2014 Jack Frost Grand Prix

As part of its series of special, one-day Grand Prix tournaments, the Roanoke Valley Chess Club held its Jack Frost Grand Prix on February 15. The event was the first that the club has held at the lovely Westhampton Christian Church. The church is exactly 12 blocks due south on Grandin Road from the chess club's headquarters at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op. This site is probably the nicest that we have ever been in. The playing room had comfortable chairs, a sound-baffled ceiling and several couches and easy chairs for players to relax in between rounds. It has a small but very nice kitchen. We also had access to a large room for casual analysis and our book sale. It was very quiet and very comfortable.

The Officers were so impressed with the site that we are going to host the Walter Muir Memorial there on Saturday, April 26th.

We almost didn't hold the Jack Frost at all due to a heavy snowstorm that hit the Roanoke Valley on Thursday and Friday. Nonetheless, 10 brave and enthusiastic chess players showed up ready for battle. Tournament Director Ray Megginson brought coffee and hot chocolate for the players. Rusty Potter brought more of the same when he came by to help on the evening shift. Mike Huff and Ray did a GREAT job of packing sets, books, posting flyers and crosstables, setting up chairs, etc. etc. from early in the morning until we left the church around 9pm.

A perennial winner of many of our Grand Prix events is veteran tournament hound Felix Mc Cain. Felix did not disappoint this time either, winning clear first in the tournament. He pocketed $125.00 for his efforts ! There was a pile up for 2nd-3rd place, with no less than 4 players tying for this prize. The winners were Gilbert Stone of West Virginia, Bob Mahan of Montgomery County, Wally Lewis of Roanoke and John Parker of Salem.

Bob Mahan is organizing rated tournaments at his home and welcomes enquiries about people wanting to play in them. John Parker had his best rated event ever, winning a passle of rating points. Wally Lewis and his son Josh, are recent arrivals to the Roanoke Valley from Pa. They are both very enthusiastic players. Josh is only 11 years old and already shows lots of promise for the future.

The club sold about $20.00 of its used books, which included some real bargain classics on strategy and the endgame.

Ray Megginson did an able job as T.D. He and Mike Huff deserve Kudos big time for their efforts on this cold and snowy day !

In conclusion, we would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to the kind folks at Westhampton Christian Church for their virtually ideal site for this event.

(Report Submitted by the Officers)