From James Horton, Secretary, OHSCTA
The tournament was run well by Andrei, Norm and Norm’s son and went smoothly without incident. However, when the dust settled at the end the unthinkable happened–there was a four-way tie for first for overall state champion! This really put the tiebreak system to the test. Prior to any announcement of results, Andrei had the foresight to meet in a private room with Norm, all the involved coaches and the princpal author of the tie-break system to help with interpretation. As it turned out, for all of its apparent complexity, the system did work in a clear and logical fashion to break the tie.
In a room full of chess coaches, one will never get them to all agree on what is the best tiebreak system–particularly immediately following a tournament! But what you will get them to agree on is that there is no one system that is always perfect. In this particular room full of coaches that had the state championship title on the line and all the tension that goes with it, to the credit of those coaches and the logic of the tiebreak system, there were no fists banging on tables and no slammed doors. With nothing more than a bit of grumbling here or there, we walked out of the room knowing that the results were probably as fair as could be expected and, what’s more, amazingly enough, we were all still friends!
What we learned most of all from the tournament is the depth of quality of high school chess in Oregon. What we witnessed was brilliant play by four very strong teams, none of which would be dominated by any other. Those 20 young men and women did us all proud in their fine play, and truly all are champions.