Members Spotlight

American Legion Petaluma Spotlight is on Thomas Boyd

The Texas Armed Forces and Military Veterans Open Chess Championships held in Hillsboro Texas on September 29 & 30 2018. Almost as many words in the title of the chess tournament as there were players (18). A nice event and the title should make it clear there were no kids, well almost, but in this event the kid was about 35.

Thomas Boyd American Legion Spotlight chess logo

Some Interesting Aspects

  • None of the 18 (16 men, 2 women) appear to have been Vietnam veterans. They were veterans of Dessert Storm and the Gulf Wars since along with those who served in Korea and Germany.
  • Three, including the two women players, were playing in their first or second tournament. Appears was on their bucket list to play rated chess. Two of them I beat which was regrettable for all of us. I show and expect no mercy over the chess board. The games were poor. The disaster would be similar had I taken up golf. I hope they continue to play chess. At least no tears here.
  • There were tears (mine) in my loss to the kid as I was up a piece but got in time trouble and rushed. Bummer.
  • I did draw with the tournament director (TD) the only one I played who was older and also rated higher than me, and again being in time trouble I offered the draw while slightly better.
  • My score of 2 1/2- 1 1/2 did get me award for being the best player from California. It helped that I was the only player from California.
  • I also got the Route 66 award for  longest distance as Hillsboro is 1,792 miles from Petaluma. Thank you Southwest Airlines.
  • The officers, retired and active, rated higher and played better than the enlisted men, retired and active. I guess I should have gone to officers school and if I had survived Vietnam I would be playing better chess now.
  • The TD, retired Army major, must have been a Boy Scout leader when younger as  he managed to give an award to every player. He also provided free lunches. It was a nice well run friendly event.
  • Hillsboro is 70 miles from Dallas Love Field and 33 miles from Waco. The funny thing is that tomorrow I will again be landing at Love Field and will be driving to Waco.
  • Hillsboro has four museums and over 30 churches for less than 9,000 people. A nice old community, largely vacant downtown, but it has a Walmart ( did that help  cause the vacant downtown ?).


Have a hobby, have a bucket list, have fun


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