Revolutionary Idea From The President of the Georgia Chess Association: Senior Chess Tournament Sans Prizes

The Legendary Georgia Ironman was all FIRED UP, positively OVERJOYED, when informing me he had surfed over to the website of the Georgia Chess Association and found an upcoming tournament for Seniors in August. He was ready to send the entry fee immediately. “We have got to support Senior tournaments or there will not be any Senior tournaments,” he said. This caused me to surf over and check out the announcement:

Senior’s Tournament
August 6 @ 9:00 am – August 7 @ 5:00 pm

In tribute to those who play the sport (Sport? Chess is a GAME! AW) of chess throughout life, this is one in a series of themed tournament where we honor a segment of the chess playing public. This tournament is limited to senior players only, those who have celebrated 50 or more years of life. A charcuterie board (food) is provided for the convenience of players before each round.




Open: 2-day, 4-SS, Time-Control: 30/90;SD/20+15, 10 am and 2:30 pm, both Saturday and Sunday

Sets and Clocks provided.


$50 In advance until 7 PM Friday evening. $65 On Site before 9:30 am. Free entry to titled players (GM’s, IM’s, FM’s, NM’s, WGM’s, WIM’s)

The Boardroom

© Georgia Chess Association, 2012.

All Rights Reserved.

August 06, 2022

9:00 AM
August 07, 2022

5:00 PM


The Boardroom, 1675 Peachtree Pkwy, Suite #180, Cumming Georgia 30041

After checking it out I got back to the Legendary one, saying, “There were no prizes listed, Tim.”
A look of puzzlement came over his face as he thought for a few moments before saying, “Now that you mention it, I don’t recall any prizes listed…” The wind had gone out of his sails. “Maybe Parnell forgot to include the prizes.”

After firing a salvo at the POTGCA, Mr. Watkins responded:

On Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 1:03 PM J Parnell Watkins, Jr. wrote:

If you read the announcement, food is provided on site. Also, I do not expect to make money on this tournament, given the site costs me $500 per weekend and I only expect to make $500 on the tournament. Sorry it offends your sensibilities, but unlike the GCA, I can not fund the tournament at a loss, even a modest loss. I am funding it to break even. I am doing the best I can given the time and budget constraints of the facilities, and the fact that everyone wants long time controls.


President of the GCA Parnell Watking awarding a prize to Alex, a student of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear

I returned to the announcement and reread it, making note of this: “A charcuterie board (food) is provided for the convenience of players before each round.” In the next email to the POTGCA, I mentioned eating processed meat off of a board while playing did not appeal to me. In closing the email exchange I facetiously wrote, with tongue firmly in cheek, the following:

In closing let me just say that what you are attempting could revolutionize Chess. If you draw well other organizers would follow, because why pay out a prize if the chumps are gonna play for nothing? Then Chess would die and the name ‘Parnell Watkins’ would LIVE IN INFAMY!

A brief conversation from the future might go like this…”Yeah, Chess was all the rage after a movie was made from a mediocre book, The Queen’s Gambit.

The movie was so badly made it had the two players talking to each other across the board while playing a game for the Chess Championship of the World! This was during the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home fearing for their lives. Chess websites were poppin’ up like weeds after a rainy night in Georgia, and everyone was making money hand over fist giving lessons. What a time it was…”
“What happened?”
“Some idiot named Parnell Watkins had a brain fart and came up with the idea of holding a Chess tournament without paying out any prizes and there was a big turnout…I think it was in what had been called “The Great State of Georgia”…
“What’s it called now?”
“Georgia: The State Where Chess Died.”
“What happened?”
“Organizers loved it and made out like bandits initially, but eventually the players wised up and demanded prize money, but it was too late. The greedy organizers refused to return to the old days and ways and people stopped playing.”
“What happened to that Parnell guy?”
“You don’t wanna know…”

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