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2012 Idaho Open
(April 21-22, Pocatello, ID)

Crosstable Games Pictures Flyer Tournament Video
Score Sheets: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5 Pairing Sheets

Left-right regardless of row: Kerry Shirts, Steven Rex Black, George Lundy, III, Gary Owen, Fred Bartell, Adam Porth, Caleb Kircher (back row), Isaac Blake, Gatlin Scott Black, Clancey George Black, Ted Belanoff, Jacob Ari Nathan, Jay Simonson, Gregory W. Nowak, Barry D. Eacker, Jeffrey T. Roland, Kory Puderbaugh, Katie Rae Patterson, Lloyd Blake, Kevin R. Patterson.

Tournament Report

by Jeff Roland

The 2012 Idaho Open was played at Idaho State University (ISU) Student Union Building on April 21-22, 2012 in Pocatello, Idaho. The event was co-sponsored by the ICA and ISU. Jay Simonson was the tournament director.

This tournament had the distinction of being the first-ever Northwest Chess Grand Prix tournament ever played in Idaho (the first of many to come!), and brought players from California, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming. Although only nineteen (19) players attended the tournament, it was a huge success. The tournament was the first ever tournament for Kerry Shirts (aka the Backyard Professor), who last August 1 started a series of chess videos. He made a Tournament Video of this event. I think he captured the event perfectly.

First place, with a perfect 5-0 score, was Ted Belanoff from Woodside, California. Second place was last year's champion, Greg Nowak (aka "the Octopus") from Missoula, Montana with 3½-1½, and there was a tie for 3rd-5th place between Caleb Paul Kircher from Nampa, Idaho, George Lundy, III from Boise, Idaho, and Barry D. Eacker from Twin Falls, Idaho, each with 3-2. The "Buckendorf Award" was won by Jeff Roland from Boise, Idaho in the Open Section, and Kevin Patterson in the Reserve Section. The "Upset Prize" was won by Isaac R.R. Blake from Boise, Idaho for his fine win against Kevin Patterson in Round 4, a difference of 582 points.

This was the first time we had the Monroi at an ICA event, and we had a difficult time figuring out the balance between the ease and convenience enjoyed by the players in inputting the moves during play versus the need of the ICA to have a record of every game from every player in the event, which we are entitled to have as the organizer of the event. Our solution (this time) was a bit of a strain to the players and to the ICA as well. But the lessons learned here have given us insight to improve this for the future. In next month's 2nd Annual ICA Players Memorial, and the ICA Summer Classic in July, I will be the Chief TD, and I plan to accept a PGN file from the Monroi either e-mailed to me at the end of the game (there is free Internet at BSU) or given to me via the SD card (I will also accept print-outs from the Monroi if that is possible, or allowing the players to copy the moves and get signatures on the Score Sheet too if they desire).

What stands out most to me about the 2012 Idaho Open tournament was the atmosphere and spirit of fun that was had by all. I attribute this to the quality of character of all the players in the tournament. Clearly everyone came to this event to have a good time and to play good chess. Everyone showed the utmost respect for one another, and I cannot remember a tournament I enjoyed more in over 30 years of ICA tournaments!