Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chess in the Land of the Delta Blues

BRAVO to the distinguished winners of the 2012 US Amateur South Championship !

What an honor for Memphis to host a
United States Chess Federation Tournament here on home ground.
The thrill for these winners, which now hold a recognized title. 
For the second year in a row, this championship tournament
has been brought to Memphis by Shelby County Chess. 

If you didn't find the courage to play in the tournament this year,
be sure and watch for the details to be announced for the one next year.

Covered on the USCF website:

Reserve Co-Champion Kamron Jafari (left) &
2012 US Amateur South Champion George Woodbury (right)
pictured with their Coach, IM Jake Kleiman (center)

"George Woodbury III, a rising Sophomore at the University of Chicago, is contesting the stereotype of the chessplayer who gives up the game after his time on the Scholastic Circuit. In-between his studies, he has participated in the collegiate club and still found time to keep his game polished & notably sharp. Players asserted that his no-nonsense style & solid technique won him his title.

The Reserve section was characteristic of many under sections: more upsets than expected results, with players regularly coming out of the tournament hall shaking heads & asking "what was his rating again?”

With the top five boards in Round One drawing or going down in defeat, everyone knew that the tournament was anyone’s to win. Kamron Jafari, who studies with Mid-South Chess (Coached by Memphis’ own International Master Jake Kleiman), took a more traditional approach of jumping into the lead & holding it with two solid draws approaching the finish line.

Hayden Henson, after holding the top seed in the section to an opening round draw, had to play up for most of the event (rated only 1257, his post-event rating jumped to 1435!), yet he still needed to produce a clutch victory in the last round to make a fitting finale to his run."

Visiting guests to the US Amateur South: GM Kacheishvili, GM Hess, & IM-elect Coleman (standing, left to right) observe games in progress in the main hall. Reserve Co-Champion Hayden Henson also pictured (seated, right, in red shirt)

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