Players gathered in Springfield on Saturday, February 8th, to compete in a club versus club quick tournament. This was the fourth year that the the Joplin Chess Club and Springfield Park Board Chess Club (SPBCC) have co-hosted the match. The past three events consisted of the Joplin and Springfield clubs facing off against each other but this year saw a change in format. Initially the tourney was going to be a three-way battle between Joplin, Springfield and MSU clubs, however, on the day of the tourney, the format changed-up again.
MSU brought a team of four players. During registrations a group of four Springfield area players decided to form their own team (aka The Old Codgers, here-after known by TOC, or The Old School as I was calling them), while weather issues left the SPBCC team with three competitors. Finally, scheduling problems decimated attendance by the Joplin team, with only one player able to play all rounds.
This event was a special one, with seven of the twelve players returning to rated tournament chess after having been away for extended periods, with gaps ranging from almost 5 years to a gap of almost 19 years. The ratings favorite at the start of the tournament was TOC, though as a group they had been away from rated chess the longest, so they had their work cut out for them.
The tournament was set up as a 5 round Swiss event, game in 29 minutes with no delay, with team members set not to play each other unless absolutely necessary (for overall prizes). Going into the lunch break, after the second round, MSU lead with 6.5 points followed by SPBCC at 3.5 and TOC at 2.5.
Coming back from lunch for the third round, TOC had shaken off some of the rust and were able to catch up with SPBCC at 4.5 each while the MSU team was able to cement their lead at 9 points. The last two rounds saw some team mates being paired, due to overall prize standings, but the MSU club was able to continue their streak and pull out the win after five rounds with 13 points. TOC continued their upward motion, passing SPBCC in the fourth round, to finish with 9 points, leaving SPBCC to finish in third with 7.
The overall tourney winners were Serder Poyraz from MSU with a score of 4.5, Tyler Tyre from MSU with 4.0, and Dr. Sminil Mahajan from SPBCC with 3.5.
I want to thank all the players that made it out. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again next year and have even more players and teams attend.