Where to Play
Daily Chess Puzzle
(May 19-20, 2012, Boise, ID)
by Jeff Roland
The 2nd Annual ICA Players Memorial Chess Tournament was played in Boise, Idaho on May 19-20, 2012 at Boise State University Student Union Building, Lookout Room. The Tournament Director (TD) was Jeffrey Roland. Twenty-nine (29) players participated as players, and one player recorded moves for another. Sections were evenly divided with fifteen (15) players in the Open Section, and fourteen (14) players in the Reserve Section. Six (6) players in the Reserve Section were unrated! Amazingly, every player was from Idaho. We had really hoped with all our promotions via USCF and Northwest Chess that we would get more players from out of state, but that's okay. We will keep working on that!
In the Open Section there was a 4-way tie for 1st-4th place between Kurt Douglas (Boise), Caleb Kircher (Nampa), Nathan Jiang (Eagle), and Paul Johnson (Boise). In the Reserve Section there was a 3-way tie for 1st-3rd place between Cody Gorman (Meridian), Jamie Lang (Meridian), and Alethia "Allie" Chaney (Meridian).
The atmosphere throughout the tournament was very professional. Players were on their best behavior, and I was more relaxed both as a player and as a TD than I've been in a long time. The quality of play was also higher than usual. Players all had very tough games, and there were many comments like, "Mr. Roland, this is the best game you and I have ever played with each other" (said to me by Caleb Abernathy), and "This is the first time I've ever gone undefeated in a tournament" (said to me by Kurt Douglas). In fact, the tournament went so well that after it was over there were many different ideas as to why this tournament ran so smoothly. And maybe all those theories are correct!
My theory is that as TD, I simply expected the players to be professional. I didn't talk down to anyone. I made very few "announcements". I think the fact that I didn't make announcements set the tone right away that we were all there to play chess. The fact that for months I have been so excited about the event rubbed off on people too. Everyone was treated with honor and respect and THAT is what "went around and came around!" Each game had its own chess table. And there was a lot of space between tables. And all the players respected one another's abilities. Every player was actually a pretty good chess player too. And the games reflected that.
I went around and took pictures of all the games throughout the first three rounds. I probably should have done that the second day too (because much to my amazement, almost all of them turned out really well!), but I was concerned that I was getting too many for our web server! It does not have unlimited space.
It has become abundantly clear to me in the last few years that everything we do as organizers and players in chess is actually history in the making. I've actually always known that to a point, but now it is REALLY becoming clear to me! I think chess players like to have their pictures taken too. I think most chess players are a little shy, and yet, they also like the attention too!
It was very nice to see everyone at this tournament. It will be cherished as one of my favorite tournaments because of all who came and participated. Shane Taylor could not play, but still found a way to participate by recording the moves for a "handicapped" player (I don't like using that word).
There is another tournament practically identical in every way to this one coming up on July 14-15, 2012 called the ICA Summer Classic. I sincerely look forward to that event as well, and hope we can build on what we accomplished here. One can never have too many great chess memories.