An Open Letter to the NCCA

I am again honored to have won the North Carolina Grand Prix for 2011. This makes me a repeat Grand Prix winner and I look forward to vigorously trying to three-peat. I thank the North Carolina Chess Association, tournament directors, and the wonderful NC chess community for making this year's Grand Prix just as enjoyable as last years.

Chess Central again has supported the North Carolina Grand Prix with a $200 gift certificate. I have thoroughly enjoyed searching through their website trying to satisfy my chess needs for books, software, and chess sets. I selected the beautiful Classic Chess Set, which I will use as my standard tournament chess set. Each wooden piece is weighted and feels great. Chess Central delivered my chess set through the mail in only two days. Ordering chess stuff with Chess Central was really easy and quick. I certainly appreciate their support with the 2011 North Carolina Grand Prix.

The 2011 Grand Prix was understandably overshadowed by the fantastic results of the NC Open and the buzz from visiting Grandmasters & International Masters. But I was excited about chess throughout the year. I must have looked at the Grand Prix excel spreadsheet several times after each chess event. I had to keep a close eye on Joshua Taylor who took second place and first place in the most games played (92 games). The surprise contender was Viktor Zenkov who took fourth place overall and applied some pressure to Philip Billings for third place. I played 80 games to just hold on to second place in the most games played category. Walter High, last year's most games played winner finished strong with 72 games played. I believe there is a correlation between games played and the rating system. Take note of the players who play the most tournaments and their ratings. The more games played the more rating points, and the stronger they become.

Hope to see you all in 2012.

FM Ronald Simpson