I had the privilege of directing the US Amateur Team Championships North this weekend in Milwaukee, and had a fantastic time doing it.
If you have never had the opportunity to play in a team event, it is so different and so much fun, as you are really actively cheering for your teammates. Personally, I don't believe these tournaments should be rated though. This is because since the team result is key, a player may be forced to make different decisions then they would in an individual event. For example, a player in a position that is considerably better may offer a draw to if it helps the team clinch a match. Or just the opposite, a player who needs a win to prevent a team loss may play riskier than usual just to create opportunities for the team.
Teams from IL, IA, WI, and IN were all represented as well as individual players from as far away as CA and NJ (where the big USAT was played). The biggest stories were the players from IL though. Top board honors were taken on board 1 by Blaze member Trevor Magness, who you could have gotten some tall odds for considering the other teams had players like GMs Yermolinsky and Gurevich, IM Young, and NMs Tennant and Karagianis. Blaze manager Daniel Parmet took board 3 honors. The team competition came down to Angelo Youngs Pinoy team against the Chicago Industrial Chess League team. The two lone perfect teams played to a tough draw in round 4, and Pinoy caught a break in the pairings playing an 1856 rated team while CICL faced the Yermo, Betaneli, Santarius sleeping giant of a team that had been nicked for a couple of draws. CICL drew their game while Pinoy cruised to the title.
The Crowne Plaza site was really nice, and hopefully we will return there next year. Shouts out to Alex Betaneli and Ashish Vaja for doing a first class job organizing. Also big thanks to Ashish for recommending the outstanding Duck Curry at Bangkok House for dinner!