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NY Metro tournament observations

Posted By: Jason Lee
Date: Monday, 10 January 2011, at 6:26 p.m.

I played in the New York Metro tournament this past weekend, and thought I would post some observations for no particular reason. This is only the third tournament Iíve played in that wasnít in Las Vegas or a Patrick Gibson tournament. The NY Metro tournament was organized and directed by Lynn Ehrlich and Troy Longman, and Iíd like to commend them on a great job. It appeared to me that everything ran smoothly, and they seemed to be aware of potential bottlenecks, and directed traffic accordingly.

I took the Amtrak up from DC, and then the local Path train stops right at the hotel. It was a very pleasant train ride, something Iíd gladly do again. The venue is top notch, right in downtown Jersey City, with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. The prices were reasonable, and I split a room with a fellow competitor. It was a little nervewracking for this California boy to see those huge, fat snowflakes coming down on Friday, but the snowstorm never really materialized, and it wound up just being an inch or so. The playing room isnít huge, but was just big enough. I even managed to get some free wifi in the playing room to post OLM positions.

All Championship division matches were played clocks on demand, and doubles were liberally clocked, subject to availability, as the organizers didnít have too many available.

Rich Munitz gave a USBGF update during the auction, and USBGF tshirts were for sale, along with a membership drive.

The trophies were really nice, etched glass with an embedded Statue of Liberty. I was fortunate enough to take one home by making the finals of a side event.

There was once again a juniorís event Ė unfortunately the attendance was way down, but with extenuating circumstances. It would be nice to see more juniorís tournaments. With my constant tongue-in-cheek complaints about the unfairness of having seniors tournaments (Lynn specifically refused to allow me to participate when I attempted to enter), a 15-and-under tournament leaves me wanting of a real complaint.

Other misc. stuff: the event was held over four daysÖ I have mixed feelings about that type of schedule. I have to take an extra day off work to make it, on the other hand, it doesnít feel nearly as rushed as your typical 3-day ABT tourney. Friday and Saturday had 3-hour dinner breaks, which allowed the directors to be able to ask players to cut slightly into their dinner break to finish a match Ė I had to delay my dinner break on Saturday to play a blitz match, and I didnít feel the least bit put out.

Win or lose, it was a superb event. Troy and Lynn report that their overall attendance was slightly up over last year, which is great to hear. I certainly hope that growth can continue Ė this event is a real pearl as the ABT kickoff event of the year.


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