Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Wellsburg Open 2016 - Part 1

"What is your greatest fear?" is a question psychoanalyzing interrogators in espionage series have tried to answer in an effort to force secret agents to reveal their nation's secrets.  The past year has made me wonder if mine is an aversion for lateness.   For months I've had dreams (or shall we say, nightmares) about starting the first round of the Wellsburg Open 15 minutes late.  No one told me that would be a side-effect of tournament organizing.
Late 2015 I decided to host the Wellsburg Open again.  In January I booked the Wellsburg Reformed Church as the venue, posted announcements, and sent invitations to the masters in the surrounding states.

Tournament Prep
Online registration was implemented.  I raised the early entry fee $5 from last year, and added lunch and refreshments as complementary features.  (Last year we had a lower entry fee--but charged for concessions).

Based on players' hydration preferences last year, I didn't buy any soda pop; instead, I stocked up on bottled water.  We also cut down a little on the candy bars, and offered more oranges, apples, and bananas.  

Last year we served Casey's pizza--and had a *lot* of leftovers.  Deciding what to serve this year was tough.  Wednesday, my mom (Betty Carson) suggested soup and sandwiches, and since the forecast predicted cooler weather, I decided to go with her suggestion.   

So...I went shopping and spent part of Friday peeling potatoes and whipping up box cakes (Generally I would add a "muhahaha" at the mention of my cooking--as I am one of the few people talented enough to have burned soup before--but with some life-saving help from my dear mother, it worked out.)
My mom kindly agreed to make sandwiches and run the kitchen, serving lunch.  Charity agreed to serve as house player, to make sure no one had to sit out due to odd numbers.  Daniel said he'd help as assistant TD.  Ackley's former mayor, Jim Daggs, loaned me extra tables for the skittles room.  My papa, Tim Carson, loaded/unloaded them in his pickup.  And both of my sisters agreed to help out with photography.  We were set!

The First Round
We arrived at the church at 7:15 to set up.  Registration opened at 8:00, and at around 8:15, the first players arrived.  Most everyone had pre-registered, and the majority had prepaid.  This made everything super-easy: they basically just had to say hi to let me know they were there.  The next time I remember checking the time, it was 8:45.  

I posted the pairings at about 8:50, thanked everyone for coming...and said "You may start your clocks" at 9:00!  Ahhh...the ineffable relief and happiness of successfully starting on time!
Senior TD Hank Anzis (who blogs at Broken Pawn), wasn't available to help with the directing this year--and I had worn myself out directing and playing last year with his help--so I had decided not to play in the tournament.  

However, one pre-registered player did not show up for his game, which left his opponent--who had travelled four hours up from Missouri--with an hour to wait to claim the forfeit win.  Since I really do prefer playing myself, I asked the opponent (Jeff McMillen, 1426), if he'd be up to an extra rated game.  He obliged.

Since I was 281 points higher-rated, I figured I would easily win.  He opened with the French Defense, which I somewhat dislike (Why can't everyone play the Sicilian?).  My development was slow, but by move 13, I was satisfied that his development was even slower than mine.

That satisfaction didn't last for long.  I blundered with 15. a3 (better was Rc1), and lost a pawn due to a discovered attack on my queen.  Dazed by McMillen's insidious tactics, I didn't even consider the irrefragably beautiful tactic I missed by playing  20. b4.  If I had gone with 20. Rxc4, I could have won an entire piece with 20...dxc4 21. d5 Qd8 22. Bg5 0-0 23. Bxf6!

The game should have been drawable, but the situation went from bad to worse when McMillen's queen made inroads on my kingside; I faltered under his unrelenting attack.  Lesson learned: watch out for upset-minded Missourians!  
Stay tuned for Part 2!

22 comments:

  1. Congrats on hosting again this year Bethany! Sounds like it went great (minus your initial match - Lol). So nice of your family to help out too. ;)
    Blessings on your weekend ahead. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have a great weekend as well, Carrie! Thanks.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful that you are hosting again! Also wonderful that your family is so supportive of your venture.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, and you are a great organizer! So thankful you enjoyed it all. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blessings to you Cheryl! I enjoyed most of the day, but the endgame against Jeff McMillen was a little less than enjoyable. ;)

      Delete
  4. It is wonderful you were able to rally the Carson Family team to help organize the event, even if you ended up playing unexpectedly and not as well as you hoped to play! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was glad for the chance to play even though I didn't do well. I hope I learned a good lesson in that game.

      Delete
  5. that's cool you were able to host the whole thing

    ReplyDelete
  6. It seems like you had a lovely time and I am happy for you. You are talented! Liuba x

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a wonderful time! It sounds like so much fun. And you have your mom's lovely smile :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) She's a wonderful mother, and it was fun!

      Delete
  8. Hello, it is great you are hosting again. It is wonderful of your Mom to help you out too.Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like a very enjoyable time!

    You've been nominated to receive the Liebster Award. Hop over to my blog to accept it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. " Jesus não julga, nem condena. Ele simplesmente ama." (Momento de fé)
    Uma linda e abençoada semana!!!
    Beijos Marie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Organizing an event that involves a lot of people can be pretty intimidating--when I hosted the "Date Night" dinner a couple weeks ago, I don't think was able to rest easy until it was completely over! haha. Awesome job taking the initiative to organize this tournament yourself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You organize some pretty awesome parties, Rachel! I hate leaving things unfinished, so it's always a relief when I finish a project, regardless of how much I enjoy doing it. :)

      Delete