Tri-Cities Open

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Tri-Cities Open

Postby hgpitre » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:43 am

Let’s see: Is the new Tri-Cities Open really improved over the Columbia Cup which it replaced after an overwhelming show of no support for the CC?

The New:
Nov. 9-10 Tri-Cities Open Washington
5SS, Sat. 40/90, SD/30, D/5, Sun. 30/90, SD/1, D/5. Red Lion Richland Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352. 509-946-7611. HR: $89.95 until 11/9. 1-800- RED-LION, mention Chess Tournament. $$450/b30: $125-100, U2000 $75, U1700 $75, U1400 $75. Foreign ratings used for players with no USCF rating. EF: $30 if postmarked or online by 11/6, $40 at site. Free entry for GMs, IMs, WGMs. Registration: 8-9:30am. Rds.: Sat. 10am, 2:30pm, 7pm, Sun. 10am & 3pm. Bye: limit 2, request before end of Rd. 2. Memb. Req'd: $25 ($19 juniors). OSA.

The old:
From the July, 2013 NWC on page 15

Columbia Cup: July 27-28
Two Sections:
Open: 4 Rds TC: 30/90mins. Game /60mins, D/5
Reserve: 5 Rds TC: 40/90mins; Game/30mins, D/5 Prize fund: $1000 based on 50 Advance Entry Fee $40
HR: $109

It is true that the entry fee is reduced by $10, but the prize fund pay-out minimum that the WCF was facing decreased from $500 to $225. Who is really benefiting here? You’ll notice in both arrangements the WCF was planning to devote the equivalent of 50% of the advance entry rate per player to the prize fund.

There is now only one section. Not a very significant change: a less competitive, less-balanced section, but maybe easier for the TD to direct.

The HR has been reduced from $109 to $90 for the same hotel. Doesn’t the calendar date explain that reduction in price. It doesn’t make me excited. Is driving or getting to and fro any easier then?

The time control is now the same as offered for the original Reserve section.

In both set-ups NWC membership is required, and yes, it would also require USCF.

I am not seeing how this is an improvement for the local players. And back to the entry fee: Because of the probably nice meeting rooms of the hotel, I believe the players should be paying a higher rate than what they might have compared to the meeting rooms in places like the Spokane Chess Club. So I think the advance registration rate should have stayed at $40 per person, which would have raised the prize fund.

If the WCF really wants to have a good tourney in the Tri-Cities they should be following a scheme that will work for any and all areas that are currently under-served by USCF chess tournaments. This will also apply to the OCF.

The WCF has to give it away. That is, the WCF has to offer USCF-rated tourneys in these areas without requiring NWC until some critical network of tourneys in these new areas has been established. Only after that is reached might they ask for or require NWC subscriptions or WCF memberships. As a Puget Sound player I will not be harmed by the appearance of these free “temporary members”. I will be happy they are on the scene. I expect they will soon be adding to the vitality in our region.

Well, you might say, how can they do that? It must cost something. Well, for one thing, stop giving free participation to the bottom ten rated players who comprise the third section of the round-robins that are currently held at State Championship time. That should be going for at least $75 per person. I have been saying this to the WCF officers for the entire existence of this section. That is, for the past four or five years. By now that represents a lot of money that the WCF could have used for the stated purposes of promoting or advancing chess in our region.

Have there been many Tri-Cities residents who are a USCF members playing elsewhere in tournaments? If the answer is no, then this is an attempt to bring mostly new players into to the pressure-cooker environment of tournament chess. It is tough one; but let’s get away from “he-man” chess tourneys that some think is the only way to go. It is not. Chess is not a game where you measure its worth by how many hours you played over the course of the event. You might consider the quality of the moves you or your opponent put on the board. In this regard, go to

for IM Greg Shahade’s comments which are related.

The would be chess players in the Tri-Cities have been doing quite well on their weekends with family and friends. They probably want to continue all that and occasionally add to their schedule a moderate amount of tournament chess. A four-round event, with games each of approximately four hours in duration is more than enough for these players. Don’t offer the sham device of a half-point bye for someone to get a rest. It does serve a purpose for someone who goes to church or to a wedding that weekend. Make the tourney last just four rounds and the outcomes will be fair for all. Let me be clear. Half-point byes are still available, but only at registration.

And let’s go back to the hotel rates. This is important. It is good to have the tournament in a hotel. It is nice to be able to go to one’s room between rounds, but negotiating with the hotel management is an art or skill that few of us have.

I spoke with the USCF President, Ruth Haring, at the 2012 US Senior Open over a year ago, and told her the USCF hotel/conference manager should be lending such expertise to all the clubs and state federations out there who occasionally face this problem when they try to make such arrangements with hotels in their region. As far as I know, they have not done this.

Who made the hotel arrangements for the 2012 US Open in Vancouver, WA? Not the WCF or OCF. That person at the USCF office who did it should be helping or training us to do the best job possible when it comes to making the complete hotel arrangements when placing tournaments in hotel meeting rooms. Face it. It is a competitive world out there.

Maybe the WCF TC did a good job in this regard. But this issue is a recurring one throughout the country. Are we using the USCF to help us in this regard?

The WCF has been growing because of the energy and numbers from the scholastics/juniors who have found our pastime to be fun and interesting, but we need to acquire more adults or retain more of these juniors as adults to make chess grow and fulfill the WCF purposes in our region.

These have been suggestions that move in that direction.

As always, I welcome comments.
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