Mike Kagel Upsets To Win 15th Ever

Eight people played in the 15th Ever Milford G/90 Quads over the weekend. We were pleased to welcome back most of our regulars, as well as Bennett Lynn (absent for about a year) and his friend Robert Engleman (new to otb tournament chess). Chris Devick is normally the house player, but this time I decided not to play so that our unrated player could be guaranteed a more competitive game with Chris.

The top quad consisted of Bennet Lynn (2037), Chester Bean (1967), Dan Reinert (1779), and Mike Kagel (1764). In round one, Lynn-Kagel ended in an upset draw after Lynn neglected to notify me of an improperly set/defective clock. Lynn found himself scrambling not to flag from what might have been a winning position. With just seconds left, his draw offer was accepted. Always remember to pause the clock and notify a TD when something strange is happening!

Round two was perhaps even stranger since both top games were upsets. Reinert-Lynn was 1-0, although I can’t remember the specifics–other than Lynn’s liberal use of time (much like myself). Then, some odd happenings in Kagel-Bean made for some excitement. The game looked drawn most of the time until I went away, came back, and somehow Bean was up the exchange for a pawn. Even that seemed kind of drawish given the lack of open lines, but when I showed up again a bit later, Kagel had an outside passer and an extra pawn in a rook and pawn endgame! He soon traded the passer for a kingside pawn, but didn’t go about it quite right and probably had to take a draw. Bean’s clock was very low, however, and play continued until Bean made an unexpected error, dropping his rook. I’m pretty sure Bean got a chance to force a draw by trading his rook for a pawn, but the last opportunity was missed in time trouble.

Round three was more normal, as Bean-Lynn was 0-1 and Kagel-Reinert would be about a 50-50 chance anyway. Kagel managed to score the full point, possibly because Reinert left his knight on h7 for just about the whole second half. Eventually, Kagel had passed c- and e-pawns, one of which would surely be forced through. Reinert resigned. What a day for the top half! Congratulations to Mike Kagel for scoring 2.5/3 and winning his first quad in Milford!

The bottom half of the tournament was almost as exciting as the top half. Mike Tremmel (1536), Larry Tremmel (1482), Chris Devick (1077), and Robert Engleman (UNR) competed. In round one, the newcomer Engleman won his very first tournament game–against the number one seed! Must be a great feeling. It was a tactical game. In the end, Tremmel was going for a stalemate draw, which on several occasions it looked like he might get, but Engleman always gave him a square. Engleman was making me nervous just watching–work on that technique! Tremmel-Devick looked harmless until Devick allowed a devastating pin, losing a piece and the game.

Devick-M. Tremmel was a fun game to watch in round two. It looked drawn with a mostly locked position and bishops of opposite color. Tremmel refused a draw offer and eventually found himself with winning chances. Unfortunately, as is often the case in drawish positions, his attempt to queen also gave his opponent a chance to queen. He could have forced a draw by a perpetual attack on Devick’s bishop, but he tried too hard and lost. Big upset for Devick! Meanwhile, Larry Tremmel converted his extra piece against Engleman into a rook and pawn ending up a rook.

Engleman had a better game in round three against Devick. He built up the queenside pressure until he finally won the exchange and forced a trade of material using his pawn on the seventh. Larry Tremmel was able to beat his brother in the final round–not a good day for Mike, but he has won the bottom section with a perfect score in the past. This time it was just Larry’s turn, and congratulations are in order for a score of 3/3 to accompany his first win here in Milford.

Full standings info can be found at “Previous Tournaments” above.

NM Erick Garcia Wins “New” 14th Ever

Even though the 14th G/90 quads tournament was technically canceled last month, I decided to keep the correct number sequence and start with fourteen again this month.

NM Erick Garcia was our top seed again, and the gap between seeds one and two continues to grow! He outperformed everyone for a perfect score of 3/3 ($50), bringing his unofficial USCF rating to 2244, which puts 362 points between him and Mike Kizis–the second seed, who also gained rating points. Mike performed well, losing only to Erick, and taking clear second place ($25) with 2/3 in the top swiss. Chester Bean and Mike Kagel tied for 3rd-4th with 1.5/3; Dan Reinert was clear 5th with 1/3; Mike Tremmel scored 0/3 but was the lowest-rated player by 157 pre-tournament rating points. Mike is relatively new to tournament chess and is still finding his place among the usual participants. He has beaten everyone in the bottom quad once before.

In the quad, I topped the field by rating and by final score, winning all three games. Larry Tremmel (2/3) gave me a good game in round three but finally dropped a piece by not making a recapture and instead inserting a pawn attack on the piece, presumably hoping to recapture with the pawn next move. The piece was not truly pinned, however, and I went on to win easily in time trouble. Chris Devick did quite well this tournament on 1/3. He came very close to drawing with me in round one (~600 rating points between us) and his game with Larry (which Chris ultimately lost) was back and forth. In the final round, he won against Mitch Samoila, an upset of about 300 points. Mitch was probably winning while up the exchange, but he misunderstood the endgame and allowed Chris too many passed pawns. Mitch’s final score was 0/3, but I know he’ll be back in shape soon. His rating has been on the rise lately, so I can’t wait to see what he can do.

Thanks to Mike Kizis, Larry Tremmel, Mike Tremmel, and Mike Kagel for coming from the Scranton area. Thanks to Dan Reinert and Erick Garica for coming from the Allentown area.

2013 Off To A Good Start

The 13TH EVER MILFORD G/90 QUADS! was held this past weekend, on January 5. All six participants played one swiss section, with NM Erick Garcia (2199) topping the field. Round one saw some exciting upset potential when I, Troy Duncan (1566), won a piece against Henry Mattison (1970). I fumbled the win in time pressure, however, and ended up losing the game. In round two, Daniel Reinert (1841) and Michael Kizis (1887) played a highly tactical game where Dan got a good amount of pressure but ultimately succumbed to the complications and lost too much material. Round three provided two notable games. The first was my slight upset versus Dan. Dan gambited a pawn in the opening but didn’t create enough play before I was able to force a trade of queens in the middlegame. This left me up a pawn with better piece placement. The win was sealed when my center pawn majority became two connected, passed pawns supported by bishop and rook. Meanwhile, Mike was able to secure a draw with white against NM Erick Garcia in a French defense. Great job, Mike! That’s a gain of 16 rating points for Mike and 32 rating points for me. Mike’s draw also earned him a tie for 1st-2nd with Erick (2.5/3). Each received $37.50. Henry and I tied for 3rd-4th with 2/3.

Chris Devick (1004) is our house player–he ensures there are no BYEs at the tournaments. I just want to thank him publicly for always allowing me–and everybody else–to play by joining or not joining depending on turnout. He is an integral part of the enjoyment factor by seeing to it that all of you, especially those of you who drive an hour or more, get to play every game. He was absurdly out-rated in this tournament, but was a gracious and able competitor. I suspect he will do very well in the U1100 and U1200 sections of some of the larger tournaments in the region. This time he scored 0/3, tying for 5th-6th with Dan.

1 Year Of Tournaments!

With the conclusion of the 12th Ever Milford G/90 Quads!, the Pike County Chess Club celebrates one year of USCF-rated tournaments. Pretty good considering there are almost no USCF members within 30 miles of Milford. We brought some new people into the area and even encouraged some inactive members to come out and start playing again. We created a fun and peaceful atmosphere where everyone could enjoy the challenges of a time-honored game. I hope all of you were enriched in some way by these opportunities throughout the year. I am especially grateful for all those who played with us or sent supportive messages.

I know many of you travel more than an hour to get to Milford; that does not go unnoticed. I try to honor that by giving out prizes as they are determined–sometimes to the detriment of my own concentration during a game–but I would like to say a simple thank you as well. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

And now a short summary of the 12th Ever Milford G/90 Quads!:
We had ten participants this time! I was getting worried that we would continue to lose people with each tournament, but it appears that cycle is now over. NM Erick Garcia (2181) led the top swiss section by rating and proved his standing by winning all three games. Congratulations, Erick! We were also joined by two newcomers, Henry Mattison (1966) and Michael Kizis (1907), both of whom tied for 2nd-3rd with 2/3. Mattison played me in the final round. I was low on time again (surprise?) and botched a pretty clear win–a shame since it would have been my highest-rated win yet. But the game is played with a clock or not at all. 4th-5th places went to Dan Reinert and Mike Kagel with 1/3. I was shut out in 6th.

In the bottom quad section, Larry Tremmel (1502) topped the rating list but was ultimately bested by his brother Michael (1494P3), who took no prisoners, scoring 3-0. From what I could see of their game, it appeared that Larry somehow lost his queen. This is only Michael’s second USCF event, and his provisional rating has shot past 1600 as of this afternoon! Welcome to tournaments, Michael! Clearly you are ready. Larry tied with Mitch Samoila for 2nd-3rd on 1.5/3. Christopher Devick was 4th, scoring zero.

I would like to thank Hugh Scully for stopping by to say hello. Hugh was one of the original members of the Club and has been unable to participate for several months. He has always been tremendously supportive, and I look forward to a time when he will once again play chess with us.