Geoff McKenna and Keith Carson



Geoff McKenna is the 2010 Virginia Senior Champion, on tiebreaks over Walter Morris and Keith Carson who was Top age 60-69. Harry Cohen was also tied for 1st - 3rd and Top U with 3.5. 

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The Virginia Senior Championship was hatched as an idea in August 2009. I was working with a client who was receiving day services at the  center and noticed a really nice and large ballroom area being used for dance classes. Being a county employee myself, I tracked down the right person to contact and eventually we worked out an agreement for use of the space. It seemed natural and appropriate - a Senior tournament in a Senior center.

Ten months later it came to fruition when 44 players spent a hot June weekend finding out who would be the first Virginia Senior Champion.  Four-time State Champ Geoff McKenna squeaked out a title on tiebreaks over IM Walter Morris, Keith Carson and Harry Cohen (who was ineligible for the title as a Marylander). They all finished with 3.5/4. The last  round found board one the way it is supposed to be, the two highest  rated players battling it out.McKenna and Morris played to a tough draw but the tnesion was not over.

Keith Carson was also 4-0 after defeating FM Allan Savage the previous round. He was playing Neal Goldberg, up an exchange or positional advantage most of the time and looking like he could be the new Senior champ if he won. It finally played out to be a draw and Harry Cohen was scoring a win against Wilbert Brown to also join the 3.5 tie at the top.

We had to move into a different room on Sunday because a pipe was  leaking in the main room on Saturday. With a repairman scheduled to be there at 8AM on Saturday, the new room would eliminate noise and with  better chairs and an atmospehere just as nice it worked out fine. As Murphy's law would predict, there was no leak in the AM as it was due to the AC and excessive humdity that weekend.

The winners of the Age Brackets were Keith Karson for top 60-69,  Bill Carroll for top 70-79 and John Campbell for 80+. Originally there was going to be 70+ but John donated an 80+ plaque and turned out to be the only 80+ participant. His two wins and a bye would have been enough to actually earn the 70+ title at 83.

Top Under 1700 was split four ways among Michael Hirsch (playing in his first open-type tournament since he was 12!), Glenn Floostrom, Vernon Hall and Rene Stolbach. Under 1400 was split 5 ways by Lewis Kellert, Robert LeBlanc, Lloyd McLaughlin, and Hewitt Rose.

We will probably have the same venue on the same weekend next year, but since it is dealing with the county, one never knows!

Most players seemed to enjoy the event, commenting on how much more quiet is was than normal. Wonder why that was? :)


Last Updated 05/29/2014 08:04:17 AM