Monday, March 5, 2012
Disaster in the Amish Land: The 2012 Eastern Class Championships
I went with the Brandeis crew to Sturbridge, MA this past weekend to duke it out in the expert section of the Eastern Class Championship. I went in with my friend and USATE teammate FM Nathan Resika's policy that a lot of the players who "play up" do so because they are afraid of the pressure of winning their own section. I fell below u2200 after a terrible tournament at the Golden Gate Open so I figured i'd give this section a shot; however, unfortunately things did not go my way....Contrarily the opposite occurred as I ended up getting 1.5/4 before withdrawing.
In my first game, I played a fellow New Yorker Jon Gottehrer. After some tactical complications, I ended up with some extra material that I converted for the win.
What I wanted to share about this game the most however was the not the game itself, but rather the controversy and drama that arose during the game. After Jon was down a piece and the game was essentially decided in my favor, several people came to watch the game.. One kid got particularly close to Jon and he told him to back off and asked him if the game was interesting. Then a man playing on the board next to us told Jon to "shut up" and not tell the kid he could not watch as it was the players' rights to watch the games. While I did not get involved with the incident at hand, I fully understood what Jon was annoyed about as I have been annoyed about the same type of situation in the past.... Players typically don't watch games in class sections because they are interesting but rather because they are already decided and they like to poke fun at people when they are losing..... What do you think readers?
In my second game, I played an expert kid from Rhode Island. He played pretty passively, likely hoping to get a draw from early on in the game..... He offered me two draw offers later on within a few moves of each other. When I got annoyed that he offered multiple draws and went to find the director, an onlooker said he spoke to the kid and told me the kid didn't know offering multiple draws when the position doesn't change drastically is not allowed.
To the contrary from what he said, I think it is highly unlikely a kid who is above 2000 and played over 50 tournaments doesn't know the rules. I'll give him the benefit of the serious doubt though and say he didn't know. Even if this is the truth though, this leads to a problem I have with many coaches: their failure to teach chess etiquette. While kids improve rapidly, they are often not taught simple chess manners: not offering draws when their opponents have absolutely no motive to take them or when they are repetitive, ( Another issue I often see is a lot of lower rated players playing very passive openings with white to try to draw instead of playing for wins which would help them in the long run but thats not a story of etiquette. ) and resigning when down excessive material ( at least when rated above 1000). Anyways, enough ranting..... Here's the game: