Kovalic wins Jackson chess tournament

March 4, 2009
Jackson Sun – Jackson, TN, USA

Jackson Chess Club’s first Winter Open Tournament winner is Dr. Jeff Kovalic.

“He’s one of the strongest players in the area,” club and tournament organizer Brad Smith said of the radiation oncology director at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

Kovalic said he learned the game from his father and played as a youth before focusing on college, family and career. “I took up the game again a year ago,” he said.

“The fun thing about chess is the pure logic. There’s no luck to the game,” Kovalic said. “I’ve always been drawn to it.”

According to the universal point system for rated players, the doctor is at 1,894. He’s an A player. Expert level starts at 2,000.

Grandmaster is the Olympic gold-medal standard for chess.

Smith explained that points are a lifelong tally. “You can lose in one game what you gained in six months,” he said. “Out of all the active tournament chess players, the majority are C players.”

“Points earned in a tournament depend on the points of your opponent,” Kovalic said.

Earning 100 points could take a year for a successful player. “It takes a lot of work, a lot of skill” to move up in ratings, he said.

One of Kovalic’s favorite players to study is Magnus Carlsen of Norway. He earned grandmaster status in 2004 at age 13 and is recorded as the third youngest to reach that level. With 2,776 points at the start of 2009, Carlsen was No. 4 in the world.

Here is the full article.

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