Barber and Denker Travel Day Report

08.04.12 It's been a year since the first Barber Tournament of Middle School State Champions. Matthew Fishbein represented Maine in that inaugural tournament last August in Orlando. The 2011 Barber attracted 46 champions from across the country and lived up to its billing as an important new companion to the Denker Tournament of High School State Champions with which it is held. The co-champions were well known players Justus Williams of New York and Michael Brown of California, who are both now masters. Matthew represented Maine well, winning 4 of 6, and tying for 4th place. It was a great experience, and Matthew is anxious for the chance to represent the Pine Tree State again.

Brett Parker and Matthew Fishbein will represent Maine at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions respectively.

Thanks to Dan Fishbein for contributing to this report.

Fast forward a year since the 2011 Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions and much has happened in Matthew's chess life. Last Fall he became an expert, and in February he surpassed the USCF 2100 mark. February also featured a tie for 2nd by his team at the US Amateur Team East in New Jersey. In April he became Maine State Co-Champion, and was featured in a front page story in the Portland Press Herald. He also has spent most of the past year taking weekly lessons, mostly via Skype, from IM David Vigorito. This has certainly been instrumental in his advancement as a player.

Matthew qualified again this year for the Barber by winning the State Middle School tournament in March. And Matthew's Cape Elizabeth teammate Brett Parker tied in the High School State Championship with fellow Caper Ethan DiNinno, and Brett is Maine's Denker representative. We will have lots of Cape Elizabeth chess to report on over the next 4 days!

We have spent the day traveling cross country to Vancouver, Washington, site of this year's Denker and Barber tournaments, and of the US Open. Not to start out with a gripe, but the USCF's choice of sites is to say the least curious. Last year the tournaments were played at the Orlando Airport Hyatt. The average daily temperature was 96, with 100% humidity, and the hotel was literally in the airport, and not convenient to any of Orlando's great attractions. This year's tournaments are ostensibly in the Portland, Oregon area. Portland is a great city to visit, but we are a $35 cab ride from downtown. After reading about the great activities at the Susan Polgar Tournament for Girls, such as museum visits, media tours, and complementary meals and lodging, we are facing almost no open time to see the local sites, no organized activities other than chess, and an expensive hotel with expensive food. But enough on that.

Tomorrow we will get in some sight seeing, and then we have the opening ceremonies followed by round 1!

Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions and Denker Tournament of High School ChampionsSchedule

•Saturday [4 August] - Opening Ceremony at 3:00 PM.
•Saturday [4 August] - Round One at 7:00 PM.
•Sunday [5 August] - Round Two at 12 NOON.
•Sunday [5 August] - Round Three at 7:00 PM.
•Monday [6 August] - Round Four at 12 NOON.
•Monday [6 August] - Round Five at 7:00 PM.
•Tuesday [7 August] - Round Six at 11:00 AM.
•Tuesday [7 August] - Denker Awards Ceremony at 4:00 PM.

Official USCF Denker Tournament page

Official USCF Barber Tournament page

Click here to read the USCF's Randy Hough's take on the excitement.


I hope to see ALL the games from the maine players...good luck...

Post a comment

  • Navigation: