Monday, April 21, 2008

National HS Results

Three IL teams in the top 11! Chicago Blaze member Ilan Meerovich with 6 points putting him in a tie for 2nd-5th (5th on tiebreak). Congratulations to Niles North (3rd), Whitney Young (8th), and Stevenson (11th) for their tremendous results.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy 50th Park Forest

Before I get into the well wishing of the PFCC, HS Nationals starts today. It looks like there is a very nice turnout of 1230 players in Atlanta, including some strong HS teams from IL. Among the schools representing our state are state champion Stevenson, Niles North, and Whitney Young. It would not surprise me if all of them took prizes in the top 25 teams of the K-12 championship section, which looking at the pre-reg list is very strong.

With 340 players in that section accelerated pairings are being used, which means 1800 players are being fed to the 2200 plus rated monsters in the 1st round, rather harsh. The TD staff should be very well represented there with Walter Brown as the Chief TD, and David Hater getting his first opportunity as a floor chief. Of the Illinois schools I do predict Niles North to finish ahead as this is a format more structured to their strengths.

Now onto my friends at PFCC. 50 years is an extremely impressive accomplishment especially these days in the decline of the chess club. I first became acquainted with their club as a young player at the H-F and Orland Park chess clubs. They were kind of a rival club to us. We faced them in the Illinois Chess League, and many of us saw their players as targets to surpass ("the pizza buddies" as we called them). Over the years, our club peaked then declined and finally folded, while PFCC kept on going. I admire their stability. Hopefully they can build on their success.

A little story about the one of the last times I dropped by PFCC, it was a snowy evening that I felt the need to go out and play some chess, so I showed up at the site of the club at about 7:45 only to find the building locked and empty. I was confused by this since I wasn't that late, and they rarely cancelled the club (there obviously wasn't any conflicting events there that night). So I thought for a moment and decided to take a chance. Back in the late '80s when I would show up there every once in a while, and after the club adjourned, they always went directly to the Chicago Dough Company for pizza. So I went there, sure enough, there were 6 PFCC guys sharing a couple of pies. Now the strange thing to me was, here I am having not been to their club in nearly 20 years, and dropping by their haunt to find them. Not a single person at the table bothered to ask how I found them there. Stability, sometimes it is a good thing. Congratulations PFCC.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

USCF introduces negative ratings

Crossville TN-- USCF announced today that the existing Elo system will be modified later this year. Ratings supervisor Walter Brown explained, "There seems to be a collection of players floored with 100 ratings, with no way to separate them. Some of these players are so bad that you can actually lose playing strength by watching their games." In the new system, a player losing to a 100 rated contestant would get a performance rating of -300 for that game. It is the same 400 points lower than the opponent as currently exists in the system, just with negative numbers. Any player playing a negative rating player will lose rating points even if they will the game. Any readers gullible to believe this by this point will also lose rating points.