The 2002 January Thaw came off quite well with 18 participants in the rated section and 16 youth players in the unrated group.
Devon Drake weathered some close encounters and scored a perfect 5-0 for the best overal I record in the youth group. Participants ranged from 2nd graders to 8th graders. Organizer Chuck Tilly passed out medallions to the best two scores in the 1-3, 4-5 and 6-8 grade sections. Players, parents, and organizers were all quite pleased with the "fun factor" and the overall success of the event.
Greg Nowak dominated play in the rated section with a 4.5 score that included his usual "draw offer you can't refuse" in the 5th round. Jan Johansson placed second, losing only to the "Octopus" in a hard-fought round on Sunday morning. Jim 5kovron rallied from a 1st round upset loss to edge Ron Erickson on tiebreaks for 3rd place. Jim's last round draw with Nowak was the second time in as many tournaments, prompting Greg to lament his inability to "catch that wily Jim Skovron." Ron scored a Sunday morning upset of David Duke and then took a bye to watch his Steelers move along in the NFL playoffs.
Overheard after the 2nd round:
"Dave (Duke), how are you doing, so far?” "Well, Jim (Skovron), I got hit by the same bus that ran over you this morning."
That 'bus' was the McBroom express which was finally stopped in round 3 by State Champ, Jan Johansson. Bill took home the $25 biggest upset prize for his efforts.
13-year old Devon Rule won two games in his first USCF outing and shared $25 with Nick Cohea for best U/19 score. Devon's gritty play also earned him a first-time rating of 1412! The four U/19 players entered gave good accounts of themselves in tough competition We will be seeing more of these young fellas!