Monday, July 18, 2011

Hail Viktor!

Dennis Monokroussos reports on his Chess Mind blog that 80 year forever young Viktor Korchnoi has won the chess championship of Switzerland, an amazing feat. (
Christian Bauer actually won the tournament with a score of 7 1/2 out of 9, but he is from France. Andrei Sokolov finished second with 8 points, so Viktor, who actually tallied 6 1/2 points, finished in a large tie for third. Viktor won a playoff with Joe Gallagher, as they had the best tiebreaks.
I have never understood why the champion of a state, or especially a country, would be chosen in an open tournament. I cannot imagine the US Champion being chosen in the US Open by finishing in a tie for third. That has happened several times in the great state of Georgia. I recall David Vest 'winning' the state title once by finishing, along with several others, behind other players from out of state. The new 'champions' finished with 3 1/2 points. Since Mr Vest was also the Georgia State Senior Champion, I told him he must be the only player ever to hold both titles, maybe anywhere. He was not impressed. As a matter of fact, Mr Vest, aka the High Plains Drifter, was deprecatory concerning his 'accomplishment'. I asked him if he would feel differently if he had scored 4 points and he answered, "Not much."
Then I asked how he would have felt if he had scored 4 1/2 points. "Then I would've won the tournament!" Mr Vest never made much of his 'win'. The Same goes for the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear. He tied with a group one year, also scoring 3 1/2 points to 'win' the title of Georgia champ. I have rarely ever heard him mention the fact. Not so with a fellow named John Austin, who tied with Tim, and others. It was the first thing he said to me, and it is the first thing he says to anyone who will listen. You may recall Mr Austin from a post on the BaconLOG from June of '09, 'Gizmos, etc at the Ga St Championship'. He is the fellow with the ringing cellphone during the round.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. To be a champion one must win.

Walter High said...

In North Carolina we have just switched the state championship from the North Carolina Open to the North Carolina Invitational. Last year when we used the Open as the championship, the two top NC players in the last round could not play each other. One played an IM rated 2560 while the other played a middle school kid rated in the 2200s. That scenario was what moved us to change.

Now we take six players (previous year's champion, top two NC finishers from the NC Open, and three highest rated players who have been active (10 games played within the state) to play at the round robin Invitational.

Walter High