Tournament Report: Traverse City Fall Challenge

Maybe it should have been called the “Winter Challenge” instead?

Early season snowfall did not deter 18 of Northern Michigan’s most competent calculators from competing in the Traverse City Fall Challenge, held on Saturday November 22, 2014 at the Grand Traverse Mall.

FM Dave Sprenkle of Traverse City won the Open section with the only perfect 3-0 score.  He survived a scare in round 1 but eked out a win in a drawish rook endgame thanks in part to his opponent’s time pressure.  In the Reserve section, Alexander Bemben from Petoskey and Sam Vorhauer of Traverse City both scored a perfect 3-0 to share first place.  This marks the second time in a row that Alexander has won his section with a perfect score… he’s now 7-0 in our rated tournament events!

Section winners, from left to right: FM Dave Sprenkle, Alexander Bemben, Sam Vorhauer.

Also I must mention that Sam Vorhauer willingly chose to forgo his prize winnings in the Reserve section so that others would receive greater share of the winnings.  Be sure to thank Sam for his kind and magnanimous gesture when you see him.  Special thanks also go out to Joe Revnell for donating the giant pawn trophy and to Greg Bailey for the free chess sets for the new junior players who attended.

The Grand Traverse Mall was a new location for our tournament, and it looks like we’ve found a permanent home!  I plan on having many more tournaments during 2015 at this facility.  The meeting room is convenient to the food court, yet it’s quiet, secluded, and well-lit.  It can easily accommodate 30 to 40 players, so we’ve got room to grow!

The official USCF crosstable for the event is available at this link:

Prize winners:

    • 1st:  FM Dave Sprenkle, 3.0 ($75)
    • 2nd:  Greg Bailey, 2.0 ($34)
    • Top Under 1900:  Robert Bemben, 2.0 ($41)
    • Upset prize – chess set:  Joe Revnell (1545) defeated I.C. Matias (1765) in Round 2
    • Tie 1st:  Alexander Bemben, 3.0 ($83) and Sam Vorhauer, 3.0 (chose to forgo winnings)
    • Tie 2nd+U1300:  David Tinker, Jackson Borst, and William Chown, 2.0 ($28 each)
    • Top Unrated prize – chess set:  William Chown

Hopefully our next tournament will be in January or February.

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