John Langreck, Board Two of U.S. Amateur North Championship Team, Repeat Offenders
by Betsy Dynako
Despite the fact that the Amateur Team North (Feb.17-18 Lombard, Illinois) tournament was held indoors, many players seemed unwilling to travel through the snow and cold of a Midwest winter to attend. Those who braved the cold were welcomed by Chris Merli, Chief Tournament Director, who ran a smooth event in comfortable surroundings. Regardless of the relatively small 28-team tournament, competition was stiff. No player finished with a perfect score, and the top three places in the open section were clearly determined without the need for tie-break points.
One appeal of National Amateur Team tournaments is the unusual awards. Team Perry traveled 2,574.86 miles to secure the Team-That-Traveled-the-Farthest award. Team Touch Move received the Golden Era Award with 209 years of combined chess experience.
The most popular award, Best Team Name, was a difficult choice for Chief TD Merli. He awarded the prize to Beer Battered Fish and said, "It was a hard decision because another team, Repeat Offenders, was also great." The appeal of Repeat Offenders was partly visual. The team wore matching bright orange hooded sweatshirts with each player's USCF member number on the front, reminiscent of prison ID numbers, and the player's name and board number on the back.
At the end of the day, the Repeat Offenders required no special award, as the team won first place with 4.5/5 defeating the Chicago Industrial Chess League in the final round. Chicago Industrial League secured second with 4/5, while Touch Move finished third with 3.5/5. Even players who did not bring home awards left happy as the best part of playing in a team tournament is the fun. Enjoy the photos!
U.S. Amateur Team North Photo Gallery
Shiny Kaur, first board for team Shiny People
Team Brotha’s from Otha Motha's: Playing against Repeat Offenders (Left to right) Board 1: Kayin Barclay 20572: Kevin Velazquez 3: Gpal Menon 4: Daniel Jones
Team McClanahan members between rounds. Part of the fun team events is hanging with friends. One member of Team McClanahan even flew from NY to join his friends.
Team Beer Battered Fish, Winner of the Name Competition.
Tam Ngyuyn, Board 3 of team Chicago Industrial Chess League laughs while going over his game with other members of the Chicago Industrial Chess League
In the next few days, CLO will publish articles on the largest of the four competitions USATs, the Amateur Team East and West. There's still time to send interesting games and anecdotes from those events to firstname.lastname@example.org.