After our late start, and the length of the board one game it took awhile before we made our way over to the Somerset Country Squire Restaurant & Pub for the party. I highly recommend it if you happen to be in Bermuda for vacation. Better yet, come to the tournament next year!
We had a sumptuous spread of food in a private room in the back. I must say the roast beef was outstanding. The chocolate cake was to die for. I only had one piece, but it was tempting to go back for seconds and thirds. Being that it was Super Bowl Sunday, the Americans migrated to the bar in the front to watch the game on the big screen television. Usually the tournament is a week later so this conflict would not normally occur. Nigel assured us we would get our normal weekend back next year. A lawyers conference is taking over the hotel this weekend, so that's why the date was pushed back into January. I guess it's not wise to sue a lawyer group.
The blitz play off would have to wait until the game was over. Though I was indifferent about the game, I have to admit it was a pretty exciting finish. I would have liked to see old man Warner win another one, but still it's pretty amazing that Pittsburgh is now 6-0 in Super Bowls. I'd like to go 6-0 in a chess tournament.
Finally it's time for the blitz matches. They split the cash prizes evenly, but they also give first place, and the top amateur a return trip to next year’s event. To settle that tie they do a blitz match. GM Charbonneau would face IM Cummings for first place. Andrei Moffat would face Conrad Ho for top Amateur. The playoffs turned into a Canadian affair. All four them are from Canada though Conrad and Pascal are currently in New York City.
The blitz format was a two game match, one game with each color. I can't recall what would happen if the two games were split. The time limit was G/5 with a 2 second delay. I think that was done to prevent some of ugliness we’ve seen in some blitz playoffs. Though none of the games came down to insane time scrambles with flying pieces.
Charbonneau won his match 2-0, and Moffat won his match 1.5 – 0.5. The second game went into some line that forced three fold repetition early.
If you're wondering what was with the extra people were sitting at the tables with the players, they were writing down the moves. One person who write White's moves and the other would write Black's moves. After wards hopefully they're able to reconstruct a complete set of moves.
After the blitz matches were completed it was time for the awards ceremony. Nigel puts on quite a show for the awards, and there were lots of them! There were class prizes, upset prizes, best game prizes, and all sorts of special recognition awards. Nigel believes in order to have a proper awards ceremony, the master of ceremonies has to dress in Kalmyk style. That's why he has the scarf and hat which are from Kalmykia. That is where FIDE President Kirsan is from.
Blown glass awards for class winners. Sure beats the tacky trophies one usually wins.
Nigel jumped back and forth between giving out class prizes and recognition awards. When awarding biggest upset prizes he has the loser present the money to the winner. In one case he had to do that presentation himself. He thought it might be better if the loser got the money instead.
I have included some of the pictures of various award winners. This post was getting way too long to include everyone. Besides I hate to admit this. In many cases I don't know who is who. I guess I flunk photojournalism 101. Get names for captions! However in many cases I was lucky to get the picture, much less the names.
Jorge is presenting her a Bermuda long tail for her generous support of the tournament. Alexander also won the under 1600 prize so he also received a Bermuda long tail. I used to be taller then Alexander until this summer. I still have an edge over the chess board, but who knows how much longer that will last. He will probably join the growing list of past students who have beaten me in tournament play.
Edit: When I posted the above picture I thought Jorge and his wife were presenting Carol with the longtail. Actually I had it backwards. Carol was presenting it to Jorge in recognition for his work as Continental President for the Americas for FIDE. Perhaps I need a remedial photojournalism class.
I seemed to miss the moment when Nigel gave Carol recognition for her hard work in directing the tournament. Carol has been directing the tournament from its inception. She does a wonderful job dealing with all the challenges that go into directing an event like this. Nigel said in his speech "The secret of running a successful tournament is hiring Carol to direct it, and then do whatever she tells you." Having worked with Carol at many tournaments, it's excellent advice.
Bryant Yang from Toronto was the youngest participant. This was his first tournament outside Canada. Bryant, rated 1380 Canadian drew with an 2056, 1887 and beat a 1510. He lost to a 1997 and 1760. All I can say is; the way I played, I'm glad I didn't have to face him.
My lucky last round win put in in a massive tie for 3rd place under 1800. That gained me another $25. Woo hoo! $50 won over the weekend. Not exactly a break even proposition. Considering how rare it is that I win money, I will not complain. Even if I won no money, I can't complain. I was in Bermuda.
Yours Truly, Nigel Freeman (emcee)and
Larry Ebbin 3rd place under 1800
Max is one of Alexander's teammates and part of one of teams I travel with. He was part of our Westchester County, NY contingent that made it down for the tournament. I had mixed feelings about how I wanted him to do in round five. Had he lost to his 2188 rated last round opponent he would have ended out with 2.5 and instead tying for third, I would have tied for 2nd. (More money for me!) He hung tough and drew with Denis Strenzwilk to score 3 points. Being that I've watched Max go from being a little kid with a 3 digit rating to a big kid with a 1771 rating, I couldn't help but to be happy for him. It would have been even nicer for him if he won which would have given him clear first. That would not have changed anything for me. Max , get em next year! Hopefully we won't be in the same class!
The picture did not come out very well. My apologies to David since the flash washed him out pretty badly. I don't have Photoshop to fix it, and iPhoto just doesn't cut it for digital enhancement.
Complete results to follow as soon as I can figure out how to post the standings table.
In my next report I will talk about some of my games, overall impression and experiences. I will take off my journalist hat, and once again put on my storyteller's hat.