Thursday Night Throwdown-Old Guys RULE!

The Throwdown was held for the first time at the North Dekalb Mall. There were a total of thirty one players, aged from seven to seventy plus, with ten in the open section and twenty two in the U1600 section. One player, Jeffery Domozick, played in both sections. After the first round there were an odd number of players and ‘Major’ Domo, after losing to J.D. Paul in the top section, consented to take a half point bye and move down.
The top section was won by the irrepressible Life Master David Vest. The only blemish on his evening was a draw with expert Frank Johnson in the second round. The most amazing result of the night belonged to Courtney Edwards, who was the high school coach of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear “back in the day.” Courtney received a free entry, not because of being the former teacher of the Ironman, but because anyone who has not been a member of the USCF for two years receives a free entry if he re-joins the USCF. In addition, anyone joining for the first time will also receive a free entry to the Throwdown. It was my job to sit out in the food court area and check the stats of players for the TD’s. Before searching for Courtney, Tim mentioned that I may not be able to find him because it had been so long since he had played. It turned out that it really is true that, “Once rated, always rated,” because Courtney was a member in 1995 and his last tournament was the 1994 Peach State Classic at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center. Naturally I had to click on the event, which was like taking a trip in the “way back” machine! Courtney beat the winner of the 2012 Georgia Senior, former NM Alan Piper! It was more than the Pipe could take, causing him to withdraw. Courtney tied for second with a score of 2-1 with John Lattier, J.D.Paul and Reggie Martin.
Parnell Watkins, another ‘old guy’ (I say that because with the youth movement in chess today, practically any adult can be considered to be classified in the ‘old guy’ group), tied for first with Calvin Jackson, both with a perfect 3-0 score in the lower section. ‘Major’ Domo won both of his games, including a win over the 2-0 Larry Bolton in the last round, to go with his half point bye to finish in a tie for third place with Jeeva Venkat.
There is, unfortunately, some bad news to report. Tim learned shortly before the tournament that the AC was not working. The management of the Mall told him they would have a heating and air conditioning company inspect it before the tournament. It is not known whether or not anyone looked into the problem, but there was no cool air to be had inside the playing area. The only cool air entering was from the walkway of the Mall. I recall reading about the players in the early years of the Soviet Union having to play in frigid conditions. To keep warm they would bounce their legs under the table while cogitating. At least the players at the Throwdown could step outside for some cool air between moves.

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