Sean reader master junior simul 2014
Sean Reader Junior Master Simul 2014
Coach Jay Stallings was kind enough to invite Evan to participate in the Sean Reader Junior Simul that took place September 20, 2014. It was quite an honor for Evan to play with mentors Leo Creger, Matthew Shuben, Taylor McCreary and Nicky Korba. I asked Jay if he would share a few words about the simul and the Sean's Fund. His response is below:
Sean Reader was invited to play in the Master-Junior Simul in 2005. Back then, a 1200 rating was impressive enough to earn the right to participate! After his passing in 2006, his parents set up Sean's Fund with me as the director, and we started to fund worthwhile chess causes. It started with offering financial aid to families who couldn't afford class fees. A couple of years later, we started to bring chess backpacks to the kids at Children's Hospital (that has since expanded to City of Hope and Children's Hospital Denver). By 2009, we had decided to revive the Master-Junior in Sean's honor. This year, we envisioned a new format that would bridge the gap between the 1000-1500 players and those who were over 2000. The Sean Reader Junior Simul was the answer.
The Sean Reader Junior Simul is a very unique mentoring event in which the strongest young players in Southern California are each paired with 4 of California Youth Chess League's over-900 rated students on 4 separate teams. In the event, the four teams play a 2-round Swiss, with the Super-Juniors playing simultaneously against the aspiring juniors on the opposing team. So, each team has a possibility of 8 points - 1 by each aspiring junior as they play the much-higher rated opponent, and 4 by their team captain who is simultaneously battling the four on the other team. To win the match, your team needs 4.5 points.
One fun twist in the Junior Simul is that, besides Board 1, the Super-Juniors are playing with odds! Knight odds on Board 2, Rook odds on Board 3, and Queen odds on Board 4! In today's inaugural event, the Super-Juniors were hopeless in the first round when they played with no queens, but after the lunch break they took 3 out of 4 on Board 4!
Sean's Fund carefully selected the Super-Juniors. We chose three young men, and a young woman who had shown,over the years, great sportsmanship and respect for their opponents of all levels. They were each paid to play, but you could tell that they were thrilled to be there! NM Nicky Korba (2311), NM Leo Creger (2205), Matt Shuben, and Taylor McCreary, displayed character nothing short of exemplary. They introduced themselves to their teammates, then to their opponents, then settled in for the battle!
Round 1 saw Team Korba defeat Team Shuben 5-3, with both Super-Juniors losing on Board 4, and Matt Shuben dropping the full-point on Board 3 after spurning draw offers that would have given his team and extra half-point towards tie-breaks, but would have lost the match. In the other match, Team McCreary earned a victory by a score of 4.5-3.5 after Taylor forgot about her clock in a game in which he opponent had only a king.
Round 2 saw two draws - Nicky and Taylor each swept 4-0, while Matt lost on Board 1 and Leo lost on Board 4. That left Team Korba with the 1st Place trophies on individual point tie-breaks over 2nd Place Team McCreary.
Best Game prizes were awarded to Dylan Gould (vs Matt Shuben on Board 1), Zach Montenegro (vs Leo Creger on Board 2), Alex Tsatryan (in a loss vs Taylor McCreary on Board 2), and Landon Hu (the only competitor to win both games, vs Nicky Korba on Board 4).
Sean's Fund sponsored the event, including the awards, refreshments, lunch, honorarium for the Super-Juniors, and all incidental costs.