Larry Parsons wins Idaho State Chess Championship for 18th time


Photo is Larry Parsons with his championship plaque as taken by Jeff Roland

USCF Crosstable

Tournament Report by Barry Eacker

Eighteen; 18; 8-teen; ate-teen.

Any way you slice it, Larry Parsons winning the Idaho Closed State Chess Championship for the eighteenth time over President’s weekend 2013 in Twin Falls, Idaho is an amazing accomplishment in the annals of Idaho chess history. Parsons solidified his position as the all-time leader in championship victories with a very workmanlike performance, winning four games and giving up draws in round two to former Idaho champion John Carr and in round four to the eventual number two finisher Jeff Roland. Parsons’ 5.0/6 score made his claim to the crown undisputed.

Roland’s 4.5/6 tally assured him clear second place, and left him the only other undefeated player in the tournament. Roland led at the halfway point with a perfect 3.0/3 score before having to settle for draws in the final three rounds. Cody Gorman shared a 4.0/6 score with Caleb Kircher, Alex Machin and Nedzad Imamovic but came out on top via the Solkoff tiebreak to claim the third place prize. Gorman very well could have been on board one in the final round had he not overlooked a brutal checkmate in a winning position in round four against Fred Bartell. Alex Machin grabbed the top unrated plaque.

One of the things that was really apparent at the event (besides Jeff Roland’s lack of electrical prowess as he attempted to activate the video camera with a power strip that was not plugged in) was the influx of a very young and talented group of chess players who made their presence known early on and throughout the tournament with strong games against many of the established players. Upsets were commonplace as the youngsters stepped in and played at a higher level than is usually expected. A few examples were Lucas Knoll’s victory over Kurt Douglas in round one and his draw with John Carr in round four, Carmen Pemsler’s victory over class-A player Caleb Kircher also in round four and unrated Alex Machin’s four wins (one against John Carr in round five) while playing Parsons for all the marbles in round six on board one. Jacob Nathan (rated 963) outplayed your TD in round four and only a positional error late in the game allowed me to equalize and draw. Lots of stuff happened in round four. There were four unrated players in the 21-player field. This is very encouraging to see and bodes well for the future of Idaho chess.

Two of the unrated players were identical twin brothers, Alex and Drew Machin from Boise. I observed on Sunday evening that Alex prepared well for his final two rounds with soup and salad and ended up on board one in round six. Drew ate the meal that I am going to try, but maybe not during a chess tournament: Chicken and waffles. He was not on board one……I’m just sayin’…

Sunday morning saw a temporary departure from over-the-board play with the annual ICA business meeting in full swing. Jay Simonson decided to step away from the rigors of office, and an election produced new officers. Jeff Roland was elected to be President, Adam Porth will serve as Vice President and Patrick Abernathy will take over Secretary/Treasurer duties. Terms start March 30, 2013 and end on March 30, 2015. Since two of these officers already held Trustee positions on the Board, two additional Board Members were elected to finish out the vacated terms that expire on March 30, 2014. Hugh Myers was elected Trustee for Web Development and Maintenance to finish out the term vacated by Jeff Roland, and Alise Pemsler was elected Trustee for Tournament Development to finish out the term vacated by Patrick Abernathy. Congratulations to the new officers.

Monday was Adam Porth’s birthday. He, along with his family, treated everyone to chess cake in the final round.

The venue was the Shilo Inn in Twin Falls, Idaho. Many thanks to the Shilo staff for providing a superior playing site and comfortable rooms for the players. Thanks to Jay Simonson for being my Assistant TD, and a very special thanks to all the players who took the time to participate in this historical event.

Respectfully submitted,
Barry Eacker, TD


Larry Parsons (Boise) – Champion
Jeff Roland (Boise) – Second Overall
Cody Gorman (Eagle) – Third Overall
Caleb Kircher (Nampa) – Top Class A
Fred Bartell (Twin Falls) – Top Class B
Barry Eacker (Twin Falls) – Second Class B
Carmen Pemsler (Eagle) – First Class C
Gary Hollingsworth (Pocatello) – Second Class C
Shane Taylor (Boise) – First Class D
Adam Porth (Bellevue) – Second Class D
Desmond Porth (Bellevue) – First Class E
Jacob Nathan (Idaho Falls) – Second Class E
Alex Machin (Boise) – Top Unrated
John Carr (Victor) – Top Senior
Lucas Knoll (Boise) – Top Junior
Alise Pemsler (Eagle) – Top Woman