36th Annual Eastern Open: A Chess Celebration (Dec. 27-30)

WashingtonDCby Dora Leticia

All Photos and Article by Dora Leticia

As many prepare to ring in the New Year with family, friends and an onslaught of parties…there are still those who prefer to end the year with a chess tournament at our nations capital, Washington, D.C.!

WhiteHouseby Dora Leticia

About the 36th Annual Eastern Open:  A Heritage Event

Where? Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel, Thomas Circle, 1400 M St. NW, Washington, DC.

Organizer - Tom Beckman – Info only, tombeckman@rcn.com
Tournament Directors – NTDs Michael Atkins and Ernie Schlich

$17,000 Unconditionally Guaranteed PrizesOver 60 Prizes
Class prizes for each 100 points!

Schedule:

  • Sunday 12/27: 1pm & 7:30pm
  • Monday 12/28: 11am & 6pm
  • Tuesday 12/29:  11am & 6pm
  • Wednesday 12/30:  10am & 4:30pm

This year the 36th Annual Eastern Open has rocked our nations capitol!  But, I can’t help but think that something else, something bigger is at play here…and I don’t mean the prize money.

Coming together in our nation’s capitol at the end of a year to play competitive chess means more than the obvious….just look, pay attention…and observe.

The look on a players face during a morning coffee run (prior to game play)…the complete absorption in their own thoughts as they prepare for what could be a win…or a win…because as someone most of us know always says:

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“Even when we lose, we win.” – Beatriz Marinello.

You may even come across a player with a slight fear of dogs, even small ones…and even if he has a bigger bite when it comes to chess, well, dogs can be scary.  You know who we mean Mr. Lenderman. ; – )

A chess tournament that draws young and older players alike, whether they travel alone or accompanied by friends and family, they share a common sentiment – love for the game.

AND I MEAN L-O-V-E, LOVE.  These are high playing, chess loving beings!

Recently, I read a book called “The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved” by Mario Livio and found a section titled, “The Rules of the Game”.

In this section there is a quote by the man who was nicknamed “Darwin’s Bulldog”, Biologist, Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95).

“The chess board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature.  The player on the other side is hidden from us…”

According to the book’s author, “today’s physicists would like the laws of nature not only to represent the rules of the game, but also to explain even the existence and properties of the chessboard and the pieces themselves!”

But, the board and the pieces don’t play themselves…and as our chessplayers wander the halls of the Westin lost in thought, or analyze their games after play to try to determine what went wrong, or bask in the glory of a battle won, or simply are just dying to get something to eat after hours on end of a grueling chess match.

Where do the holidays go and how are they celebrated for these chess beings?

And then I see….Chess is their celebration! Chess is their glory, it’s their need, their balance, their life!

What better way to welcome and celebrate the New Year than in doing what we love?

As this event is wrapped up as well as many others being held across our great country – we at the U.S. Chess Trust would like to wish you and yours a very happy and safe New Year!

Check out the 36th Annual Eastern Open photo gallery below and stay tuned for final standings!

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