As I mentioned in my USATE 2008 Preview, there is a three-GM team this year at the World Amateur Team and U.S. Amateur Team East featuring Izoria, Perelshteyn, and Dzindzi. They call themselves "GGGg" (and not "The Three Tenors," as I had suggested). Obviously this team goes against the spirit of amateurism that the event intends to promote, and in previous years the organizers have explicitly forbidden such imbalances. It's clear that the rule that no teams field players with more than a 1000 point difference between any board needs to be re-instated. While we all love seeing the GMs come out, it's simply unfair to use them to stack the deck against truly "amateur teams."
I was not so angry about the Three-Gs while their existence was still a rumor and the chances of actually meeting them seemed remote. But now that we were paired against them in Round Three, I naturally take the whole thing more personally. As I took piece after piece from my 101-rated opponent on Board 4 (whom I mated in under 10 minutes), I felt a bit cheated out of my usual experience of competitive team play. This was not why I came to USATE.
The Kenilworth Chess Club again sponsored three teams for the event:
- Kenilworth A: FM Steve Stoyko (captain), NM Scott Massey, NM Ed Allen, Bob Rose, and Michael Goeller (alternate)
- Kenilworth B: NM Mark Kernighan, Geoff McAuliffe, Greg Tomkovich, and Joe Demetrick
- Kenilworth Rookies: John Moldovan, Joe Renna, Gordon Agress, and Jim Cole
Our A and B teams had the pleasure in Round One of sitting next to each other on Boards 14 and 15 (with the A-Team playing down and the B-Team playing up). Fortunately, the organizers saw fit not to pair us, though that was likely an option for them...
The Rookies were started last year by team captain Jim Cole and feature players relatively new to competitive play. This year they include our new club president, John Moldovan, who at 1800+ seems hardly a "rookie," except that this is his first USATE!
Long-time Kenilworth Chess Club regular Mike Wojcio fielded six teams playing under the "Chessaholics" banner, including many of the scholastic players he coaches. And a number of our club members are on other teams. So the KCC has come out in force to support the USATE and I'm sure that most of us will enjoy the long weekend. But the Three-Gs have really spoiled my fun this year...