Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

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Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:25 am

I will be posting comments to this site in the near future.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:38 am

I would like to give credit to several people in several areas who run some of the best checker tournaments in the nation. My number one selection is the Tennessee State Checker Tournament run by Frank and Mary Davis. Of course you cannot run a great tournament without player participation and TN gets plenty of that. Tied for second and third would be the District 4 Checker Tournament run by Larry Michael and the IL State Checker Tournament run by the Ellisons and Doll, both tournaments seem to get plenty of player participation too. Richard Beckwith has been involved with running the PA checker tourney almost all the time since I have been playing in it. This year Jason Solan did an excellent job in running the tourney, Our problem has been player participation, very weak and practically nonexistant. My question is how do we get back to a bigger and bettter PA State Open Checker Tournament?? I am looking for answers to this puzzling question.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:49 am

I will be the first to answer my question!! We do not solve the problem by letting Ray Shelly kidnap the PA tourney from under our noses and running said tourney in a dictatorial fashion without even accepting reasonable questions to his authority. I will not be playing in any more that is NEVER any tournament run again by Raymond Shelly. I sat down and explained to Ray that PA should be running its own state tourney, and from what he said I assumed he agreed. However, he misconstrued what I stated about the PA tourney. He stated that I said it should be closed to only PA residents. That is a lie!! He either misunderstood me or I mispoke, but the PA State Checker Tournament should be open to residents of all fifty states and all foreign countries which play ACF style checkers. I aggree with one of Ray's statements that all players in a PA tourney should be ACF members. However, only a PA resident should be state champ and only the money from what is called the Keystone Fund should go for the PA state tourney. Ray can run his Dist 3 tourney in any PA, DE, MD, or DC or for that matter any other place he wishes to hold it. Also said fee for entry into tourney besides ACF membership should be set at a reasonable fee, say $20 per entry.;
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby Michael Holmes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:50 am

This year was a good start. My son and I have never played in that tournament and we have made plans to be there next year and two of our friends (Freeman and Arthur) will probably come too. The prize fund and recognition was great. Next year I will leave Thursday night instead of Friday night. Playing on just a few hours of sleep took some of my spunk out of my play. I am very pleased with my play and I think Alex had some great games too.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:00 am

Jason Solan did a fine job of running the Dist 3 (kidnapped PA tourney) and I would look forward to Jason, Joe Moore JR, Joe Moore SR, Laverne Wray, Joe Caro, Jay H., Ike King, Mr. Aucker, or any other PA resident who wants to participate in PA offering advice on our tourney. I propose to have our 2013 tourney cut completely away from the Dist 3 mess and have it run by PA people. I am willing to run the 2013 tourney as referee if needed. I have 25+ years of running the North Dakota State Checker Tournament during the time I lived in ND and apparently did a satisfactory job in doing it. I would propose a 7 round tournament played on a Friday and Saturday sometime in June 2013. We could play four rounds Friday and three on Saturday or if all attending were willing 5 on Friday and 2 on Saturday. We would play as one class unless there were at least 6 players considered masters at the tourney and then if attendance warrent it we would have 2 classes, call them A and B if you wish. I would feel honored to call upon Jason or Richard B. for advice in any areas i would need help in. I would not be the person chosing the site or the dates that would have to be done by someone else.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 am

Jason Solan did a fine job of running the Dist 3 (kidnapped PA tourney) and I would look forward to Jason, Joe Moore JR, Joe Moore SR, Laverne Wray, Joe Caro, Jay H., Ike King, Mr. Aucker, or any other PA resident who wants to participate in PA offering advice on our tourney. I propose to have our 2013 tourney cut completely away from the Dist 3 mess and have it run by PA people. I am willing to run the 2013 tourney as referee if needed. I have 25+ years of running the North Dakota State Checker Tournament during the time I lived in ND and apparently did a satisfactory job in doing it. I would propose a 7 round tournament played on a Friday and Saturday sometime in June 2013. We could play four rounds Friday and three on Saturday or if all attending were willing 5 on Friday and 2 on Saturday. We would play as one class unless there were at least 6 players considered masters at the tourney and then if attendance warrent it we would have 2 classes, call them A and B if you wish. I would feel honored to call upon Jason or Richard B. for advice in any areas i would need help in. I would not be the person chosing the site or the dates that would have to be done by someone else.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:02 am

I do not know why the one post listed twice!!
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby Chexhero on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:22 pm

Neil, you are one of my favorite ACF guys. You just speak what is on your mind and don't hold back, please keep doing so! I think it would be reasonable to try to take some good out of this tournament and things that worked, and try to improve or change the things that did not work. First off, a good clean hotel in a decent area, challenging competition in the masters division, 4 new kids who played in the beginner section, also it was nice to Tim Laverty, Michael and his son, Jr Smith- 4 ACF people who I do not believe attended a PA tournament. I must also add the prize fund was very good and in my eyes made up for the high tournament price. Lowest prize was 50 some dollars and the entrance fee was 50 dollars. Great recognition and respect to the players at the end of the tournament was great and I wish more tournaments would do that instead of having everyone just leave when they are done. I also liked the rules of being QUIET!!!!!!! during games, something the TN tournament did not enforce at all when I attended, of course that is not an ACF ran tournament.

Now what needs to be fixed? Well, I think I know what Neil is referring to. It is absolutely disgusting if you ask me that the few players in the minors and majors only got to play 1 or 2 rounds. What did they pay 50 dollars for? Not to play 1 round or 2 rounds and then to sit and watch the rest. If that was me in one of those divisions, I would have asked for my money back and left. I would choose internet checkers over that any day. I can't complain too much because my division was packed of great players, but I really do feel sorry for those in the lower divisions. I think it would have been best to have 2 divisions. The master division how it was, and then combine beginners, minors and majors. I think allowing the beginners to play up would have included them more, as it seemed to me they were pretty left out from the rest. We could have at least offered them a choice. Good prize money and a chance to place higher is a bonus in my eyes. The reason people come to checker tournaments is to play checkers, more than 2 games and against more than 1 or a few people.

Neil I think we need more people than just you and me to revolt against some of the ugly that went on, so things could be changed, otherwise I would gladly like to help you out in setting up our own PA tournament, separate from district 3.

Finally, I like to thank all the masters who participated and made my tournament worth while. It is really an honor to play against you guys and I look for good new battles in the future.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby Jason Solan on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:25 pm

As far as the 2012 event, I can't let Ray hang out to dry on this alone. He and I had met to discuss the tourney a number of times, so to say he "kidnapped" the PA tournament is a bit disingenuous. While I expressed my concern of not having enough players to field all the divisions I told him I don't see a problem with giving it a shot. There were mistakes and lessons learned and I really appreciate that everyone stuck around both days and were patient with us. I really think it will take more than 1 year to get things where they need to be for this style of event. I actually have to admire Ray for sticking to his vision when it would've been much easier to make 2 divisions of 6.
While I appreciate the compliment, to say I did a fine job is a stretch Neil. I was nowhere near as organized as I should've been. I gained a new appreciation for those who run tournaments this weekend. I figured a round robin style event would pretty much run itself and I was completely wrong.


On to the 2013 event. I'm completely in favor of having a standalone PA tournament. That was actually my original plan for 2012 in Lancaster. Unfortunately the venue fell through in late January, so put my support behind Ray's District 3 tournament. After Tony's passing I was afraid that the PA would become a 2nd Ohio tournament or disappear completely. I'm glad to see that other PA players are willing to step up and get things moving forward again. Like I mentioned to you on Sunday Neil, I think that State College is about as centrally located in the state as any city. Next time I'm out that way I can see if the the old Motor Inn is still there.... maybe they still remember us. I'm open to hearing any/all ideas and think it's great to start thinking about it early on.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby JR Smith on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:06 pm

1. I enjoyed the tournament. It would have been better if we had 8 entrants in majors so we could have played our 7 rounds. You can plan and organize a tournament but if the players don't come, what can you do? I know Jason and Ray worked long and hard on this PA/D3, opened discussion on ACF Forum, mailed out postcards, phone canvassed/solicited players, funds raised, printed certificates, expressed appreciation to others, etc. (go back and read 5 pages of PA discussion on the ACF Forum) One positive thing it has done! Inspired Neil to volunteer to Sponsor and Direct the next PA Ty which is wonderful. Let's show team spirit & work together!

2. Appreciate what did happen... I know there were some glitches, which I mentioned to Ray and Jason. I'm sure these will be corrected at the next tournament, (whoever sponsors/directs it) like make sure each playing group is filled by early registration, if this is the format we want, and if this is possible. If you recall this was attempted this year. Maybe supervise the Youth separately from main (adult) tournament so kids don't have to wait for the full tournament to finish so they can be recognized and awarded, but the adults players should attend and observe this short closing ceremonial presentation to witness and show appreciation to the youth who participated and meet their parents. Let the parents know the value of checkers and why, without being over-the-top.

3. Some ideas I liked: (just my own opinion)
Everyone recorded their games! I saw players turn in their games who are very capable in doing so but seldom if ever do so... but this tournament they were turned in! At-A-Boy, Jason&Ray

4. Strongly promoting the ACF and requesting players to have a current membership! Yes Sir, Thumb up! Jason&Ray

5. Closing Ceremonial Presentation - adds importance and dignity to the participants accomplishment and recognizes younger players so they will want to improve and continue playing. This tournament had an organized closing not a payoff, players running off, and leaving early. Think Big, Play Checkes, Win $, & Grow Checkers! Jason&Ray

6. Nice Venue! Welcome ACF Players counter displays! convenient location, just off I-81, good hotel accommodations & amenities, and adequate playing room. Get another star! Jason&Ray

7. Senior Players don't react or appreciate framed certificates? and I'm not sure how effective postcard announcement / reminder was, but you get another star for the effort. Jason&Ray

8. Conscious effort to involve youth in our checker tournaments and get them interested in ACF. Without this involvement we can't sustain the game. Yes, two Stars! Jason&Ray

9. I liked the kids group, keep it short and fun. Make them fill important and want to continue playing checkers. A-OK! Jason&Ray

10. Score-Keeping and documenting all game in pdn, made available with results email immediately, excellent! Jason&Ray

11. I'll finish with something for Neil to think about. What can we do to get the Amish participating. I told you about a couple of contacts which seems to bring Amish to tournaments, and definitely plan the tournament for Friday & Saturday. I don't know about money, maybe this should be handled something like Cris Miller does? But here again that tournament doesn't draw a huge number either, but with those players and what we can bring back from our core ACF players we could have a good tournament.

Thank You All for Checkers and keeping it available to attend Checker Tournaments.
Last edited by JR Smith on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby Eric Strange on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:33 pm

All this stuff about mistakes made, and blah blah blah. give me a break. It was a checkers tournament consisting of 16 players????

If you cannot figure out how to run something like that correctly the first time.... there is a SERIOUS problem...

This is checkers... not rocket science
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby Michael Holmes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:36 pm

Friday's lose people like Alex M and myself. Arthur comes to half the tournaments I do and so does my son so you lose another 2 or 3 (if Chuck rides with us) by holding tournaments on Friday.

I think this was a great tournament. If it is done the same way next year I will go to it. So, in my eyes I saw no mistakes yet new ground was covered as JR points out. This is the beginning of a new way of doing things in my opinion.

Thank you Jason, Ray, Dr. Beckwith, Joe, and anyone that had input for this tournament.
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 pm

Excellent responses so far. If everyone thinks exactly alike, all people except for one are not necessary. I diagree with Jason's comment on not doing a good job! Jason did an excellent job and as easy going and diplomatic as Jason is, he went along with all of or most of Ray's ideas. Jason, wherever you find a place to hold next years PA tourney in Central PA, I will be there to help you run it and play in it and if you want me to be a playing referee I will do it. Of course, the 2012 Dist 3 tournament should have divided into two classes among the 12 players from the top four divisions. They should have been divided 6 and 6, into A and B with each division playing a round robin and then Swiss for the remaining two rounds, making a total of 7 rounds in all. Of course, the separate PA should be held Friday and Saturday to encourage Amish players to attend. If Amish players will travel from Ohio to NC for two different tournaments it is logical to think they might travel from Ohio to PA. Also, Ike King, a master class Amish player might consider attending. The youth beginners should have been paid off and a ceremony held for them right after they finished their rounds so that they could leave for home rather than wait a second day. Michael H. , if you liked Dist 3 format and the way things were presented I am all in favor of you and young Alex attending next years Dist 3 tourney, wherever Ray holds it,However, I issue a personal invite to also attend the PA Open C. T. I will not be in attendance at next years Dist 3 and am an only talking about a PA Open Checker tourney, open to all players from everywhere. I agreewith Erik Strange, running a checker tournament is not rocket science and should not be conducted as such. Especially to Ray Shelly, You beat me and drew me in our two game match in Dist 4 in Lexington last year and I did not cry about how you should have been in a higher class than I. To Ted Williamson, I did not go to TN tourney and then drive back to PA because you would be playing in Class "C". But both Ray and Ted you are still my checker friends!!!
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:06 am

I told a friend that Ray Shelly was an idiot and even though Ray did not here me say this, I apologise to Ray for this remark as it was uncalled for. I should have said that at times Ray Shelly performs in an idiotic manner based upon the following. At the 2007 PA Open Checker Tourney Ray Shelly purchased a Life ACF Membership for his grandson Jaden W. Kozak. I do not care one bit how or where Ray spends his money, but my being forced to play around of checkers with Jaden upset me. A three year old who knew nothing about or cared less about playing in a checker tournament should not be forced to partipate even though the forcer was his grandfather. If a dinner plate had been place on the chair replacing Jaden, the dinner plate would have competed in a similar manner as Jaden. Thus, as I apologished to Ray for my mistep, I expect a full apology for his actions taken to upset me. Knowing this will not be done, maybe Ray can buy me a Life ACF Membership instead!!!
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Re: Pennsylvania State Open Checker Tournament 2013

Postby neilwenberg on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:13 am

Time to change the subject here to a "less controversial point" about Pennsylvania checkers. In case the reader of this post does not know, Don Deweber saved the PA Trust Fund with the actions he took. Don should be commended for this heroic act but it apppears there are many who condemn him for his action. The only people who even have standing to question Don on this matter and have standing in regard to it are PA checker players. Thus, seeing we live in the greatest Republic on earth, we who are ACF members area all free to present our view point on this site. In other words everybody in the United States has a right to be wrong!! So if your on Don's back, think about what I am saying and if you said something hurtful to or about Don, apologise. Don is man enough to accept apologies. Thank yo for doing the right thing in regard to this matter.
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