Curt Collyer of Spokane, whose rating has climbed almost 200 points in the last 18 months, tied with the best Montana has to offer, as he and Greg "The Octopus Nowak," split the top prize at this year's Turkey Open, held November 11-12 in Missoula. Collyer, whose superior tiebreak points gave him the official first place, went 3.5-0.5, with his only draw coming in a last-round yawner against Nowak. Both players took home a $100 share of the 1st and 2nd place split.
The Turkey made an encouraging turnaround from last year's poor showing. Spokane players once again swelled the ranks of participants, but this time there was a healthy complement of Montanans as well. All told, 20 players took part, up from 13 last year.
Other prize winners were once again mostly from Spokane: David Griffin (3-1) U1800; Jeremy Younker (2.5-1.5) U1600; and Daniel Copeland (2-2) U1200. Erik Easter (1.5-2.5) was, apart from Nowak, the only other Montana prize winner, earning the U1400 prize.
The insufficient losing chances rule reared its ugly head again. In his game with Jeremy Younker, Paul Motta had about two minutes left on his clock when he asked the TD, Sherwood Moore, for a time delay clock under the insufficient losing chances rule. His hope was to continue playing for the win, but in accordance with the rulebook, Sherwood declared this the equivalent of a draw offer, which Younker promptly accepted.
Players take note: Unless otherwise announced ahead of time, delay clocks are only inserted in a game at the TD's discretion in cases where an insufficient losing chances ruling could go either way. If you want to benefit from the time delay feature, buy a clock and use it from the start of the game.
On a sad note, Sherwood announced that this would be his last tournament, at least for a while. He is retiring from chess with well-wishes from and for the MCA. Thanks for all the help and the good chess over the years, Sherwood. We hope you'll get to missing us and come back soon.