Memorial Tournament 2014

Sixteen players decided to stay indoors on the first nice day of the year, to participate in one of great tournaments of the year, the Vassar-Chadwick Memorial. For the first time it was held in the Vassar College Center area, which was convenient in many ways – not only was it located in the Main building, but the cafeteria was open at noon. Intense chess play builds an appetite.

The tournament was run by Brother John McManus, who graciously drove down to provide his very capable (Senior TD level) services. His computer and printer setup had this TD drooling.

Out of the 16 players, 7 of them were Class A or above – it was a tough, hard-fought event, even if it didn’t draw as many as the club championship.

Speaking of the DCC, trophies were available to hand out, but only Chris Brooks (unable to play the Memorial, but did show up after work) was there to pick it up. But don’t worry, trophies don’t have expiration dates, they will be at the club waiting for you.

Going into the final round, Ernie Johnson had the only perfect score (3), and was paired with Scott Strattner (alone in 2nd with 2.5). See below for the game, but the game in summary: Black gets an early (but slight) advantage, through inaccuracy it turns into a small advantage for White. After many moves White’s advantage grows (to over +1), but a late blunder allows Black to swindle a win.

As both the winner of the game (and the tournament) and the writer of this post, I want to be as impartial as possible, instead of tooting my own horn. But I will say, after going through the game with a chess engine, I am happy with most of my moves, and the plans I decided on were actually valid (even if all my follow-through moves were not). For G/40, I cannot complain.

Of course, if I had avoided playing in the DCC, this win would have propelled my rating to over 2000. I would have thrown a party and brought doughnuts to the club. Alas, DCC did happen, and I’ll need to win about 3 more Memorial tournaments before I can sniff Expert again. That is chess for you, much like life it is filled with regrets, pain, misery – oh, and success and joy.

Other trophy results:

Ernie Johnson gets top A, and Andre Van Dommele takes top E (other classes did not have the required 4+ players).

The results have not been posted to USCF yet, but thanks to Brother John’s printer, I have the full crosstable:

1. Scott Strattner (3.5)

2. Ernie Johnson (3.0)

3. David Antonucci (3)

4. Brandon Wang (2.5)

5. Rudy Van Dommele (2.5)

6. Alan Lasser (2.5)

7. Craig Fisher (2)

8. Al Musumeci (2)

9. Thomas Roddy (2)

10. George Oliveras (2)

11. Andre Van Dommele (2)

12. Michael Mendez (1.5)

13. Seamus Gould (1.5)

14. Uriel Calixto (1)

15. Robert Mortensen (1)

16. Richard Dobbins (0)


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