4th NAPZ Championship (2002-2006)
By IA J. Franklin Campbell

The 4th championship of the North America/Pacific Zone (NAPZ) started May 2002 and recently ended December 2006. The tournament was organized by the NAPZ office, NAPZ Director Ralph P. Marconi (CAN) and NAPZ Deputy Director Ruth Ann Fay. 15 top players from the zone from six different countries participated (AUS, CAN, JPN, NZL, SIN, USA). The complete crosstable, photos of top finishers, and other statistics are given at the end of this report. The tournament director at the start of the event was International Arbiter Maurice Carter (USA), a veteran director of many important zone events, but due to business and personal issues he was was unable to continue and was replaced by IA J. Franklin Campbell (USA) shortly after the event began. This was a postal event with a number of players playing strictly by post, but of course many players also switched to email.

My congratulations to the co-champions Tim Murray (USA) and IM Takanori Tomizawa (JPN) on their tremendous performances each scoring ten wins, four draws and no losses. They were joined by 3rd place Jason Bokar (USA) in registering GM norms (10.5 points). This event is considered a continental championship and the top three places qualify to the World Championship (Candidates). A complete list of the seven players earning title norms is given with the crosstable at the bottom of this article.

Tournament News Web Page

My first effort in this event was to set up a special web page to keep the players informed. This page reported results, listed leaves by the players, listed any disputes and the resolutions, mentioned any special achievements by the players, and provided a list of important links to the event crosstable, the specific rules for the event, the ICCF web site, etc. Since some of this information was considered confidential to the participants I set a special code to instruct the search engines to ignore the page, so if you went to Google and did a search you wouldn't find this page. Only the players and a few officials were given the Internet address of the players' tournament news page. For those who may wish to try this the special meta code I used on the web page (to avoid revealing it to search engines) was:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

Extraordinary Story of Co-winner Tim Murray

I received a request for special leave at one point from the eventual co-champion Tim Murray. The circumstances leading to the special leave request were most unusual and certainly merited approving the request. Tim Murray is a Captain in the police force of Boston, Massachusetts and had been wounded in a shootout with criminals! Here is a quote from a message I received later from Captain Murray:

Ironically, during the shootout, there was a pause between the first two shots that he fired at my head from about four feet away while I had the two of them at gunpoint in the crawl space in the pitch dark, cavernous basement .... and the next volley of shots ... that were fired at me... where I actually got a chance to use some ...believe it or not... some Chess Thinking.

What I mean by that is ...the "If...Then" mental sequencing that many chess players use in a game. e.g. ... IF my opponent does this (makes x move) THEN I will do this; IF my opponent does this other move (makes y move) THEN I will do this., etc..

Well, during the 10 second or so lull, I had time to "figure out my next counter move"

I know this would make more sense if I can get you a sketch of the cellar -- so I will send one ASAP -- but picture in your mind or on paper a large, pitch dark, empty basement room that is 75 feet long by 25 feet or so wide and at the furthest most end of the room (from you) someone had erected two sheetrock walls and literally boxed in the corner.

Someone, perhaps a homeless person had kicked a 22 inch wide hole by 39 inches high in one of the sheetrock walls, which was just wide enough for a person to crawl through.

After I scrambled away from the opening leading into the crawl space and crouched at the intersection of Sheetrock Wall A and Sheetrock Wall B --

I planned my next chess move or counter move --

1. I reasoned that IF the shooter shoots through Sheetrock Wall A -- to hit me, THEN I would I would move to my right and shoot through Wall B to get him
2. I reasoned that IF the shooter shoots through Sheetrock Wall B -- to hit me, THEN I would I would move to my right and shoot through Wall A to get him

Then it popped into my head -- another variation or move that he might try...

3. I wondered what my countermove should be IF he crawled out of the crawl space FIRING and just as that option popped into my head, the Shooter stuck his arm holding the gun out of the crawl space and fired at me....!!!!

Here is an excerpt from the Boston Daily News for October 14, 2005:

BOSTON -- When Boston Police Capt. Timothy Murray shined his flashlight on a glowering, gun-toting kidnapping suspect in a cramped, dark basement corner a year ago yesterday, he knew he was risking his life.

But despite exchanging bullets with the man that day, Murray, a North Walpole resident, made it out alive, and kept a cool-enough head to control the situation.

His quick thinking and bravery earned him the 2005 George L. Hanna Memorial Award Medal of Honor, the highest award any police officer can receive in the state. He, along with 42 other officers, received awards at a special ceremony at the State House last week.

...

Murray, a self-described "street cop," put in eight years in the city's homicide department prior to going to District 3, and seven years with the undercover drug unit before that.

On Oct. 13, 2004, officers in his district were hunting two kidnapping suspects after they had released the victim.

Murray joined officers sweeping through the neighborhood near Wales Street on foot, after chasing and catching up with a gray car police believed was the getaway vehicle in the kidnapping earlier in the day.

Murray said he decided to double back alone to get a police dog to help track the suspects. By then, the sweep had moved more than a couple of blocks from where the car was.

Murray ran into Sgt. John Ford, who would also be decorated for what happened that day, and they entered a brick Esmond Street duplex.

The two worked their way through the semi-darkness, when Murray noticed a small alcove in the back corner of a room.

Murray found an opening,where he quickly spotted one man holed up inside, the man's gun apparently out of reach.

Murray crouched, his head just inside the alcove opening, the entrance to the basement room to his right. He shouted to the man, while Ford called for help and went to check the rest of the basement for the other suspected kidnapper.

Murray found the other man, huddled farther inside the alcove. After shouting at both to come out, Murray said they made their move. One pushed some debris to distract him, while the other pulled out a .40-caliber pistol and shot from less than 10 feet away.

Murray felt the first bullet breeze by his forehead. A second one grazed his right arm and hit a metal pipe, sending debris into his face and cutting his neck. He was temporarily deafened by the gun's report.

Murray jumped back, hurting his ankle. Shooting back at the suspect wasn't an option because a stray bullet could have wounded one of his own men.

The armed suspect came out and fired twice again. Murray shot back three times, the first time in his career he had fired at a suspect.

For an instant, Murray said, the world slowed down.

"The gunsmoke got so thick, I couldn't see him from the waist (up)," Murray said. "I said, 'What's all this fog?' I thought that must be what happens when you die."

In that instant, Murray said he could only think of his two sons, Donny, 13, and Ryan, 5.

Murray's three shots had hit the gunman in the legs, knocking him to the floor. At that moment, Murray said, other officers stormed into the room and took both men into custody.

Sgt. Tim Torigian, a fellow Walpole resident who was among the backup officers that day, later spoke to Murray about what happened.

"He was more concerned with how the patrolmen were. That's how he is," Torigian said.

Today, Murray has recovered from his wounds, but he still has some hearing loss in his right ear, the one that was closest to the suspect's gun.That hasn't scared Murray into hiding behind a desk. Just last week, the night before the award ceremony, Torigian said, Murray once again went into a basement with one other officer, again looking for an armed suspect.

Captain Tim Murray with fellow officer, father and son
Captain Tim Murray (middle) with a fellow award-winning officer, his father and his son Donny

Special Postal/Email Service to Players

This was a postal event, with a number of players using email. As frequently happens in events like this there were a few misunderstandings and some problems with postal service. I had previously heard from ICCF Honorary President Alan Borwell of a service of providing a "node" for postal players. I believe his example was of the "node" being a volunteer within a player's country. He would receive the move by postal and email it along to a "node" in the opponent's country. There the move would be forwarded to his opponent. I may have the details wrong, but I used this concept this way. I received a postal move from player "A", scanned it, and emailed the scan to player "B". Player "B" would respond by email, I would print out the email, and then I would mail the printout to player "A". This served several purposes:

  1. Speeded up the game by reducing transmission time.
  2. Eliminated postal delays due to perceived postal problems.
  3. Eliminated a source for mistrust, since the TD was monitoring the transmission of moves.
  4. Allowed the TD to be fully informed of the progress of the game.

I would consider this TD involvement as a success, since it did indeed eliminate problems and led to elimination of complaints and slow games. This process was used in three different games involving players without email access. Of course, as they say "every good deed is punished". I unwisely instructed another pair of players to use this method to resolve complaints about slow postal transmission and possible cheating with dates, etc. One of the players took this as an insult and accusation of cheating by him. I recognized my error in trying to force this solution on the players and withdrew my instructions. The opponent was very understanding and in the end the game finished normally without any problems. I discovered it was often good for a TD to be pro-active in resolving problems, but sometimes it is possible to be too pro-active.

Controversy!

What would any major event be without a bit of controversy to spice things up?! When the final results were in I announced co-champions for this event. I was immediately attacked in a public forum for not following the announced rules of the event. Indeed, the start document for this event specified the following:

This tournament is the "Continental Championship" for the NAPZ. This means that the first and second place finishers advance to the World Championship 3/4 Finals. Ties shall be resolved using the Sonnenborn-Berger method.

I interpreted this to mean that ties for the qualifications to advance to the World Championships would be broken by S-B if required. I personally see no purpose in applying an arbitrary system of tie-break unless it is totally necessary. My judgment was that there was no reason to break a tie for the title of champion. Fortunately, there was also no need to break a tie for the final WC qualification spot since there was no tie for the third qualification position (the start document mistakenly specified two places, when actually the top three places qualified). It is, of course, possible to interpret the start document differently. I suppose this is an example of what is popularly referred to as "TD Bingo", meaning it is a matter of chance which way your particular TD will interpret an unclear rule.

My philosophy of Tournament Directing

Directing a tournament is like many other chess jobs. When possible it is nice to make the effort to go a little beyond the normal service provided to the players. There are certain necessary things that must be done ... keep track of results and record them for rating purposes, settle disputes, make decisions and award penalties where appropriate, confirm title norms, etc. But there are other things that can be done to make the tournament experience better for the players (and even more fun for the TD). I would encourage TDs to be creative and look for opportunities to do something extra. Make the event a little more special, if possible. Of course, if you have many events (and are also playing many games or are very busy at work or with family) it may not be possible to do the extra things, but by all means give it some thought.

NAPZ Archive

Some National Federations and ICCF Zones have their own web pages where they can maintain an archive for their events. The NAPZ archive is hosted at the ICCF-U.S. web site. The NAPZ Crosstables Archive contains links to crosstables and the NAPZ Games Archive provides databases of games for download. For the crosstable page for this event go to 4th NAPZ Championship crosstable. A complete collection of the games are available in the games archive. I particularly recommend the game between the co-champions which had an exciting finish, particularly for a drawn game. For the reader's convenience I'll provide the raw game score here, which you can copy&paste into your database. Note this was one of the games where the TD served as a "node" so I got to follow the exciting finish move by move, one of the perks of being a TD! This was the last game completed in this event, a grand way to finish.

Murray,T (2573) - Tomizawa,T (2419) [E81]
4th NAPZ Championship ICCF, 15.05.2002
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 c5 8.dxc5 dxc5 9.e5 Nfd7 10.f4 Nc6 11.Nf3 f6 12.e6 Nb6 13.Bxc5 Bxe6 14.Qe2 Bf7 15.0-0 Qc7 16.Kh1 Nd7 17.Ba3 Qxf4 18.Nd5 Qb8 19.Rad1 Re8 20.Qf2 e6 21.Nc3 Nde5 22.Nxe5 Qxe5 23.Ne4 Red8 24.Bc2 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 f5 26.Nd6 Rd8 27.c5 Qf6 28.Bb3 Qg5 29.Re1 Bd4 30.Qf3 Be5 31.g3 Qe7 32.Ba4 Nd4 33.Qg2 b5 34.Rxe5 bxa4 35.Qd5 Nb5 36.Qf3 Qf6 37.Qe3 Nxa3 38.bxa3 Be8 39.Nxe8 Rxe8 40.c6 Kf7 41.Kg2 Rc8 42.Qa7+ Qe7 43.Qxa6 Qd8 44.Qc4 Qd6 45.Rc5 Qd2+ 46.Kh3 Rc7 47.Rb5 h5 48.Rb7


After 48.Rb7

48... g5 if 49.Rxc7+ Kf6 50.Rf7+ if 50...Kxf7 51.c7 Kf6 52.Qxe6+ if 52...Kxe6 53.c8Q+ -


Original Tournament Director: IA Maurice Carter
Tournament Director (after July 2002): IA J. Franklin Campbell
Start Date: 15 May 2002
Original End Date: 15 November 2004
Actual End Date: 26 December 2006

Co-champions 1st-2nd
3rd Place
4th Place
Captain Tim Murray (USA)
Tim Murray (USA)

Takanori Tomizawa (JPN)
Jason Bokar (USA)
Jason Bokar (USA)
Edward Duliba (USA)
Edward Duliba (USA)

Title Norms Earned

GM Title norm 10.5
580038 Tomizawa, Takanori - JPN (12 points)
511491 Murray, Timothy J. - USA (12)
511009 Bokar, Dr. Jason - USA (10.5)

SIM Title norm 8.5
511282 Duliba, Edward P. - USA (9.5)
590039 Wang, Mong Lin - SIN (8.5)
510692 Edwards, Jon - USA (8.5)

IM Title norm 7.5
90173 Ruben, Gary - CAN (7.5)

World Championship Qualifications Earned
ICCF WC Candidates Tournament

580038 Tomizawa, Takanori - JPN (1st-2nd)
511491 Murray, Timothy J. - USA (1st-2nd)
511009 Bokar, Dr. Jason - USA (3rd)

4th North America/Pacific Zone Championship TD Campbell, J. Franklin
Category 8 GM=10 SIM=8 IM=7 LGM=5 LM=2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Score SB Place
1 580038 JPN IM Tomizawa, Takanori 2419

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

12

75

1-2

2 511491 USA   Murray, Timothy J. 2573

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

12

74

3 511009 USA   Bokar, Dr. Jason 2437

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

10.5

59.5

3

4 511282 USA IM Duliba, Edward P. 2545

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

9.5

56

4

5 590039 SIN SM Wang, Mong Lin 2418

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

8.5

48.5

5-6

6 510692 USA IM Edwards, Jon 2549

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

8.5

47

7 90173 CAN   Ruben, Gary 2401

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

7.5

40.75

7

8 380027 NZL IM Freeman, Michael 2397

0

0

1

1

7

42

8-9

9 30069 AUS IM Barnett, Dr. J. Clive 2447

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

7

31.5

10 90079 CAN   Saunders, Steve 2521

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

6

29.75

10

11 90152 CAN   Deidun, Joseph (sen) 2354

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

5

26.25

11

12 511025 USA IM Miettinen, Kristo S. 2396

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

4.5

16

12

13 511448 USA   Sheynberg, Yuliy 2352

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

3.5

16.75

13-14

14 510257 USA   Remus, Horst 2198

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

3.5

14

15 510822 USA IM Conover, Wayne 2455

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

15


(crosstable based on original table at ICCF webserver http://www.iccf-webchess.com/)