Thursday, August 04, 2011

Doc Kinne's Story, Part III

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet...

Some things are different in this new 21st century world of chess!

We live in an age where everything must be done yesterday. In my day-to-day life as an astronomical technologist I contribute to such a situation, but its ramifications can still boggle my mind.

Part and parcel with me getting back into chess, and because the BCC really does need Tournament Directors (all the activity you see at the BCC really is on the backs of 2-3 TDs. While, obviously, they do a wonderful job, at one point they're going to get tired, or life will call them away to other things. We need to recruit and train the next generations of Directors and Organizers), I decided to renew my USCF Tournament Director certification. During the July $10 Open I introduced myself to Bernardo and offered to help out in the future.

Back in the 80s when I directed tournaments with Joe Ball (who is still, to this day, organizing and directing tournaments in central NY! Some of us truly get to be fixtures, and I don't just mean Viktor Korchnoi!), we paired tournaments with cards filled out for each player.

Remember these?

I still distinctly remember Joe laying out the cards for a round in score groups, quickly swap! swap!-ing them around to get the needed color allocations, filling out the pairings on a sheet by hand, and putting them on the wall for us. Afterwards Joe would fill out the tournament report by hand, mail it into the Federation, and a couple of months later the new rating would make itself known on our "Chess Life" mailing label.

Today, its all done by computer program.

I really didn't get to see the pairing process. The July $10 Open had just over 50 participants, which edged it into a Category C Tournament class. Bernardo had his hands full, and I didn't want to bother him.

However, when the tournament was over and most everyone had gone, I watched, and Bernardo explained, while he entered in the remaining data and sent the tournament to the Federation. The form was filled out online and sent over the wire. "That's it," Bernardo said. "That's all there is to it."

"You mean its rated? Now?" I said.

"Yes," he replied. I was somewhat flabbergasted. However, upon getting home, I got onto the USCF website and found my section of the tournament, and my new rating, right there!

It's an amazing world we live in. But I still want my flying car! And my Moonbase!

Moonbase Alpha

---Doc Kinne, USCF: 12186200


Rihel said...

Thanks, Doc, for this great three-part post! I hope you keep them coming. Those who come back to chess after a hiatus often have that excellent blend of perspective and distance to start seeing the chess scene from new angles.


Robert Oresick said...

Doc, I also am enjoying your posts. Remembering pairing with cards, which is how I also learned, brought a knot to my stomach. I had experience dropping and scrambling them. Playing chess is definitely more fun than TDing.

Doc_Kinne said...

Bob, I'm hoping both will be fun for me. I thought yesterday's tournament went well and was very, very proud to be officially listed as Asst. Arbiter, my first such listing since the 1993 Keybank Onondaga County Scholastic Open.

es_trick said...

Hi Doc,
I enjoy reading your posts. Hope I can give you a word of encouragement.
I was an active tournament player when I was in HS in the mid to late 1970s. Stopped playing after my freshman year of college to focus more on academics. After a 28 year hiatus, I returned to the tournament hall when my son went off to college, and things were quieter around the house.

My first concern was whether I could still play as well at age 48 as I did when my mind was young and sharper. I'm pleased to say that not only have I been able to prove that, but have actually made progress and been able to achieve significant ratings gains, which to me is proof of improvement.

I've now got a lot more study aids than were available to me 35 years ago, (although some of the books which I find most helpful are old chestnuts that I could have bought back then but missed out on). I also realize now that I didn't study the game in my youth as seriously as I had thought, so more dedicated study in this phase of my life is bearing fruit.

I often wondered how good I could have been if I had had good coaching and better study materials in my youth. It's gratifying to find that some of the "potential" I thought I had left on the table is still realizable even in my 50s.

Eric Strickland

Ken Ho said...

Hi, Eric,

At least now, though likely rather more expensive, you can buy many of those old books in algebraic notation, instead of descriptive!