by Matt Grinberg
Rumble on the Rio
This, as the name suggests, was an exciting and spirited tournament. It was the first tournament organized by Philip Bauer and he did an excellent job! Philip was ably assisted by TD’s Peter Lattimore (who came down from Albuquerque) and Will Barela. The tournament was an 8 round Swiss with a G/29 time control. It was G/29 rather than G/30 so that stronger players could enter without risking their regular ratings. The tournament only counted towards quick ratings.
Once again the site for this Las Cruces tournament was the O’Donnell Hall on the NMSU campus. I think it is one of the best sites I have ever seen! It is well lit, quiet and has plenty of parking right outside. The one thing it lacks is a place to eat within walking distance. But no problem, as she has at many tournaments over the last couple of years, Katya Moore brought lunch food for everyone. Thanks Katya!
The field was unusual. It was almost like there were two separate tournaments, even though there was only one section. There were 7 of the regular 1900+ (I am using regular ratings here) players from this area. Then there were a large number of middle school students mostly under 1200. It took a couple of rounds before the Swiss pairings sorted things out into the upper and lower groups.
Master Victor Gomez won by a mile, scoring 7.5 out of 8! He played the 2nd through 8th ranked players (both in rating and final standing), giving up a draw only to Jose Abarca. Organizer, Philip Bauer, took clear second with 6. In the top group he took down William Barron and Matt Grinberg, while losing only to Victor Gomez and former Master, Monte Scott. Monte Scott and Jose Abarca tied for third at 5.5. It is curious that in spite of 8 rounds, nobody either gained or lost a lot of points. I guess the quick ratings going in were quite accurate.
You did a great job on the tournament, Philip! The one thing I would like to see next time is 6 rounds instead of 8. By the time I finished our last round game at 8pm, my brain was mush. But I guess that was the whole idea of “The Rumble on the Rio!”
I realize that most were not keeping score because this was a quick tournament, but if you have a good game from the Rumble, please send it in. Otherwise I might have to torture you with one of my games.
Between rounds Ben Coraretti was presented by Will Barela with the plaque for winning the New Mexico Closed Chess Championship. Congratulations, Ben!
Matt Grinberg, 9/7/2017