2014 Georgia Open: Another Debacle?

At one time the Georgia Open was one of the two premier chess tournaments in the state, with the State Championship being the other “Major” tournament. Because they were prestigious, these were the two tournaments for which players prepared. This year the Georgia Open has been transformed into what some have are calling a “gimmick” tournament. The format is, “7-Swiss System, in one large section similar to the US Open. Rounds 1-2 are G-45, rounds 3-5 are G-90, and rounds 6-7 are G-120.” (http://www.georgiachess.org/event-1755372)

The Legendary Georgia Ironman relates that a father of one of his students mentioned the possibility of entering his child to play in the GO next weekend. Tim asked if he had looked at the variable time controls. After checking out the TA, the chess dad said, “I do not think this is the kind of tournament for my child.”

Former GCA board member Michael Mulford writes, “I would have considered playing in the Georgia Open…I would have considered it. Then I would have looked at the structure of the event and said “thanks but no thanks”. I can see why entries are low, though it’s still 2 weeks away. I don’t mind it being an open. But rounds starting at 9:00 Friday night and 8:30 Saturday night? That’s insane! Especially with a 9am Sunday round after the late Saturday night round. Yes, there are half point byes but one can only take so many. The younger folk can have it. It is also unconscionable to have the second bye be zero point. If I were playing I would have had to take a bye Sunday morning, and a zero there eliminates me. Physical stamina would have forced me to take a bye Saturday night as well, and the only way I could play that late on Friday would have been by taking the day off work.
I applaud them for trying something new and for trying to provide more non-scholastic offerings to fill the void left by the ACC’s closure. But I don’t think they thought this one through very well.”

At this writing there are only twenty-six players registered, all of whom are young. The website shows a cap of 300. (http://www.georgiachess.org/Resources/Documents/2014-2015/GAOpen_asof_oct11.pdf)

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