The Wellsburg Open 2016 - Part 2

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

After the first round there was plenty of time to relax and eat lunch.  I grabbed a bowl of potato soup, a turkey sandwich, and cake, and headed down to the skittles room.
Clockwise from top left: The venue, the skittles room, Mark Kende, and Angelo Young.
The Wellsburg area has a definite lack of serious chess players.  Last year I put up flyers in all the surrounding towns, and ran an ad in the local newspaper.  The only local players who came were my family and our friend Pastor Jim Hartman from Whitten Community Church.  Everyone else had a long drive.

This year I didn't go to the trouble of putting up any flyers--and my family and Pastor Hartman still came!  My friend Nela (who blogs at Beloved Star) mentioned her brother Caleb Holmes might be interested in playing.  He came for the first two rounds, but after hearing he had a 45-minute drive; I wasn't sure I should count him as local.

Apparently, distance is relative.  IM Young and his friends had a 5-hour drive from Chicago.  Jeff McMillen and Lucas Alvarez & family had 4-hour trips from Missouri.  Michael Mills woke up at 4 AM to travel from Nebraska, and FM Johnson had a 3-hour drive from Minnesota.  Considering that, I would be tempted to say all Iowans are "local," but I definitely don't feel like I've just been out for a neighborhood stroll after a 100-mile trip to Des Moines!  
Clockwise from top left: Michael Mills (U1800), Mark Capron (U1800), Will Polzin (U2000), John Herr (3rd place), and Vlad Tivanski (U1400)
Another interesting change from last year was the relative lack of excuses.  Last year I was praying for potential players for everything from that they would get enough sleep and be prepared for exams to that they'd get a job, find a wife, and get a car fixed (so they could come to the tournament).  This year, those who wanted to come came, and those who didn't want to come, didn't...and I didn't get to hear all the juicy details.  

But anyway, before I digress (ha!)...  Charity shocked me by drawing her first-round game in the Open against a player rated more than 500 points higher than she.  

Second round pairings were up on time, and my mom and I went for a walk before she headed back home. In an exciting game which ended with both players under considerable time pressure, Seth Koenig was able to pull through a draw with FM Johnson.  

I was three to five minutes late in starting the third round.  James Neal and Joseph Wan drew their third game, so we went into the fourth round with four players at 2.5 points.  IM Young played CM Neal and FM Johnson played NM Wan.  John Herr and Satvik Shah, both at two points, were matched on board 3.  Theoretically, a 5-way tie for first was still possible!

In the Reserve, Daniel Carson had been crushing every opponent fated to meet him across the 64 checkered squares.  Going into the final round, he faced Suresh Kumar Kannan, and after a 51-move struggle, emerged victorious.

 The top two boards in the Open had tough battles, and took some time to finish.  But when the results came in, FM Leonard Johnson and IM Angelo Young prevailed.
Congrats to Johnson and Young on first place in the Open with 3.5 points, John Herr on third place with 3 points, William Polzin on top U2000, and Michael Mills and Mark Capron on top U1800.  In the Reserve section accolades go to Daniel Carson for first with 4 points, Emmanuel Pabustan for second with 3.5 points, and Vlad Tivanski for top U1400.

After everyone left, we cleaned up with kind help from the Pastor Andersen and his family.  Then we headed home for a good night's sleep.  But the fun was far from over for me!  I had the privilege of reading (or trying to read) all of these notation sheets to upload the games to PGNs!
Most everyone realizes playing chess takes a lot of concentration.  Tournament chess players also have to write down their moves while playing, and trying keep neat, accurate notation while concentrating on a chess game interesting experience.  Even my own scoresheets are hard to decipher!  So, I was pleasantly impressed by those who did have decent handwriting and reasonable accuracy.  

Directing and organizing the 2016 Wellsburg Open was a delightful experience!  And I anticipate that directing it (and working as an assistant TD at a scholastic tournament last weekend) will make the next tournaments I attend even more enjoyable.  Ohhh...the joy of sitting back and playing chess and letting someone else worry about everything else!   I never quite appreciated the work of other TDs as much as I do now.


  1. Kudos for a successful chess tournament. I can't imagine all the work that goes into it!

    1. Thankfully it seemed a lot easier than last time (in part because I now know how to use my printer :D).

  2. I'd never take the effort to write my moves down

    1. Players who don't write their moves down lose their "rights." At the scholastic tournament this last weekend, we had a couple children who didn't write down their moves. When the one supposedly checkmated the other, the other child said, "No, the rook is on a different square." We had no way of proving which child was telling the truth and which one was lying, so they had to restart their game at the place where they had quit notating. One of them ended up crying! It was an unfortunate situation that could have been averted if they had put in enough effort to write down their moves.

  3. Another success in the books! Great job little Lady. ;) All the hard work paid off and I'm sure the other players appreciate it immensely (even willing to come from many miles away).
    Blessings. xoxo

    1. It did pay off in the sense that I was able to direct the type of tournament I personally like. Blessings to you as well Carrie! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I think I stopped for about thirty seconds after you wrote "turkey sandwich and cake" and just let my mouth water. Clearly, it's just about dinner time. XD
    I truly wish I could learn to play chess....I think my father attempted to teach me before, but I might have come across like a hopeless case. This looks very challenging though- especially writing down all your moves.
    Congrats on a successful event!

    1. Maybe you should give chess another try! I know my father tried to teach me when I was four; I didn't catch on. So, he tried again when I was five, and I still couldn't get the hang of it. Finally, when I was six I started understanding the game little by little. I'm thankful he didn't give up on me. Anyone can learn with persistence. :)