Our first ICA online event for none-rated players was held this past Sunday and the turnout proved it was a success. Twenty-six players participated in the section with Nicolas Vergara emerging as the sole winner with a perfect score of four wins in four games. Tied for second/third were Russell Plotnitzky and Shiv Hakani with 3.5 out of 4 each.
As expected, plenty of the games ended with your typical Scholar’s, BackRank, and Helper/Battery mates, which is par for the course in these events. Of course, many other games included the capture of a ton of pieces and the finish with what has simultaneously been known as the Ladder, Rook Roller, or even Lawnmower mate. Now if you do not know what any of this means, one suggestion is to definitely sign up for classes because this is exactly the sort of thing a person needs to know to be competitive (and if you do take classes and still don’t know…ask your coach or pay attention!).
There were some generally positive aspects of having the tournament online, as opposed to live, given the students played out of the comfort of their homes, rooms, and even couches which is far easier than driving somewhere in the middle of winter on a Sunday morning. Furthermore, the games were automatically recorded via the website so they can be reviewed by coaches, and parents which is not usually the case in a live tournament as most students, or players that age cannot manually record the games (or cannot do it well). Another interesting aspect is whereas in live tournaments parents, and other students are not allowed to spectate (and with good reason! Watch “Searching For Bobby Fischer” to understand) in a virtual event because it does not disrupt the players, fanatical parents (i.e. loving ) parents obsessed with following their child’s progress could have followed the games all they want.
Of course, that is not to say the social atmosphere, donuts, pizza, and conversation of a live event does not have its advantages too but all in all this was an experience to have if you are a student at the ICA.