By Laura Doman
Congratulations to all the winners in the 2016 Georgia State Championship, held at Emory University from April 29 through May 1. The tournament was a partnership between American Chess Promotions and the Georgia Chess Association, with Thad Rogers coordinating the event and promoting it alongside the GCA, which helped staff it with their volunteers and provided equipment, including DGT boards for live Internet viewing of top games. Phillip Taylor once again generously donated towards the guaranteed $10,000 prize fund, which attracted 175 players to the weekend event.
The Championship offered three separate competitions: the main Open event, which had a two and three day playing option, a Scholastic competition for beginner and intermediate junior players, and a Blitz tournament. Here are the results:
GM Alonso Zapata won the Championship section with four wins and a draw, finishing with 4.5 points.
Adam Kostrinsky claimed first place in the Under 2000 section with 4.5 points. After winning four consecutive games, Kostrinsky drew in the fifth round to 3rd place winner Kevin Chen.
After a first round draw, Gee Leong won his remaining four games to claim first place in the Under 1700 section with 4.5 points.
Bryon Huff scored a perfect 5 points to bring home the top trophy in the Under 1400 section.
In the Scholastic section, Mohit Kokane took a half point bye, but was otherwise undefeated and won first place with 4.5 points.
There was a three-way tie for first place in the Blitz tournament. IM Ronald Burnett, Sijing Wu, and Frank Johnson all took home an equal share of the prize money.
The complete cross-tables are available at the end of this article.
The GCA annual meeting and board election were held between the last two rounds of the Championship. After brief presentations on the activities and financial status of the GCA, the board took a special moment to recognize a stalwart member and longtime supporter of Georgia chess. Thad Rogers received a plaque and the applause of the attendees in appreciation for his many years of outstanding service and dedication to the Georgia chess community. Thank you, Thad, for all your good work!
The election presented three board positions, for which all candidates ran unopposed: 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, and 2nd Member-At-Large. Katie Hartley, who had served in several positions on the board in recent years and whose term as 2nd VP was ended, was succeeded by Priya Srinivasan. Priya’s primary focus is to reinvigorate the Open Events committee and lead the planning of several major Open tournaments next fall and winter.
Amrita Kumar was appointed last year to a one-year position as GCA Treasurer after her predecessor, Pam Little, vacated her position with one year remaining. Since then, Amrita has applied her organizational talents to budgeting, planning, and ensuring that the GCA follows all proper protocols in financial management. Amrita pledges to work to ensure fiscal responsibility in the coming years, along with her efforts to secure corporate sponsors for GCA tournaments and/or special events.
Ashley Thomas and Henry Moon both ran for the position of 2nd Member-At-Large. Ashley was voted into his office for a one year term at last year’s annual meeting and board election, and looks to continue his work into a second term of service. His focus in the past year has been to inaugurate the GCA’s Outreach Program, which is designed to foster chess beyond those areas served by current chess organizations. Ashley has helped initiate new chess clubs and tournaments for both adult and scholastic players, and he looks forward to continuing his work.
Henry Moon withdrew his candidacy at the last minute, so that he may be considered for the newly open position of Secretary, whose occupant which will be appointed by the board at its next monthly meeting. Herky del Mundo, who was elected to Secretary last spring, very recently informed the board that he is soon moving out of state and will no longer be able to serve in his position. Henry Moon is interested in working with Georgia’s schools and chess organizations to continually improve the playing experience for all. He brings to the table extensive expertise in organizational management and personal experience in developing top young competitive players.
Ashley Thomas was voted into a new two year term as 2nd Member-At-Large. The secretary position will be appointed by the GCA board at its next meeting on Tuesday evening, May 24. GCA members in good standing are welcome to attend and announce their interest in the position. Please note that this is a WORKING board and that all members have defined responsibilities, with the expectation that they will do their best to meet them. The GCA secretary is responsible for the accurate recording and organization of board minutes, GCA records, and voting (and noting members’ eligibility to vote) in annual elections. At this time, Henry Moon is the sole candidate to announce his interest in the secretary position.
The GCA board for the term May 2016 – April 2017 consists of:
Fun Fong, President
Ben Johnson, 1st VP
Priya Srinivasan, 2nd VP
Amrita Kumar, Treasurer
Laura Doman, 1st Member-At-Large
Ashley Thomas, 2nd Member-At-Large
We expect the full board complement to be complete by the end of the next board meeting on May 24. Thank you to all who came to play in the 2016 Phillip Taylor Georgia State Championship and participated in this year’s annual GCA board meeting and election.