MetroWest Chess Club - Short Time Swiss
May 16, 23, 30 2000

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Tournament Commentary
Sunday, July 31, 2011    08:20 PM
written by Larry Eldridge

Commentary will usually be posted to this page late Wednesday or Thursday night.

Rounds 5 & 6 - May 30, 2000

The kids were the story of this tournament, with many of our up-and-coming youngsters turning in outstanding performances. 

Fourth-grader A.J. Rice, going in with a 1406 rating, had the most spectacular result.  After “warming up” by defeating one expert (former Framingham Chess Club player David Drumm) at the Mass. Open one-day tournament on Monday, he followed that up the very next night by knocking off another (Brian Sherman) in the last round of  the MCC event. A.J. finished with an impressive three points in the Open Section.

Sixth-grader Nick Konovalchuk (1287) played up in the U1800 Section and had a tournament to remember. After a loss and a full-point bye the first night,  Nick scored successive shockers over Don Hunsicker (1643) and top-seeded Ames Abbot (1730) in Rounds 3 and 4.  This put the youngster in contention, and when he kept it up by defeating  Mike De La Maza (1520), in Round 5, he found himself actually leading the tournament going into the final round.  He couldn’t keep it up, finally losing to Neil Cousin in the battle for top honors on Board One, but it was still quite a showing.

Most of the youngsters, meanwhile, played in the U1400 Section -- and many of these kids also had impressive results.  High-schooler Sanjay Manivannan lost only to eventual winner Chris Gagnepain en route to a 5-0 result and clear second place.  Travis Chui was next with 4 points and clear third. And his fellow fourth-graders Tim Abbot and Izak Shapiro were next in line with 3.5 and 3 points, respectively.

As for the tournament as a whole, John Curdo made it look easy in the Open Section, sweeping it with a 6-0 score.  Geoff Polizoti, even though he was upset in the last round by George Mullen, finished clear second with 4 points, while the latter took third with 3.5. 

Cousin and  De La Maza wound up tied for first place in the U1800 Section, with Abbot and Bill Michael joining Konovalchuk in a three-way tie for third..

Gagnepain’s 5.5 points, marred only by a draw with Michael Potter, gave him the top spot in the U1400 section, followed by Manivannan and Chui.

Potter, whose 497 listed rating is an “oldie” and obviously not very accurate, not only achieved the lone draw against Gagnepain but pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset (at least on paper) with a third-round victory over Ray Salemi (1002).  

The only noteworthy form reversals on the final night were those mentioned above:  Rice over Sherman (594 points),  Mullen over Polizoti (127), and Konovalchuk over De La Maza (233).

MCC Short Time Swiss -- Open                                      Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
      5					None
  1   6  594 RICE,Alexander J (3.0)           1406 2000 SHERMAN, Brian R
  2   6  127 MULLEN, George (3.5)             1942 2069 POLIZOTI, Geoffrey
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1800                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   5  233 KONOVALCHUK,Nick (4.0)           1287 1520 DE LA MAZA, Michae
      6  				None
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1400                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   					None
  1   6   16 MANIVANNAN, Sanjay (5.0)         1339 1355 MCLAUGHLIN,John


Rounds 3 & 4 - May 23, 2000

A pair of major upsets by sixth-grader Nick Konova1chuk created most of the excitement in Rounds 3 and 4. Rated 1287 and starting in the middle of the pack in the U1800 section after a 1-1 opening night, Nick knocked off Don Hunsicker (1643) in Round 3. That moved him up to a high board for Round 4, where he kept it up by defeating top-seeded Ames Abbot (1730). The two victories have to be worth around 60 rating points for the youngster, who now moves up to play the leader, Mike De La Maza (3.5 points) on Board One.  Also still in contention are Neil Cousin (3) and Bill Michael (2.5), who meet on Board 2. 

While all this drama was occurring in the middle section, John Curdo kept the monotony going in the Open section with two more victories (over stepson Geoff Polizoti and Brian Sherman) to remain firmly in the driver’s seat at 4-0. Polizoti and Sherman are tied for second place at 3-1, but obviously neither one will get another crack at Curdo, who appears pretty much a lock for first place.  

Chris Gagnepain pulled two medium-sized upsets in the U1400 Section (over John McLaughlin, 168 points, and Sanjay Manivannan, 152), to maintain the tournament’s only other perfect score, followed by Manivannan (3.0), and fourth-grader Tim Abbot and Michael Potter at 2.5 each. 

Other upsets, in addition to Konovalchuk’s and Gagnepain’s 1-2 punches: Open Section: Ryan Chin over Al Ward (386 points); U1800: Jeff Gibson over Mark Kaprielian (305);  Homer Franck over Kaprielian (156), Cousin over  Abbot (110);  U1400:  Ray Salemi over Travis Chui (261)  and Andrzej Weyman over Izak Shapiro (143). 

A total of 37 players are competing in the three-section tournament, which winds up on May 30.

MCC Short Time Swiss -- Open                                      Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
     3					None
 1   4  386 CHIN, Ryan (2.0)                 1414 1800 WARD, Alfred G
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1800                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   3  356 KONOVALCHUK,Nick (3.0)           1287 1643 HUNSICKER, Don
  2   3  305 GIBSON,Jeffry (2.0)              1321 1626 KAPRIELIAN,Mark
  3   3  110 COUSIN,Neil (3.0)                1620 1730 ABBOT, Ames
  1   4  443 KONOVALCHUK,Nick (3.0)           1287 1730 ABBOT, Ames
  2   4  156 FRANCK, Homer L (2.0)            1470 1626 KAPRIELIAN,Mark
  3   4  100 DE LA MAZA, Michae (3.5)         1520 1620 COUSIN,Neil
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1400                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   3  152 GAGNEPAIN,Christopher J. (4.0)   1187 1339 MANIVANNAN, Sanjay
  1   4  261 SALEMI, Ray (2.0)                1002 1263 CHUI,Travis
  2   4  168 GAGNEPAIN,Christopher J. (4.0)   1187 1355 MCLAUGHLIN,John
  3   4  143 WEYMAN,Andrzej (2.0)              803  946 SHAPIRO,Izak B

Rounds 1 & 2 - May 16, 2000

The father-and-stepson team of John Curdo and Geoff Polizoti is out in front after the first session of this three-night, six-round event. The top-seeded Curdo defeated Jeff Penta and Brian Sherman, while No. 3 seed Polizoti matched that 2-0 score by dispatching Nathan LaCombe (the “giant-killer” of the previous tournament) and Al Ward.

Ward scored this section’s biggest upset by knocking off No 2 seed Ed Epp in the first round, but couldn’t keep it up against Polizoti. Epp recovered with a win over George Mullen in Round 2, joining that rival plus Ward, Sherman, Penta, and A.J. Rice in a six-way tie for third place with scores of 1-1.

These results create a forced pairing of Curdo-Polizoti on Board One in Round 3. The six players in the next group are tentatively paired up against each other, but all this could change if one or more newcomers jump in with a pair of half-point byes, and thus the same score.

In the U1800 section of this three-section Game/30 tournament, top-seeded Ames Abbot and No. 5 Neil Cousin emerged as the co-leaders at 2-0 , followed closely by Mike De La Maza and James Williams at 1.5 each and then a group of four at 1.0.. In the smaller U1400, the top seed (Sanjay Manivannan) again went 2-0, as did No. 3 Christopher Gagnepain, followed by a quartet at 1.0 including youngsters Travis Chui and Andrej Weyman.

(Speaking of youngsters, two of the club’s other regular young players, Izak Shapiro and Stevie Wagner, had to pass after spending a long weekend in Dallas at the National Elementary Championships, where both distinguished themselves in the top K-5 section. Stevie finished with a very impressive 4.5 points in the seven-round tournament, while Izak, after losing his first two games, reeled off five straight wins to beat out his good friend and Milton Academy classmate by a half-point).

Back to this event, and the opening night upsets, of which there were several. The biggest one occurred in the U1800 section, where Jeffry Gibson (1321) defeated Don Hunsicker (1643). Next was Ward’s 284-point upset of Epp, while others of note were De La Maza over Bill Michael (188 points) and Rice over La Combe (125 points).

MCC Short Time Swiss -- Open                                      Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   1  284 WARD, Alfred G (1.0)             1800 2084 EPP, Edward
  1   2  125 RICE,Alexander J (1.0)           1406 1531 LA COMBE, Nathan
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1800                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   1  322 GIBSON,Jeffry (1.0)              1321 1643 HUNSICKER, Don
  1   2  188 DE LA MAZA, Michae (1.5)         1520 1708 MICHAEL, William G
  2   2   17 WILLIAMS,James (1.5)             1453 1470 FRANCK, Homer L
MCC Short Time Swiss -- Under 1400                                Upsets, Page 1
Pl  Rd  Diff              Winner              Rate Rate       Opponent
  1   2   76 GAGNEPAIN,Christopher J. (2.0)   1187 1263 CHUI,Travis