75th Annual Idaho Closed State Championship
By Jeffrey Roland
The Idaho Closed State Championship tournament was held in Garden City, Idaho over the Labor Day weekend, September 4-6, 2021. Play was upstairs in the prestigious Riverside Inn. Adam Porth was chief tournament director with Jeff Price as assistant TD. And while he was uncredited in the official US Chess crosstable, I noticed that Desmond Porth also was helpful when needed; Jay Simonson was also on hand to shake hands for the awards ceremony. Thirty-three players played in the tournament.
A week before the date of the event, only 11 players had pre-registered. All tournament organizers can tell you what the stress of something like that can be like. To his credit, and I applaud him for this, Adam Porth was determined that this event should happen, in Garden City, over-the-board, and it didn’t matter if ICA took a financial loss! Without the enthusiastic and stalwart efforts of Adam Porth, there is no doubt in my mind that this event wouldn’t have happened this year, certainly not in the Boise area, so we all owe a great deal of thanks to Adam Porth who stuck in there and made it happen the way it should happen. I’ve always known that one person can make a difference, and Adam sure did that with pulling this event off!
Also, Adam had a new perpetual plaque made up from the official state tree: Western White Pine. The winners from 1947 through 2020 were all engraved and there’s room for plenty more!
A strange dynamic was happening this year in the games, and it goes along with what I’ve known for many years—that ratings don’t matter! Ratings merely are an “indicator” (based on past results) and nothing more. What counts is what happens on the chessboard, right here, right now! In this event, due to the way the kids have been playing so much online, it turns out that the lower-rated players were in fact as a rule the better players, and the higher-rated players were usually the worst players (there are some exceptions to this, but that’s kind of my opinion in this case) Now this is great! Chess is chess, and the better player should win, even if the better player is rated lower!
Anyway, this year, Larry Parsons won for the 19th time with a score of 5.0/6. His last time as Idaho State Chess Champion was 2013. Here is a complete list of prize winners. Note that last year, it was decided to eliminate the Class A prize… so it is not an omission that there is no class A champion.
1st Overall — Larry R. Parsons
2nd Overall — Kaustubh Kodihalli
3rd Overall — Hunter Holbrook
1st Class B — Michael J. Presutti
2nd Class B — Jeffrey T. Roland
1st Class C — Josh James Price
2nd Class C — Finn Belew
1st Class D — Niall McKenzie
2nd Class D — Nobel Ang
1st Class E & Below — Luke Wei
2nd Class E & Below — Darren Su
Top Junior — James Wei
Top Unrated — Vladislav Nosarev
I met Dimitry Nosarev, who is the ICA’s social media coordinator and new on the Board. He was taking photos and video footage. I had no idea he was the father of Top Unrated Player Vladislav Nosarev (but I should have known!)
I want to again thank Adam Porth who put on a most enjoyable event. Jeff Price also did a great job as Assistant Tournament Director. The players were very friendly and the staff at the Riverside Inn were great at keeping the site clean and well stocked.
The tentative plan is to hold the next Idaho Closed over President’s Weekend in 2022 somewhere. We shall see if that happens. At any rate, this one now goes into the history books!