Article by Mike Williams. Updated 10:05 PM 6/21/2010 with photos.
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A small but vibrant crowd of 24 players competed in the Statesville Skewer 2, held 6/19/2010 at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Statesville NC. Young and old, beginner and master and all skill levels in between, put their skills to the test in pursuit of cash or trophies.
It was unfortunate that the NC Class Championship held two weeks earlier had the side effect of bumping The Asheboro Open to the same 6/19 date as the Skewer. I am pleased to have learned that Tom Hales' Asheboro Open still drew an above-average turnout of 34 players!
The mood in Statesville was festive as free drinks were available all day to the players (no, not those kinds of drinks!) and would be needed, as it was a blistering hot day on the playground where the youngest competitors played between rounds. As always at a Statesville tournament there were free door prizes; more chess bag-tags and magnetic chess sets for a lucky few players whose ticket number was drawn at the start of Round 1.
Chris Mabe started out by winning a red knight bag-tag in the door prize drawing. Perhaps being "up a knight" before the round began was an omen of things to come, as he won clear first place in the Alpha Section with a 2.5/3 score ($50). Second place was... umm... it's complicated. Going into the 3rd and final round, all of the other players in the section had a shot at winning a share of 2nd place. The stars would align, however, resulting in a four-way tie for 2nd among Dan Liu, Scott Baldwin, Patrick McCartney and Ken Baxter with 1.5/3 ($6.25 each).
Ken generously donated his share of 2nd place to the Shiloh family food ministry program, while Dan Liu accepted payment in the form of 3 whole leftover pizzas from the food ministry fundraiser lunch earlier in the day. Thanks Dan, I've never paid anyone in pizzas before, that's a first for me.
Scott Baldwin (L) battles Chris Mabe in Round 1 action. Chris's red "power knight" bag-tag watches from the sidelines.
Ken Baxter studies his B+P vs. 4P endgame against Patrick McCartney from Round 1.
Having lived in Thailand for many years, this was Lou Kirk's first USCF tournament in a long time. Welcome back to the States, Lou!
The Beta Section consisted of 9 players instead of the intended 6 because of the low turnout. One side effect was that the prizes were increased and a 3rd place prize was added to compensate for the increased number of players in the section. Shawn Spencer won the Beta Section with a 2.5/3 score ($60). Shawn trailed the section leader Tom Brown by a half point at the end of Round 2, and then leapfrogged into first place by defeating Tom in Round 3. Second and third place were shared three ways among Tom Brown, Suraj Madiraju, and Adam Rugg, each with 2.0/3 ($16.33 each).
Action from the Beta section. Foreground: Suhas Madiraju (L) vs. Josiah Pierce. Background: George Villalpando (L) vs. Shawn Spencer.
Beginners Under 1000 Section
Ishaan Maitra, rated 985, was the pre-tournament favorite to win the Under 1000 section and he did not falter, going 3-0 to earn first place. Complete list of winners:
- 1st place: Ishaan Maitra, 3.0/3
- 2nd place: Micah McCoy, 2.0/3
- 3rd place: Prabhath Kotha, 2.0/3
- 4th place: Andrew Shepherd, 2.0/3
- Top Under 700: William Shuford, 2.0/3
- Top Under 400: Dawson Williams, 1.0/3
- Top Unrated: Ashton Bass, 1.0/3
- Honorable mentions: Matthew Williams, 1.0/3; and Kathalene Murphy, 1.0/3
A tense and exciting Round 3 game between Dawson Williams (L) and Andrew Shepherd, both age 9, in the Under 1000 section.
All the participants in the Under 1000 section show off their trophies!
From left: Matthew Williams, Dawson Williams, Ashton Bass, Andrew Shepherd, Ishaan Maitra, Micah McCoy, Kathalene Murphy, William Shuford, and Prabhath Kotha.
A special "thank you" to Andra Williams (L) and Cathy Murphy for their help with the snack and pizza sale to raise money for the Shiloh family food ministry program.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who played in the Statesville Skewer 2. Without your support, this tournament series would not be possible. I hope to see all of you again sometime soon at our next Statesville tourney!