Friday, February 12, 2010

USATE 2010

Like many of you, I will be playing in the Teams this weekend: "The 40th Annual World Amateur Team & U.S. Team East - Ruby Anniversary" at the Parsippany Hilton to be precise.  I will be the alternate on my usual team (as in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009), which I am hoping will be called "Kenilworth A," though team captain Steve Stoyko threatened to enter us as "Grumpy Old Men."   He was grumpy about the club no longer sponsoring teams, but equally grumpy that my age made it impossible for us to qualify for the Grumpy Old Men "Seniors" prize.  I may just bow out for someone older next year.

The US Amateur Teams East (or USATE) is the only event I play in each year, but with young kids (ages 3 and 7) at home it's tough to make it even to this "Tournament for the Rest of Us" without some guilt.  My team has always been among those in the chase for the title, and I think that's what draws me back every year.  Plus, it is just such a great event and all my chess friends will be there.  But next year I might just visit and take my kids. 

One note of warning: there have been several local reports of Norovirus (a.k.a. Norwalk virus or "stomach flu") affecting people at the same location -- including at the New York Times company cafeteria and a Rutgers dorm where 55 students got ill a couple weeks ago.  I'm sure these stories are just the tip of the iceberg (the Rutgers one was just in the campus paper so you are not going to hear about it online and most people just suffer in silence).  At USATE a few years back, there was clearly a similar outbreak.  I think it's about time that the tournament directors followed the example of many public institutions and made hand sanitizer available for everyone.  After all, who knows who has been touching that piece you just captured.... 

Update: The USCF website offers a nice preview of US Amateur Team events: see "Amateur Team Weekend Approaches."



Blogger DACarrelli said...

At the National Chess Congress, one of my young opponents put a captured pawn is his mouth. Of course it was my set. Break out the purell!

Fri Feb 12, 01:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger katar said...

DACarrelli, i hope it was not a poisoned pawn!

Fri Feb 12, 05:33:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hand sanitizer does not kill Norovirus. You need to wash with soap and water.
-Infectious disease specialist

Mon Feb 15, 10:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

Now you tell me... :-)

Mon Feb 15, 11:44:00 PM EST  

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