I did find an ally in my beef with the prize structure. During one of my third round opponent’s deep thinks I was wandering around near the wall charts. Howard Goldowsky was standing there looking at the sign with the prizes. Howard was one of the under 1900s who had also entered the Open Section. I asked him what he thought of this prize structure. He didn't like it either. He probably had a bigger beef then me since he already had gotten paired way down and had one point. He had come to play up against higher rated players. Like me, he was disappointed that the sections got combined.
When the round was over the two of us made our case to the tournament director and organizer. Now it wasn't just about me. I was able to speak for both us, and even for the third under 1900 “Open” player who was not around at the time. I’m afraid when I first spoke to them I didn't exactly choose my words well. I’m afraid I may have come across as condescending or arrogant. What I first said came out totally wrong. I won’t repeat that part. It was not meant as a slight to anyone, I just was just trying to make my point regarding what I wanted out of the weekend. The gist of my comments were something to the effect of “I came to play strong competition knowing that I’d possibly lose most of my games, and possibly get a bye. I wasn't there for the money. I understand why they merged the sections. I don’t have a problem with it. Now I’m may going get paired way down, and you’re telling me I can’t win money even if I win that game. Howard has already been paired way down, he can’t win money either with this set up. It’s just not fair.”
The organizer and tournament director said they would consider our complaint and let us know what they would do. At that point there was nothing else that we could say or do.
It was interesting meeting and spending time with Howard Goldowsky. Though he doesn't have his own blog, his presence in the chess blogosphere is felt. He frequently comments on various chess blogs. His comments are almost aways very lengthy and are very well written. My mental picture of him was an older geek type. I got the geek part right. He does some sort engineering involving satellites, but he's younger then I imagined. He said the only reason he doesn't have his own blog is that he'd never get any work done. He reads blogs when he needs a break and makes comments. Then suddenly he realizes he's killed an hour just writing comments.
After lunch it was back to the business at hand. Let's play some chess. They posted a new prize list with no restrictions on which players under 1900 could win them. Now we B players with our sad scores of .5 to 1 point were all in the running for money. My third round opponent had the tough task facing a 2100. That's what he gets for beating me in round three. (Wicked Evil Grin) It was sort of ironic that he was one of the players who had entered the Under 1900 probably with the hope of scoring points and money, yet got paired up against three players rated well over 1900. I had been his only opponent rated lower then him.
Howard got paired against another 1700, and Jeffrey and I were paired against each other. Before I finish reporting on the goings on at the bottom of the wall chart let me give you the news concerning the top. There was a three way tie for first with GM Keith Arkell, GM Timur Geerav and IM Justin Sarkar all scoring 3.5 points. Geerav and Sarkar took a draw in round 4 while Arkell had to beat Master Luis Belliard. Geerav and Sarkar had the best tie breaks so they played a blitz game to determine the winner of the $50 bonus. Geerav won the blitz game.
There were some disagreements on the tie break system and whether it was clearly stated anywhere. That was one argument I was going to stay out of. I figured I'd done enough bitching and moaning for the weekend. I'd let someone else take up that fight if they wanted to.
IM Justin Sarkar and GM Timur Geerav
Blitz playoff for 1st place bonus won by Geerav.
As stated in a previous post, I technically would have been in line for the bye despite having a half point more then the unrated due to rule 28L5. But the bye would have given me at least 3rd place by default, and possibly clear second. I guess if I had gotten the bye at that point it wouldn't have been so terrible. Last round bye, and guaranteed money. What more could I want? I could have said "Thanks! Mail me my check I'm going back to the beach in Connecticut." However really what I wanted was to win the last round and earn money the old fashioned way
Sometimes things don't work as planned. It was kind of ironic that I got paired against the guy who was asking me about my clock settings. Now he had the opportunity to see the settings in action. Unfortunately he didn't get to see the automatic add on for the second control because I had a brain fart on move 28. It's colossal brain fart when one forgets how her own clock works.
I'm seeing seconds tick away and I'm thinking those seconds are part of the delay. Noooo, those seconds were real time, so I was a little shocked when the clocked beeped and starting flashing. Brain fart or no brain fart it wasn't going to make a difference. 15 seconds to make 12 moves in the position was going to be challenging. Even if I survived the clock I'm going to start hemorrhaging pawns. Look at the final position and you be the judge. Perhaps the clock was resigning on my behalf.
So after everything was said and done the picture of the bottom portion of the wall chart summarizes what happened with the under 1900 group.
My fellow Open Section under 1900s got in the money. All the players originally entered in the under 1900 made a little something. And as for me, well....
I got another story for my blog. Next time Howard and Jeffrey can buy me lunch. Ruth Cris Steak House at the 2009 USATE in Parsippany?
Now I can check off Rhode Island as my 21st state I've played in. I've completed my knight's tour of the New England states. It's only taken me 36 years. Though I'm afraid I need to return there, because I haven't won a game in Rhode Island yet. I have at least one win in the other 20 states.