Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mike Serovey's Chess Tournament Results This Year

So far in 2005 I have played in only two USCF rated events. Both were tornados at the ST. Petersburg Chess Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both were 4 round swiss system events with a time control of game in 60 minutes. Using digital clocks with a 5 second delay it was game in 55 minutes.

In the event I played on July 30, 2005 I won my first round against Nolan J. Denson, rated 1947. After that I lost to Michael A. Sperber, rated 1718 and to Remo Navales rated 1940. In the last round I drew Eric Lang, rated 1516. Later on I will post these games to my chess site located at This tournament shows my lack of consistency that I have had for several years. I beat a 1900 in this tournament and then lose to a 1400 in the next one!

In the event that I played on December 10, 2005 I lost all three games I played and got a bye in the last round. I lost to a 1700, a 1500 and a 1400 before getting my bye. That will bring my rating back down to 1500 even. I cannot go below 1500 because the USCF has a rule that puts a rating floor on players to prevent sand bagging. My highest ever regular USCF rating was 1793 so my floor is 1500. I will eventually post those games, too, as I believe them to be instructive.

For those who don't know what sand bagging is, it is deliberately losing games in order to keep your rating from going over a certain point. For example, a player will win the under 1600 prize in a tournament and it will be $400. Then, a week or two later he will enter a smaller tournament with small prizes and a low entry fee and deliberately lose two or three games to keep his rating from going over 1600 points. That way he can continue to win the bigger under 1600 prizes. However, once a player has won a class prize of $1,000 or more then that player is no longer eligible to win prizes in that class. I really wonder how that rule is enforced!

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