Interview with the Champ

Oct 2, 2008, 7:09 PM |

After winning the Georgia Senior Chess Championship I had a chance for a brief interview with Mr David Vest, who now holds both the title of Georgia State Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Champion. When asked how it felt to win the Senior again, he said, "Pretty good, but there's still work to do." I'm reminded of something someone wrote concerning the last time they saw the great man, Emanuel Lasker. He said he intended on going home and studying endings in order to "become a more well-rounded player."
David went on to say he was happy to "unify" the titles and that there should "be more unity in chess." He said he won the exchange vs Scott Parker, an always tough opponent, but was unable to overcome the "stubborn resistence." He said that fact only caused him to concentrate harder in the following rounds. The game with Wayne Christensen in round two could maybe have been a draw, but for his opponents time trouble. He thought his best game was the round three game versus his arch nemesis, Alan Piper, a game he won in combination style. Mr Vest said he was fortunate to get the White pieces in the last round (because all of his potential opponents had to have the Black pieces) against a true gentleman and lover of the game, Mr Donny Gray.
The Champ said he would like to thank Rich Mielke, the TD, for a well run tournament, and the GCA for having it, and the Atlanta Chess and Game Center for hosting the Georgia Senior. He went on to say that all were "fine people." David said he would not change a thing.
Working at the House of Pain this weekend gave me a different perspective, as I was able to renew acquaintances with former opponents, like Jared Radin, and travelling companions, like John Smith, who proclaimed that not only does he not snore, but never did! The one thing I heard most from the players with whom I spoke was that they did not like playing at night. One elderly player had to drive one and a half hours, each way, to attend the tournament. Although he said he slept very well Saturday night, he would rather have gotten home much earlier. Moving the first round ahead two hours may have helped those who drove in Saturday morning, but adversely affected those who had to travel a great distance to get to the House, something obviously not taken into account by those who "tinkered" with the already published format of the tournament. From talking with Seniors all over the country, the one thing I've heard most often is that we have the most energy in the morning, and it fades as the day goes on. Many of the players told me that they usually go to bed between ten and eleven and it was a hardship to try and think when their body was usually beginning to "shut-down."
There did not seem to be any problems with the G/2 format, in lieu of the G/150 that was advertised until the GCA board, in it's wisdom, changed it at the late date. All of the players agreed that two hours was plenty of time, especially if one is to play two games a day. I did hear many longing for the old days of only one round a day...
Here is the last round game sent to me by Mr Donny Gray. He was a half point behind The High Plains Drifter and needed a win. I would like to thank Donny for sending this game, a loss. I'm reminded of seeing two first round opponents, LM Klaus Pohl, and John Smith, eating together at the Dekalb Farmers Market. Although "Smitty" lost the game, one would never have known it. That's the kind of comraderie one finds at any Senior chess tournament!