Photo Diary of 2009 US Open Chess Championship
I arrived on Thursday afternoon and left on Saturday afternoon, giving me the opportunity to attend several meetings/workshops held annually during the US Open Chess Championship. Since Indianapolis is only a four hour drive from my home I couldn't miss the opportunity to attend these meetings and meet in person some of the people I deal with on a regular basis via electronic means. It was unfortunate in the extreme that not only had one of our valuable members and officers Dr. Ira Lee Riddle recently died, but our President Jerry Hanken was hospitalized and unable to attend. However, there were still many interesting and very involved chess people in attendance and I had a grand time meeting with them in person and getting a taste of a major chess event.
Following is a selection of 39 photos that I took during these two days. You can click on any individual photo for a popup window showing a larger version of the photo. I hope you enjoy my little photo diary showing what I saw in Indianapolis, Indiana August 6-8, 2009. Thanks to Randall Hough for helping me get the names/positions right in the captions.
Click on any photo to see a larger version in a popup window.
|My first order of business was to visit the playing hall of the 2009 US Open Chess Championship. There were many rows of tables with board numbers neatly posted by each chess set. At the far end of the room, far away from the entrance doorway, there was a roped off area for the top few boards. I immediately zeroed in on GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, who was running unopposed for Vice President of CJA and had won the 2009 award for Chess Journalist of the Year. She also performed well at the US Open, winning the blitz championship and scoring 5.5/6 in the main event before taking half-point byes in the last three rounds. The first photo shows some of the crowd attracted to the game. There follows a shot of another top board featuring IM Dean Ippolito.|
|Here are two shots of GM Dmitry Gurevich vs. John C. Bidwell. The second shot seems to be telling a story. There are some considerable mis-matches in the early rounds. The event was divided into three sections: the traditional event (nine games played in nine days), the 6-day event, where the players missed the first three days of the traditional event and packed two games a day into their first three days of competition, and an even shorter event requiring three games a day. The last three days of the event had all the players grouped together to finish the final three games in three days ... at least I think this was how it worked.
The last photo is from the International Affairs workshop on Thursday afternoon. I made a point to arrive in time for this workshop and it was certainly worthwhile. On the right is Don Schultz, who has represented the USA to FIDE, chairing the meeting. On the left is Michael Khodarkovsky, International Affairs Chairman. We heard about some of the FIDE news and the world championship situation. I snapped a picture at the beginning of the meeting and the room was sparsely occupied. I was surprised when I got at the end of the meeting and looked back to see the room packed.
|The first photo shows Carol Jarecki and Sunil Weeramantry at the International Affairs workshop. The next photo shows Jonathan Hilton vs. Jimmy Heiserman at the board. Of course, Jonathan Hilton is chairman of the CJA Awards Committee and chief judge, but he is also obviously a superior chess competitor, as he maintained his position among the leaders right to the final rounds of the Open. After six rounds he was tied for first, a remarkable performance. There is also a photo of the playing hall taken from the top boards area.|
|The first photo is of GM Alex Yermolinsky vs. IM Michael Mulyar in the top boards area. Next is a photo of the famous Berry brothers of Stillwater, Oklahoma talking to USCF Director of Publications and CL editor Daniel Lucas. That's Oklahoma Chess Foundation Secretary/Treasurer and Oklahoma Chess Quarterly Editor Frank K. Berry on the left, Oklahoma Chess Foundation President and USCF Executive board member Jim Berry in the middle and Daniel Lucas on the right. I love Frank Berry's jacket with the elite chess locations listed on the back. From top to bottom it reads, "Linares / Wijk aan Zee / Stillwater". I spent 3-1/2 years in college at Stillwater (Oklahoma State University) and actually played a few games vs. the Berry brothers, but it was pretty much a chess desert back then. They will be running the U. S. Senior Open this year in Tulsa ... I'm really tempted. The next photo shows a display near the main tournament hall entrance listing various events held during the Open.|
|The USCF had a great sales area. I spent a lot of time here looking at the expensive chess sets, huge collection of books and other wonderful chess items. In the end I bought an opening book, a carrying case, a chess set in a bag with a roll-up board, a copy of New in Chess, and some software. This haul includes a bargain package deal ... the bag for pieces (filled with a plastic set) and a USCF 70th anniversary roll-up board used in earlier rounds of the Open, all for $10. I picked up an extra set as a gift for my grandson Tobias as well as a cool Knight nightlight for my granddaughter Hazel. I also picked up a tournament t-shirt from another vendor. Isn't it fun buying chess stuff? Also seen are two games: GM Alexandra Kosteniuk vs. GM Nikola Mitlov and IM Dean Ippolito vs. IM Enrico Sevillano.|
|GM Alexandra Kosteniuk vs. GM Nikola Mitlov ... I tried to get a good photo of GM Kosteniuk's great chess shoes. They fascinated me. This is the best shot I got. Be sure to look at the larger size photo by clicking on the small photo above. You've got to get a good look at these wonderful shoes! Next is GM Sergey Kudrin vs. IM Gergely Antal. I also found the art in the final shot very interesting. It was on the wall near an entrance to the Marriott East hotel where the tournament was being held. Well, the "chess board" is 6x6, but it still caught my eye. I walked by this picture many times and it always gave me pleasure.|
|2009 United States Chess Champion GM Hikaru Nakamura held a simul. I counted 26 boards. I found that he was extremely polite and friendly to the players, stopping for photo ops and shaking hands. What a fantastic fellow! I didn't hear the final results, but I did see one checkmate delivered. He played incredibly fast, only pausing occasionally in a critical position. The final photo shows the start to the USCF Publications Committee workshop.|
|Left is USCF Publications Director Daniel Lucas. At right is the chairman of the Publications Committee Jonathan Hilton. In the middle they are conducting the workshop along with CJA Secretary/Treasurer Randall Hough.|
|2008 Chess Journalist of the Year Macauley Peterson attends the annual meeting of the Chess Journalists of America (CJA). Elections Committee Chairman Tim Moroney opens the meeting to conduct the counting of votes for the officers of CJA. Randall Hough, current Secretary/Treasurer of CJA, assists by opening the envelopes containing the votes. Larry Cohen, seated to the left, helped count the votes to verify an accurate count. Each position up for vote had a single person on the ballot. All these people won handily, though there were some write-ins. The most contested was the position for Secretary/Treasurer, with Daren Dillinger getting six votes to finish second. However, even though he had died earlier, Dr. Ira Lee Riddle still won handily, leaving this position open. Randall Hough has handled this position for over a decade and, though anxious to leave office, agreed to continue on a temporary basis for up to six months while a search committee worked on finding a suitable replacement, since no one at the meeting was willing to take on this job. In the future this position will be combined with the title "Membership Chairman", which will be paid a stipend of $25 a month.|
|The annual meeting of the Chess Journalists of America was attended by about 20 members plus three officers. After the counting of votes for the new officers got underway the Chairman of the Awards Committee Jonathan Hilton started announcing the winners of this year's awards competition. Alexandra Kosteniuk won the prestigious Chess Journalist of the Year Award.|
|After the CJA meeting adjourned there was much conversation. In the middle picture is David Moeser, who later at the USCF Awards dinner was presented with a "Special Services" award. To his right is the well known New England chess organizer and chess personality Stephen Dann from Massachusetts. After the meeting David Moeser demonstrated some of the chess variants he has invented. After the photos I played my only chess of this trip, two games of the chess variant shown.|
|Here are three shots from the USCF Delegates Meeting, with the Executive board seated at the front. There was certainly a lot of business for the delegates to conduct.|
|The last three photos are from the USCF Awards Luncheon. I had planned to leave on Saturday morning, but David Moeser kindly gave me a ticket to this interesting lunch meeting, where awards were presented to notable chess organizers and other worthy people and organizations. The first photo is of my table, with David Moeser closest to the camera. To the left is IWM (International Woman Master) Ruth Haring, newly elected to the USCF board, and USCF Parliamentarian and consultant Mike Nolan, well known as the USCF computer expert who said he was familiar with my work. Nice fellow! The middle shot is of Jennifer and Mike Skidmore, recipients of the "Meritorious Service" award and well known for their organizational work in my state of Michigan. At the right is shown GM John Fedorowicz, who was conducted into the U. S. Chess Hall of Fame by past USCF President Harold Winston, resplendent in his black cowboy hat. Also conducted into the U. S. Chess Hall of Fame was past Chess Life editor Burt Hochberg. His widow accepted the award and read a letter from past World Champion GM Boris Spassky, who was extremely appreciative of the work of Burt Hochberg, including a story of how he had achieved the difficult task of getting a Ford Mustang shipped to the Soviet Union for Spassky ... amazing. This was a fine way for me to finish up my trip to the 2009 United States Open Chess Championship. I hopped into my van and embarked on my four hour drive home, listening to my new CD collection of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy all the way home.|
This Page Last Updated on 15-August-2009