Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stephan Desmoulin Wins President's Day G/10 Blitz Tournament

Congratulations to Stephan Desmoulin who won the Java Dock President's Day Blitz tournament held on February 24, 2014 (there was a one-week postponement due to weather).  Stephan was the "Commander in Chief", posting a perfect 5-0 score in the Open section over a strong field of seasoned players.   Jason Flanders finished second with 4-1.

Congratulations also go out to Tom Hudson, Hersh Singh and Alex Jentsch who tied for first in the Reserve Section, each with a 4-1 score.   After posting these results, Hersh is the new leader in our 2014 Grand Prix.

Participants traveled from as far north as Sheboygan and as far south as Franklin, Wisconsin to play in this fun event!  A total of 17 players participated.   Time control was G/10, d/5.  Entry was free and the event was not USCF rated.

Complete results are posted here. Tom Hudson adroitly handled TD duties once again.

Round 1 action.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dmitry Myaskovsky Wins ORCA's 2014 Winter Seasonal Tournament

After a one-year break from tournament chess, Dmitry Myaskovsky returns to win ORCA's 2014 edition of its Winter Seasonal Tournament with a perfect 4-0 score.  Myaskovsky defeated Paul Bevans in the final round to seal the victory.  Bevans earned the right to face Myaskovsky with an upset victory over perrenial favorite Chris McKinney in the third round in a tense rook and pawn ending where McKinney overstepped the time limit.

 A total of 15 players participated in the Open section and 17 players participated in the Reserve section.

Open Section Final Standings:
1st - Dmitry Myaskovsky (4-0)
2nd (tie) - Chris McKinney, Adam Dreuth, R. Wade Brooks, Paul Bevans (3-1)

Reserve Section Final Standings:1st - Ruilin Yan (3.5-0.5)
2nd (tie) - Tony Sproehlich, Alexander Hogg, Aditya Gobal (3-1)

The complete crosstable can be found here.

Tom Hudson was Chief TD and he was assisted by Steve Etzel.

Open Section winner Dmitry Myaskovsky (left)

Open Section Second Place - Dreuth, McKinney, Brooks, Bevans (l to r)

Reserve Section winner - Ruilin Yan

Reserve Second Place - Hogg, Sproehlich (l to r)

Reserve Section action

Round 3 - Reserve Board 1 in foreground

Open Round 3

Tournament Directors - Tom Hudson (l) and Steve Etzel (r)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Desmoulin Wins 17th Feider Memorial

A total of 34 players braved the snowy weather on December 14 to compete in the 17th Joe Feider Memorial in Random Lake, Wisconsin.  The format was a 4-round Swiss System with a G/25, d5 time control.  Entry was free to all participants.

Past winner Stephan Desmoulin led the pack with a perfect 4-0 score to take first place in the Open section.  Mitchell Beine took second on tiebreak with a 3-1 score.  Also scoring 3-1 were Wade Brooks and Steve Etzel.  Joe Hetzel was the top-scoring Senior.

In the Scholastic section, Alexander Jentsch took first with 4-0 and three players were tied for second with 3-1.

Complete results can be found at: http://orcachess.org/tournaments/TourneyReport.php?EID=131214001

Once again, Tom Hudson did an excellent job as Tournament Director.  Trophies were awarded to the winners and other prizes were awarded by random drawing.  As the saying goes, "A good time was had by all."

Next year's tournament is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December 13, 2014.  Watch our tournaments page for details.

Our next USCF tournament is scheduled for Saturday, January 18, 2014. Flyer
Trophies (foreground) and permanent plaque/trophy (background).

Open winner Stephan Desmoulin (left) and TD Tom Hudson.

Scholastic 2nd place winner Jerome Wood, Jr. (left).

Scholastic section winner Alexander Jentsch.

Senior high-scorer Joe Hetzel.

Open section 2nd Place - Mitchell Beine.
Al Buschmann (left) and Paul Bevans battle in an intense ending in Round 4.

Round 4 Action
Round 3 - Open Section
Round 2 - Scholastic and Open Section
Round 2 - Open Section
Round 2 - Open and Scholastic

Sunday, October 20, 2013

McKinney Once Again Makes "Quick" Work of the Competition

Congratulations to Chris McKinney who took first place in ORCA's 2013 Fall "Quick Chess" Tournament in Mequon.  Chris scored 4.5 points out of 5 to lead the pack.  Joe Hernandez was a close second with 4.0 points.   The G/15, d3 time control gave rise to many exciting games, including one that was finished by the winner making a series of rapid-fire moves, each within the 3-second delay to avoid a loss on time.  The games were USCF Quick-Rated.

Three players (Peter Joachim, Wade Brooks, Jordan Beck) each earned a U1700 book prize.

Kudos to four players who tied for the top score in the Reserve (U1500) group: James Rockley, Al Buschmann, Tom Hudson and Steve Etzel. 

Complete results can be found here:

Thanks to those who donated their cash prizes to ORCA.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

ORCA Fall "Quick Chess" Tournament Scheduled for Saturday, October 19

Please join us on Saturday, October 19 for our Fall "Quick Chess" tournament in Mequon. G/15, d3.
The Ozaukee Regional Chess Association (ORCA) is offering an opportunity for chess players to play five (5) tournament games in one day at a reasonable cost.  Games affect your USCF Quick Rating only!

TOURNAMENT INFO: http://orcachess.org/pdf/ORCA-2013-Fall-Seasonal-Tourney.pdf
ON-LINE REGISTRATION: http://www.orcachess.org/tournaments/entry.php?EventID=131019001
: 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM.
ENTRY FEE: $15 (both sections $3 less if registered before October 16, 2013). $2 discount for ORCA members. Cash or check only.  Make checks payable to “Ozaukee Regional Chess Association” or "ORCA".
USCF MEMBERSHIP: Required (payable at site). For more information, go to www.uschess.org.
FORMAT: Five Round Swiss System - Five Games in One Day -- USCF Quick-rated (USCF Membership Required). USCF rules apply (clock, touch-move, etc. but notation optional)
TIME CONTROL: G/15, d3 (each player has 15 minutes to complete the game).
Digital clocks preferred: Set at G/15 with a 3-second delay.
Analog clocks: Set at 15 minutes.
TWO SECTIONS: Open and Reserve (U1500) based on Quick Chess rating.
DUAL-RATED: Results will affect your USCF Quick Chess rating only.
PRIZES: Cash prizes to 1st and 2nd place in each section based on number of entries.
LOCATION: First floor fellowship hall at Christ Church.
ADDRESS: 13460 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, WI 53097
TD: Joe Hernandez. Pairings done using WinTD software.
EQUIPMENT: Chess sets and boards provided. Bring your digital chess clock if you have one.
5 ROUNDS: 10:00 am - 10:45 am - 11:30 pm - 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
SITE: Christ Church, 13460 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, WI 53097
DIRECTIONS: I-43 to Exit 85 (Mequon Road) west, turn right (north) on Port Washington Road, 2.9 miles on right.  For more specific directions: http://home.roadrunner.com/~etzel/ThursdayKnights.htm#Directions
ENTRIES TO: ORCA, c/o Tom Hudson – 822 W Grand Ave, Port Washington WI 53074 or via email: admin@orcachess.org
QUESTIONS TO: Tom Hudson – 262-284-1948 or admin@orcachess.org

If you think you will be coming, please send an email to let us know in advance, even if you don't meet the deadline for the early registration discount.  It will simplify the registration process on the day of the tournament.
For more information about ORCA, including how to become an ORCA member, go to: www.OrcaChess.org.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Flanders and Brooks Tie For First in September G/10 Blitz

Alex Jentsch (left) in a K+P endgame vs. Ken Pagenkopf
A tense battle between Josh Fiebig (left) and Joe Hernandez in the last round.
Congratulations to Jason Flanders and Wade Brooks who tied for first in the September 9 G/10 Blitz tournament, each with a 4-1 score.  Once again, Joe Hernandez and Steve Etzel tied for second with a 3.5 points each.

A total of 13 players participated in this free, non-rated event, which was held at the Java Dock cafe in Port Washington.  There was a nice mix of younger and more experienced players. Tom Hudson once again served as Tournament Director.

Final standings and the tournament crosstable can be found here:

Participants also received partial credit in the 2013 ORCA Grand Prix contest.  For current standings, click here:

The ORCA Grand Prix system awards points for both performance and participation.

Bookmark our Tournament page on our web site to track future events:

Or subscribe to our email reminders by sending an email to: admin@orcachess.org.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reflections on the 2013 US Open Championship

Buschmann and Etzel Represent ORCA at the 2013 US Open

Al Buschmann and I (Steve Etzel) represented ORCA in the 114th US Open Chess Championship in Madison (Middleton), Wisconsin.  In this blog entry I will give an overview of our experiences and attempt to capture the atmosphere of the tournament.

From my perspective, this was perhaps the best experience of my 40-year chess "career".  As Milwaukee-area residents, Al and I felt this was the opportunity of a lifetime and we decided very early on to take advantage of it.

I will be the first to admit that I would have preferred Milwaukee for Wisconsin's first US Open in decades, but I have nothing but good to say about the tournament site (see the July 2013 issue of Chess Life, page 46 for a more complete description).  Before I go on, let me congratulate Milwaukee-based GM Josh Friedel on winning the tournament.  Josh was one of three players with an 8-1 score, and he won a blitz playoff to win the title and an automatic entry into the next US Championship.

First Impressions

Having registered for the 6-day schedule, we arrived mid-afternoon on Tuesday, July 30.  After getting settled into our room at the Marriott where the tournament was held, we toured the conference center.  Despite having seen pictures, I was unprepared for how massive the playing room was.  This also gave us an opportunity to look at the wall chart and review the field of players, some of whom had already been playing since Saturday in the Traditional (one game per day) schedule.  

After a discussion with one of the TDs and a check of the online entries, we soon realized that the field was comprised of some very strong players (see chart below).  To say that this was intimidating would be an understatement. The highest rated player was 2668 and the lowest was 100.  I did note that the 100 rated player managed a win against a 1538!  There were also 5 unrated players.
Unofficial - Based on per-tournament ratings.

I did some analysis of the final crosstable and compiled some unofficial statistics.  By my count, there were 512 entries, after adjusting for 7 people who paid a fee to re-enter.  Wisconsin was well represented, with 136 players.  I believe this turnout was comparable to other recent Opens, so the organizers and the USCF should be very pleased about "taking a chance" on Madison.

The playing site also had a skittles room, a fully-stocked chess store, "Chess Control" registration/info center, and meeting rooms.  Many chessplayers probably don't realize that the US Open holds its annual business meetings concurrent with the Open, and delegates from around the country participate.  I sat in on one of the open sessions and it appeared that the proceedings were civil and productive.

As a final note, I was also impressed by the large number of strong young players and also the gender/racial/ethnic diversity represented.  The FIDE slogan, "Gens Una Sumus" (roughly translated as "we are one nation"), definitely applied.  This event also confirmed my assertion that chess is a very social game.  I enjoyed interacting with my Wisconsin chess friends, as well as an acquaintance I knew from my days at the Pittsburgh Chess Club.  I was even able to obtain autographs from several GMs, which they graciously gave.


The Open is a 9-round tournament held over many days and at slow time controls.  This is a formula for exhaustion and chess saturation.  However, once the tournament was under way, there was definitely a lot of chess energy.  Both mental and physical stamina was required, as the longest games each night did not finish until after 1:00 AM.  Fortunately for Al and me, our games finished earlier and we were able to get to sleep by about midnight at the latest.

Despite all the demands of the event, the atmosphere was almost exhilarating at times. At the Friday night session, when all 500+ entrants were merged into one big section, the mass of chess-playing humanity was impressive.  Similarly, seeing 100 people playing in the Blitz event on Saturday was inspiring.

An interesting challenge was deciding how to spend our free time.  We generally ate two meals each day, a mid-morning breakfast and a late-afternoon lunch/dinner.  Snacks and a little caffeine sustained us during the rounds and after the rounds.  Due to the evening rounds, sleep was another challenge.  It was often hard to unwind after a hard-fought game.  A few well-placed cat naps during the day helped tremendously.  On other occasions, we took a walk to get some fresh air and experience the perfect weather conditions.  We spent some time analyzing our games, but did not spend a lot of time preparing before the rounds.  Likewise, we did not spend much time in the skittles room.  We probably spent a little too much time and money in the chess store!  Don't tell our wives.

In summary, the Open is a marathon, not a sprint, so getting into some kind of routine is critical.


The complete crosstable is online at: http://www.alchess.com/chess/13/usopen/

I entered the tournament with a 1579 rating, which ranked me about 374th at the start.  Thanks to a strong finish (I got draws against an 1800 and a 1900 in the 7th and 8th rounds, respectively, and a win against an 1800 in the last round).  I finished with an even score of 4.5 points.  This moved me up to a tie for 212th with many others.  Still to be determined, but I think I get a share of the 3rd/4th place Class C prizes.  It won't be enough to retire so I bought a lottery ticket on the drive home.

My performance rating was about 1700, which is somewhat above my current strength.  I attribute my results to a level-headed state of mind at the board, along with the slower time controls.  Having seemingly unlimited time to think allowed me to eliminate most of the serious blunders from my games.  However, I did have to often remind myself to slow down, and I probably should have spent more time on my moves in general.  I didn't get to do much preparation before the tournament, other than some tactics problems and keeping up with my correspondence games on Chess.com.
I had White 4 times and Black 5 times.  None of my games were played against players rated similar to me, which can happen in a big open tournament like this one.  I played "up" five times, and the lowest rating of these opponents was 1800.  As can be expected, two of my three lower-rated opponents played at a level stronger than their rating would indicate.  I don't obsess too much about ratings math, but I was "hurt" by the fact that two of my opponents were rated just above 900.

Al scored a very respectable 3.5 points, thanks in part to successfully executing a Rook + Pawn endgame in the final round.

In closing, below are a few photos taken at the Open.  See our ORCA Facebook page for more.  Under the photos is an annotated version of my Round 9 game. 

The tournament hall.  The picture does not do justice to the expanse of this room.

Al's last round game.  It took over five hours to grind out this win.

The Championship Trophy
Steve is ready to force a draw in a tenuous Knight + Pawn ending.

Comments or questions on this blog post would be appreciated.

Steve Etzel