I would like to start off by saying thank you to Master Sandager for affording chess community the rare opportunity to compete against a player of your caliber and status. I know Steve doesn’t compete like he used too, but he put up impressive score of 13-2-0, especially considering the strong field he competed against. Out of the 15 players, (at the top) was three A players and three B players, no easy task! As Steve would make his rounds, I have to admit I was extremely impressed.
Usually, when a master gives a simul, he/she will generally play a few tricky openings against the weaker players, plays solid against the top rated players, offers a few quick draws, and then attempts to vanquish those left standing. Well not Master Sandager. He played proper chess, creating complications in every game, and pressing to win each battle, the thought of a draw never entering his mind. He gave each and every player his/her monies worth! I think he might of made his games a little too complex. I remember at one point, I walked around each board and I thought to myself, “all of these games are super complex, I would need at least 15 minutes to spend on each of these games to ensure I didn’t blunder. I don’t know how he is managing this!?!?” I’m not yet on his level, but I am getting reasonably close and there is no way I could’ve done what he did. Steve, made moves for three and a half hours straight, without taking a single break! The man is a machine, but unfortunately even top notch engines overheat. Inevitably, he ended up blundering in a few of his games leading to his 2 losses.
I would like to congratulate the two victors of the Simul, Eddie Sedillo and Christian Von Huene. Well done gentlemen, beating Master Sandager, under any conditions is a feat that very few have the pleasure of saying. Christian gets an extra pat on the back, he played extremely well. Played Steve to a dead even game for 30-40 moves, and when he made a single mistake, Christian pounced his opportunity.
I have never organized a simul, and I had no idea on how long it would take. It ended up going about an hour longer than I had anticipated, Steve ended up playing up until the start of the first round of the G15. Even though I am sure he was exhausted, he still wanted to play. What a cool guy.
New Mexico G15 Championship:
Before I mention the winners, I am going to start off by expressing my gratitude to all of those who participated. We didn’t hold many events in the first part of the year, because I was taking an HTML 5 class so I could learn how to design our new site. So in June of this year, I wanted to set up several events for the second half of 2015. I noticed NMCO didn’t have their dates set for any of their remaining events. So I contacted Oren Stevens, asking him to set up the dates for his events, giving him the first choice. He set the NM Blitz tournament for August 15, I didn’t want either event to affect the attendance of the other, so I set mine for August 29. Oren waited too long to secure a site, so he could no longer hold the Blitz tournament August 15. I was worried, he would put the blitz tournament the weekend after or before this tournament. So I emailed him and Larry Kemp, asking them not to hold the blitz within two weeks of my mine. I think they got a little confused, and decided to hold a tournament the weekend before and after my tournament. So it really means a lot to me that we had such a great turn out. Thank you all for your support.
An extra special thank you to Will Barela for bringing up an entire crew to play from Las Cruces. To Ben and Ron Coraretti for making the same trek up I-25, also because Ben helped us class up the joint by giving us another master to compete against, Ron for deciding to dust off his old pieces after a long hiatus from competitive chess. Also, to Carlos Santillan, who decided to spend one of his few days a year in New Mexico to come down and play.
On to the winners. Congratulations Eric Stuart, for winning the NM G15 Championship for the second year in a row. Eric finished with a perfect 6-0. Don’t worry everyone, he has officially been banned from competing in this event in the future, he is simply too good. Congratulations to Ben Coraretti for taking 2nd, 1st U1800 Peter Cuneo (also tied for 2nd overall), 1st U1600 a three way tie between Greg Stricklin, Jesse Vicario, and Christian Von Huene, 1st U1400 Will Barela 1st U1200 Joseph Wang. Well done everyone!