Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interview with the Champ

After winning the Georgia Senior Chess Championship I had a chance for a brief interview with Mr David Vest, who now holds both the title of Georgia State Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Champion. When asked how it felt to win the Senior again, he said, "Pretty good, but there's still work to do." I'm reminded of something someone wrote concerning the last time they saw the great man, Emanuel Lasker. He said he intended on going home and studying endings in order to "become a more well-rounded player."
David went on to say he was happy to "unify" the titles and that there should "be more unity in chess." He said he won the exchange vs Scott Parker, an always tough opponent, but was unable to overcome the "stubborn resistence." He said that fact only caused him to concentrate harder in the following rounds. The game with Wayne Christensen in round two could maybe have been a draw, but for his opponents time trouble. He thought his best game was the round three game versus his arch nemesis, Alan Piper, a game he won in combination style. Mr Vest said he was fortunate to get the White pieces in the last round (because all of his potential opponents had to have the Black pieces) against a true gentleman and lover of the game, Mr Donny Gray.
The Champ said he would like to thank Rich Mielke, the TD, for a well run tournament, and the GCA for having it, and the Atlanta Chess and Game Center for hosting the Georgia Senior. He went on to say that all were "fine people." David said he would not change a thing.
Working at the House of Pain this weekend gave me a different perspective, as I was able to renew acquaintances with former opponents, like Jared Radin, and travelling companions, like John Smith, who proclaimed that not only does he not snore, but never did! The one thing I heard most from the players with whom I spoke was that they did not like playing at night. One elderly player had to drive one and a half hours, each way, to attend the tournament. Although he said he slept very well Saturday night, he would rather have gotten home much earlier. Moving the first round ahead two hours may have helped those who drove in Saturday morning, but adversely affected those who had to travel a great distance to get to the House, something obviously not taken into account by those who "tinkered" with the already published format of the tournament. From talking with Seniors all over the country, the one thing I've heard most often is that we have the most energy in the morning, and it fades as the day goes on. Many of the players told me that they usually go to bed between ten and eleven and it was a hardship to try and think when their body was usually beginning to "shut-down."
There did not seem to be any problems with the G/2 format, in lieu of the G/150 that was advertised until the GCA board, in it's wisdom, changed it at the late date. All of the players agreed that two hours was plenty of time, especially if one is to play two games a day. I did hear many longing for the old days of only one round a day...
Here is the last round game sent to me by Mr Donny Gray. He was a half point behind The High Plains Drifter and needed a win. I would like to thank Donny for sending this game, a loss. I'm reminded of seeing two first round opponents, LM Klaus Pohl, and John Smith, eating together at the Dekalb Farmers Market. Although "Smitty" lost the game, one would never have known it. That's the kind of comraderie one finds at any Senior chess tournament!

White: LM David Vest Black: Donny Gray (2128)

[Opening "Caro-Kann: classical, 6.h4"][ECO "B18"][NIC "CK.12"]
1. d4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. h5 Bh7 8.Nf3 Nd7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Qc7 11. Rh4 e6 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14.O-O-O Ngf6 15. Qe2 Qd5 16. Kb1 O-O-O 17. c4 Qa5 18. Rd3 a6 19. Ra3 Qc7 20.Ne5 Rhf8 21. b4 Nb8 22. c5 Nd5 23. Nc4 Qe7 24. Rg4 f5 25. Rg6 Rf6 26. Qe5Rxg6 27. hxg6 Qf6 28. Nd6+ Kd7 29. Nxb7 Qxe5 30. dxe5 Rg8 31. Nh5 Nxb4 32.Rb3 Nd5 33. Nd6 a5 34. Rb7+ Nc7 35. Nxg7 Na6 36. Nde8 Rxe8 37. Nxe8 Kxe8 38.Rb6 Kf8 39. Rxc6 Kg7 40. Kb2 Kxg6 41. Kb3 f4 42. Ka4 h5 43. Kxa5 h4 44. f3Nxc5 45. Rxc5 Ne8 46. Rc4 Kf5 47. Re4 Nc7 48. Kb4 Nd5+ 49. Kc4 Ne3+ 50. Kd3Nxg2 51. Ke2 h3 52. Kf2 Ne3 53. Kg1 Nd1 54. a3 Nc3 55. Re1 Nb5 56. a4 Nd457. Kf2 Nb3 58. Rb1 Nd2 59. Rh1 Kxe5 60. a5 Nc4 61. Rxh3 Kd4 62. Rh6 Nxa563. Rxe6 Kd5 64. Re4 Nc6 65. Rxf4 Ke5 66. Ke3 Ne7 67. Re4+ Kf6 1-0

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