Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship 2008 Sunday, Mar 30 2008 

Fourteen college students representing five schools participated in this year’s Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship held March 29, 2008 in the Beeghly Library on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Andy Jetter, a junior at the University of Cincinnati, captured first place with three wins and one draw in the four-round event. He received $100 and the individual trophy.

Tony Rotella, a senior at Case Western Reserve University, and Peter June, a sophomore at Case Western, tied for second place with records of three wins and one loss. They split $75 and Rotella received a medallion on tiebreak as the top Class A player.

Philip Green, a sophomore at Ohio University, Jeff Lindquist, Ohio State, and Jason Gordon, a graduate student at Ohio State, shared the $25 Class B prize money for their records of two wins and one draw. Green received the medallion on tiebreak as top Class B player.

Rick Marshall, Ohio State, received the $25 Class C prize money and medallion for his two wins and one draw.

Vikram Kirikera, University of Cincinnati, was the top Class D player. He won $25 and a medallion for his 1-3 score.

Eric DeWees, Ohio State, was the top Class E finisher with a 1.5-2.5 record. He received $25 and a medallion.

The Ohio State University won the traveling team trophy with 10 points.

Tumacacori & San Xavier Missions Tuesday, Mar 18 2008 

Tumacacori

Tumacacori

Tumacacori, visited by Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691, is now a National Historical Park located a few miles north of Nogales. In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled by the King of Spain and replaced by Franciscans. The physical remains of the mission include a small cemetery and mortuary chapel. A garden adjacent to the adobe visitor center displays plants of the mission period. During our visit we sampled a tortilla fried over a wood fire.

In Tubac, a small settlement with many shops and galleries selling local art – some very good, most very pricey – we located several restaurants, but none offering Mexican fare. We saved the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park for another visit.

San Xavier

Mission San Xavier del Bac

South of Tuscon, the Mission San Xavier del Bac, got its start when Father Kino visited in 1692. The present church, called the “White Dove of the Desert,” was completed in 1797 and continues to serve as the parish for the Tohono O’odham. The domes, carvings, arches, and flying buttresses are noteworthy examples of Spanish colonial architecture. According to one of the displays in the museum, the basic construction materials were fired bricks and sun dried adobe blocks. Large volcanic rocks from the surrounding hills reinforce the foundation. Plaster was made using sand, lime, and prickly pear cactus juice. Large mesquite trees were used for the beams and dried saguaros the ribs. A renovation project has scaffolding covering part of the exterior.

Bisbee Monday, Mar 17 2008 

Tombstone Courthouse

Tombstone Courthouse

About halfway between Tuscon and Bisbee is Tombstone, “The Town Too Tough To Die.” Walking Allen Street is a step back in time to the late 1800s. Several historic buildings are interspersed with stores catering to everything Western, especially clothing. Tombstone is the site of the O.K. Corral where the Earp-Clanton gunfight took place on October 26, 1881.

Lavender Pit

Lavender Pit

Bisbee is nestled in the foothills of the Mule Mountains in southeast Arizona, not too far from the Mexican border. Its early claim to fame was mining, especially copper mining. We donned battery-powered lamps and hopped on a mine car for an underground tour of the Queen Mine, one of five copper mines in the area. Our tour guide, a former miner, told us that more than 120 miles of mine are beneath Bisbee. Later, we drove to view the giant layered hole known as the Lavender Pit, an awesome sight. Bisbee is now home to numerous art galleries and studios. The charm of an elegant hotel, the Copper Queen, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, gave us a sense of life at the turn of the twentieth century. Originally built with 70 some rooms (without bathrooms), it now offers 48 unique rooms (with bathrooms). Although we did not experience any unusual occurrences that might stem from a ghostly visit, we did enjoy the ambiance that comes with being in the midst of Old Bisbee. This downtown area has specialty shops that sell antiques, assorted crafts, jewelry, and Western items. Our walk up the hill allowed us to experience first-hand the narrow streets and winding stairways. A local brew, David’s Electric Industrial Pale Ale (a new definition for IPA), was refreshing after navigating the steep slopes. Bisbee is worth a visit.

Sabino Canyon Sunday, Mar 16 2008 

Sabino Canyon Cardinal

Sabino Canyon

Within the Santa Catalina Ranger District, Sabino Canyon is located on the edge of Tuscon’s expanding urban residential development. Outstanding scenery abounds, featuring steep rock cliffs on either side of Sabino Creek. The Sabino Canyon shuttle bus traveled only to stop number 3 at 1.6 miles. We walked to the end of the paved road, stop number 9, at 3.7 miles and then returned to the Visitor Center. The water in Sabino Creek was flowing nicely, including over the roadway on three of the nine stone bridges. The road and bridges were built as a Civilian Conservation Corporation and Works Progress Adminstration project. The funds dried up in 1934 before completing the road or building a dam. Although we didn’t see a mountain lion, there were warnings about the dangers of an encounter. We did spot a northern cardinal whose bright red plumage contrasted with the Sonoran Desert hillside. This area merits a return trip to explore more of the trails in Sabino Canyon and to visit the Bear Canyon Trail.

Ides of March Mini-Swiss 2008 Sunday, Mar 9 2008 

The so-called Blizzard of 2008 and a Level 2 Emergency in Delaware County discouraged most area chess players from playing in this year’s Ides of March.  Nevertheless, four hardy souls ventured out to play chess.  Bobby Fischer, who was born on March 9th, would have approved of the fighting chess; there were no draws in this event.  Jason Gordon, a graduate student at The Ohio State University, won all three of his games in the quad and took home $50.  Roy Dotson, Marysville, Sam Valerius, a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Tom Wolber, a faculty member at Ohio Wesleyan, tied for second place and split $25 for their efforts.