Saturday, August 20th was day 4 of the Ironman tournament series. A quick and blitz tournament were held with increment time controls G/12;+3 and G/3;+2 respectively.
The quick tournament had a disappointing turnout: only 14 players participated. The tournament got off to an exciting start in round 1. There were two notable upsets. Arkansas tourist Brent Looper defeated his first master when Brian Wall tried his favorite maneuver: the Fishing Hook. The next board over Rhett Langseth lost a heart-breaker to JC MacNeil. Brian was able to regain his composure and due to some upsets in the later rounds went on to win the tournament by a half point. Click here to see the full standings.
Due to the low attendance the prizes were substandard. I consider it a failure if first place in any section of a tournament is less than five times the entry fee. In this case, I had a total of $360 for prizes (70% of entries). Here is the prize breakdown and the respective winners:
|2nd||$85||$29 – Christofer Peterson|
|$29 – Justin Alter|
|$29 – Rhett Langseth|
All but one prize was paid with cash. The last prize was mailed to the recipient.
Another disappointing turnout for the blitz. Again, only 16 people showed up. The tournament got off to a rough start. Because we only had 16 people and there was a natural break between two rating groups we wanted to simplify the tournament by splitting it into two sections and run a 7-double round robin instead. This would simplify everything and speed the tournament up. The only hiccup was that Sara Herman was rated 1801 so it would not conform with the U1800 section as advertised. Both Dean and I were willing to make an exception so there would be the greatest amount of competition in every round.
Not everyone saw it this way, of course. In particular, Shirley was adamant the tournament should run as advertised. The changes were to have an 1801 player into the U1800 section and reduce the rounds by one due to low attendance. Pretty minor changes, in my opinion. After some heated debate in front of everyone I was just going to keep going with what we intended. If Shirley convinced Sara to withdraw so be it. Fortunately, Carlos Santillan came to the rescue and said he would withdraw if it was split into two sections. With two dissenters I decided to just go back to eight rounds, one section.
Of course that outcome was not enough to make Shirley happy as she went on social media, as usual, and posted disparaging remarks about my tournaments. If you get on her bad side for one thing, she will rant and rave about every minor little thing. It seems to be a shotgun approach to complaining. If you complain about enough things someone will sympathize with one of them. I suppose negative press is still press. I do not mind the debate but I do not enjoy being yelled at in the middle of trying to give announcements. It was a long, stressful day and that did not help my state of mind in the slightest. I am a pretty easy going guy so everything is forgiven. I am just glad it is over.
The tournament itself ran really smoothly. The biggest story was Griffin McConnell. He won some very nice upsets against Tim Brennan and JC MacNeil. He secured the U2000 prize which was a big upset considering some of the others contending for the same prize. This allowed up and comer Jason Friedemann to win the U1700/Unrated prize in his tournament debut.
The battle for the top spot was hotly contested right until the end. Colorado Springs expert Rhett Langseth got off to an early lead winning his first four games. It was not to last however as The three masters surpassed him in the next round with Brian taking the top spot with a half point lead over Josh Bloomer and me.
In round 4, the masters finally got paired. Brian and I split our games (I should definitely have lost both, thank you 2 second increment!) which let Josh propel to a full point lead. The very next round I played Josh. Both games were very interesting and could have gone either way. The first game was a contentious middle game that went into a theoretically drawn ending. Game two was a bit embarrassing for both Josh and me. Josh had a nice hook-and-ladder tactic to win my queen. My world renowned poker face broke and everyone saw the frustration on my face. I regained my composure and realized I am about to queen a pawn! Then I realized Josh can force a perpetual check. He was in time pressure and had to make a move and missed the one drawing line. Suddenly it was neck and neck with Josh and me ahead a full two points. Josh kept up his pace and finished winning his last four games. I stumbled in the very last game against Rhett and ended up finishing a point behind Josh.
We ended up with $360 for the prizes again for this tournament so I kept the same prize structure as the quick. Here is a list of what prizes were won and by whom:
All prize checks have been mailed.
And finally, below is a list of the updated Ironman standings. Brian maintains a good lead but there are a couple people that are really close to overtaking him. Day 5 of the Ironman tournament a player has the potential to earn 172 points which puts a lot of people within range to win prizes. Currently there is $415 in the overall Ironman prize fund. The last three tournaments will add an additional 10% of all entry fees collected meaning the prize fund will jump quite a bit at the last weekend. The next post I make will provide a breakdown of the Ironman prizes. Finally, here are the current standings: