By Laura Doman
The weekend before Thanksgiving is the time for many people to prepare for holiday travel, family visits, and the big holiday feast. But for dedicated chess players across the South, it was the opportunity to compete for prize money in the 2014 Georgia November Class Championships.
Approximately 85 adult and scholastic players from Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida came to the Hotel Wyndham Atlanta Galleria for the three-day event. Besides the Premier section for players rated over 1999, competitors played in four other class sections, as well as an Under 1200/Unrated division, in a five round, G/120/d5 format (exception: round 1 in the 2-day schedule was G/90/d5).
Chief Tournament Director (TD) and GCA president Fun Fong had several objectives in mind for this event. First, he wanted to ensure “a safe and friendly environment for tournament play.” While there may be occasional hiccups to the system, Dr. Fong and his TDs have continually strived to run their tournaments efficiently and on-time and provide an environment of fun and fair play for all. Second, with the talents of photographer Leon Dale, Dr. Fong inaugurated the production of a series of video interviews with tournament players of all ages and abilities, tournament staff, and support personnel. The first set of video interviews will be posted on the Georgia Chess website (www.georgiachess.org) or on the digital pages of this online magazine as soon as they become available.
Third, Dr. Fong over the past few months has led the implementation of six to eight DGT boards to stream select games live on the Internet. This digital game technology records the players’ moves through chess pieces encoded with computer chips and chess boards equipped with sensors. The result is that observers in the Skittles room down the hallway or the parent traveling halfway around the world can view live games in progress on their computers or smartphones. The technology lends an exciting dimension to the tournaments, especially as the top boards in the premier and class sections are projected onto a large screen in the Skittles room. It’s currently a labor intensive innovation, requiring a dedicated volunteer to set up and monitor the boards, but it is an innovation in electronic score keeping that the GCA is looking to incorporate and expand upon in all future events.
Parnell Watkins, one of two Floor TDs, agreed. “The highlight of the tournament was the use of the DGT boards. Parents logged onto the web site and were able to see their kids play. One parent even called his wife to watch, too. ChaCha (DeJava of Chapel Hill, NC who first introduced the technology to the GCA) was here to lend two of his own DGT boards and to help bring our people up to speed on their use. He noted that the GCA is the first state organization to train its own staff to carry forward with their implementation.” The recorded games from the 2014 Georgia November Class Championships, as well as many other games from previous tournaments, can be found at: www.chessstream.com/livegames. More photos can be seen on the GCA Facebook page.
See full tournament results at: GCA Class Championship November 2014. Congratulations to all the section winners!
|Peatman, Carter F||1964||4||$489.00||1st|
|Wang, Kevin||1961||3||$220.05||1st U2200|
|Kanike, Uday Kumar||2006||2.5||$122.25||2nd U2200|
|Pirani, Amaan Akba||1954||2.5||$122.25||3rd U2200|
|Page, Jordan Maxwe||1763||4||$158.93||1st|
|Staples Jr, Richar||1724||3||$18.43||3rd|
|Fu, Michael y||1528||3||$18.43|
|Wise, Kara A||1372||3.5||$85.58||2nd|
Under 1200 / Unrated