Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Wellsburg Open - Part 2

Saturday morning began early as we loaded our tournament supplies into the van, and arrived at the church by 7 A.M.  Pastor Mark of Wellsburg Reformed helped us set up the tables, and my family set up the concessions stand they provided.  Mayor Daggs of the neighboring town of Ackley had kindly loaned me extra tables for the skittles rooms. 
 
Hank Anzis arrived at about 7:30 with Seth, an aspiring player from the Marshalltown chess club.  Registration began at 8:15.  Several players who had not pre-registered showed up on site, so that in total, there were 35 competitors.

The first round was scheduled for 9:00.  I posted the pairings at 8:59, but it took everyone a while to find their seats and set up their boards.  Consequentially, I could not actually start the round till 10 or so minutes later.  Now that I somewhat know how to create pairings, I figure pairings ideally should be posted 8-10 minutes before the scheduled start of the first round, so that I can say "You may start your clocks" exactly when the clock strikes 9:00.  No one complained, but that is one thing I plan to improve.

Time controls were 75 minutes per player, plus a 5 second delay each move.  In round 1, I played Gokul Thangavel (1891).  I have played Gokul various times throughout the years.  Last time, though, he was a bit younger, and not nearly as strong.  This time he utterly destroyed my position, and I found myself in dreadful time pressure.  I finally resigned with 1 second left on my clock (plus the 5 second delay).  

The final ongoing game of the round finished only a few seconds after my game, so I went straight to creating pairings for round 2.  My printer is wireless, and in the first round, I could not figure out how to connect it, since I had only used it on my home network.  So, Hank let me borrow his printer, which was a lifesaver!  For round 2, Hank's printer ran out of ink, so we had to switch back to my printer, which Hank wired to my laptop with his USB cord.  Thankfully we had lunch break to solve problems in.

Charity served pizza, which we sold for a dollar a slice--and she even brought me a piece of my favorite (chicken bacon ranch)!  One thing she noticed was the type most requested by chess players was sausage pizza, which we didn't have.  As far as concessions went, the (free) water went fast.  Pop was not nearly as popular.  Fruit sold well, while candy bars didn't hardly sell at all.  Apparently chess players know how to keep a healthy diet!

We succeeded in printing the pairings; Hank checked them over and noticed several traveling companions would be playing each other.  Since that was not ideal, we put traveling companions on teams and re-paired.
Hank (standing in photo above) has directed over 280 tournaments, and was prepared for anything and everything.  It made a huge difference to have him help direct the tournament, and thanks to his experienced oversight, the whole day went relatively smoothly.

My brother, Daniel, who entered game results for me, was also good to have around.  Mark Capron kept an eye out to make sure everything looked right in the pairings, and James Neal gave a hand in helping figure out commands in my SwissSys pairing software.
In the second round, I was matched against Kevin Townsend (1782).  Kevin had suffered a painful loss against James Neal in round 1, so Neal told me to watch out because Kevin was sure to look for revenge.  

Good advice that was, but unfortunately, I was not prepared to stop the onslaught.  Starting round 2, I was just about persuaded that running a tournament and  playing in it was perhaps the easiest way to die young from fatigue.  I held a more or less even game until I dropped a pawn.  The situation quickly became more painful, but Kevin was quick and skillful with the coup de grace, and I didn't have to suffer long.
Part 3 is coming soon! (Click here for Part 1)

54 comments:

  1. we don't want you to die from fatigue! :)

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  2. You had a full plate just putting the tournament on so I wouldn't feel bad over the game results.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. You too. My opponents were both higher rated than I, so it wasn't really a big deal losing to them. Good practice.

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  3. It looks like fun though I'm sure it was tiring. Every challenge is a learning opportunity. It's interesting to hear what chess players eat. I imagine they get to know what foods help sustain them through long periods of sitting.

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    1. Yes, different players have different strategies as far as food goes. But many seem to try to eat healthily. There was one master (can't remember who) who once said he would gladly buy his opponent a large steak before playing, since his theory was that the digestion would cause all the blood to run to his opponent's stomach instead of brain. I haven't decided for sure what is the best tournament food for me personally yet. Maybe one of these days I'll find the super brain food!

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  4. What an intense, yet rewarding event. What an amazing thing to get to run the tournament. I imagine you did an amazing job. You are so admirable for doing both that and competing.

    Enjoyed your post today, Bethany!

    Have a wonderful evening :)
    ~Jazzmin

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    1. Thanks Jazzmin! You have a great evening as well!

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  5. Hi Bethany,
    Sounds like it was a great tournament, but health comes first - not trying to be preachy!
    Take good care my friend!
    Have a Beautiful Day!!
    Peace :)

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  6. Besides the ten minute delay, I'm glad things ran smoothly! The same thing happened during one volleyball tournament I experienced; the team didn't know who we were going up against and so we had to wait for about twenty minutes before the match began.

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Ooh, I'm sure that wasn't great to stand/sit around for 20 minutes! People don't make a big deal out of tournaments starting exactly at the scheduled time (it seems some/a lot of tournaments don't), and the pairings were up at the scheduled time, so I don't feel bad about it. It's just something I can improve on for next time.

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  7. I think it's great that so many people helped out. I'm sure you were a great host, and I can see that hosting and playing is a hard thing.

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    1. It was awesome to have such good help! :)

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  8. OOO, don't get TOO tired...:)

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    1. You'd never guess what I did to relax after the tournament...

      I played more chess, or to be exact, a variant of chess called crazyhouse, which is even more wild than chess

      Thankfully my "am I going to survive?" thoughts lasted only a few minutes, and I had plenty of energy for the rest of the day. :)

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  9. Take care of yourself, Bethany, you and your health are more important. Love your photos.

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    1. Thanks Linda! I'm in pretty good shape--actually this year I have been feeling better than ever...so a little tiredness won't kill me (even though the thought did enter my mind for a brief moment...). Overall I'd bet the mental exertion of the day was good for me healthwise! Thanks for your concern. :) It's always a joy to have you visit!

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  10. The Wellsberg Open... Has a nice ring to it.

    Looks like the tournament was a resounding success!

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    1. It went pretty well for a first time event.

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  11. All that detailed work and play is pretty impressive to me since I am more a dreamer than a detailer! Perhaps you are being wise to consider not playing when you are responsible for organizing the tournament too. Or maybe you could just play a practice game with a bystander and not be in the actual competition. I play Scrabble as often as possible just for the fun of it, and have even been known to play my Left Hand against my Right Hand :)

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    1. I pretty much needed to play because otherwise the tournament would have an odd number and one player would have a bye (and have to sit around for the entire first round). I'm not sure whether I will just direct or play and direct in the future. I enjoy playing so much it would be hard to give it up.

      Ha! Oh wow! playing right vs left hand in Scrabble?! Sounds interesting! I have played myself in chess, but it is hard to win!

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  12. Everyone looks very focused. I can understand why you are very tired.

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    1. Focused is the right word here. Players at tournaments are often so focused and quiet you could probably hear a pin drop.

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  13. Hi Bethany,
    I think it's an intense game, making you feel tired.
    Watch your health, you only have one body, take care of it.
    I wish you a nice weekend.

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  14. I love your commentary on this tournament! I don't understand any of it but I love it. Can't wait for Part 3 :)

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  15. Wow, I am amazed at your energy level.. I am glad that the tournament went so well. You did a great job running the tournament.. Have a happy day and weekend!

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    1. I am looking forward to another weekend! Friday is probably one of my all-time favorite days. You have a great time as well!

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  16. Another interesting post! I wish I knew more about chess, but I am enjoying reading about it. You are an amazing young lady!

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    1. Thanks Lois! I think the best way to learn more about chess is to practice it. There are a couple great online servers (freechess.org and chess.com) to play at.

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  17. Such concentration on those faces! This is a great game. It really puts the brain to work, which is always a good thing. And I'm sure that you learn from one another. Do you ever have any sore losers? I'd like to think that most players are courteous and play nicely.

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    1. No, I've never personally seen a sore loser at a USCF-rated tournament. At chess club the other day though they were sure talking about one guy who threw the pieces off the board after losing under extreme time pressure at their club tournament. He's usually very cool, so when he lost it everyone was shocked. But he is a character--and when he doesn't show up everyone sure asks about him; he's younger than just about everybody and apparently liked by all.

      Most players are courteous, nice people.

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  18. I'm REALLY surprised the candy bars didn't sell. I wonder if they had brought their own from home. I've seen chess players with perfect little diets all packed into Tupperware containers... and guys who show up with a bag of donuts for breakfast. :)

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    1. Yes, I've seen many players bring their own food as well. A couple tournaments ago we brought a delicious dish of leftover turkey noodles a neighbor made for us when we visited them for dinner the night before--that was good! My youngest sister and I used to declare the Friday before a tournament as "Official Cookie-Making Day." We'd make several batches of cookies to bring with us, so we'd be prepared with plenty of good, healthy brain food. And...donuts...are hard to resist on the way to a tournament! Usually I'll stop somewhere for a filled croissant or donut of some type at a convenience store, and grab a sausage egg McMuffin en route to tourneys. Perhaps the candy bars would have sold better at a scholastic event? I'm not sure.

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  19. omgoodness....it sounds like the perfect blend of fun and intense concentration. i think my brain would hurt!!! it is wonderful that you have a hobby that you enjoy so much!!!!

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  20. Yep, I can see that the water was very popular! Seems like a great way to spend a few hours! Kudos to you for holding a successful event.

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    1. Now that you mention it, I see in the pictures I posted here that it looks like there's water at just about every board. It was a winner--hard to beat good old-fashioned water!

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  21. You have inspired me to really want to learn to play chess now!

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  22. Glad you had Hank there to help you over the rough spots. But, it sounds like an awesome tournament!

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    1. I was very grateful he was there to help!

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  23. The concentration on some of these faces is wonderful - I don't have the mind for chess!

    Just realised you are from Iowa - I am doing some work with a company from that state at present - small world!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Oh wow! I would never guess you'd be doing work for an Iowan company! How neat!

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  24. I don't know how you do it- I don't play chess because I can't think two-three-five steps ahead. This is why I get beat in these types of games. I can semi handle checkers and that's about it. LOL! Happy Mother's Day!!

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    1. It's kind of odd. I play chess all the time, and I've always considered it a more complicated game than checkers, but I am not good at checkers at all! It depends what you primarily practice or focus on I guess. Have a great day and take care!

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  25. Hi Bethany, Every time you report on your chess tournaments I learn something interesting. This time it's about how subtle things matter. Let me quote to explain. You said, "We succeeded in printing the pairings; Hank checked them over and noticed several traveling companions would be playing each other. Since that was not ideal, we put traveling companions on teams and re-paired." I understand completely but might not have given it the consideration it needs. It would be so awkward to defeat the person who drove you to the tournament. Great post ... on to Part 3 now.

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    1. A lot of times travelling companions are either family members or from the same club/city and friends, so they've usually played each other many times before, and are most likely hoping to play different people at the tournament.

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  26. I don't know how you were ever able to keep it together - trying to host this and concentrate and play!?! You're one amazing young Lady! Now I need to read the next chapter. ;)

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