusta, nor LM Klaus Pohl and his travelling companion, Wayne Christensen, from the great neighboring state of South Carolina, from getting to the round on time! A potential Senior player, board member Colin Potts, stopped by the House Friday night to leave a flash disc for the now sole editor of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS magazine that has missed not one, but two, deadlines. He said he only had half a tank of petrol and would play if he could find gas. Of the other board members eligible to play, nothing was heard from “Coach” Steve Schneider. Unfortunately Michael Mulford, who intended to play, was ill. That left President Scott Parker holding the colors for the GCA board.
Two former Senior champions, David Vest (2200) and the aforementioned Scott Parker (1861), squared off in the very first round. The hard fought game ended in a draw. Donnie Gray (2128) was held to a draw by Jared Radin (1844), while Klaus (2200) beat John Smith (1914), and Wayne (2080) beat Thomas Cole (1610). Alan Piper (2082) beat former Georgia state champion John Austin (1835).
There were no perfect scores after round two. Klaus was held to a draw by The Pipe; The High Plains Drifter took out Christensen; Donnie Gray beat Scott Parker; Smitty bested Jared; and Austin beat Cole.
Sunday morning saw The Drifter take a half point lead over the field when he hit The Pipe, hard! The Viktor Kortchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl drew with Mr Gray, with both moving to 2-1. Christensen did the same with his win over Smitty. Mr Parker moved to even with a win over Austin, as did Radin with a win over Cole.
The final round saw the man who tied for the title of state champion with two others this year on board one with a chance to hold both titles, Georgia state champion and Georgia Senior champion at the same time, an unprecendented occurrence. His opponent, Donnie Gray had Black needing a victory to have a chance at the title. In a long game that went to the limit, the man from the High Plains won to take the title of Georgia champ! He took home $200 for his efforts.
As fate would have it, the two friends who came together, Wayne and Klaus, were paired on board two. In the last game to finish, Mr Christensen beat Mr Pohl, to finish in clear second, and $140.
The President got hit with The Pipe, while Jared Radin beat John Austin, both finishing with 2 ½ and tying for third place. Because Jared is rated lower than Alan, he won more money, $120, twenty dollars more than The Pipe, as he took the under 2000 prize. Smitty beat Mr Cole to finish with an even score, whild Thomas did the “goose-egg shuffle,” which made John and I recall the time at the World Open when, after losing five games, Smitty withdrew. When I asked him why, he replied, “I figure that if I play in a weekend swiss, I only get five games.” I understood completely!
In the ancillary tournament, there was a four-way tie at 3-1 between Raymond Quillan (1729), Richard Jones (1690), Dusan Lugonja (1645), and the man he beat in the last round, Wayne Hedger (1593). Each took home $67. Richard Sooley (1308) won the class D prize with his 1 ½ points and took home a C-Note. Kelly Hollins (1188), with his “goose-egg sandwich” ( an upset win in the first round over Mr Jones, followed by two losses, and a last round win over Tim Staley (972), also won $100 with his even score. Makes one wonder why there were not simply three prizes, one for first, second, and third. Seems simple enough, does it not?
I have written previously about how the format of this tournament was altered only a month beforehand without necessity. For that I have been accused of making “harsh” criticisms of those responsible. If it can be demostrated that ONLY ONE player was adversely affected by these incomprehensible changes, then it would seem the statement has been refuted, would it not?
The Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear had planned on playing until learning the time limit had been changed from G/150 to G/120. I, too, had let it be known that I intended on playing in the event. As it turned out, my back went out on me a week ago, and, although I had recovered somewhat, the thought of sitting for hours was anathema to me. As things transpired, the thought of participating in this event also became anathema…Mr Brookshear was terribly disappointed in not playing this year, as he did last year. As he so aptly put it, “Bacon, who would’ve ever thought that if we were both still alive and had the chance, neither one of us would play in the Georgia Senior?” Who, indeed…
The round times for the first day were orginally eleven and five ( I may be mistaken, as so much of this tournament has been changed…That’s the point, is it not?), but then changed to one and six. The registration time was, therefore, nine until ten thirty. When the round time was changed the registration time was NOT CHANGED! Simply unbelievable…The TD, Rich Mielke, called to ask if we would open at ten thirty because of their mistake. He was informed that we usually open an hour and a half before the round, but would make an exception and open at eleven. Unfortunately, Peter Dessaules came by Sunday afternoon, telling us he had been at the House at ten am Sat morning with the first flyer, wondering if the venue had been changed. Who knows how many other players were put off by the Alphonse and Gaston routine…Who knows how many potential players were completely unaware of the Georgia Senior for lack of publicity? If anything, my criticism of the completely inept board of the GCA is not harsh enough! They thought so little of the Georgia Senior it was not even put in the upcoming events listings in CHESS LIFE! We still have little idea of why it was so imperative for the format to be changed without a compelling reason so close to the tournament. As for being forthcoming, the GCA board makes Darth Cheney seem transparent!
I asked Rich, since he was to input the games into CHESSBASE, if he would be kind enough to let me have a few for the blog. He said he would send them to me via email. After we closed Saturday night, I found an email containing a few games in my email. When I asked him about the last round games, as he would not have time to input them, he said he would send them to me later in the week. I told him they were needed for the blog NOW. I asked if it would be possible for me to keep the games in order to have a few of the most important last round games for the blog. He vehemently said that it would not, as he had to get the games to Mark Taylor FOR THE MAGAZINE! I told him that made no sense because the magazine has not been published since spring and is nearly HALF A YEAR LATE! I told him that the thing about writing a blog is that it is TIMELY. I also said that I would have a blog entry ready before I turned in tonight. I said that thinking of something Kelly Hollins said to me, at another tournement, about having the results with his coffee in the morning. Rich said something about his wife having to watch her favorite programs and he would get them to me by eleven pm. It is now after 2 am and I am still waiting…
I could have asked the players to take the time to transcribe their games for me, in addition to the copies they gave to the GCA, but saw no need with Rich being so nice and working with me Saturday. As to why he changed overnight, I can only speculate…
A true chess fan, Alexander Foster, came by the House Saturday and, although not eligible for the Senior, got to play a game with Tim Staley, who, because of the odd number of players, received the bye. He was there at the end, asking me if I would put the Vest-Gray game in my blog, saying, “That was a great game, with Mr Vest flashing mind-boggling middle game tactics. I’m sure I could learn from that game.” Mr Foster, I wish I had access to the game! I, too, would like to replay it. If things continue on the same pace, the game could be published sometime in the late spring, or early summer, of 2009. COULD! I only hope that, if it is, I am still living when it is published. I will, though, not hold my breath!
The fact is that the GCA is still back in the 20th century. Other states have taken to publishing their magazine on the internet, and the USCF will soon offer a membership at a reduced rate for those that will do without the “hard copy” magazine. The GCA, in their wisdom, raised the membership fee three dollars, from $12 to $15 on the first of September. Other than a magazine that is not being published, the GCA offers little bang for the increased buck! I put games on the BaconLOG just as they print them in the magazine. The information can be disseminated much faster via the internet. It would seem, therefore, that the GEORGIA CHESS magazine, to stay viable, would need to do something different from publishing games scores only. If it were me, I would follow the lead of the best chess magazine in the world, NEW in CHESS, and have the players annotate their games!
These are the ony games I have. If you would like to see more games, please let the GCA know! Email the board members:
Vest,David - Parker,Scott [D02]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.20081.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Bf4 Bg4 4.Nbd2 Nf6 5.e3 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.Bb5 Bd6 8.g4 Bg6 9.Ne5 Bxe5 10.Bxe5 Qe7 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Nb3 0–0 13.f3 Ne8 14.Qd2 f6 15.Bg3 e5 16.0–0 Nd6 17.Qc3 Nc4 18.Rae1 e4 19.f4 Rfb8 20.Rb1 f5 21.Nc5 a5 22.a4 Nb6 23.Kf2 Nd7 24.Nb3 c5 25.dxc5 Rb4 26.Nxa5 Rxa4 27.b4 R4xa5 28.bxa5 Qxc5 29.Qxc5 Nxc5 30.Rb5 Nd7 31.g5 c6 32.Rb7 Nc5 33.Rb6 Rxa5 34.Rxc6 Be8 35.Rc8 Kf7 36.Kg1 Ne6 37.Be1 Ra3 38.Bd2 d4 39.Bc1 Ra7 40.Rd1 Bd7 41.Rb8 Rc7 42.Rb2 Ba4 43.Bd2 Bxc2 44.Rc1 d3 45.Ra1 Nc5 46.Ra3 Nb3 47.Raxb3 Bxb3 48.Rxb3 Rc2 49.Rb7+ Kg6 50.Rb6+ Kf7 51.Ba5 d2 52.Bxd2 Rxd2 53.Rb7+ Kg6 54.h4 Re2 55.h5+ Kxh5 56.Rxg7 Rxe3 57.Rxh7+ Kg4 58.Rh2 Kxf4 59.g6 Ra3 60.g7 Ra1+ 61.Kg2 Ra2+ 62.Kg1 Ra1+ 63.Kg2 Ra2+ 64.Kf1 Ra1+ 65.Kg2 65.Ra2+ ½–½
Radin,Jared - Gray,Donny [B13]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Bxf3 10.Nxf3 Bd6 11.Be5 Qc7 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.0–0 0–0 14.Rfe1 a6 15.Re2 b5 16.Ne5 Rfc8 17.Nxc6 Rxc6 18.a4 b4 19.Qxb4 Qxb4 20.cxb4 Rb6 21.b5 axb5 22.a5 b4 23.Rc2 Rbb8 24.Rac1 g6 25.a6 Kg7 26.Rc7 Ne8 27.Rb7 Nd6 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Rc7 Ra8 30.b3 Nf5 31.Rb7 Nxd4 32.Rxb4 Nc6 33.Ra4 Na7 34.b4 Rb8 35.f3 Kf6 36.b5 Ke5 37.Ra1 Kd6 38.Rb1 Kc5 39.Kf2 e5 40.Ke3 f5 41.Be2 f4+ 42.Kd2 g5 43.Kc3 Kb6 44.Bd3 Kc5 45.h4 h6 ½–½
Smith,John W Jr - Pohl,Klaus [E73]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.2008
1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 Nf6 5.Be2 0–0 6.g4 c5 7.d5 e6 8.g5 Ne8 9.h4 exd5 10.exd5 Bf5 11.Bd3 Qe7+ 12.Nge2 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 f5 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.0–0–0 Ne5 16.Qe3 Rf7 17.b3 Ng4 18.Qg3 a6 19.h5 b5 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Rde1 Qd7 22.f3 Ne5 23.Bxe5 dxe5 24.Qh4 bxc4 25.Qh7+ Kf8 26.Qxg6 cxb3 27.axb3 Qd6 28.Qxd6+ Nxd6 29.Rh4 Rb8 30.Kc2 Rfb7 31.Ra4 Rxb3 32.Rxa6 Nf7 33.Ra8 Rxc3+ 34.Kxc3 Rxa8 35.Kc4 Rc8 36.Ng3 Nd6+ 37.Kd3 c4+ 38.Kc2 Kf7 39.Rb1 Kg6 40.Rg1 Rc5 41.Rd1 Ra5 42.Nf1 Ra2+ 43.Kc3 Ra3+ 44.Kb4 Rxf3 45.Kc5 Bf8 46.Ra1 Ne4+ 47.Kc6 Ra3 48.Rc1 c3 49.Ne3 Ra2 50.Nc4 Bd6 51.Nxd6 Ra6+ 52.Kb5 Rxd6 53.Kc4 Kxg5 54.Rg1+ Kf4 55.Rf1+ Kg4 56.Rg1+ Kf3 57.Rf1+ Nf2 58.Kc5 Rd8 59.d6 Ke2 60.Ra1 c2 0–1
Piper,Alan - Austin,John [D91]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.20081.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.cxd5 Qxd5 9.e3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Qd2 Nc6 12.Rc1 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Bd7 14.Rb1 Na5 15.Bd3 Rc8 16.Ke2 b6 17.Nd2 Bc6 18.f3 Kd7 19.Rhd1 e5 (draw offered) 20.dxe5 Bxe5 21.Ba6 Bb7 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Nc4+ Ke6 24.Nxe5 Kxe5 25.Rd7 Rc2+ 26.Kd1 Rxg2 27.Rxb7 Rxa2 28.Rxf7 Ke6 29.Re7+ Kd6 30.Re4 Rc8 31.Bg3+ Kd7 32.Rd4+ Ke6 33.Rc1 Rxc1+ 34.Kxc1 b5 35.Kb1 Ra3 36.Bf4 a5 37.Kb2 b4 38.Rd6+ Ke7 39.Rb6 Kf7 40.Rb7+ Kg8 41.Bh6 Rd3 42.Rg7+ Kh8 43.Ra7 Kg8 44.Rg7+ Kh8 45.Rf7 Rd8 46.Rf8+ 1–0
(8) Gray,Donny - Parker,Scott [B00]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (2), 27.09.2008
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.d5 exd5 8.exd5 Nb8 9.Nd4 Bg6 10.0–0 Be7 11.f4 Be4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Re1 a6 15.Rxe4 axb5 16.Nxb5 c6 17.Nc3 Bf6 18.f5 g5 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.dxc6 bxc6 21.Be3 d5 22.Rg4 Nd7 23.Qf1 Kg7 24.Rd1 Bxc3 25.bxc3 Rxa2 26.Bd4+ f6 27.Qf5 Qe8 28.Rb1 Kh7 29.Rh4+ Kg7 30.Rxh8 Kxh8 31.Bxf6+ Kg8 32.Qg5 Ra8 33.Bd4 Nf8 34.Qf6 Qd7 35.Qh8+ Kf7 36.Rf1+ 1–0