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CHAMP GOES 1 ON 1 - WITH 20 AT A TIME

SHARE CHAMP GOES 1 ON 1 - WITH 20 AT A TIME

Bucks, fawns and does weren't the only things jumping around this weekend. Plenty of pawns, rooks, knights, queens, kings and bishops were also on the move.

The ZCMI Center sponsored "The Chess Simul" Saturday afternoon in center court, an open competition where 20 local chess players simultaneously competed against international chess champion Igor Ivanov.Ivanov, ranked as high as seventh in the world, used to live in Utah. He just moved from Sandy to Arizona but returned for this special event, a part of the ZCMI Center's 20th anniversary celebration.

From 1 to 6 p.m., Ivanov played steadily against all comers. By 1:45, the line to compete against him was 13 players deep - including the first female competitor. The event also attracted numerous spectators and within 20 minutes, the mall had to have more chairs brought into center court.

"He's like a machine," Marshall Beall of Salt Lake City said after losing his match to Ivanov in about 30 minutes. "I got myself into trouble early and and he jumped right on it."

Beall knew it was only a matter of time before he was beaten, but he still thought it was fun to play against such a high-caliber player.

Nathan Simmons, 10 and his brother Kyle, 7, of Salt Lake also played against Ivanov.

"It was pretty fun," said Nathan, a fourth-grader at Lowell Elementary.

"I played too conservatively," Larry Anderson of Sandy, another chess player said. "He beat me bad."

Still, after losing in 20 minutes, Anderson got in line to play another game.

Paul Masler of Murray said he lasted longer than he thought, but the chess master was just too good at seeing combinations and calculating moves.

Ivanov would walk around the circle of 20 players making his moves in an average of less than three minutes per lap. The former Soviet player originally defected to Canada, then lived in Utah for about three years.

The mall's loudspeaker music and water fountain noise didn't seem to bother Ivanov's concentration. He also signed autographs and cracked an occasional smile with a player.