“Tower of Flints” Chess960 Swiss Results

Twenty-two intrepid souls joined us for the Chess960 tournament Thursday night, one which morphed into an individual Swiss rather than a team event due to the number of relatively late entries. When the last flag fell two things were clear: we had, as a group, finally figured out how to castle (for the most part) and Josh Garrow is at least 3 inches taller and his chess skills are even stronger than when he visited us last summer. Congratulations to Josh on his perfect 4-0 score, to Quincy Chen for sole second with 3.5 points and to Chris Murphy, Jay Wacker, Jerome Oriel and Steven Swick on tying for third with 3.0 points!

I mentioned to a number of people that I chose the four Chess960 starting positions used last night based, somewhat whimsically, on information in the following Lichess user blog post—I haven’t looked too closely at the methodology or the code to judge its merits but I found it interesting and you may too: https://lichess.org/@/rdubwiley/blog/using-lichesss-public-data-to-find-the-best-chess-960-position/GCpB9WLH.

As another reminder, the first of two bughouse tournaments occurs next Thursday and you have the option to choose your teammate (via the registration form or by contacting me) or to allow me to pick one for you from the pool of other individual entries. The first event is free to enter, given it will serve as a club trial for the format, and the following week we will hold the same event with a $5 entry fee per player, all of which will be returned in prizes. Enter one or both events at https://menloparkchess.club/events/ and I hope to see many of you for some bughouse over the coming two weeks! Regards,

Mark Drury

“Tower of Flints” Team Blitz Results

Our “Tower of Flints” team blitz tournament last night was an interesting and fun experiment with a few lessons learned (off the top of my head—there are certainly more): with assigned teams as were used in this event, have people on the same team introduce themselves to one another before the start of the first round, so everyone knows who is on their team (it was pointed out to me after the second round that there was some uncertainty about team makeup, resulting in a “Doh!” moment); balancing team strength is difficult when most participants don’t have an established blitz rating and there are a number of first-time participants; a five-round blitz tournament can take longer than 90 minutes, even with the pairings pre-made.

That said, I think the format has promise and I heard generally positive feedback from participants, so we’ll try it again next week or the week thereafter, perhaps playing Chess960 to further obfuscate my questionable team balancing algorithm. In the meantime, congratulations are due to Clyde Taylor and Gustavo Chau for winning their board groups with perfect 5-0 scores, and to Team E (Alex Chin, Andy Shih, Cameron Rampell, Atul Dhingra, Benjamin Sergeant and Clyde Taylor) for sweeping the other teams with a 5-0 match score, as well. All team and board results are in the images below and I’ll work out a better way to share this for the next event.

Thank you to everyone who played chess with us last night (including the many who visited for casual and bughouse), who put up with the missteps and who provided feedback during and after the tournament—I really appreciate it! Regards,

Mark Drury