Greetings, chess fans! (From Phillip Sells)
(NB- After Feb 2 the Entry Fee for Feb. 23-4 State Scholastics in Saratoga goes up from $40 to $50. Later it rises to $60.)
In addition to the standard assortment of rated and unrated sections in which all ages and skill levels could compete, The Right Move Tournament #69 which took place at Albany High School on January 12, 2013 featured an extra rated Open section, paired on the Swiss system as the others. However, this was a little different from the other sections in that only three rounds were played at a slightly longer time control. Normally, games at our Right Move events are timed at G/30–that is, thirty minutes for each player for the entire game–but the Open section in this case was planned with a time limit of G/61 in mind. There was a particular reason for this choice.
One of the organizers’ purposes in making a rated Open section available at this and the following tournament is to give our ambitious scholastic players an opportunity to refine their play with the upcoming New York State Scholastic Championships in Saratoga Springs in mind, as the same time control of G/61 will be used at that tournament. The nature of chess play often differs depending on the amount of time given for a game–speed chess at five or ten minutes a side for an entire game is inevitably different from chess played at, say, sixty minutes per side, which is in turn different from what happens when a long time control such as 40/120 (forty moves in two hours for each player) is provided. A bit of practice at the same time control for a couple of tournaments in a row can help to get a player accustomed to the demands of this set of conditions.
It was gratifying to see the amount of interest that the Open section attracted from the local talent. Ten players of a wide variety of ratings registered, including two Experts! In addition to trophies for the top three places, five of the ten contestants were eligible to play for the additional trophy destined for the player rated under 1600 USCF with the best score. Because the first round started later than planned, the time control for all three games had to be shortened to G/45, but this still produced some very interesting games throughout the tournament.
As you will have seen from that day’s results posted elsewhere on chesstrm.org, there were some surprises and plenty of fighting chess in the Open section. Peter Henner placed first with a perfect 3-0 score after defeating both of his higher-rated competitors, Philip Sells and Dean Howard, in succession. Both of those games were thrilling affairs in which the tension lasted deep into the endgame, the players’ clocks ticking down dangerously close to zero. Mr. Henner played with considerable skill and strong nerves in both cases, his victory being well earned. As a matter of fact, of all of the games played (15), there was only one draw, which happened to be the last-round game between Dilip Aaron and Cory Northrup that secured the Under-1600 trophy for Mr. Northrup by half a point over his rivals for that prize.
Of special note is the fact that three of our local young players who might otherwise have played in the King section that day instead took the brave and salutary step of testing themselves against stronger opponents in the Open section. The D’Alonzo brothers of Saratoga, Jonathan and Joseph, and Tristan Bennett of Albany High School played some exciting games, making their opponents–some of whom were rated quite a bit higher–work diligently. Though each of them finished with only one point out of three games, they acquitted themselves well and have gained some experience on which to build in the future.
I encourage any of our young chessplayers who would like to gain such useful experience and practice for the State Scholastics to try the Open section at the next Right Move event on February 2nd.