In any competition, it has always been said that "To be 'The Man', you have to beat 'The Man'."
For the seventh time Bill Williams (2200) is 'The Man'. Bill and Xuan Jia Xu (2159), of Madison, tied for the title with 5 point out of six. This marks the third time in three different decades that Bill won back to back titles while it is the first time for Yuan. Bill's record included wins over top seeded Michael Wierzbicki (2318), and draws to last year's co-champion Alex Betaneli (2288) and Ashish Vaja (1979). Meanwhile, Yuan defeated John Wagner (1900), Guy Hoffman (1922), Joe Schueler (1997), and James Allen (2136). His only blemish came in a defeat to Betaneli in the third round.
Other Premier Section winners were: Wierzbicki, Betaneli, Vaja, and Augustine Gomez (1929) splitting Third and Class A with 4.5 points. The Under 1800 prize was split four ways between Paul Fricano (1753), Jonathan Lane (1689), Patrick McElwee (1686), and Wesley Jerving (1344) with 3.5 points. Jerving also won the $100 Scott Kittsley Memorial Upset Prize for his abuse of Raymond Hayes (2100) in the final round.
The Reserve Section (under 1800 only) was won by Paul Fricano with five points. Yes, the same Paul Fricano that tied for the Under 1800 prize in the Premier section won the Reserve. Paul played a two board simul over the weekend tallying a record of 8.5 of 12! He swept through the first five rounds only to lose to top seeded Wade Christensen (1797) in the last round. There was a three way tie for second at 4.5 points, Christensen, Yoh Suzuki (1327), and Jeffrey Romich (1595). Jeff won second on tie-breaks.
Overall 72 players participated with the ever so subtle Guy Hoffman directing. The only hitch during the event were the three times cell phones rang in the first round much to the annoyment of the players. This prompted Guy to issue a stern warning to all those carrying such devices: If your phone rings in the playing room, you will be assessed a five minute penalty for disruptive behavior (USCF rule 20-G). If it happens for a second time, the player will be expelled from the event. This received a loud ovation from most of the players. The only ones that objected were the ones with the phones and the one player that actually had a conversation over the phone DURING a game. The player, who happens to have a T.D. card, was given the sternest warning.
The Annual Membership meeting took place between the third and fourth rounds. Items for discussion were the hugely successful National Junior High Championship recently held in Milwaukee. The WCA earned approximately $6000 for hosting the event. This money will be used to solidify the financial status of the association. The WCA is in the process of trying to get the bid to host the 2004 National High School Championship, but is receiving a strong challenge from other states. The tournament organizers from USCF were sufficiently pleased that they are lobbying for us.
The WCA Board at the meeting following voted to donate $1000 to the Milwaukee Chess Foundation for all the volunteer assistance that was needed to make the event such a success. Other items discussed were the Tour and promoting of events. For the first time in many years, the players at the meeting started to show some willingness to assist in the promotion of the tournaments. The Tour information will appear on the Tour webpage.
The annual election of Board members took place at the end of the meeting. The three year terms expired for Peter Webster, Secretary Andy Becker, and Treasurer Chris Krumenauer. Also available was the one year remaining on the term of Errol Hartman who resigned to pursue other endeavors. In all, seven people were nominated. The results were as follows: Peter Webster-13, Jerry Noel-13, Arlen Walker-12, Andy Becker-7, Chris Krumenauer-7, Ken Rasmussen-6, and Gary Wright-1. Pete, Jerry, and Arlen all have three year terms. At the start of the balloting, President Nietman said that the fourth vote-getter would be assigned the one year term. With two officers tied for the fourth position, it placed Mike in the unenviable spot of deciding which would be kept. To alleviate this, Kelly Borman resigned his place allowing Mike to keep both Andy and Chris. Kelly had already served three years by virtue of filling a vacant spot previously. Next year, the following will be up for reelection, Andy, Chris, and Herman Presswood.
Other Board members are Mike, President-of-Vice Guy Hoffman, and Dave Granik whose terms expire in two years.
Respectfully submitted,Jerry Noel
(Disclaimer: The views expressed are mine only. If the WCA wanted a neutral opinion, they would have elected someone else)