Friday, May 30

Many Thanks to the CalChess Scholastics Staff

(Candid photographs of the tournament bigwigs by Richard Shorman. From left to right: Salman Azhar, Tom Langland and John McCumiskey.)

It has been said before but I'll say it once again: the CalChess Scholastic Championships on May 17-18 would not have been possible without the tireless and underappreciated efforts of a small group of staff. I wish to single out three individuals in particular.
  • Organizer Salman Azhar worked literally day and night in the weeks prior to the tournament to take entries, answer questions and make sure that everything was ready to go. While much of his work took place behind the scenes, I did receive comments from parents about this "superman" who responded to emails at 3am.
  • CalChess President Tom Langland was one of the first people to show up in the morning and the last to leave in the evening for three straight days (Friday through Sunday). Despite working overtime, Tom always was cheerful, especially to the kids.
  • National TD John McCumiskey diligently ensured that the tournament ran smoothly, both on schedule and in compliance with USCF and CalChess rules. John oversaw the directing staff and relied on his vast experience to extinguish a myriad of small fires.
These three individuals received plenty of help from the other staff members and dozens of official volunteers, but the ultimate responsibility fell back to them. Did everything proceed perfectly? No. Still, the event surpassed most expectations and most people went home content, even if some wish they had done better at the chess board. I hope the readers of this blog will join me in a round of cyber applause for a job well done!

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