Team photo

by admin on February 24, 2012

I just got a comment on my previous post asking if I could put up a picture of my winning team at the USAT-W. It just so happens that Steven Gaffagan sent me an e-mail this morning with a picture! This was taken on his cell phone, so the quality is not too great. Robin and I are blurred, and I can tell you that Robin doesn’t look anything like he does in this picture. Nevertheless, you asked for it …

Forfeit by Disconnection, 2012 U.S. Amateur Team West champions.

Left to right: Robin Cunningham, Dana Mackenzie, Steven Gaffagan, Julian Chan, Todd Rumph.

There will be a much better photo in Chess Life, but you’ll have to wait a while for that.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt February 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Congratulations on you and your team’s stellar performance, Dana!

I was originally going to play in the USATW this year but decided against it in the end. It’s just too far to travel from southern California. Perhaps next year it will be back in SOCAL but I suspect I’ll have to wait until 2014 (rumor has it AZ wants it next year).

My performance in the USATW over the last few years has been rather a mixed bag. My team won the U2000 prize in 2007 and I think I went undefeated in 08 or 09. However, since then I’ve developed a knack of having horrific first rounds, losing to players rated hundreds of points lower than me in 2010 and 2011. Last year was the worst. We were all experts and outrated our opponents by 200+ pts on every board. I think they were rated 1800, 1700, 1600, 1500, or something like that. Both myself (on board 4) and my board 2 team mate contrived to lose our games and it was honestly one of the most embarrassing moments in my chess playing career. The only saving grace was that at least we got a slightly easier pairing for round 2!


jello February 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Team chess is really something different. I have a lot of respect for players who compete in these kind of events.

I can usually handle my nerves ok when its just me against the guy on the other side of the board, but when you introduce the expectations and hopes of fellow chess players – especially friends, that is one heck of a pressure cooker. I’ve tried, but its just too much. As a fan these are great events to watch and enjoy though. Am really looking forward to the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul later this year.

Anyway, congratulations once again, and good luck in the playoffs!


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