This year’s OSCF State Championship was the biggest yet. In all, 270 kids registered, and an amazing 268 (or 99.3%) of those turned out to play on Saturday. The event went remarkably smoothly, thanks to the hundreds upon hundreds of hours of help from around 100 volunteers. Nearly 100% of the work — from the OSCF board to the TDs to the check-in desk to the chess parents, siblings, and coaches in every corner of the Seaside Convention Center — was volunteer. Huge kudos and thanks to all who volunteered their time, energy, and resources to make the event such a big success. More kids! More chess! More fun!

The OSCF board would like to extend a special note of thanks to the following people:

To Dennis Petersen, who wanted to play in the Friends and Family tournament, agreed to direct with the promise that “it will be really easy” (well, we thought it would!!!), and then ended up not playing because he didn’t want anyone else to have to sit out with a bye. He also had to deal with the conundrum of what to do when some players who signed up were not able to come: he made sure that everyone was seated anyway, that no first round games had to be repeated, and that the section finished ALMOST on time —- a minor miracle after such a rocky start! Dennis is a great guy with a big heart.

Dennis and his company, Legend Products, has been a strong supporter since the very beginning of OSCF’s history. Legend Products has provided all of the fine chess sets that we use, and continues to contribute a few each year in addition to giving us equipment to sell at the chess store. The wooden sets that were sold at a big discount this year are just a sampling of his generosity.

Bing Sun, Katrina Halverson, and Sandip Chattopadhyay, were each in charge of a playing room for the whole day on Saturday, taking time away from their families and all the fun activities of the event and the town to make sure the playing conditions were quiet and fair and that the rounds stayed on schedule. They had tremendous help from Jeff Dobbins, Steve Cousineau, Lynn Wiles, Dennis Peterson, Nick Beleiciks, Roza Kotlyar, Rustam Kocher, Radu Roua, Tony Hann, Steven Breckenridge, Max Booth, Zane Kesey, and Chris Allen.

To Amy Coughlin, who has officially retired from the board but continues to advise us and to serve as our state’s Ratings Coordinator, putting in hour after hour of work throughout the year to make sure that every NWSRS rated event in Oregon has accurate and up-to-date results posted in a timely manner, and that all of our kids ratings reflect their latest efforts.

To Ellissa Parnon, who once again put together an awesome program packed with information about awards, players, schedules, sponsors, and the artistic efforts of some of the children who submitted entries to the T-shirt design contest. Ellissa’s experience and attention to detail not only produced a great program, but also spurred board members to complete tasks that might otherwise have fallen through the cracks in this year when we were scrambling to adjust to the absence of both Kate and Amy.

To Leanne Schuetze, who in addition to helping during registration and at Chess Central on Saturday, worked in the weeks before the tournament to cut, paste, and stuff name tags, create blitz, bughouse, and Friends and Family tickets, and to make sure that all 270 preregistered players had precisely the correct schedule on the back of their name tag so that no one was lost or confused.

To Doreene Carpenter, who did not come to the tournament, but helped in the week before to make sure that information was correctly transferred from the Constant Contact preregistration program, which was a bit bulky for our purposes, to an accurate spreadsheet that reflected each and every player’s preference. Doreene also created the awesome “B” hive tri-fold poster that was on display in the lobby.

To Elizabeth Kerle, who in addition to helping to herd 27 Cheldelin and Mt. View chess players on Friday and Saturday, was also the first volunteer to show up Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 7:00 am AND was the last to leave, coming back on purpose to help with that final break down and clean up that no one wants to do and that usually falls solely onto the shoulders of already exhausted board members.

To Liz Brown, who not only creates those magnificent trophies, but rents a truck, brings the trophies and the way to Seaside, unpacks them and creates the display that so many of you enjoy during the day.

To Steven Breckenridge, who graduated last year, but came back this year, bringing his extensive chess knowledge and status as a National Master, 3 time OSCF champion, 2007 National Junior High Blitz Champ, and is currently one of the Oregon State 2011 co-champions along with Radu Roua, Daniel Gay, and Brian Esler. Steven analyzed games with a large number of kids during the day Saturday, ran simuls against up to 15 players at a time on Friday evening and Saturday morning, played a simultaneous blitz exhibition match against the winners of the top quads in the blitz tournament on Friday, and helped direct the tournament on Saturday.

To our sponsors, John Bain, Legend Products, Transensory Inc., Phillips Candies, Chess Vision, Northwest Designs, Mozek Games, Clatskanie Chess Club, Pleasant Hill Chess Club, and Coquille Chess Club.

To Kate Taylor, who, though no longer with us, continues to inspire us to create a busy and fun event where sportsmanship is valued and even emphasized, and where children are recognized and rewarded for their efforts and growth in a very special way.

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