What is a state champion?

Oct 9, 2008, 8:41 AM |

The headline from the Google Alert-chess reads: Hilton Head High senior wins state chess event. Reading further I found: Hilton Head Island High School senior Rade Musulin tied for first place in the state chess championship. Rade, 17, competed over the weekend in the event ...
Before clicking on the link, I thought to myself, "That's strange. I just checked out the crosstables after Inga Gurevich called and I saw that IM Kurill Kuderinov finished clear first." Then I had another thought, maybe the young man tied for the first resident of the great state of South Carolina, always first in the hearts of a true Southerner. I then surfed on over to the SCCA website (a fine one, I might add, which puts the GCA site to shame), and found the sole state champion is NM Philipp Lamby, who although born in Aachen, Germany, currently teaches and does research at the University of South Carolina. "How can that be?" I asked myself.
Upon reading the story on the website, I found the answer. It says, "He tied in the amateur category."
That is the problem when a completely separate tournament is held in conjunction with a title event. This young fellow did not win a state championship; he tied for first place in a tournament for weaker players, not ready for prime time, held in conjunction with the SOUTH CAROLINA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!
I can understand why the people of Hilton Head would be proud of their native son, but to call him a "state champion" is not only confusing, but it cheapens the title for the player who actually holds the title of CHAMPION OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA!
This Saturday the House will hold a G/45 one day event. The GCA , in it's wisdom, has decided to call the winner the "state champion." I assume the winner will be known as the G/45 champion of the state of Georgia. If so, it would only seem to cheapen the actual title of Georgia State Champion, obtained at what is now referred to as a "standard" time control. Was any thought given to that fact? Was there any discussion before it was decided to call the winner of this particular G/45 the state champion? If someone, such as the new IM, Kurill Kuderinov, happens to win 4-0 and there is a six way tie at 3-1 among Georgians, does that mean we will have six MORE state champions (to go with the three who tied at the actual State Championship)?