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History of U.S. Table Tennis Volume 13: 1984


            1984: Dan Seemiller/Connie Sweeris Duneland Champions. 1984: November Tournaments. 

            After last year’s Duneland All-American Tournament, Director Bill Hornyak urged participants to please write a note of appreciation to the sponsor, Michigan City, IN News Dispatch, c/o George Averitt. I, for one, did this, since Bill had said if the response was good, we’d surely have a $9,000 Duneland in 1984. I also dropped News-Dispatch sports reporter Red Griggs a Thank You for his coverage. Obviously the message sent by me and others was that we liked the tournament, were thankful for the efforts of all concerned, and would come again. And, sure enough, as readers learn from Tom Wintrich’s write-up (SPIN, Dec., 1984, cover +), on Oct. 27-28, 1984, the $9,000 tournament was held as promised: 

“Duneland is played on Halloween weekend (no costumes allowed), the same weekend when the nation goes off Daylight Savings Time. The clocks in the Rogers High School venue had already been set back an hour so that they’d be correct come school-day Monday. Most of the many out-of-state players were still operating via their own time zone in order to determine Indiana time in order to determine Indiana non-Daylight Savings Time. It seemed you had your choice of times.

This untimely confusion, however, made no difference after all, since the tournament was running on ‘Behind Time.’ Three hours to be exact, in spite of the valiant effort to time-schedule the tournament. So at first you had everyone checking his (her) time-schedule to see what time he’d play, but then when the tournament immediately went into Behind Time your table-time no longer corresponded with any time. So the time had come for you to sit in the bleachers and wait for your matches to be called.

Duneland’s scheduling problems were the result of the tournament’s growth in popularity over the past six years. Bill Hornyak’s intention from the beginning was to provide a players’ tournament featuring abundant competition, the biggest and best trophies, and a pile of cash to be distributed in 21 separate events. Bill succeeded in his players’-tournament objectives—so much so that this year the entries got out of hand: the players came in record numbers (270-strong) to enter 42 events, creating many more matches than were properly anticipated for a two-day, 32-table tournament, and so quickly making the prepared time schedules virtually useless.

Of course the wonderful competition has boosted table tennis in Indiana. In 1979, when the Duneland first started, there were six clubs in the state. There are now more than double that, and Hornyak’s convinced that providing competition of this caliber was instrumental in that growth.

It was even more remarkable how Bill and wife Liz and their tournament staff withstood the pressures of coping with the tournament and the disgruntled participants. At times the control desk looked like the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange with everyone raising their hands and barking out questions about their next match. The Hornyaks kept their cool, the control desk did its best, and the players got to play—with a shot at 104 places offering prize money.

Rating Events: U-2400’s: Lekan Fenuyi over Scott Butler, -19, 16, 15. U-2300’s: Jim Butler over Jim Doney, 17, 22. Semi’s: Butler over Dell Sweeris, 17, 21; Doney over Saubana Adio, -18, 18, 15. U-2200’s: Richard Hicks over Tim Boggan, 20, 10. U-2100’s: Mitch Seidenfeld over Elvis Gomez, 13, 15. U-2000’s: Dan Wiig over Doug Burns, 13, 18. U-4000 Doubles: Seidenfeld/Wiig over Marcy Monasterial/Primo Madrigal, def. U-1900’s: Wiig 15, 21 over Tima Beka, who’d advanced by Steve Steblay, 16, -16, 18.  U-1800’s: Ardith Lonnon over Dave Alt, 19, 19. U-1700’s: Dennis Hwang over Mike Robinson, 14, 14. U-3400 Doubles: Beka/Mark Artman over Vincent Turner/Rick Hardy, 14, -22, 19. Semi’s: Hwang over Tony Marcum, 17, 21; Robinson over Brad Hudson, 21, -14, 20. U-1600’s: Hudson over Jeff Stec. U-1500’s: Liang Peng over William Browning, 13, 10. U-3000 Doubles: Browning/Robinson over Todd Sweeris/Reggie Madrigal, 18, 11. U-1400’s: Bill Su, 17, 15, 14, over Sweeris who’d gotten by Rio Truelson, -10, 19, 19.

U-1300’s: Ken Heinritz over Philip Preston, 17, -12, 17. U-1200’s: Tony Desrosiers 15, 13 over Boluwaji Alajo who’d escaped Richard Grams, -19, 22, 21. Men’s Novice: Desrosiers over Alajo, 15, 11. Women’s Novice: Lori Berenson 5, 8 over Moosie Thomas who’d advanced over Cindy Shumaker, 22, 18. Men’s Beginner: Desrosiers over Alfredo Hernandez. Women’s Beginner: Lori Heinritz over Berenson, 18, 17. Open Consolation: Maximo Vasquez 18, -18, 14 over Hugh Shorey who’d escaped Homer Brown, -16, 18, 20. Handicap: Rey Domingo and Monasterial split. Hardbat: Fenuyi over Brandon Olson, -22, 18, 16.

Age Events: Veteran’s: Eugene Bricker 11, -21, 11 over Oliver Nicholas who’d advanced over Henry Levun, 12, -13, 14. Senior Esquire’s: Monasterial 14, 15 over Harry Deschamps after Harry had eliminated Joe Baltrus, -16, 14, 12. Esquire’s: Tim Boggan over Monasterial, 18, 10. (Monasterial, I might add, thanks USTTA members who contributed funds to help him go to Windsor, Ontario for the November Canadian National Amputee Championships. Against the best Canadian amputees, Marcy will win the gold with a perfect 8-0 record.)  Senior’s: George Brathwaite 15, 16 over Hicks who’d eliminated Boggan, 10, 23. Senior’s U-1800: Madrigal over Jerry Glass, 13, 10. U-21’s: Chartchai Teekaveerakit 15, 13 over Olson, after Brandon had downed Sean O’Neill, 20, 16.

U-17 Boys: Dhiren Narotam over John Elwood, 13, 11. U-17 Girls: Linda Gates over Michelle Mantel, 21, 17. U-15 Boys: Elwood over Jamie Dixon, 18, 22, then over Narotam, 19, 18. Girls U-15: L. Gates over Mantel, 9, 20. U-13 Boys: Narotam 8, 13 over R. Madrigal, who’d eliminated Sweeris, 25, 18. U-13 Girls: Martha Gates, 9, 9 over Heather Couch after Heather had outlasted C. Shumaker, 22, -21, 19. U-11 Boys: Clark Yeh over Lawrence E. Su who’d knocked out Nilesh Narotam, 17, -16, 18. U-11 Girls: M. Gates over Thomas, 4, 6. U-9 Boys: Matthew Couch over Lynn Doungphoutha, 14, 16. Girls U-9: Andrea Butler over Angie Shumaker, 10, 17.

In Women’s Singles, Connie Mae Sweeris repeated her winning performance at the Nissen Open, defeating the same final opponent, Takako Trenholme. It was a little closer this time, for Sweeris had to pull out the first two at deuce before closing Takako out, 21-13. Sweeris went with the same strategy that she’d used in Iowa—that of letting Trenholme open the point with topspin rolls or hits, but then quickly countering and predictably outlasting her in counter-drive rallies. Aside from this tactical advantage, perhaps Connie’s recent penchant for aerobic exercises is providing her a physical edge as well.

The semi’s were also a replay of the Nissen tournament. Sweeris again beat Ardith Lonnon in straight games, but said that Ardith played better this time, challenging her in the first at 19. Ardith seems to have a hard time holding back, is perhaps too eager to end the points, especially against such a composed, steady player as Connie. In the other semi’s, it was again Takako over Grace Wasielewski in straight games. Fortunately there was a Mixed Doubles to give the women a little more play: Final: Dan Seemiller/Lonnon, though outscored, over Olson/Trenholme, 17, -9, 22. Semi’s: Seemiller/Lonnon over Domingo/Truelson, 7, 6; Olson/Trenholme over Rick Seemiller/Wasielewski, 18, -15, 12.

Open Early Rounds: two eighth’s matches deserve mention. B.K. Arunkumar rallied from down 2-0 to beat George Brathwaite. “The Chief,” a patient player, continued his slow-to-medium-fast loop strategy, waiting for the right ball to forcibly attack. That would seem to be the right way to play Arun, but the ex-Indian National, a chopper, proved he had too much stamina and steadiness to be overcome. Brathwaite, pairing with Domingo, lost out in the Men’s Doubles too, but at least there he reached the final before going down in three to the Seemiller brothers. Biggest surprise in these Doubles: Teekaveerakit/O’Neill losing in the quarter’s to Jim Lazarus/Mike Kim.

The other notable eighth’s match was Ricky Seemiller’s self-inflicted downfall to Saubana Adio, a 2240 player that quite bluntly Ricky didn’t respect enough. Then, too, Ricky got quite upset over two disputed points. The first one without an umpire present; the second, following the long delay created by the first controversy, with an umpire present. The problems within the match are irrelevant now, and actually they were irrelevant then (a questionable ‘Let’ call and a questionable double hit) [why were they irrelevant then or now?]. Ricky just allowed them to bother his concentration; made a much bigger deal over them than was necessary. And since his play wasn’t exactly up to par, he deservedly went down in four to a man who’s quite capable of beating him unless Ricky plays like he must play to thwart a talented underdog.

Curiously, Adio was appealing to fellow Nigerian Fenuyi in their native tongue during the disputes and in answering him Lekan was making it clear in English that he wanted no part of the controversy. After all, Ricky was Fenuyi’s projected opponent for the quarter’s and he wisely chose not to take sides against two friends. Afterwards, however, he wasn’t exactly depressed that Ricky had been removed from his path to the semifinal round robin.

In the Open Quarter’s, three of the four matches weren’t much contested. Danny Seemiller beat Brandon Olson, 8, 11, -20, 14; Domingo downed O’Neill, 12, 11, 19; and Fenuyi stopped Adio, 13, 15, 19. As for the fourth match, most people thought Teekaveerakit would take Kumar out in three, four at the most. Like Dan Seemiller, Chartchai likes to play quick points, using his fast loop to end a rally before it gets started. This was his primary aim in the first game, but it wasn’t effective because he was missing the strong shots. He slowed his loops down as the match progressed, but still he couldn’t pass up opportunities to go for the hummers which missed more than landed. In addition, Kumar would occasionally surprise Chartchai with his own offense at the right times. That’s what makes Arun so good at defense—he’s also able to loop and hit, and generally does so after his opponent temporarily forgets about his offensive threat.

They traded the first four games, Kumar winning the first and third, Teekaveerakit, the second and fourth. In the fifth, though, Chartchai was very patient and played the strong shots more consistently to win 21-9. Nevertheless, it was a fine showing by Arun who, after moving to Jackson, Mississippi (a state name he likes to pronounce in the same drawl as the natives), no longer has strong players available to practice against.

In the Open Semifinal R.R., third-place finisher Rey Domingo was the most exciting player to watch—and not only in just this event. Parallel bullet-loops off service—that’s what the appreciative spectators will long remember about Rey’s play. No less than three times in this semi’s round robin, the righty stepped around and jumped on short serves to his backhand, zip-looping them down the line for outright winners. It was especially exciting when, down 19-20 in the first against Dan, Rey made this chancy move, got to deuce, then quickly won the game when Seemiller blocked the next two points into the net.

In their second game, however, it was Dan who won in deuce—with a little help from a net ball, and one of those can’t-believe-it Seemiller-style backhand loops. Third game, too, went to Dan. But the fourth game was all Domingo’s…well, almost all, as the poor guy lost, despite establishing a 20-14 lead. Yep, Seemiller pulled out yet another miracle win.

It wasn’t hurting Domingo that he was catching all the breaks, or, more specifically, catching the edge of the table repeatedly. As a relieved Seemiller said after the match, ‘I didn’t have trouble with the lobs, but I couldn’t get the edges back.” Domingo just couldn’t come up with that last point he needed, even with six chances to do so. But in a way his losing didn’t really matter [huh?] as his demonstration of competitive intensity was victory in itself.

Rey can show a go-for-broke style, loop like a vengeful madman, a la Quang Bui. But Domingo’s much more consistent than Bui, more careful about selecting the right shots to attack with force. Against Teekaveerakit, Rey was down 2-1 and 19-16 in the fourth. Chartchai went with a short serve and was as surprised as Danny was when Domingo stepped around and zipped it cleanly by. Continuing his aggressive play, Rey got to deuce and, benefitting from two net cords, finally won the game 26-24.

Yes, he was lucky to go on into the fifth and gleefully aware of his good fortune, but it isn’t luck that Domingo never gives up. No, that’s his style, his personality. He loves the pressure, thrives on the competition: he’s a player who never seems to tire of the game. And for those reasons, you never tire of watching him. Domingo won that fifth game, 21-18, against Chartchai. However, had he won his match against Seemiller, he still wouldn’t have won the tournament. But the only man to beat Rey three straight would have (in a three-way playoff).

Lekan Fenuyi was having a wonderful time. Not only did he advance to the semifinal round robin of the Open, but he won the U-2400’s. The U-2400’s—how’d he manage to get into that? Both the Oct. and Nov. SPIN ratings had him at 2484. Ah, but, the tournament was using the Sept. SPIN ratings and so he just snuck in at 2399. Lekan also won the plunk-plunk Hardbat event. (Do you ever wonder why tournaments not only include such an event, but offer prize money in it?  I mean, when money is on the line, 2400 inverted players are going to enter and win. [So?]

Here’s Fenuyi’s All-American results: Open Singles: 2nd—with a four-game loss to Seemiller and straight-game wins over Domingo and Teekaveerakit. U-2400 Singles; 1st. Hardbat Singles: 1st. Open Doubles: quarter’s with Adio. Total prize money: $1,050—just $150 less than Dan Seemiller, who successfully performed the hat-trick, winning Open Singles and Open and Mixed Doubles. 

November Tournaments

            Winners at the $1,000 Nittaku Open, played Nov. 3-4 at Sacramento’s Table Tennis World: Open Singles: Khoa Nguyen over Quang Do (from down 2-0). Women’s: Julie Ou, a recent arrival from China specializing in a high-toss serve and all-out attack, over Lisa Gee. Open Doubles: Dean Doyle/Duc Luu over Erwin Hom/Au in five. Mixed Doubles: Hom/Au over Nguyen/Diana Gee. Senior’s: James Ritz over Allen McDermott. Junior’s: Anthony Streutker over Robbie Sorenson.

            U-2200’s: Hom over Masaaki Tajima. U-2000’s: Horace Cheng over Roger Nguyen, 18 in the 4th. U-1850’s: Tom Miller over Ed Hu, 15, 16, -21, 20. U-1700’s: Hu over Streutker. U-3250 Doubles: Jere Brumby/Hu over Smith/Al Sanada. U-1550’s: Morgan Lehman over John Franicevich, 19 in the 3rd, then over Streutker who’d stopped Bob Hoffman, 18 in the 3rd. U-1400’s: Dave McAfee over Ron Jew. U-1250: Kerry Bossom over Vinh Thieu, -19, 20, 18, 16. U-1000’s: Leo Egel over Sorenson. Hard Bat: McDermott over Jack Mason.

            Results of the 1st Annual Yasaka North Coast Classic, held Nov. 17-18 at Cleveland, Ohio: Open Singles: 1. Dan Seemiller. 2. Randy Seemiller. 3. Simon Shtofmakher. 4. Bob Powell. Women’s Singles. 1. Irina Shtofmakher. 2. Lori Berenson. Open Doubles: 1. Dan/Randy Seemiller. 2. Powell/Bob Cordell. U-2100’s: 1. Powell. 2. Jim Repasy. U-1950’s: 1. Ron Schull. 2. Tima Beka. U-1800’s: 1. Ken Huebner. 2. I. Shtofmakher. U-3400 Doubles. 1. Ray Panik/Gene Nasierowski. 2. Lutz/Rick Hardy. U-1650’s: 1. Huebner. 2. Myers. U-1500: 1. Doug Adkins. 2. Greg Adkins. U-2800 Doubles. 1. R. Hardy/Rick Takas. 2. Panik/Berenson. U-1350’s: 1. Scott Snelling. 2. Joe Helfand.  U-1200: 1. Takas. 2. Shannon Price. U-2300 Doubles: 1. S. Snelling/Berenson. 2. Doug Snelling/Gary Culler. U-1000’s: Wayne Simmons. 2. Tim Adkins. Hard Bat: 1. R. Hardy. 2. Bob Allen. Esquire’s: 1. Lou Radzeli. Senior’s: 1. Radzeli. 2. Neil Myers. U-21: 1. S. Snelling. 2. Ron Lutz.

            Winners at the Great Lakes Open, played Nov. 24 in Rochester, NY:  Open Singles: Joe Billups, 20, -12, 14 over Kalavathi Panda who’d advanced over Ray Mack. Open Doubles: Mack/Craig Bensch over Billups/Bob Natale. U-1850’s: Don Young over Tong Lee, -5, 24, 24, then over Dan Leung. U-1700’s: Bradley Gelb over Rog Haidvogel. U-1600’s: Haidvogel over Dave Bryce. U-1600 Doubles: Haidvogel/Howie Kashtan over Tom Brickell/Walt Stephens in five. U-1500’s: John Woodward over Bill Warren, def. U-1400’s: Woodward over Charles Barbe who’d eliminated Doug Kleinhammer, 18, 22. U-1300’s: Bob Sherwood over Al Ritter. U-1100’s: Dave Jess over Tom Bernreiter. U-900’s: Bob Bonanno, 18, 22, over Chris Owens who’d eliminated Carolyn Bush, 19 in the 3rd. Senior’s: Shih Lin over Gord Reinmann. Junior’s U-900: Craig Santo over Mike Dodee.

I wonder if up there at the Rochester Club they ever see Simon Jacobson, or maybe his dad Lester? Simon went to Brockport State University (1976-1980) and I think he was the table tennis champ there all four years. Along the way Simon shared an April 10th birth date with Richard Bergmann and, as if taking a cue from the four-time World Champion, gave some exhibitions, not, uh, with the Globetrotters but with the locally entertaining Jim Shoots (“The Shooter”). Lester, from Long Beach, Long Island, was a graduate of State School at Farmingdale, an electronics engineer who invented electronic delay lines, and played at the Woodmere Club with the Zakarins some years back. Since Lester and Simon had a very close father-son relationship, where one was the other might be too.           

Results of the Nov. 3-4 Toronto Open: Men’s Open: Bao Nguyen over Errol Caetano. Women’s Open: Winner: Julia Johnson. U-2000’s: Andrew Giblon over Richard Abbel. U-1900’s: Giblon over Abbel. U-1800’s: Johnny Ng over John Shenk. U-1700’s: Ned McLennan over Peter Yen. U-1600’s: Ng over Ben Chow. U-1500’s: Trung Le over Robert Seales. U-1400’s: Gregory Wallace over Ky An Du. U-1200’s: Peter Chang over Lu Minh. Senior’s: Winner: George Bonigut. U-17’s: Anthony Brabrook over Joe Ferreira. U-15’s: Ng over Brabrook. U-13’s: Ng over Le. Must be a record: every event recorded here was won in straight games.  

            The Canadian National Team (12 men, 12 women) played their Round Robin #1 on Nov. 17-18 at Laval, Quebec. There were no surprises. Men players with winning results were: 1. Gideon Joe Ng, 12-0. 2. Horatio Pintea, 10-2. 3. Alain Bourbonnais, 10-2. 4. Ed Lo, 8-4. 5. Bao Nguyen, 8-4. Women players with winning results: 1. Mariann Domonkos, 10-0. 2. Thanh Mach, 9-1. 3. Cindy Choy, 8-2. 4. Gloria Hsu, 7-3. 5. Becky McKnight, 6-4.

            On the same weekend that the Canadian National “A” Team was playing, so, up in Sherwood, Prince Edward Island, was the Canadian Top 12 “B” Team playing. The results of the three Canadian tournaments—at Toronto, Laval, and Sherwood—all come from the Dec.-Jan., 1985 OTTA Update, and now (from p. 23) Andrew Giblon gives us coverage of the “B” tournament “where two positions are at stake for both men and women in the upcoming February Top 12 “A” competition.”

            Andrew, in noting that “Michel Goyette was the Tournament Referee, assisted by Art O’Malley and Anne Forrester of the P.E.I. Association,” says, “This is the first tournament I have ever played where all matches ran on time and all matches had a qualified umpire.” The two coveted Men’s spots went to Mitch Rothfleisch, 10-1, and Rene Lewandowski, 8-2. Richard Chin, “unable on arriving to find anywhere to party but fortunate enough to at least have his walkman in place”), lost a contested match to Mitch in three, and beat Rene—“but,” as Giblon said, “unbelievably he lost to Alternate Graham Forrester and me, both 2-0, to finish 7-3 in third place.” Unaccountably, Graham (rated 1640) lost to “the two weakest players in the field” (one rated 1466, the other 1231). Richard (2088) later told Andrew he took Graham “too lightly,” got way behind in the first, then “choked away the second,” while against Giblon “his serves and serve returns were both terrible.”

            Mariusz Czajor, “always late and half asleep (‘I never get up before 1:00 p.m.’), began by losing 2-0 to Mitch, Rene, and Richard, then won all the rest of his matches to finish 7-3 fourth. Andrew had, as he said, “an up and down tournament, beating Richard for the first time ever in two close games, and taking the second game from Rene at 10 before succumbing in the third.” But, in addition to Mitch and Rene, he also lost to Mariusz, Steve Peers, and Danny Ho to finish 5-5 7th.

            In Women’s play, Sylvie Leveille, 10-0, came first, and Daiva Koperski, 8-2, second. “Daiva played well, though often tentatively, and had the most difficulty against her Ontario teammates,” losing not only to Sylvie but to Crystal Daniel, 19 in the 3rd, and being forced by Ky An Du to 18 in the 3rd. Francine Larente, also 8-2, was third. “Crystal said she “was not completely satisfied.” She lost to Sylvie, Francine, and Ky, “but registered her first career win over Daiva, hitting in two difficult balls from 19-all in the 3rd. Crystal was not afraid to take chances with her forehand hits off long pushes, and this allowed her to finish fourth with a 7-3 record. Ky had a 6-4 record for 5th.

            “On behalf of all the players,” said Andrew, “I would like to offer special thanks to Anne Forrester who had a rented van always ready to drive us to practice, the tournament, dinner, movies, and the airport. The organization of the tournament and treatment of the players was first rate.”       

Here’s Larry Thoman’s coverage (SPIN, Jan., 1985, 23) of the Nov. 3-4 Tennessee Open:

            “This tournament was a big win for me in three different ways. As Tournament Director, I was pleased that the competition ran smoothly, with the events starting on time. Also, I felt fortunate to have near-perfect playing conditions. Indeed, top seed B.K. Arunkumar commented that the conditions were some of the best he’s experienced since arriving in the U.S. I was given much assistance and felt well-supported by numerous volunteer workers. The Tournament Dinner was a success, generating lots of enthusiasm.

            As a coach, I was proud of and happy for two of my students who won events. Thirteen-year-old Phil Dargo came in first in the U-15’s and second in the U-17’s. Danny Buren, a 1470-rated player going on 1700, won the U-1550 Class D and placed second in the 1700’s.

            And, as a player, I was happy with my performance. Although I lost to Kumar three straight, I maintained my concentration, had a good attitude, and felt I played above my rating—all this while having fun.

            Arunkumar of course was the class of the tournament. He was never seriously threatened and didn’t drop a single game. His most contested moment was against me in the Open final—at 19-all in our second game. I had been looping, smashing, and dropping, while he nonchalantly had been chopping everything back. I missed a loop long at 19-all and awaited his match-point serve. He put a short chop into play and I pushed it to his backhand. Immediately he stepped around and looped a forehand cross-court for a winner. I was so caught by surprise at this sudden attack I could only watch the ball go by.

            Other highlights of the tournament included the play of Homer Brown and Bob McKinney. Brown won the 2000 Singles after being down 18-12…19-16 in the deciding game against triple-amputee Mitch Stephens, placed 3rd in Open Singles, 2nd in Open Doubles (with Greg Waldbeiser), and 1st in A Doubles (with Kenny Gordon).

            McKinney took both the 1700 and 1850’s titles. Bob has always been known for his tournament-distracting yells and paddle-throwing, but this tournament he learned the value of keeping that energy inside and letting it work to his benefit.*

            I would like to thank all those who supported this successful tournament, particularly Greg Waldbeiser and the Harvard Table Tennis Company for providing the use of their tables and barriers. My appreciation also extends to the friendly, interested staff of the Goodlettsville Community Center.”           

Results of the $1,250 Louisiana Open, held Nov. 10-11 in Baton Rouge: Open Singles Semi’s R.R.: 1. Lekan Fenuyi, 3-0 (won all matches 3-0). 2. B.K. Arunkumar, 2-1 (d. Byles, -19, 19, -19, 7, 17; d. Brown, 9, 11, 9). 3. Roberto Byles, 1-2 (d. Brown, -18, -22, 19, 7, 19). 4. Homer Brown, 0-3. Open Doubles: Fenuyi/Byles over Brown/Keith LaFrance, 18, 15. Senior’s: Don Weems over Jim Leggett, 5, 7. Senior Doubles: Weems/Tom Baudry over Power Poon/ Hugh Baxley, 19 in the 3rd. U-17’s: Alex Poon over Bud Caughman, 11, 14. U-13’s: Michael Lauro over Karl Schulz, 15, 17.

            A’s: LaFrance, -8, 17, 15, over Roland Schilhab who’d advanced over William Humphrey, 17, -19, 18. A Doubles: R. Bickert/LaFrance over Schilhab/Weems, 15, -18, 15. B’s: Bickert over LaFrance, 18, -15, 20, -19, 18. B Doubles: P. Poon/Mel Douglas over Schilhab/Sarka Dura, 19 in the 3rd. C’s: Bickert [Ringer!], 8, 11, 12, over Mike Bortner who’d knocked out George Shofolune, 15, 22. D’s: Humphrey over Phieu Tran, 10, 21. E’s: Wayne Schulz over James Schiro, def. Novice: H. Pham over L. Pham, 19, -18, 18. 

            In late Aug., I, Tim, received a call from Julio Cross, Treasurer of both the Dominican TTA and the Dominican Olympic Committee, asking if the U.S. would send a Team to Santo Domingo—4 men, 3 women, 1 coach, 1 delegate—to play against Caribbean and South American countries. We would have to pay our airfare, but once in the Dominican Republic everything would be free. It was very important the U. S. come, said Julio, because at this tournament everyone would try to form a Pan Am Union.

            George Pardon, President of the Canadian TTA, Gus Kennedy, and Dennis Masters all believe there’s a lot of politicking going on, and sides forming, with regard to which countries are going to have the most say in deciding Pan Am Games matters. Obviously the Dominicans want the support of Canada and the U.S., and just as obviously the fact that Cuba won’t be at this tournament is significant. Neither Canada nor the U.S. was anxious because of the airfare expense to accept the invitation, but they both finally did send two men players. Here then (SPIN, Dec., 1984, 29) are the winners of the Copa Juan Pablo Duarte Tournament, played Nov. 7-11 at Santo Domingo.

              Men’s Team: Dominicans (Mario Alvarez, Raymond Fermin) 3—U.S. (Perry Schwartzberg, Quang Bui) 2. Both Perry and Quang beat Fermin, but lost to Alvarez (Perry in the fifth match, 2-1), and the Dominicans won the doubles. Men’s Singles: in the quarter’s, Bui lost to Alvarez in straight games; in the semi’s, Schwartzberg lost to Fermin, -20, 19, -15. Canadian Alain Bourbonnais downed Alvarez in four close games in his semi’s, then went on to blank Fermin in the final. Boubonnais scored again for Canada when he and teammate Bao Nguyen eked out a 19-in-the-third Men’s Doubles win over the Americans.

            Women’s Team: Dominicans (Blanca Alejo, Dolores Peralta, and Yirapia Almonte) over Columbians (Yubeli Garcia, Claudia Garcia, and Rosa Barrios). Women’s Singles: Alejo over teammate Peralta, 2-0. Women’s Doubles: Alejo/Peralta over Garcia/Garcia.

            “Perry was elated about the international competition. He reported that the playing conditions were good, the umpiring was the best he’s ever experienced, the food was sumptuous, and the players extremely friendly. He said, ‘Anything we needed, we got.’ The only thing lacking from a USA point of view, according to Schwartzberg, was a team coach. He feels that the USTTA should always include a non-playing coach for such international competitions.

            On behalf of the USA Team and the USTTA, Schwartzberg thanks organizer Julio Cross for his exceptional direction of the competition, and also Luis, the Americans’ interpreter during their stay in Santo Domingo. [Cross was given a USTTA Life Membership and 25 USTTA pins for contacts he made at this tournament and at the Pan Am Union Meeting held in conjunction with it.]” 

            Yvonne Kronlage (SPIN, Dec., 1984, 28) gives us up-to-date Circuit standings after her 3rd Howard County tournament. “Congratulations,” she says, “to Humilde Prudencio for leading in circuit points at the end of the November tournament. As a reward, Junior, as he likes to be called, gets his entry fees paid for the upcoming U.S. National’s at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. All the Howard County folks wish him the very best of luck.

            Standings: H. Prudencio (33). T. Steen (30). J. Harris (30). B. Reed (29). S. Emmons (29). B. Dattel (26). K. Minnick (24). H. McCoullum (24). D. Garlinger (23). P. March (22).

            Results of the Dan Dickel Open, held at the Westfield, NJ Club, Nov. 17-18: Open Singles: Rey Domingo, -19, 20, 8, 15 over Ricky Seemiller who’d survived George Brathwaite (from down 2-0), 18 in the 5th. Open Doubles: Robert Earle/Steven Mo over Vicky Wong/Domingo, 17, -21, 14. Semi’s: Earle/Mo over Eyal Adini/Brathwaite, 21, -9, 19; Wong/Domingo over Seemiller/Barry Dattel, -20, 14, 15. Esquire’s: Ralph Vescera over Erik Rothfleisch, 12, 14. Senior’s: Brathwaite over Bill Sharpe, 15, -14, 16. U-17’s: 1. B. Lu, 3-0. 2. Henry Ong, 2-1. U-13’s: Ong, 10, 9, over Junior Ruiz who’d advanced over P. Zukoff, 19, -15, 15.

            U-2300’s: Mo, 16, -14, 13, 11, over Adini after Eyal had just gotten by Dattel, -15, 21, 11. U-2025’s: John Andrade , 10, 14, -22, 14, over Ovidiu Nazarbechian who’d survived his father, Tomas, 19, -16, 19. U-1925’s: Daniel Garcia over Peter Dunn, 18, 12. Semi’s: Garcia over Barney Reed, -15, 15, 19; Dunn over Marv Plevinsky, -16, 19, 17. U-1825’s: Ron Luth over Hazel Santon, 19 in the 3rd. U-1825 Doubles: Kane/Ackerman over Luth/Tim Kent, 23-21 in the 3rd. U-1725: Brian McKnight, 12, 19, over K. Amondo who’d escaped Mike Rose, -19, 20, 11. U-1575’s: Alex Moreau, 16, 17, over Craig Sental after Craig had eliminated Amondo, -16, 19, 8. U-1575 Doubles: Stan Gee/Ng over William Hampton/Amondo. U-1425 Singles: Larry Stein over Hong Lee, 11,11. U-1275’s: B. Carpenter over J. Brown, 8, 14. U-1125’s: H. Hogg over Brian Greenberg, 18, 14. U-975’s: K. Turnaciaglu, 19, -19, 16, over Bobby Agrawal who’d stopped Lloyd Thomas, 20, 23. Unrated: J. Alyegbo over R. Weber, 7, 18. 

            Well, I’ve just completed the East Coast’s modest-tourney answer to the National’s about to be played at the Tropicana in Vegas: my resurrected $3,000 Open, held Nov. 9-11 in the Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake, N.Y.

When I first ran this tournament four years ago, we had over 170 entries (160 of whom actually showed); this time we had 101 entries (98 of whom actually showed).  Since it took literally months of effort for Co-Chairman Dennis Masters and me to put on this “live-in” tournament, the turnout was very disappointing. And yet, financial considerations aside, as they were pretty much for me from the beginning, the tournament certainly was something of a success, for my Presidential aim was to send off an exemplary arrow into at least one USTTA target—that of providing for all players, for the Sport itself, a class venue.

In addition to those players and spectators who supported me in this venture, and to whom I’m grateful, I’d especially like to thank those who helped Dennis and me most. Yvonne Kronlage brought a van full of barriers up from Maryland, assisted at the control desk, and provided as prizes attractive engraved plates instead of the usual indistinguishable trophies. And indefatigable Jack and Sherry Rudibaugh were absolutely indispensable to me, for they brought Harvard tables and barriers all the way from Evansville, Indiana and worked hour after hour near tournament’s end to help repack them so that I could more easily ship them to—what if I can encouragingly continue to get more and more funding—will be our new New York club.

Thanks to Erich Haring, Mal Anderson, and Harry Stern among others, those who wanted umpires for their matches almost invariably got them. And next time—if there is a next time (someone suggested we run a tournament here very three months!)—I’m going to take up Mel Eisner’s suggestion that we have a Concord Hotel Guest Tournament—which might give us the opportunity of gaining new and perhaps project-supportive, financially helpful USTTA members. I also agree with Mel that we really must find sign-board, sign-post ways of identifying our best players and highlighting their matches to uninitiated guests of the hotel.

The scheduling problems, as Bill Steinle, for one, was right to tell me, need to be worked on (though it was understood and much desired by most that, in this sprawling vacation complex, we were going to have a leisurely-paced tournament and wouldn’t, unless absolutely necessary, have any defaults). For those participants who had a long way to travel home, better scheduling, particularly of the doubles, could have saved them an important two hours. And, doubtless, the spacing of certain players’ matches could be much improved on.

The most serious scheduling problem, however—given both a structured multi-course one o’clock Sunday lunch (which people, conscious of wanting to get their money’s worth, did enjoy) and then, following that, a strict 2:30 check-out time—was just when to hold the Open semifinal round robin matches. Did we run these climactic matches at the unheard-of hour of 10:00 a.m.? That would have been a surprise to those coming from surrounding areas specifically to see the expected 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon action. But after unexpected delays at lunch, at check-out, too many people understandably were impatient to leave.

I’ll have a little more to say in closing, for, though I’m no perfect marksman—didn’t hit dead center of what I was within bow-shot of—Dennis and I did stand at the line and finished with at least some good marks. Here are the event results:

Championship Singles Final R.R.: 1. Rey Domingo, 2/1 (d. D. Seemiller, 11, 16, 19; d. S. O’Neill, 19, 19, 16). 2. Dan Seemiller, 2/1 (d. O’Neill, -18, 11, 14, 18; d. Teekaveerakit, 14, 17, 16). 3. Sean O’Neill, 1/2 (d. Teekaveerakit, 13, 18, -19, 18). 4. Chartchai Teekaveerakit, 1-2 (d. Domingo, 17, 16, -18, -19, 18). Quarter’s: D. Seemiller over Robert Earle, 12, 9, 18; Teekaveerakit over Errol Caetano, 12, 19, 18; O’Neill over Ricky Seemiller, 20, -22, 5, 16; Domingo over George Brathwaite, 18, 14, 19. U.S. Champ Danny Seemiller hurtled into the Catskills cross-country from far away Seattle, with literally only a pit stop in Pittsburgh. “What else can I do?” he said. “It’s my job to move around. Win or lose I’ve no regrets—I made a good weekend paycheck here.”

Women’s Singles: Final R.R.: 1. Alice Kimble, 2-0 (d. Trenholme. 16, 9, -15, 9; d. Wong, 18, 18, 14). 2. Vicky Wong, 1-1 (d. Trenholme, -18, 19, 18, -16, 12). 3. Takako Trenholme, 0-2. R.R. For Fourth: 4. Judith Ackerman, 2-0 (d. Zurowski, 19, -15, 16; d. Kronlage, 20, 17). 5. Marta Zurowski, 1-1 (d. Kronlage, -19, 4, 13). 6. Yvonne Kronlage, 0-2. Open Doubles: O’Neill/Teekaveerakit over Seemiller/Seemiller, 10, -18, 18. Mixed Doubles: Domingo/Wong over R. Seemiller/Trenholme, 11, 18. Esquire’s: 1. Harry Stern. 2. Jim Perry. 3. Frank Hrobak. Senior’s: Brathwaite over Derek Wall. Youth’s: O’Neill and Teekaveerakit split. U-17’s: Wong over Billy Lipton, 19, 13. U-15’s: 1. Howard Meyer. 2. Jeff Harris. U-13’s: Allen Ma over Steve Fink, 16, -17, 17. U-11’s: Todd Goldwasser over Ma.

U-2250: Barry Dattel over George Cameron, 20, 15. U-2000’s: Wong over Marv Plevinsky. U-1800’s: Seymour Shenkman over Jack Rudibaugh, -18, 13, 20, then over Lance Friedel. U-1600’s: Shenkman over Jim Davidson, 11, 14. Women’s U-1500’s: 1. Margaret Hzeih. 2. Karen Rugar, 1-1. 3. Luz Brown, 0-2. U-3000 Doubles: Davidson/Carl Skeete over Ackerman/Mel Eisner, 16, -14, 15. U-1400’s: Steve Hertz over Harris, 13, -13, 11.

 Players, I think, did have a good time. For those who didn’t come, here’s what they would have gotten for showing early on Saturday: a waiver to quickly make up their missed Friday night matches; 12 totally barriered-off courts completely curtained away from the adjacent tennis-playing hotel guests; round robin matches in every Singles event but one; standard (or superior) rooms in the comfortable, spacious resort area itself, an easy walk to the playing area; three sumptuous meals in the largest (even somewhat elegant) dining-room I’ve ever seen; a Saturday-night cocktail hour with hot and cold appetizers and free drinks; and, finally, a Vegas nightclub show with singer/comic Nelson Sardelli—all for $55.

“Tim,” someone said to me as if half in shock, “table tennis isn’t ready for this.”


And, Tim, wait-and-seers mildly wait to know, will table tennis be ready for the non-exclusive New York City club ($50 annual membership fee for adults, all kids automatic members) I’m trying, with others’ help, to at least start?

We’ll soon find out, won’t we? 


*Maybe McKinney got an advanced copy of this (SPIN, Dec., 1984, 5) Letter to the Editor: 

            “Table tennis can be an extremely emotional game and some players choose to express their frustration rather blatantly.

            In a recent USTTA sanctioned tournament, we heard many people [players?...spectators?] yelling, shrieking, and occasionally cursing. Since returning a shot in Ping-Pong [sic] involves hearing the ball, these outcries are very disruptive to the competitors. The cursing is also offensive to the spectators. During a particular match, the players exchanged loud, obscene insinuations which attracted the attention of everybody in the room, including the referee [how about the umpire?...or do you mean in this “Ping-Pong” match not referee but umpire?...or wasn’t there an umpire?]. However, he ignored the comments [sic: did you who’re objecting here make any comments of your own to him?], although some people were appalled and several other matches were interrupted.

            We suggest that referees and umpires discourage such unsportsmanlike behavior during tournament play. These disruptions can easily be stopped with a simple warning.

            We do not intend nor desire to eliminate all verbal expression from the game, but we hope to prevent those which are too loud or too obnoxious.

                                                                                    Kevin Smith

                                                                                    Kenan Turnacioghu

                                                                                    David Koller

                                                                                    East Brunswick, NJ