An amateur event sham
By David R. Sands
February 23, 2008

The U.S. Amateur Team East, the Parsippany, N.J., tradition that usually is one of the year’s most popular and spirited events, left an unpleasant aftertaste this year.

The East event, held last weekend, once again set an attendance record, with more than 1,200 players competing on 291 teams from up and down the Atlantic Coast. There were the usual outlandish team names (No Longer Searching for Bobby Fischer took top honors) camaraderie and competition.

However, this year’s winner, GGGg, won all six matches employing a lineup of three grandmasters (Zviad Izoria, Eugene Perelshteyn and Roman Dzindzichashvili) and 5-year-old (yes, that’s right) Stephen Fanning. Young Fanning’s microscopic 178 rating helped get the squad below the mandatory maximum team average rating of 2200, but the whole setup simply is not in the spirit of such a populist event.

No one broke the rules, but it would be nice to see some changes next year (just two GMs per team, perhaps) to keep the event competitive for those without international titles.

Here is the full article.

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