Bruce Bowyer was a long time member of the Manhattan Chess Club. His family and friends started this tournament in 2000 in his memory. This years Grand Prix event on Saturday drew over 50 players. I'm not sure how many showed up for Sunday's scholastic. Here is a quote about the tournament from their website. It sums it quite nicely. The adults enjoy coffee, the low $ fee and the strong competition, but the consensus overall is that a hug from Sunny makes this truly the friendliest chess event of the year. Young gunslingers everywhere were thrilled to see our ‘resident’ GM, the great Joel Benjamin playing as he has done every year – we love you , Joel!
International Master Jay Bonin is a recipient of one of Sunny's hugs. Sunny is Bruce's niece. She makes everyone feel welcome.
Nick Conticello handled the pairing duties while Ed Frumkin handled the floor. Ed didn't seem to have to work too hard. There didn't seem to be any major issues, except perhaps the last round discussion on board 1 regarding the DGT "Bronstein Mode" versus the Chronos "Time Delay Mode". Bronstein puts the time back after the move whereas delay counts down before the clock runs. Even though they are different, according to USCF rules they are treated equally in terms of clock preference. Delay is the normal choice in the US whereas Bronstein or increments are more typical in Europe. After everything was said and done the players decided to use GM Benjamin's Chronos with delay.
The other small glitch was they didn't seem to have my entry so I didn't get paired in the first round. The funny thing was if I had been paired normally I would have played one of my Thursday night first round usual suspects Polyakin or Margulis. I wasn't thrilled by the prospect of getting paired against the 1300 getting the 'please wait". My luck would be that he's an under rated ringer, and I lose and get crappy pairings the rest of the tournament. If I was due to lose in round one, I wanted to play a higher rated player.
Anatoliy Ostrovskiy was originally going to to take a 1/2 point bye in round one, but he offered to play me instead. Yes the same Anatoliy Ostrovskiy who I so grossly blundered away a totally won ending against in November. Maybe this game was dedemption for that horrible game in November or pay back for his son crushing me this past Thursday. I'm 0-6 against his son, but now at least I have more then a draw against the family Ostrovskiy.
He actually read my account of our November encounter, so he couldn't help but to kid me about picking up my captured queen before making the promotion. I had kind of forgotten about it when I reached over to get the queen though this time I was sure the promotion was coming.
In the next round I got paired up against Kassa Korley, rated 2115. Like my other encounters with him, I got crunched. For his efforts he was rewarded with a third round trip to board one against GM Benjamin.
There ended out being a 5 way tie for first place at 3 1/3 points. Joel and Alex drew each other. Jay Bonin beat Yevgeni Margulis the remaining 3 pointer. Zachary Weiner and Oliver Chernin won their 4th round games to join the titled players at the top.
Anatoliy Ostrovskiy came up with a new variation of the Swiss Gambit. After giving up his first round 1/2 point bye to play and lose to me, he went on to win his remaining 3 games and won the Under 2000 prize. Myself, I did the Swiss Gambit in reverse. I won my first round game and then lost my last 3 games. I got the tough competition I wanted, but would have been happier if I had not had a time pressure induced implosion in round 4 against one of those 1300 rated high school kids.
It's a very nice event. The Bowyer family and friends do a wonderful job taking care of the players. In the morning there was coffee, tea and pastries. Later on there were Chessman cookies and fruit. For the last round there were donuts. What more can the hungry chess player ask for? It's a very friendly atmosphere and is kind of like a little chess family reunion. That's definitely a tournament that I will want to play in again.