USA Table Tennis

History of USA Table Tennis Volume 12

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX 

1983: Danny Seemiller/Insook Bhushan Win $8,975 Duneland All-American Closed. 1983: November Tournaments. 

            Bll and Liz Hornyak’s $8,975 Michigan City Duneland All-American Closed, held as usual in Michigan City, IN over Halloween weekend, and sponsored by the local News-Dispatch, continued its run as one of the country’s best half-dozen annual tournaments. Tom Wintrich, also covering the tournament (SPIN, Dec., 1983, cover+), quoted Connie Sweeris as saying, “You can’t help but come to this Duneland tournament because the organizers are so friendly. Bill Hornyak is the friendliest of all and his sincerity in providing a players’ tournament cannot be matched.” Bill urged that all players and officials “write a short note of appreciation to the Michigan City News-Dispatch, 121 W. Michigan Blvd., c/o George Averitt, Michigan City, Indiana 46360 for sponsoring the previous Duneland All-American tournaments. Please let George know you’d participate in the Duneland next year, and wish all at the News-Dispatch an especially Happy and Prosperous New Year.…If the response is very good,” says Bill, “I’m sure we’ll have a 1984 $9,000 Duneland All-American.”

            Howard Johnson’s was again the official tournament motel (with something new on the marquee this year: “Welcome Table Tennis Tourney—Seemillers, Tim B, Tom W”); and the Rogers High School Gym was again the venue. Over 250 spectator/players participated in 42 barriered-off upstairs/downstairs events—almost half of which (112 in all) offered money prizes. Bizarrely, though, the four-man Over 70’s awarded as $100 much to its 1172-rated winner—Gene Bricker over Henry Levun—as the 80-man Open did its 2470-rated quarterfinalist Rey Domingo. Perhaps for the sponsors this was ping-pong diplomacy or participatory democracy in action? On the plus side, though, most of the better players got the unusual and to-be-applauded opportunity to win prize money in the Under 2400 and Under 2300 events.

            Anyway, as we’re all beginning publicly to admit, or privately fear, table tennis doesn’t seem to be much of a spectator sport, and without prize-money incentives why should the lower-rated players, incurring considerable expenses, come and play? Or even watch—see others win hundreds of dollars? No sport, no fun, in that…is there?

            Of course it wasn’t exactly a surprise that—though Tournament Director George Brewer, Coordinator Bill Hornyak, Referee Yoshio Fushimi, and all their hard-working supporters, especially Mike Edgerton, Gene Foltz, Hank and Martine Poppe, Rob Schwark, Tom Spencer, Jim Hodson, Tim Tadros, Phil Skwiat, Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Mal Anderson, and John Read did their unquestioned best—the top players were playing their final prize-money matches before a dwindling-towards-the-end of not more than two dozen player/spectators.

            One name absent from that roll call of the tournament’s indispensible helpers was Bruce McGee, who since ’79 had helped to make the Duneland the great success it’s obviously become. Bruce died of leukemia just a few months before this year’s tournament, and, though he was missed by all, at least his spirit is remembered in the 1st Annual Bruce McGee Sportsmanship Award that this year went to Minnesota’s Phil Seidenfeld.

            The understandable priority in this 5th Annual highly popular Closed was to get all the matches played, not to conscientiously stage the final climactic ones for the most player/spectators. From the beginning, the organizers were under time pressure. Houshang Bozorgzadeh first thing Sunday morning confirmed this when he announced over the mike, “We’d like to get the matches started before anyone gets here.” Thus, all through Sunday afternoon, there was a continued flurry of matches in various events that surely tired the participants. So by round-robin finals time, almost everybody, including me, had physically or mentally left for home. But what’s the big deal anyway? For how many years—strange sport—have Seemillers & Co. closed up gyms? They try to be resigned to it.

            Open Pre-lim’s. There were only two upsets in the round robin Open Pre-lim’s. Houshang  over U.S. Junior Champ Sean O’Neill; and, since Sean advanced anyway, in the only match where one of the 42 seeded and placed players was kept out of the Draw proper, Ardith Lonnon over Larry Hodges.

            Larry, though, I have to excuse, for he had a problem—brought about by the University of Maryland’s arm-wrestling competition. (Larry’s the Under 160-pound Champ, you know). Yeah, something stayed twisted, or got twisted again, and he was off to a slow start against Ardith—was down 12-0 in the first, 14-3 in the second. “I came back, though,” he said—“gave her a battle.”

            In other Pre-lim play, NYC’s Maximo Vasquez almost did in Nap-town’s Ricky Hicks but was beaten 19 in the third. And SPIN editor Tim Wintrich lost a close 19, 24 match to Torsten Pawlowski.

            Open Consolation. Tom, Maximo, and Larry fought it out in the Consolation—with Larry being able to strong-arm down Maximo in the semi’s, but then succumbing to Tom in the final. “My forehand just fell apart,” said Larry. “And besides”—oh, does he know how to hurt a guy—“Wintrich’s countering game was so soft it just threw me completely off.”

            Actually, Larry had been a mite disturbed since arriving in Michigan City. Saturday morning he’d been having an early breakfast with Brian Masters and complaining about how the airlines had misplaced his bag (with of course all his playing clothes in it). This, I might add, was about the same time that Bill Steinle, after hearing his bag had been misplaced, had at 4:30 a.m. hustled the hour and a half back to O’Hare to trace it down and fetch it, then was on his way back to Michigan City in time for his 9 a.m. match. Brian was telling Larry half-humorously that he, Larry, ought to go out to the airport and make a scene, said that he might have a better chance of getting his bag more quickly that way. Which prompted me to suggest that surely Brian himself ought to go out to the airport and make a scene for Larry. But despite the Hodges’ ever-changing head and/or game (“I’m so erratic it’s a joke”), damned if he didn’t win the Under 2000’s from Klaus-Meinhard Geske (Under 17 runner-up to O’Neill, after getting by Harold Holzer, 21, 21).

            Boys. The Butler brothers (since players were limited in the number of events they could enter) were skipping the trophies and medals and going for the available prize money. Thus, the stand-out junior, though not just in junior events, was Iowa’s Dhiren Narotam. He won the Under 1500’s over Steven Quam, and also the Under 3000 Doubles with his dad Champak over Lee/Dennis Schimmel. Jamie Dixon took the U-1400’s from Eric Cougill but lost the U-15’s to Narotam. Dhiren also won the U-13’s, first from Dixon in the semi’s (after Jamie’d just stretched himself to the wire in a 29-27 marathon win over Randy Madrigal), and then over Dennis Hwang, runner-up in the Handicap event to Jim Butler. “My god, I couldn’t exchange like that until I was 20,” said my friend Steve Isaacson. “I was a damn good 13-year-old, and I couldn’t play anything like these kids do.”

            Narotam scored still another win, taking the U-11’s from Todd Sweeris, 5 and 2. (Will those scores be entered in Dell’s diary entries on Todd?) Though beaten quite convincingly in that final, Todd nevertheless got there with a close three-game win over Reggie Madrigal, Novice winner over Thor Truelson. U-9 Boys, stopping a family sweep, went to Sameer Uddin over Nilesh Narotam. Were the boys bigger than their trophies? You had to stand them side by side to tell.

            Girls. Showing the same kind of spirit and pride as the boys were two of the 14-entry Women’s Singles competitors—Stephanie Fox, who, in addition to winning the U-1200’s from James Sydnor, also won the Girls U-13 by besting Martha Louise Gates, U-11 Champ over M. Thomas (M.L.’s still in the U-11’s? It seems she’s been playing for 11 years). And Linda Kay Gates (no way she’d be outdone by her sister) took both the U-17’s (from Valerie Stiller) and—does it make any difference whether Linda uses hard rubber or sponge?—the U-15’s from Michelle Mantel. In both the Women’s Novice and Women’s Beginners, Rio Truelson stopped Shellie Sweeris in straight games.

            Women’s. Only Janet Szeto, in losing to Irina Shtofmahker, 19, -18, 15, put up a first-round fight in the Women’s. And only Sheila O’Dougherty, in losing to Ardith Lonnon, 15, -14, -16, put up a later-round fight. All other matches were decided in straight games. Sheila, it turns out, had been in a bus accident on the way down from Minneapolis and though not hurt had been scared and shaken up. But just a bit—for from time to time there at the Rogers School, she was holed up in a private classroom doing Physical Inventory Reconciliation work. Finally, after persistent exhausting efforts that had been going on for days, she’d finished this Honeywell job work and said, “I’m gonna get a Masters in Hospital Administration.” Meanwhile, if she isn’t working or into Pong on the weekends, she enjoys playing basketball or touch football (“Last weekend I threw three touchdown passes,” she said—“I was ecstatic!”)

            In an early-round Under 2100’s, Sheila had a tenacious 24-22-in-the-third win over Chicago’s Derek Dylag, but in the Women’s against Ardith, who, as one tournament regular was telling me, “counters as well as any man,” she couldn’t get enough spin on the ball to make her loop effective. In the final, world-class Insook of course had no 3, 11, 9 difficulty with Ardith. And of course Danny Seemiller/Insook Bhushan won the Mixed from Brian Masters/O’Dougherty two straight.

            Open 1st/2nd Rounds—Part I. Ardith’s bother, Gene, played one of the two most exciting 1st-round Open matches—just getting by Ohio’s Jim Repasy, 19 in the fifth. And Larry Thoman, as if still snarling over being replaced as U.S. Coaching Chair and suffering two defeats here—a 19-in-the-third early-round one in the U-2200’s to Ricky Hicks, and a quarter’s loss in the U-2100’s to a rampaging Cody Jones—was carrying a gun in his bag when in the Open he went out to play Jim Dixon. WATCH OU…

            It’s o.k.—don’t worry. Larry wasn’t that mad—was just having some much needed fun. His gun was the Ping-Pong II, a ray gun that, plop, plop, laser-beam triggered-out ping-pong balls. Still, he was serious—threw caution to the winds, and with a 19-in-the-fourth victory over Jim shot his way into the 2nd round.

            Here, in the top half of the Draw, the best matches were:

            Randy Seemiller’s -14, 17, 19, 18 struggle over Mike Veillette (who had a nice win over Lim Ming Chui in the U-2400’s, but then lost a 27-25 killer in the third to Houshang).

            Dell Sweeris’s four-gamer over Simon Shtofmakher. Said Dell, “It’s getting so it’s actual practice to practice” with son Todd—and one has to believe him, else how account for Dell reaching the final of the U-2300’s?

            And Jim Lazarus’s win in four over the lean and hungry-looking Bohdan Dawidowicz.

            Age/Class Events. In the Over 40’s, Bohdan had to recover from the early shock of being down 16-4 in the first to Norm Schless. But after that—as if following John Dichiaro’s example of a high-minded win over Hugh Shorey—he did just fine. In the semi’s, he knocked off Harry Deschamps, U-60 winner over Bruce Ackerman and U-50 winner over me, Tim Boggan. And in the final he disposed of Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Hardbat Champ over Brandon Olson. Houshang had severe -4, -16 problems trying to read Bohdan’s racket-flipping serves. However, he’d damn well not only just (-21, 20, 18) pitty-patted past me in the semi’s, but had also beaten me, 22-20, in the number of matches played over the weekend. The Over 40’s U-1800 went to Robert Miller over Joe Bujalski.

              Regarding Bozorgzadeh, though, I note that John Allen, U-2100 winner, helped by his serves, over Bobby Powell, avenged his loss in the Open to Houshang by downing him in the U-2200’s. John, who worked for a travel agency and so wangled a 75% discounted airlines ticket to Japan, managed, by later flying to Hong Kong and back, to change his tourist visa to a student one. Now, after his nine months table tennis sojourn to Japan, he’s majoring in Phys. Ed. at Northeastern in Boston.

            In the 2200’s, John lost a tough one, 19 in the third, to eventual winner Ben Nisbet. Said Ben, “I’ll bet I’ve won more U-2200’s than anyone in the country.” But though he had an easy final over Pandit Dean, he had plenty of 19-in-the-3rd trouble with Jimmy Butler. Jimmy won’t be 13 until mid-February—but here he outlasted Baber, Boggan, Cameron, and Mitch Seidenfeld, who for his second-year English class at the University of Minnesota is writing a short story about it all.

            Winners in otherwise unmentioned Class events: U-4000 Doubles: Shorey/Wayne Wasielewski over Hodges/Jeff Young. U-1900’s: John Shareshian over Mark Letgers. U-1800’s: Norm Labrador over Ken Hwang. U-1700’s: Luke Gillespie over C. McCarthy. U-3400 Doubles: Mike Couch/Dwight Mitchell over Bill Mobley/Warren Moon, -20, 19, 16, then over Schimmel/Don Larson. U-1600’s: Holzer over Henry Hofacker, 19 in the 3rd. U-1300’s: C. Couch over Sydnor. Men’s Beginners: D. Grossman over Reggie Madrigal.

            Open 1st/2nd Rounds—Part II. In the bottom half of the Open Draw, there were some interesting matches. Brandon Olson came through with a five-gamer over Nisbet (and also snuck by Ben, 20, -18, 12, on his way to winning the U-2300’s).

            Under 2200 runner-up Pandit Dean (someone insisted that, no, Pandit was not from Atlanta, he was from Liberia) scored the first big upset of the tournament when in the opening round of the 2400’s he beat just-back-from-China-and-trying-to-put-it-all-together Jimmy Lane. Then in the second big upset, Dean took out Perry Schwartzberg in the Open in five. Pandit said he liked to play against Perry’s loop-and-hit exchange game, said he wasn’t in the least intimidated by Schwartzberg’s high-toss serves. Indeed, at the most crucial time—16-all, 17-all in the 5th—Pandit was fearlessly zipping in returns of Perry’s best serves. Although after winning Dean said he was “smarter” now than in years past, more “composed” now, I’m inclined to believe it’s his strong desire, his intensity, often voiced at the table, that allows him to win.

            Schwartzberg, Wintrich said, “was not pleased with his play nor with the ‘play’ of the Nissen tables, which had a frustrating tendency to cause the ball to bounce up more than out, therefore disrupting the timing of normal topspin rallies.” And yet to me, Perry, not Pandit, seemed the more composed of the two—though, oh, in our Hard Rubber match he did get a little upset at me, and I at him [Why?], and ex-USTTA President Charlie Disney playing on an adjacent table at both of us, especially noisy, angry me. Perry did come back from that loss to win the U-2400’s (and $300) from his Houston sparring partner/challenger Lekan Fenuyi.

            Nigerian-born Lekan’s been a four-year journalism major, a telecommunications minor, at Texas Southern. He’s into Radio Broadcasting and TV Production—did some field interviews, was a newscaster intern at his local KTSU station. For one of his courses he made a five-minute table tennis tape featuring the Southwest Byles brothers, Roberto and Ernie. Also, as a change of pace, he added a short tape of Guo Yuehua and Surbek at the World’s. The teacher liked it—which bodes well for T.T. on TV? (At this point anything might serve as a sign of hope.)

            Open Eighth’s. In the Open Eighth’s, only two matches were routine: Domingo over Sweeris and Fenuyi over Lane who, like an amnesia victim, said he just couldn’t remember how to Peking-return serve.

            Jim Lazarus fell, -20, -10, 17, -10 to #1 seed Seemiller, but that relatively good showing prompted a Chicago Net & Paddle Club partisan to say to Danny, “If you Seemillers weren’t here, Jim could do it.” To which 2493-rated B.K. Arunkumar within earshot added, “So could a lot of us.”

            Under 21 winner Brian Masters, long hair all askew, chin-to-neck, Jack-in-the-box compressed mouth contorted open (“Brian’s got a creative head,” said one admiring player), barely five-game out-maneuvered Randy Seemiller (Under 2400 conqueror of Dean and Lazarus).  According to one suspect observer, the turning point of the match came when, down 2-1 and 19-17 in the fourth, Brian got an edge. “This relaxed him—and gave him confidence.” Brian himself said, “I was psychologically bad”—was…until Randy lost 10 in a row at the start of the fifth.

            Olson, runner-up in the Hardbat after being extended into the third earlier by Kumar, gave the former Indian National a four-game hassle in the Open, as did Eyal Adini (18 in the third) back in the Pre-lim’s. Adini has this Let-the-shot-live-in-History habit of putting his thumb up after his opponent scores a good point against him.

            Jim Doney, who’d earlier beaten Lim Ming Chui in four (and Olson in the U-21’s), survived 21, -11, -19, 14, 12 against Dean—but could have lost three straight. Jim’s back from training and playing in Germany, and is now attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Exercise Physiology—that, for example, interests him more than it does me. What interested me—as I was giving my all in losing deuce in the third to him in the Under 2300’s—was, that if need be, he was qualified to give me CPR. Wintrich noted that “Jim’s shots are much stronger now,” and that he’s playing notably faster and with increasing consistency. Underlying his technical improvement is a positive mental attitude based upon his personal faith.”

            Scott Butler and Sean O’Neill played two of the closest contests possible—with (“Crack the ball, Scott,” said his coach, “don’t wimp it”) Butler winning their $100 Open match 23-21 in the fifth, and O’Neill (on a bravura serve and follow) their $50 U-21 semi’s, 19 in the third.

            Perhaps the most watched match in the Eighth’s was Ricky Seemiller, in a red USA visor, vs. Insook, repeatedly described in the South Bend Tribune and the Michigan City News-Dispatch as ‘little” and “short”—though not broomstick witch-like. In the beginning, Ricky kept pushing the ball to Insook’s backhand, not realizing at first that she was better able to pick-hit from there (later she was to miss a lot of those picks).

            With games tied at 1-1, the umpire, who’d noticed that Ricky had several times been serving a tad below the table, finally faulted him. And though Insook refused to take the awarded point (What would you do about that, Mr. Moskowitz?), Ricky was disturbed by the call. “Especially,” he said later, “no one watching the match would expect Insook ever to miss any of my serves.” Insook moved marvelously throughout, and kept changing the spin in an effort to fool Ricky and prevent him from controlling play. Insook the winner, 13 in the fifth.

            Despite practicing with Bohdan Dawidowicz four to five times a week, Insook would soon be running into stamina problems. Although she said her training for and participation in the Pan Am Games had definitely sharpened her play, she also said that in the 2400’s she had been done in by Fenuyi’s pressing attack and his ability to return all her picks.

            Open Quarter’s/Semi’s/Final. About this time the Open began moving towards a peculiarly anticlimactic end. In three of the quarter’s matches—Kumar over Downey, Bhushan over Scott Butler, and Danny Seemiller over Fenuyi, the loser could not get 40 points total. Only Masters vs. Domingo proved interesting—and only because after losing the first two games Rey suddenly realized that unless he took the offense he probably wasn’t gonna win. And take the offense he did, killing Masters in the third and fourth games. But in the fifth Brian short-served and loop-followed better and so prevailed.

            In the round robin semi’s, Danny just destroyed Insook. “If you can get through her, then she’s easy,” he said. “If you can’t get through her”—and here he might have been looking round at Ricky—“then you can’t win.” One spectator asked, “How much can the best man in the world spot the best woman in the world—10-12 points?” Maybe. Of course, no maybes that Danny and Ricky would win the Men’s Doubles—finalists were Scott Butler/Jim Lazarus.

            Brian had never beaten Arunkumar before—but, wow, up 2-0, here was his chance. Kumie’s head, like under that warm-air dryer in the Men’s Room, was in a sweat-no sweat transition state. He was gonna start a new job—some design engineering work in New Jersey. Also, he was having second thoughts about his strict Hindu upbringing, trying to maintain that while living amid Western culture; so he was now studying, among other things, the “noble eightfold path” of Buddhism. Down 2-0 and looking at Brian’s creative head, could he—could anyone—concentrate on right belief, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right occupation, right effort, right contemplation, and right ecstasy?

            Attack—that was Kumar’s instinct. Especially when Brian used his anti. When Brian spun, Kumar had to be more forceful—else he’d keep hitting the ball into the net. And when Brian pushed, more phantom Phantom chops were called for. Gradually, Arun came back into the match. That is, he fastened together for now his inescapable chain of being—and it was Masters’ turn to go all loose. With Kumar attacking so well against him, Brian got impatient and began choosing wrong balls to hit. Long before the match had ended, Brain, frustrated and disappointed, had given up.

            Danny and his little spinning sphere against Kumar? A three-game cosmic joke—Seemiller dominant.

            Back came Brian against Insook. Somebody had said earlier that if Insook had been allowed to play she’d have won the Pan Am Men’s Singles too. Well, here was her tired chance to prove it—the Pan Am Women’s Champ against the Pan Am Men’s Champ. But damned if, as against Domingo and Kumar, Brian wasn’t up 2-0 again—and losing the next two. “If Brian gets impatient again and goes for too many winners,” someone said, “it’ll throw off his rhythm.” But meanwhile what had been happening to his rhythm the last two games? Never mind—this time Brian kept at it and won something more than a gold medal—$400 in cash.

            Against the similar defensive stylist and pick-hitter Kumar, accounting major Bhushan quickly went over her work sheets and, balancing it all out, came to the conclusion that she’d, at least initially, force the action. Then if the two of them got into a pushing match, it’d be Arun who’d be tight. But after Kumar had a first-game advantage, and though the Expedite Rule did come in (at 19-15 Arun’s favor in the second), he really didn’t feel restricted. Match to Kumar in four.

            Though no one much cared except the players involved, Seemiller still had Masters to play. Brian need to beat Danny three straight to win, needed to take two games to come second. He did neither. At Singles’ end, Danny gave an abbreviated little jig of triumph. But the mock grand-standing was lost on the small audience still there. 

November Tournaments

            Winners at the Tri-City Autumn Open: Two-Man Teams: Final: Robert Ho/Bill Popp over Vince Mioduszewski/Liana Panesko, 3-0. Semi’s: Ho/Popp over Henry Blankenship/Anthony Yu, 3-2; Mioduszewski/Panesko over Vince Asavareungchai/Mike Tam, 3-2. Team Consolation: Dan Carbo/Chris Paque over Fred Bartsch/John Fredrickson, 3-1. Open Singles: Quang Bui over Bernhard Blattel, 19, 11, 11. U-2000: Popp over Blattel, -18, 19, 16, then over Bob Andrews. U-1750: Andrews over Carbo. U-3400 Doubles: Paque/Popp over Mioduszewski/Panesko. U-1500: Walt Mioduszewski over Mike Fraher. U-2800 Doubles: Asavareungchai/Paul Johnson over Harold Fredrickson/Glenn Johnson. U-1250: Bud Owen over G. Johnson. U-1000: Kirby Parker over John Cain. Senior’s: Ho over W. Miodisjewski. Junior’s: V. Miodisjewski over Carbo.

            Jay Crystal, in reporting on the Pacific Northwest Championships (Timmy’s, Nov.-Dec., 1983, 20), began by telling one and all of the debacle regarding this tournament two years ago when teams competed from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Turns out that the Tournament Director “never bought the perpetual trophies that the $100-a-team entry fees were supposed to buy, and never paid the USTTA to get the event sanctioned. This year, however, Jim Scott urged that the tournament be held again and bought “two big shiny new trophies with plenty of room for years of champions.”

            Jay continues:

            “For me, this tournament in Oregon, a state wherein I no longer live, was something of a paradox. Up to a short time ago, I spent my whole life, including my table tennis years, in Oregon. Yet I came to this tournament the #2 player on the Washington team. I arrived at the St. Johns Racquet Club to good-natured jeers of ‘Traitor’ and ‘Scab.’ In an effort to make amends I proclaimed my allegiance to the Oregon Ducks who were playing the Washington Huskies the same day.”

            Round robin competition between the three 6-person teams from Oregon, Washington, and B.C., began with Washington squaring off against Oregon. And Jay was not too happy about the start. “Our #3 and #4 men fell in their opening matches—#3 Bob Mandel to an Oregon ringer, Hai Tran, and #4 Al Michael to Bob Rinde. Our #5 and #6 men also lost their opening matches—#5 Dave Talbot to Bill Popp, and #6 Bahman Hadi to Oregon student Adnan Alawami. Even though Quang and I won, we were still behind 4-2. In view of the Singles matches, the Doubles offered some surprises. Bui/Michael went down to Ron Carver/Alawami, but Mandel and I beat Rinde/Tran, and Talcott/Hadi stopped Popp/Judy Hoarfrost—all in 2-1 play. Oregon (5)—Washington (4).

“Though in our remaining play I would beat Judy, and Quang would beat Ron, we had to sit and squirm our way through our teammates’ matches. The first pleasant surprise was Talbot’s win over Alawami who couldn’t handle Dave’s steady controlled countering. Talbot’s backhand pips seemed to knuckle the ball back, and Adnan didn’t like that. Washington 7—Oregon 5.

“But now our #3 and #4 men again lost (my practice partners—what studs). Tie 7-7—with the one deciding match now on the line. Oregon’s Popp seemed to have control against Hadi, winning the first easily. But when he lost the second close, suddenly the match began to draw some interest. Up 20-17 in the third, Bill turned around to see some 15-20 people closely watching the play. His eyes ‘popped’ open wide and I could see the ice beginning to build around the wrist and elbow joints. [Why do I think Jay’s “using” the experienced tournament-goer Popp so as to have fun with a pun and freezing him so as to be more dramatic?] Hadi won the next three points to deuce it, then finally [Bill’s blood pulsing back] won the match 27-25. Washington 8—Oregon 7.” 

Washington went on to down B.C. 9-4, while the Canadians in turn defeated the Oregonians 10-5.

One of those big trophies Scott bought was for the Team play; the other for the Singles tournament that followed. In the top half of the draw, Bui easily advanced to the final, eliminating in his semi’s Rinde who had wins over Michael and Canadian Eric Calveley. In the bottom half, Carver “pulled out a 23-21-in-the-5th win over Talbot; and, down 2-1 to Alawami, I eventually survived, 19 in the 5th. That brought me to the quarter’s and Carver, and, though down 2-0 to an opponent I’d never turned a match around in which he was leading, I did the unexpected—won the next three games, the fifth at 19. In the semi’s, against Canadian Junior Champ Richard Chin, I was up 2-1 as he began to get leg cramps in the fourth. In spite of that he built up a big lead and hung on to win. In the fifth, he slapped some Ben-Gay on that young leg, and in spite of all my hootin’ and hollerin’ I couldn’t stop his lightning, weird-hopping forehand and couldn’t pull out the match. In the final, Quang, as expected, continued his domination of the Northwest scene.

“All the matches on the tennis court surface not only burned up a pair of my shoes (a complement to my sweating through eight T-shirts), they wasted my body. I was one hurtin’ unit that night.

“The next day was the Oregon State Championships. I would have had my best shot to win this year, with Doyle and Sears gone, had I still been living in Oregon and not so bruised up. I heard that Bryan Wright won. Way to go, Brian.”

Results of Sacramento’s Nov. 5-6 Nittaku Open: Open Singles: Khoa Nguyen over Duc Luu, 18 in the 4th, then over Dean Doyle who’d outlasted Carl Danner in five. Open Doubles: Doyle/James Therriault over Luu/Nguyen. Women’s: 1. Diana Gee, 3-0 (d. L. Gee, 18, -18, 21). 2. Lisa Gee. 3. Cindy Miller. 4. Nadine Prather. Mixed Doubles: 1. Doyle/Prather, 1-1/3-2. 2. Luu/D. Gee, 1-1/3-3. 3. K. Nguyen/L. Gee, 1-1/2-3. Senior’s: Rolf Goos over Tom Miller, 23-21 in the 4th.  U-17: Jim Garcia over Joe Lomas. U-13: Charles Hill over Eddie Weiss.

U-2000: David Chun over Therriault, 19 in the 4th. U-4000 Doubles: Gee/Gee over Ed Hu/Tien who’d advanced over Tito LeFranc/George Sanguinetti, deuce in the 3rd. U-1850: Michael Grooms over Joerg Fetzer, 15, 14, -20, 20. U-1700: Allen McDermott over Ernie Trillo. U-3250 Doubles: Miller/Bob Schanilec, 13, 13, -16, -24, 17, over Warren Amey/Al Sanada who’d gotten by A. McDermott/Jeff Wise, deuce in the 3rd. Under 1550: Schanilec over David Moon. U-1400: Peter Szeto over Greg Smith, -18, 19, 7, then over Fred Kurtz in five. U-1250: Hill over James Choy. U-2250 Doubles: Hill/David Zamora over Stewart/Leroy Yoder who’d advanced over Baxter/Leo Egel. U-1000: Zamora over Michael Hara. U-800: Tom Hughes over Chris Luck. Hard Bat: Goos over T. Miller.

Winners at the Nov. 5-6 1,000 Oaks, CA Open. Open Singles: Jimmy Lane over Marty Doss, 20, 11, -18, 11, then over Danny Seemiller, 19 in the 4th. Women’s: Lan Vuong over Kerry Vandeveer. Open Doubles: Mas Hashimoto/Mike Baltaxe over MohammadTaghavi/Richard McMillan. U-2250: Ricky Guillen over Howie Grossman, def. U-2000: Al Martz over Ferdinand Trinidad. U-1900: Mark Wedret over Tibor Racz. U-1800: Trinidad over Taghavi, 19, -17, 20, 19. U-1700: Harold Kopper over Taghavi. U-1600: Richard Friedland over Gary Whidden. U-1500: Frank Leos over Allen Blyth. U-1400: Bo Poteet over Sompong Siew in five. U-1300: Sompai Bhombuth over Ron Peet. U-1200: Bill Freeman, Jr. over Dan Johnson. Unrated: C. Burton over S. Bhongjan. Draw Doubles: Castro/Siew over Kopper/McNulty. Hard Rubber: Kopper over Loc Ngo. Senior’s: Doss over Grossman. Junior’s: Stevan Rodriguez over J. Hull.

Top finishers at the Sunflex Open, held in Corona, CA Nov. 12-13: Open Singles: Jimmy Lane over Mas Hashimoto, 24-22 in the fourth. Open Doubles: Jerry Fleischhacker/Ching-Shyue Wu over Hashimoto/Mike Baltaxe. U-2250: Tung Phan over Baltaxe, -25, 18, 15, -18, 17. U-2000: Avishy Schmidt over Bobby Fields, 17, -17-18, 20, 16. U-1900: Mark Wedret over Rodriguez. U-1800: Gayle Wickerd over Kay Hong. U-3600 Doubles: Shmuel Goshen/Harold Kopper over Richard Friedland/Widret. U-1700: Vivat Phungprasart over Friedland in five. U-1600: Darrell Fullbright over Leos. U-1400: Doohyun Won d. V. Songvanboon, 19, -7, 20, -12, 20. U-1300: Thuan V. Nguyen over Santiago Gonzales, 14, 20, -20, -19, 11. Draw Doubles: Hanna Butler/ Jim Scott over Leos/Sompong Siew, 20, 20, 17. Esquire’s U-1600: Karl Dreger over Ken Hoover. Senior’s: Marty Doss over Fields.

 Gary Hranek tells us (Timmy’s, Nov.-Dec, 1983, 21) that for the 17-event Nov. 19 San Diego Open, “we experimented with a one day format to allow more player-spectators from the lower events to view the premier players in the Open event. That is, we limited participants to only one doubles event and ran all the doubles at the same time, thus eliminating conflicts. Also, we limited players to only four singles events. As a result, the tournament progressed smoothly and we were finished by 9:30 p.m. However, though Danny Seemiller and Jimmy Lane were expected to provide the spectators with an exciting Open rematch here (Jimmy had upset Danny two weeks earlier in the 1,000 Oaks Open), that event drew a mere 10 entries, our smallest ever. And this despite $350 in prize money. That’s the last time that will happen.”

Results: Open Singles: Final: Seemiller over Lane, 20, 14, 15. Semi’s: Seemiller over Mas Hashimoto; Lane over Ricky Guillen. Women’s: Kerry Vandaveer over Pat Hodgins, -21, 19, 12. Open Doubles: Seemiller/Guillen over Hashimoto/Schwartz. U-2050: Guillen over Hashimoto in five. U-2000: Dan Banach over Godfrey Julien. U-1900: Mark Wedret over Banach in five. U-3600 Doubles: Rich Friedland/Wedret over Chris Fullbright/Gilbreath, 20, -19, 19. U-1750: Vandaveer over Bill Hodge. U-1600: Hung Nguyen (“underrated by about 400 points!”) over Friedland. U-3000 Doubles: Tran/Loi over George Moses/Davis, 19, -18, 21, 16. U-1450: Hung over Bob Cruikshank. U-1300: Cuong Tu over Moses. Handicap: Nguyen over Friedland. Senior’s: Lenny Hauer over Sam Liang, 17 in the 5th. Junior’s: Fullbright over Sean Lashgari.

In an unsigned article (SPIN, Dec., 1983, 25), we learn that a surprise visitor to the Nov. 5th Salina, Kansas Fall Tourney won the Open Singles. His name is Carl Zetterstrom, and he beat both the #1 seed Brian Thomas of Oklahoma and the #2 seed Paul Williams of Colorado. Who is this Zetterstrom? “A Swedish high school exchange student (interested in math and science but while in the U.S. is studying American History and English). His hometown is Uppsala, Sweden, and it’s perhaps there that he plays in a Fourth Division Swedish League. He’s an offensive player and uses inverted on his forehand and pips-out on his backhand. He has excellent ball control and effectively changes the pace of the rally with his pips. Zetterstrom is a gentleman at the table and his steady play should give him about a 2150 rating.”

Other winners: Women’s Singles: Carol Plato over Ruby Krehibiel. AA Singles: Paul Lykke over Terry Brechisen. A Singles: Don Haskard over Andy Eichenwald. B Singles: Zetterstrom over Ah-Wah Lai. C Singles: Charley Sumeleh over Jahanguir Kholdi. D Singles: Tunde Ajose over Kholdi. E Singles: Cher-Ming Yang over Benjamin Chan. Senior’s: Lloyd Layton over Bill Conrad.

Results of Dayton, Ohio’s Nov. 12th Gem City Open: Open Singles: 1. Bob Powell, 3-0 (d. Kilpatrick; d. Cordell, 18, 20, -19, 17; d. Dichiaro). 2. Bob Cordell, 2-1 (d. Kilpatrick, 18 in the 4th; d. Dichiaro). 3. Norman Kilpatrick, 1-2. 4. John Dichiaro, 0-3. U-2000: Andy Gad over Ken Stanfield who’d advanced by Tony Marcum. U-1800: Stanfield over Kilpatrick. U-3300 Doubles: Bill Hall/Mike Hamm over Scott Grimes/Stanfield who’d eliminated Jim Fulks/Nelson, 19 in the 3rd. U-1650: Mike Couch over Randy Cuzzort. U-1500: Hamm over Charles Weaver. U-2900 Doubles: Grimes/Keith Lander over Mike/Charles Couch, after Mike and Charles had eliminated Andy/Keith Gad. U-1350: C. Couch over Wayne Hamilton who’d escaped Bill Trivett, -13, 28, 19. U-1200: Cliff Leighty over Hamilton.

Ron Schull (Timmy’s, Jan.-Feb., 1984, 22), in giving us the winners of the Nov. 19th Columbus, Ohio Sun TV Fall Open, thanks Marcy Block of Sun Television and Appliance, whose generosity makes it possible to hold tournaments of this quality.” Results: Open Singles: 1. Ben Nisbet (d. Seemiller, 3-1; d. Powell, 3-2; d. Cordell). 2. Randy Seemiller, 2-1 (d. Powell; d. Cordell). 3. Bobby Powell, 1-2 (d. Cordell, 8, -18, -16, 19, 13). 4. Bob Cordell, 0-3.

Powell, down 2-1 to Cordell, staved off defeat with a 19 fourth game. But he had an even more exciting match with Nisbet (who in the quarter’s had downed Po Lee, 15, 17, 27, then in the round robin semi’s Seemiller, the usual Columbus winner). “Ben, down 2-1, began being able to block Bobby’s loops better and then could turn around to smash in forehands. Even off the table, though, Bobby was able to top the ball back time after time while Ben hammered away. At 16-17, Powell raised his fist after an edge. But…‘That’s a side,’ Ben exclaimed. A noticeably upset Powell said, ‘Take it,’ and didn’t score another point the remainder of the game.

“In the fifth, Powell built up a 15-9 lead with bullet-like forehand kills. But then the seemingly impossible happened—Ben got seven straight to lead 16-15, then kept up his momentum to take the match.” Ron was reminded of a previous time when Ben had Bobby 20-15 in the fifth—and lost the match. Said Ron, “They both know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Other results: Open Doubles: Rod Mount/Ron DeMent over Mark Allen/Joe Wojcik, 20, -21, 13. Women’s: 1. Lydia Balciunas. 2. Mari Weber. 3. Lori Berenson. Mixed Doubles: Nisbet/Berenson over Mark/Mari Weber. Esquire’s: DeMent over Bob Allen. Senior’s: Greg Brendon over DeMent. U-21: Nisbet over Steve Liu. A’s: 1. Cordell. 2. Jim Repasy. 3. Lee. 4. Ray Stewart. B’s: 1. Mark Weber (d. Wojcik, -15, 19, 13). 2. Ron Schull (d. Brendon, -19, 14, 19). 3. Wojcuk. 4. Brendon. U-3400 Doubles: DeMent/Ken Stanfield over Rick Hardy/M. Allen. C’s: B. Allen over Dave Samiec, 19 in the 3rd. D’s: Liu over Charles Weaver. E’s: Rich Bender over Vince Trivett who’d eliminated Scott Grimes, 19 in the 3rd. U-2700 Doubles: Weber/Weber over Tony Wenner/Bill Topich. Beginner/Novice: Dan James over Tony Albrecht. Unrated/Novice: Wenner over Larry Boss. Hard Rubber: M. Allen over Hardy.       

 Here’s Larry Thoman (Timmy’s, Nov.-Dec., 1983, 22) covering the Nov. 5-6 Memphis Open: 

“Although there was $950 in prize money for this tournament, only 44 players showed up. Thus the trend continues in Southern tournaments in recent months; Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta have all suffered low turnouts and the organizers have lost money.

“The Memphis Open was sponsored by the Bluff City TTC and the Memphis Parks and Recreation Department. Thanks to Allen Barth, Hugh Lax, Dennis Fritchie, Kenneth Gordon, and Jerry Harris, among others, it was a well-run tournament.

“I do have one complaint though. With so few entries and 12 tables, couldn’t the organizers have run round robins instead of single elimination events? Also, if all the tables had been constantly in play, probably everything except the Consolation could have been run off in a single day. [Were then only those in the Consolation to come back on Sunday?] I thought it unfair that my opponent and I had to sit around when there were open tables for us to play on. Hence I was not in accord with the Tournament Committee’s notion that play might be stretched out so there’d be enough matches for Sunday!

‘The playing conditions were fairly good [sure?]—concrete floor, rigid cardboard tables, rebuilt Diversified Products tables, o.k. lighting, and (this was nice) each court barriered off. There was also quite a lot of publicity for the tournament. Local TV acknowledged it and two newspapers sent reporters and photographers.

“In the best of the Final Four matches, Edward Poon—his loop kill positively devastating—upset Pandit Dean, 18 in the fifth. Pandit pushed so much he permitted Edward to get his loop off, and almost every time Edward looped he scored. But it was hard for Pandit to take the initiative by looping to Edward’s backhand because Edward’s block there was so solid.

“In another semifinal round robin match, Thoman beat Poon in four. ‘My backhand to his backhand was stronger—so I tried to roll his serves and get him to counter backhand to backhand. He had a lot of trouble with my serves, and also had difficulty handling my Spectol pips-out backhand. He couldn’t step out and loop because, instead of pushing as Pandit had done, I rolled the ball.

“My three-straight loss to Dean made Pandit the winner and Poon second in a three-way tiebreaker. Pandit’s play against me was superb. He insulted me by smashing my loops or drives. My backhand control game just did not work against Pandit. He told me later that he knew he had to start strong to bring down my confidence. This he did—although in the first I did catch up and even gained the ad before missing an easy backhand and losing the game.” Finishing fourth was Robert Chamoun who put up a 19-in-the-fourth fight against Pandit.

Other results: Championship Doubles: Thoman/Dean over Allen Barth/Chamoun. A’s: John Vancura over Larry Bartley, 21, -17, 24, 18, then over Keith LaFrance. A Doubles: Ed and Alex Poon over Chamoun/Mike Bortner in five. B’s: Power Poon over Jon Self. C’s: Mel Evans over Bill Mobley in five, then over A. Poon. D’s: Livingston over Tom Baudry in five, then over Kauffman, 24-22 in the fourth. Novice: Barry Burns over Marcia Prince. Hard Bat: Dennis Fritchie over Self who’d advanced over Gerald Harris, 23-21 in the third. Consolation’s: Mobley, 18 in the fifth, over Eric Barlund, after Eric had outlasted William Humphrey, 13, -19, 22. Senior’s: P. Poon over Bartley. U-21’s: E. Poon over A. Poon who’d escaped Self, 14, -20, 19, -9, 18. Junior’s: E. Poon over Coughman in five, then over Self who’d outlasted A. Poon, 14, 11, -20, -15, 15.

            As we’d seen in Chapter 15, former U.S. Coaching Chair Thoman had become quite disillusioned with the way he’d been treated by Sol Schiff/Bill Haid and said he’d retire from the sport Jan. 1, 1984. In his article on the Nov. 12th Tennessee Open (Timmy’s, Jan., 1984, 22), he announces that, due to his imminent retirement, this will be the last tournament sponsored by his Nashville Fortune Club, for it’s closing down. “The FTTC,” he says, “in offering good playing conditions and friendly competition, ran one tournament a month throughout 1983, each of them averaging 40-55 participants.”

            In the Championship Singles, Larry, seeded #2, did not make it to the final round robin. “I was upset in the pre-lims by chopper extraordinaire Jon Self from Little Rock, Arkansas. My concentration was virtually non-existent and Jon played great, winning the first at deuce after being behind 20-15 and finishing me off in the 3rd at 9 when nothing I did worked against his defense.” The #1 seed, Pandit Dean, “was his usual terrifying self, backhand and forehand looping down all the competition. Klaus Geske, a German foreign exchange student, after surviving a -21, 13, 19 threat from Nashville senior Larry Bartley, playing his best in many a month, continued to show off his good strokes by totally wiping out Self, 8, 9, 13, to claim the $60 second-place prize.” Geske, teaming with Festus Mead, also won the Open Doubles from Dean and Bill Mobley.

            Other Results: U-2000 A’s: 1. Jim Flannagan, 3-0 (d. Mead, -15, 17, 10; d. Geske, 15, 21, thus getting revenge for his loss to Klaus in the Championship Singles; d. Stephens, 14, -19, 20. 2. Geske, 2-1. 3. Mead, 1-2. 4. Mitch Stephens, 0-3. B’s: Self over Stephens in five (“Mitch stands under three feet because he has no legs and must play in a wheelchair”), then over Mead. C’s: Bartley over Fred Tabesh. D’s: Parvez Siddigi over Neil Holloway. E’s: Dennis Rountree over Phil Davis. Novice: Jimmy Miller over Bobby Greer, -19, 16, 18, then over Doug Hanson. Beginners: Wayne Pallon over Mike Vaughn. Senior’s: 1. Bartley. 2. Mead (first time ever in a Nashville tournament Festus had to settle for second place in the Senior’s).

            “In conclusion,” says Larry, “I’d like to thank all the many players who supported FTTC tournaments and who made all the hard work worthwhile. I hope ya’ll keep Nashville in mind if and when we decide to hold another tournament. I will very much miss seeing all of you, playing against you, and enjoying the camaraderie that is inevitable when a bunch of t.t. aficionados get together. Hopefully, my retirement will be short-lived. It depends largely on the outcome of the upcoming Presidential election. Goodbye.”

            Winners at the Nov. 5th Atlanta Giant Round Robin (limited to 48 players, six groups of eight—with the #1/#2 finishing players advancing from each group of six (12 players in all) to form two six-person Championship round robins, the winners of which play off for trophy and title): Championship: Group 1: (1) Pandit Dean, 5-0; (2) Pete May, 4-1; (3) William Coleman, 3-2; (4) Derek May, 2-3; (5) George Cooper, 1-4; (6) Sam Canella, 0-5. Group 2: (1) John Vancura, 4-1; (2) Dave Abbott, 4-1; (3) Jim McQueen, 4-1; (4) Mike Stowell, 2-3; (5) Warren McNeil, 1-4; (6) Don Holzworth, 0-5. Play-off: Dean over Vancura, 12, 13.

            Class A (formed not of course as the Championship Division was from the #1/#2 finishing players in the original groups of eight but from the 3rd/4th finishing players): Group 1: (1) Alford Smith, 3-1; (2) Rick Mundy, 3-1; (3) Paul Vancura, 2-2; (4) Warren Moon, 1-3; (5) Brian Kruger, 1-3. Group 2: (1) Bill Steinle, 5-0; (2) Ken Cox, 4-1; (3) Joe Mitchell, 3-2; (4) Michael Wetzel, 2-3; (5) Dwain Kitchel, 1-4; (6) James Broyles, 0-5. Play-off: Smith over Steinle, 22, -12, 14. 

            Class B (formed from the 5th-6th finishing players in the original groups of eight): (1) Ronald Drolet, 5-0; (2) Jason Wardley, 3-2; (3) Jerry Golubow, 3-2; (4) Emelindo Jacobs, 2-3; (5) Robert Brown, 2-3; (6) William Adair. 0-5. Group 2: (1) Boonyarit Anuntalbhochai, 5-0; (2) Charles Hodgins, 4-1; (3) William Davis, 3-2; (4) Keith Lewandowski, 2-3; (5) Jim Holcomb, 1-4; (6) Hugh Babcock, 0-5. Play-off: Anuntalbhochai over Drolet, 14, 16.

            CLASS C (formed from the 7th-8th finishing players in the original groups of eight): (1) Phil Davis, 5-0; (2) James Buckner, 4-1; (3) Chuck Voelker, 2-3; (4) Dean Goldgar, 2-3; (5) Nadine Lee Hing, 1-4; (6) Manfred Laubach, 1-4. Group 2: (1) Moshen Eshaghi, 5-0; (2) Anthony Cooper, 4-1; (3) Gary Davidson, 3-2; (4) Harold Smith, 2-3; (5) Arie Senerman, 1-4; (6) David Rainwaters, 1-4. Play-off: Eshaghi over Davis, 18, -18, 15.

            Larry Hodges (Timmy’s, Nov.-Dec., 1983, 24) in covering the Virginia Open, played Nov. 19-20 at McLean, says this tournament was “one of the weakest ever. I keep hinting to Tournament Director Dave Sakai that we’ve had so many round robin tournaments that some players are tired of them. Or perhaps some are just protecting their rating rather than risk a bad day in 8 or 9 hard matches.”

            Open Singles Results: 1. Sean O’Neill, 6-0. 2. Dave Sakai, 5-1. 3. Larry Hodges, 4-2. 4. Paul Rubas, 3-3. Barney Reed, 2-4. 6. Ken Weinstein, 1-5. 7. Mort Greenberg, 0-6. “Sean O’Neill breezed through the Open without losing a game. He seemed to be able to loop the ball at full power, over and over, side to side, and nothing seemed to stop it. So Sean continued to dominate local table tennis, win money, and gain rating points, while others stayed away and did none of the above.

            “Sakai beat Larry Hodges for second, 19 in the third, in a battle featuring Larry’s consistent (but slow) loops and wild smashes vs. Dave’s consistent (and fast!) blocks. Dave also had three-game trouble with Paul Rubas (who I hear just broke 2100), but won comfortably in the end. Paul, despite a last-minute charge—from down 17-8 he got to 19-all—lost to Larry, 2-0, and had to settle for fourth.

            “After the tournament I quizzed Sean on what he has to do to beat Dave. The most important thing, he says, is to try to end the point quickly by looping or smashing, since Dave is usually stronger in countering points. Although Sean smashes when he can, he mostly loops for winners. If he gets a lead he has to be careful not to throw away any points, whereas when he’s behind he doesn’t worry since he knows he can come back quickly on his serve. He always holds back on a few serves so Dave can’t get used to them, and brings them out when he needs them. Dave was a little out of practice this tournament, and so Sean said he won a lot of points by countering to Dave’s middle, getting Dave to use his backhand there, and then attacking the open backhand corner with either backhand or forehand “

            Other results: U-2200: 1. Mike Raab, 5-1/11-2. Hodges, 5-1/11-3. 3. Barney Reed, 5-1/10-4. 4. Greenberg, 2-4 [sic]. 5. Bobby Hines, 3-3 [sic]. 6. John Tebbe, 1-5. 7. Weinstein, 0-6. “In the U-2200’s, top seed Barney Reed seemed to have it almost won by beating Larry Hodges in three. But then in the last match of the round robin, Mike Raab (who’d lost to Hodges, 19 in the 3rd on an edge ball) chopped, pushed, and looped his way past a bewildered Barney, 2-0, forcing a three-way tie—with Raab the winner, Hodges second, and Reed a shell-shocked third.”

            U-1800: 1st-2nd-3rd-Place finishers: Final: Chip Coulter d. Steve Hochman. Semi’s: Coulter d. Hines, 19, -16, 10; Hochman d. Nate Sussman, 19 in the 3rd. 4th-5th-6th-Place finishers: Final: Steve Johnson d. Bill Steinle. Semi’s: Johnson d. Rick Mundy, deuce in the 3rd; Steinle d. Greenberg. 7th-8th-9th-Place finishers: R.R. 1. Jim Tinder, 2-0. 2. Wong, 1-1. 3. Van Nostran, 0-2.          

            U-1400: Final R.R.: 1. Thompson, 4-1/8-3. 2. Dana Hanson, 4-1/9-4. 3. Lloyd Tillman, 3-2/8-7. 4. Kevin Walton, 3-2/6-6. 5. David Kelley, 1-4. “Kevin Walton, rated only 1020, had so many 200-point upsets that he may pass Eric Boggan or at least break 1300.”

            Winners at the Howard County Open #2, played Nov. 12-13 at Columbia, MD: Open Singles: 1. B.K. Arunkumar, 7-0. 2. Sean O’Neill, 6-1. 3. Barry Dattel, 4-3. 4. Ha Chi Dao, 4-3 (lost to Dattel). 5. Igor Fraiman, 3-4. 6. Pat Lui, 1-6. 7. Tom Steen, 0-6. 8. Marty Ness, 0-6. U-2100: 1. Dao, 5-0. 2. Chauncey Ford, 4-1. 3. Marty Theil, 3-2. 4. Lui, 2-3. 5. Mort Greenberg, 1-4. 6. Steve Johnson, 0-5. U-1900: 1. John Wetzler, 5-2/127-125. 2. Ness, 5-2/111-111. 3. Steen, 5-2/118-120. 4. Lui, 4-3. 5. Theil, 3-4. 6. Steve Delp, 3-4 (lost to Theil). 7. Ford, 2-3. 8. Johnson, 1-6. U-1700: 1. Yvonne Kronlage, 4-2. 2. Selwyn Persad, 4-2 (lost to Kronlage). 3. Warren Wetzler, 3-3/5-2. 4. Steve Kong, 3-3/4-3. 5. Erich Haring, 3-3/2-4. 6. James Clark, 3-3 [sic]. 7. Don Piper, 1-5.

            U-1500: 1. Irving Goldstein, 8-0. 2. Haring, 6-2. 3. Horst Zodrow, 5-3. 4. Ben Ebert, 5-2 (lost to Zodrow). 5. Chip Barnett, 4-4. 6. Wai Yen Der, 4-4 (lost to Barnett). 7. Phil Van Dusen, 2-4. 8. Dale Weiss, 2-4 (lost to Van Dusen). 9. Michael Smoot, 0-8. U-1300: 1. Craig Bailey, 5-0. 2. Nancy Newcomer, 3-2. 3. Humilde Prudencio, 3-2 (lost to Newcomer). 4. Jo Splistester, 2-3. 5. Martin Staehlin, 1-3. 6. Peter Helgerson, 0-4. U-1100: 1. Newcomer, 5-0. 2. Prakash Chougule, 4-1. 3. Staehlin, 3-2. 4. Jeff Harris, 2-3. 5. David Golbach, 1-4. 5. Sarah Beasley Neale, 0-5. Saturday Handicap: Helgerson over Harris, 52-50 (51’s a winner—unless there’s a 50-50 tie, as was the case here, then the winner must win by two points). Sunday Handicap: Chougule over Dattel, 51-37. Junior’s: 1. O’Neill. 2. Ebert. U-2800 Doubles: Dao/Ness over Dattel/Haring.

            Circuit Point Leaders (as of Nov. 13, 1983): 1. Ha Chi Dao, 40. 2. Prakash Chougule, 35, 3. Erich Haring, 22. 4. Pat Lui, 21. 5. Peter Helgerson, 18. 6. Barry Dattel, 18.

            Winners at the Nov. 19-20 Westfield, NJ Open: Open Singles: B.K. Arunkumar over Rey Domingo. Semi’s: Kumar over Paul Young; Domingo over George Brathwaite. Quarter’s: Kumar over Barry Dattel; Young over Lim Ming Chui, deuce in the 3rd;  Brathwaite over Fu-lap Lee, 24-22 in the 4th;  Domingo over George Cameron, 15, 20, -20, 16. Esquire’s: Bob Barns over Ralph Vescera, -16, 19, 20. Senior’s: Brathwaite over Bill Sharpe.

A’s: John Allen over Horace Roberts, deuce in the 3rd, then over Dave Shapiro, 19 in the 3rd. B’s: Roberts over H.C. Dao. B Doubles: M. Kane/John Shareshian over Chi-sun Chui/Billy Lipton. C’s: Kok Liung over George Hellerman. D’s: Ai-ju Wu over George Holtz, 18, 21. D Doubles: Ron Luth/Wu over Kilpatrick/John Jarema. E’s: Joe Campbell over Steve Eng. F’s: Marcus and Moreau played? F Doubles: Minnich/Hosedale over Minnich/Holtzman. G’s: W. Lynch over S.Y. Chen. H’s: Chen over Jeff Kauffman, 20, 21. I’s: Chen over W. Lee who’d survived Fred Bertrand, deuce in the 3rd. J’s: M. Schmookler over W. Lee. Unrated R.R.: Harold Kupferman over Rose and Winston.

CTTA Technical Director Adham Sharara (Timmy’s, Nov.-Dec., 1983, 16) reports on the Canadian Top 12 (No. 1), played at Otobicoke, Ontario (just outside Toronto), Nov. 5-6. “Thanks go to the OTTA for hosting the event, securing the facilities, and providing excellent equipment, including, as per our sponsorship agreement, the well-received Schildkrot Black Label balls.” Michel Goyette, the Coordinator of the event, and Mike Skinner and other officials, were congratulated for “conducting play in a most professional way.”

            Results: Men (A): 1. Alain Bourbonnais, 11-0. 2. Mitch Rothfleisch, 8-3. 3. Bao Nguyen, 8-3. 4. Stephane Charbonneau, 8-3. 5. Bert Flisberg [son of the great Swedish Champion and 1954 World runner-up Tage Flisberg], 7-4. 6. Robert Chin, 6-5. 7. Steve Lyons, 6-5. 8. Yvan Dolan, 4-7. 9. Vaibhav Kamble, 3-8. 10. John Mah, 2-9. 11. Lam Tam, 2-9. 12. Tommy Vuong, 1-10. Women (A): 1. Gloria Hsu, 10-0. 2. Mariann Domonkos, 9-1. 3. Julia Johnson, 7-3. 4. Than Mach, 7-3. 5. Rupa Banerjee, 6-4. 6. Cindy Choy, 6-4. 7. Becky McKnight, 4-6. 8. Erika Ziduliak, 2-8. 9. Cathy Chu, 2-8. 10. Michelle Qurrey, 2-8. 11. Natalie Patel, 0-10.

            Men (B). 1. Pierre Normandin, 7-1. 2. Derrick Black, 7-1 (both Normandin and Black will be included in the March, ’84 Top Twelve A Group). 3. Chris Chu, 6-2. 4. Charles Woo, 5-3. 5. Mike Ryan, 3-5. 6. Ian Kent, 3-5. 7. Nghia Phung, 3-5. 8. Harry Hirsch, 2-6. 9. Kim Gregory, 0-8. Women (B) 1. Ho Thin Thung, 6-1. 2. Daiva Koperski, 5-2 (both Ho and Koperski will be included in the March, ’84 Top Twelve A Group). 3. Francine Lavente, 5-2. 4. Michelle Ribiero, 4-3. 5. Kathy Wells, 3-4. 6. Debbie Poh, 3-4. 7. Helene Bedard, 2-5. 8. Joan Ruppert, 0-7.

            Adham points out that “the five top men players from Ontario were missed. However, the OTTA recognized the error made, and since the problem was solved between the CTTA and OTTA the status of the five players was not affected. It has been made clear that Provincial Top 12’s are compulsory for participation in National Top 12’s.” [That’s why aspiring players made the effort to come to Toronto from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.] 

Results of Rochester, NY’s Nov. 4-6 $2,500 Lake Ontario Open: Open Singles: Ricky Seemiller over Lim Ming Chui. Open Doubles: Ricky/Randy Seemiller over Chui/Suguru Araki, 21, 22. Women’s: Marta Zurowski over Carol Mosher. Mixed Doubles: Chui/Zurowski over Ray Mack/Mosher, -19, 21, 23. U-2100: Araki over Joe Billups-22, 13, 21. U-1950: Billy Lipton over Craig Bensch. U-1800: Don Young over Danny Costanza, -22, 19, 11. U-1800 Doubles (individual rating): Fred Taylor/Joe Stevens over Bob/Tom Brickell. U-1700: Chi-ming Chui and Jerry Gristwood didn’t play the final, split the prize money). U-1600: Chi-ming Chui and Tom Brickell didn’t play the final, split the prize money). U-1500: Brad Gezh over Mike Halliday. U-1400: Eric Rothchild over Scot Kretchmar. U-1300: Rothchild over Mosher. U-1200: Ken Mihalyou over Doug Kleinhammer. Hard Bat: Chui over Mack. U-21: B. Lipton over Taylor. Esquire’s: Charlie Burroughs over Jack Diamond. Senior’s: Ned McLennan over Luke Hsiao. Senior U-1500: Diamond over Marshall Lipton.

Diamond? Who’s Jack Diamond?

A Diamond who found himself in the company of some gold. Yeah, he won a 1st-Place medal in Table Tennis in the New York Games for those 55 or older.

 Jack, from Endicott, NY, with a rating of 1454, is pushing 65. He’s just gotten over cataract operations on both his eyes, and has a hip that isn’t a hip and will soon have an operation to fix that. Meanwhile, he found out that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation was putting on these Games at the State University College of Cartland—so, what the hell, he ambled over there and took a t.t. first among men 60-64.

You might say Jack’s always been a diamond in the rough—for certainly he’s had enough bodily injuries in his time to send a less-spirited person into doting convalescence. But Jack is not only a champion—he’s damn near indestructible. So it’s not the man but something of his story that needs Historic Preservation here.

In 1940, not only was Jack the Hawaiian t.t. singles and doubles champion, he was also the Junior Lightweight boxing champ of the Islands. That is, until he fractured an opponent’s jaw and temple. Did it with his left too, though he was a right-handed fighter—hit the guy so hard he broke his own wrist and with a Bennett’s fracture thumbed himself right out of boxing.

But not out of pain. For Jack was at Pearl Harbor in Dec., ’71 and suffered a little shrapnel in the eye for what he saw. Nor was that the only scare he had in the blind—though it all happened so fast it was only later he understood what had happened to him. A spent machine-gun bullet deflected straight down from his heavy (now bent) dog tag into his gun belt and lodged there at his waist. Oh, OH! Medic! MEDIC! Jack was suddenly drenched all over. MEDIC! Please, please, where the hell was a bloody medic! Had the Champ been emasculated? Had his whole groin area been shot away? Nope. The bullet had merely flushed his kidneys—and he’d literally pissed in his pants with fear.

Uh-huh, even brave men are sometimes scared. And yet after this Jack did a stint with the Rangers. (Is this where he got the bayonet wound in his thigh? “Nothing to speak of.”) And he was also with the Navy frogmen doing demolition work. “Shit,” he said later, “that was crazy. I didn’t know anything about demolitions.”

Perhaps, you say, he lived a charmed life?

On his ship just off Okinawa that got hit by a kamikaze pilot, the shrapnel that caught him in the back—that’s still there. What the hell, leave well enough alone, eh?

But, damn, if once more he didn’t get smacked—literally right in the teeth, what’s left of them. And on the last day of the war yet.

Still, it could have been worse…a lot worse. For Jack saw famed writer Ernie Pyle get killed not 20 feet away from him.

Not so long afterwards, Jack himself got into journalism—and though for four decades now he’s carried those little remembrances of the ‘40’s, he hasn’t really stopped hustling, stopped fighting.

Easy to imagine that he tore some ligaments in his left shoulder playing table tennis. “But I can still do push-ups with one hand,” he says—“and, hey, in Rochester a few weeks ago, I beat a 1790 player.”