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  • Adam Porth

Belated Article

Jacob Nathan contemplates what to do with his winnings.

The Norman Friedman Memorial Tournament is an annual event held during National Chess Day every year and is enthusiastically supported by Joyce Friedman and family/friends of Norman Friedman of the Manhattan Chess Club Board member and co-founder of The Right Move Foundation in New York. Joyce and Norman Friedman settled in Ketchum, Idaho and continued to support chess in the community, and continue to do so in spirit and financially - $750 in guaranteed prize money and scholastic trophies! This next year, the purse will be increased to $1000!

On Friday night before the tournament main event, the Blitz tournament attracted 12 players including the top rated, active player in the state, Cody Gorman. He was able to dominate the tournament with a perfect 14.0/14 points (7 double rounds). Gaby Dagher (11.0/14)loves blitz, or fast chess, and drove up just for the Blitz tournament. He won 2nd place. Barry Eacker (10.0/14), Twin Falls won 3rd place. Trophies were provided to the winners.

Saturday proved to be a big day with the Open and the Scholastic Tournaments both taking place. The Scholastic Tournament did not have many local players as the local schools would not distribute flyers. Despite this, fourteen players competed and were able to meet with Joyce Friedman, the tournament sponsor. Alise Pemsler was the Chief TD and kept the tournament flowing all day with drawings giving away pumpkins and other October treats. Quentin Van Law won 1st place overall with 4.5/5 points, Dylan Porth won 2nd place with 3.5/5 points, and Darwin Porth won 3rd place with 3.0/5 points. Grade level winners were:

Nearly half the Norman Friedman Open Section was represented by scholastic players and they made the older experienced players have to prove themselves. Most of the games that included an adult versus a scholastic player went full time, while scholastic versus scholastic games were like Blitz. “They are tough,” claimed Janos Fucsko enthusiastically! He ended the tournament tied for third place (3.5/5 points).

Two of the top players in the state of Idaho were also on hand: Cody Gorman and Jacob Nathan. Cody played on Board One all tournament, however engaged in a 4-way tie with Janos, James Inman, and Desmond Porth by the end. Most people gathered to watch Jacob Nathan’s games as his only loss was to Cody Gorman. Jacob won 1st place with 4.0/5 points. It is clear that Jacob Nathan is on the road to mastering the game as he approaches 2000 and continues to dominate the ICA tournaments by winning the last three!

On Friday, National Chess activities were also extended to the classroom. A mini-lathe fascinated students as they took “turns” making chess pieces. Instruction included the Elephant Trap and the Halloween Gambit, and other fun openings. The “Queen of Katwe” movie was shown and several students grabbed chess boards immediately afterward. I think many people are fascinated with chess culture and we at the ICA are striving to expand and share this.

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