Ten players competed in the dual-rated (G/30 + 10 sec delay) Action Swiss. While the playing area at Vassar was hotter than a Native American sweat lodge, the action at the boards was even hotter. Well, at least that’s what I imagine a professional journalist writing. I’ll keep the hyperbole to a minimum from here on out.
When the dust and humidity had settled, two players shared the top spot with 3 out of 4 points: Mark Courtney and Scott Strattner.
Shared? What do you mean? This is chess, there is no sharing, there must be a winner!
When I created the event in the tournament software (vegachess.com), I configured it to use three tiebreaks, the type and order specified by USCF. Specifically:
- Modified Median (also known as Bulchholz Median)
- Solkoff (also known as Bulcholz)
Unfortunately, the application of these tiebreaks did not determine a winner:
There is a fourth tiebreak – Cumulative of the opponents scores. This tiebreak is not listed in Vega (hey, it is free, what can you expect). And calculating it is a pain in the neck. You have to take each person’s opponent, and calculate their round-by-round score, then adding them all together. With 1/2 point subtracted from the sum for each 1/2 point bye taken by the player. So let’s do the math together:
- Mendez: 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1
- Strattner: 1 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 8
- Leo: .5 + 1.5 + 1.5 + 2.5 = 6
- Johnson: .5 + 1 + 2 + 2.5 = 6 – 1 = 5
Total: 1 + 8 + 6 + 5 = 20
- Ferrier: 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 2
- Courtney: 1 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 8
- Evans: .5 + 1.5 + 1.5 + 2.5 = 6
- Fisher: .5 + 1 + 2 + 2.5 = 6 – 1 = 5
Total: 2 + 8 + 6 + 5 = 21
So, there we have it. Scott edges out Mark in the 4th tiebreak, 21 – 20. Writing this post was more grueling than facing Craig’s French defense (and that was grueling!).
As listed in the event schedule, a trophy is also given to the top Booster (best score in bottom half of participants by rating).
So who is the top player in the bottom half? Although it is close, the answer is Ken Evans!
Craig Fisher (2.5): Regular = 1810, Quick = 1805
Ken Evans (2.5): Regular = 1800, Quick = 1731
Finally, while appreciative, the winner and TD will not accept a trophy, thus providing more money to the club (and getting us that much closer to hosting another GM simul, hopefully).
References (for those who wish to learn more about tiebreaks and do not have access to the USCF rulebook):