At the conclusion of the tournament, there were actually two players tied for first place with 5-1 scores, Andy Mackowiak and Alex Chastukhin. So this meant a playoff. But there was controversy…Andy Mack (as we call him) and Alex (The Ukrainian Fist…. as we call him) they had already played head to head. When that game was played, Andy Mack rocked it slow and ever so tender…. pulling out the win against Alex. Duane Larkin, the TD, ruled that this head to head tie breaker did not determine a clear champion (engraving a name in the trophy) and a playoff was ordered.
The playoff was held one week later during the Annual CCC Christmas Party. It was a two game playoff match, game in 30. The Ukrainian Fist represented and played masterly, winning both games. Alex Chastukhin’s name will be engraved in the coveted city championship trophy, a long running tradition that dates back to 1959. Andy Mack was gracious in the playoff lost, still allowing us to eat the Panera Bagels and cream cheese that he provided for the Christmas party. Andy Mack also had a great tournament, beating two masters, FM Hans Multhopp and Alex. The only lost that Andy Mack suffered was to close personal friend Andy Ward (who has inside knowledge on the rising expert’s game)
We had a strong field of 20 players, 3 masters, 3 experts and 3 class A players. Sergey Berchenko who, showed up and played after a 3-year hiatus …he looked great. Sergey’s presence made the tournament. Sergey has more city championship wins under his belt than anyone else, with 8 wins. We wanted to see a match between Berchenko and Chastukhin (Russian vs. Ukrainian) but it did not happen because Anthony Bayless scored a surprising upset against the Russian Master Berchenko. That was not the only upset that made headline news…. Ben Bryant beat the 2012 CCC Club Champion Robert Chenault. Unbelievable. As a matter of fact, Ben (a 1650 rated player) had the best tournament overall…. gaining over 100 rating points. Ben defeated a master (Berchenko), then a strong expert and lastly a class A player.
Jeremy Schiedt took home the under 2000 prize; Ben Bryant handily grabbed the under 1800 prize, Mike Hall (his return to chess) did well and tied for his under 1500 section, along with Brad Warren who also played well. We all got a chance to celebrate at the Christmas Party, good food. Hans ran a chess book auction that was a big hit and it raised good money for the club.