Maine Players at the SuperNationals

04.04.09 With over 5,000 scholastic players competing from all across America, the SuperNationals, being played this weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, is by far the largest chess tournament in the United States. Twenty-nine players from Maine are participating and we will bring you updates from Nashville thanks to our bloggers-on-the-scene: Dan Fishbein and Andy Bryan.

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov opens the SuperNationals in Nashville, Tennessee.

SuperNationals Pairings and Results

From Dan Fishbein:

Nashville, April 2, 2009: Today was the day that most of the 5,234 players registered for SuperNationals IV made their way to Nashville. A sizeable Maine contingent traveled throughout the day from Portland, Manchester and Bangor airports. Maine has 29 players, ranking 28th among the states in participants. Virtually all of Maine's 2009 Scholastic Team and Individual Champions are here: The K-3 Champion Deer Isle-Stonington team and K-3 Individual Co-champion Kinsey Bartlett, Elementary (K-6) Team Champions Cape Elizabeth and K-6 Individual Champion Matthew Reale-Hatem, Junior High (K-8) Champions Deer Isle-Stonington, K-8 Individual Champion Matthew Fishbein, High School Team Champs John Bapst High School of Bangor, and High School Individual Champion Gabe Borland of Orono. There are also other players competing from Orono and Aurora. With 5,234 players pre-registered, and possibly even more by the time the main tournament begins, this is the largest chess tournament in the United States in the past 4 years. SuperNationals combine into one massive event the annual Elementary, Junior High and High School Championships, and are played every 4 years at the massive Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel in Nashville. There are over 10,000 total attendees including parents, coaches and officials, and the entire nearly 3,000 room hotel, plus other hotels nearby, have been taken over by chess. The playing settings are also massive- four separate giant ballrooms. For example, the Delta Ballroom, capable of holding 7,000 people when set up as a theater, has nearly 1,400 boards set up for Elementary competition. Close to 3,000 kids will play chess all at once in just one room. While touring the room today, I bumped into two hotel maintenance workers who had just seen the room for the first time, and who kept repeating "that's a lotta chess sets." Two events were held today- the National Bughouse and Blitz Championships. The Blitz Championships were to begin at 5:00 PM, but everyone in the hotel got blitzed by a unique experience at about 4:00 when sirens sounded throughout the massive complex including under the acres of glass that enclose all of the "outdoor" spaces. There was a Tornado Warning for Nashville, and we were all instructed to head into special storm shelter areas in the basements. Many hundreds of kids and parents quickly made their way into the shelters, where chess managed to prevail. After a few minutes, chess sets came out and everywhere you looked, to the bewildered amusement of the hotel staff, there were impromptu blitz games. It was also a good opportunity for people to meet each other, and make new friends. After 40 minutes the all-clear was given, and we emerged from the basements into the atriums to see a big thunderstorm, but fortunately no tornado. Four of the five members of the Cape Elizabeth contingent were the only Maine representation in competition today, in the Blitz tournament. Over 700 kids played 6 rounds (12 games) of Blitz from 5:30 PM until 10:00 PM. Cape Elizabeth fielded a short-handed team of three (four is a full team), and nearly came away with a team trophy anyway in the Elementary (K-6) section. After 10 games, Cape's team of Matthew Fishbein, Matthew Reale-Hatem and Wesley Parker was tied for 9th place out of 37 teams competing, but a tough final round knocked them out of the trophies (the top 10 teams win trophies.) Brett Parker competed in the K-9 section, and Matthew Fishbein also competed for an individual trophy, and was in 16th place out of 200 entrants after the 10th game, but that tough last round also ended his trophy chances (the top 20 individuals are awarded trophies.) Too bad they added the sixth round- usually this event is only five rounds! Finally, a comment overheard that is worth repeating. Before the first round of the Blitz tournament, a father was overheard saying to his son "Are you ready? Let's go kick some brains!" A dramatic and fun day for all involved, and everyone is looking forward to tomorrow when the main tournament begins.

From Andy Bryan:

Round 1 went well for the Bapst contingent overall with wins from Aaron Spencer, Kurt Eyerer, Daniel Honeycutt, and Omar Khan while Margaret Bryan and Zach Smith lost to higher rated opponents and Deanna Power lost in the Unrated section. But the game of the day belonged to Anna Bryan as she played for four hours and earned a draw over one of the higher rated players in her section. Playing on minimal sleep after arriving at her hotel room at 4:00AM, she battled tooth and nail to the very end to a stalemate. From the length of the ballroom (spectators were not allowed) we saw her opponent crumple in disgust as the last piece was captured to reduce the board to just kings.

There were some other Maine results, but it would be best to go to the results page and hit Pairings and Standings to get the latest.

Day 1 came to a fitting conclusion for the John Bapst group when Anna Bryan resigned in the longest game of Round 2. The results are partial as we all were exhausted from our never-ending journey yesterday. Daniel Honeycutt was 2-0. Aaron Spencer, Margaret Bryan, and Kurt Eyerer were all even at 1.0 while we waited for results on the others. Ryan Vienneau of Orono had 0.5 which matched Anna's score. The Cape Elizabeth team had a great first round scoring 3.5 out of a possible 4 in the K-9 Under 1250 section as Matthew Fishbein won his first round.

Tomorrow will be more organized and I promise to have more useful information. Stay tuned!

Day 1 Results

John Bapst :
Aaron Spencer 1.0
Margaret Bryan 1.0
Zach Smith 1.0
Kurt Eyerer 1.0
Daniel Honeycutt 2.0
Omar Kahn 2.0
Deanna Power 1.0

Orono High School:
Gabe Borland 1.0
Ryan Vienneau 0.5
Sorel Edes 0.0

Cape Elizabeth:
Matthew Fishbein 2.0
Wesley Parker 2.0
Brett Parker 2.0
Matthew Reale-Hatem 1.5
Robert Freccero 0.5

Anna Bryan 0.5


It makes an old man like me
feel really good and privileged to see such
wonderful chess reporting........Inspired!

Great report!
We appreciate the update. We have been in touch with Aaron throughout, and he says that above all else the team is having a great time. Congratulations to our Bapst team, and good luck the rest of the way!
Special thanks to Andy & Beth, and Mary for their chaperone duties!
Steve & Michele

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