Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hail to the King

2010 Iowa High School Chess Champion Matt Anzis

  This past weekend I directed the Iowa High School chess championship in Marshalltown at the Salvation Army. There were 13 players representing 5 towns. My son Matt won the event outright for the second year in a row after tying for first as a freshman 2 years ago. The championship allows Matt to represent Iowa in the national tournament of high school champions this August in California. He finished 14th last year. Since the top ranked Iowa high school player, freshmen Aquino Inigo of Waterloo did not participate, Matt was far and away the favorite since he was 4 rating classes above the next highest rated player. This was a departure from the last 2 years when Matt was seeded second behind Iowa City’s Dan Brashaw and could look forward to being the hunter instead of the hunted. I’m always proud of Matt and was happy to see him win. The other Marshalltown players also played very well. I think our weekly 10 minute tournaments has helped to toughen them up for out of town competition.

  It bothers me to direct a scholastic tournament when one of my children is participating. I am concerned that the other parents and coaches will feel as if I am playing favorites. I remember at one scholastic team tournament, a team mom was constantly standing in between me and my computer. The stated reason was to learn how to use the computer software, but we both knew she wanted to see if I was going to mess around with the pairings to give the team I coach an advantage. Happily, there were no such problems in this tournament.

  In a way, there was a certain amount of favoritism for my son. Last year’s tournament was held in conjunction with a K-12 tournament and there were a bunch of little kids running around Matt’s games. When it started to look like this year’s tournament was going to have a similar setup, I volunteered to host the tournament in order to assure a quiet place to play. My thinking was, the better the playing conditions, the more comfortable Matt would be and the better he would play. I don't think I'd try to make it more noisy if he had a rival that was noise sensitive, though.

  Link to the Iowa Chess web site article
  Pictures of the participants