CSI Miami had a 2199.75 average rating
by Harvey Lerman
One team entered in the U.S. Amateur Team South (Kissimmee, Florida February 16-18), "CSI Miami" (pictured to the left) had the highest rating that is possible to have for this event (8799/4 = 2199.75.) But a few days before the event one of the players had to withdraw. They were able to use the "Top Florida Players" posting on our website, which listed the year-end ratings of all Florida players sorted by rating, to find a replacement player that had the exact same rating of the withdrawn player. In that way they were able to maintain their "maximum" rating for the event.
The rating maximizing tactic didn't follow through this time, as two other teams tied for the top of the crosstable with 4.5/5. One team with 4.5/5 "Chess Plumbers: When Your Toilet is on the Fritz" was rated only 1842, but the team consisted of three underrated students with Mark Ritter (2376) on board one. Edging out the Plumbers on tiebreak was "Four Fischers Found", rated 2191 and containing four top teenaged players, Daniel Ludwig (2388), Corey Acor (2254), Eric Rodriguez (2209) and Tony Felicone (1914.) We all know how Florida's "kids" play higher than their ratings might indicate.
As typical for Amateur Team events, there where a lot of interesting incidents outside the top boards. One player was so tired that, as he nodded-off in the opening, his head hit the board and scattered all the pieces. This woke him and he and his opponent just replayed the game from their score sheets to arrive at the last position.
Other illustrated highlights follow.
Though he might have been the smallest player in the Open section, Lucas van Buezekom, age 10, was able to beat one of the largest players in the event, who also was rated 270 more than him. Lucas continued his strong play on board 4 for "The King of Spades and the All Americans" to end up 5-0 winning the 4th Board prize.
Brian Goldstein, captain of his team, congratulates Louiza Livschitz (1974) on her upset win over a 2215 rated player assuring their team, rated 1890, a draw against the highest rated team (2199.75).
Joshua Harrison, a 10-year old rated 1548 and also a student of Mark Ritter, went into a line giving him this unbalanced position (RRPPPPPPP vs BBNNPPPP). The game, against a 2055 rated player, was eventually drawn.
An all-girl scholastic team named "4 Queens Seeking Mates."
Do you have stories, thoughts, games or photos from the U.S. Amateur Teams? Please send them to [email protected] for possible publication later this week or next.