How to choke 500 dollars (+Special Message to GCA)
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How to choke 500 dollars (+Special Message to GCA)

NM PenguinPacks
Oct 10, 2017, 7:22 PM |

I recently played in the Georgia Open and started of well with 4.5/5 after drawing Grandmaster Alonso Zapata. In the 6th round I was paired with my friend and strong chess player Tommy Lu. Zapata and Grandmaster Ben Finegold had a very short draw so if I won this game, I was in position to get 1st place and over 500 dollars. As it turns out, after playing an okay game, I got a winning position before blundering an easy tactic and Iost. To add more salt to the wound, my opponent offered me close about 4 draws and if I took it, I would of been guaranteed around 250 dollars. Let's see how this game turned out. 

 I probably deserved to lose this game because I got too overconfident and did not play so many strong moves even though I saw them. I was really upset after this game but I'm okay now because this game just shows that I really need to not get over confident during a game. After all a chess game isn't over until it's over. I at least got enough money to cover my expenses this tournament and I did gain rating (albeit very little)


If you've gotten this far, congrats the blog is over. I will now be ranting about various things that were wrong with this tournament in terms of organization so if you don't want to read that you don't have to although if you have anything to do with Georgia Chess or the GCA I encourage you to read this. 

First of all, I was very unhappy with venue of the tournament. The bathroom in the tournament hall was very disgusting and I saw many participants including myself have to go all the way downstairs to use a usable bathroom. The process of going downstairs to go to the bathroom and going back up was very time consuming. As a chess player who pays money to participate in these events, I should not have to pay a 70 dollar entree fee in order to waste time on the clock in order to not feel the urge to throw up when I go to the bathroom. Also the water fountain's water was close to undrinkable for me and I know someone who was upset by this. In tournaments organized by the Charlotte Chess Club and even in the Castle Chess Grand Prix water was provided so I would like to see the GCA do the same, 

There was also no AC in the tournament room for the entire tournament. The weather was 80 degrees during the tournament so obviously it was very hot. I even saw one player fanning himself with his score-sheet multiple games. The GCA did open the doors and ask everyone to talk somewhere else but that didn't really work. I could hear people talking outside during my critical round 4 and 5 games and even though that wasn't a problem for me (unfortunately I'm used to it) I know countless people who were annoyed by it. I understand that the GCA has no control if the venue's AC breaks but come on, are you really going to charge 70 dollars for a chess player to fan himself during the game because it's too hot for them? Was there no way to bring portable fans or something? 

I don't know why the GCA decided to have their tournament here because I know they are capable of hosting their tournaments in places like Emory university which is where it was held last year or even Georgia Tech. Perhaps it was held here in order to cut down costs and if that's the case, if you can't afford to host a tournament in a decent venue, you should not host it at all. 

 And one last message to some of the players who forfeited their games. I don't know why you forfeited your games whether if it's because you requested a bye and you were paired anyways or you just missed the round, it's up to every participant of the tournament to know when each round is. You made your opponent wait time to win a game by forfeit when they were expecting a game. That's just really despicable behavior in my opinion. 

The reason why I am complaining about the venue is not because I am salty I lost my last game but is because I am salty about how this venue could have potentially affected other people's games.