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Pat Kilpatrick
2011-12-01, 7:59 PM
Los Angeles club had many presidents but only one secretary - Patrick Kilpatrick was his name :) We called him "Kojak" because of the hair-style :) Quietly, without complain he did all the work, collected dues, organized tournaments, kept the correspondence, etc. He was a skillful master player, with many tricks and the quality of years of practice.

He and CC Stinson were my first permanent students (Ted Taylor would always monitor the class while demolishing yet another challenger). Pat was a quiet nice man, self-educated, very friendly, and he enjoyed the lessons. Finally, with mine and Ted's prodding, he agreed to go to the 1986 Nationals in St Louis - on a scouting mission :) - if I go too.

Our hotel room at the Holiday Inn had a kitchen - Pat immediately went out and bought a skillet, eggs, sausages, milk, bread - we were set for a week! Living in the hotel wasn't that bad, scary or expensive!
 
At the tournament I met Dr. Ervin Smith, president of the APCA who asked which division I wanted to play. I honestly admitted that I played mostly 10x10 and was not an expert in Pool - and therefore would like to play in the Master division where I had a chance rather than swet against Top Masters.
 
"Nonsense" said Dr. Smith - "You are a Russian and therefore should play Top Master!" And as it turned out he was not wrong as I took the fourth place beating two former champions, Victor Krafft and Bill Langley.
 
Later on that first day he came again and asked about Pat - where he should play. Again I honestly said that Pat was a master player who wanted to bring home a trophy - therefore please do not put him above Junior Master. But Pat had other ideas and convinced them to let him play in the lowest "Blue Ribbon" division - "my first time playing!"

This time Dr. Smith was wrong not to listen to me - every day he would take me aside to explain the meaning of the word "ringer" - the guy would not make a draw! :) Pat was having the time of his life - a happy smile would not leave his face the whole week (Ted Taylor put it as "smiling like a cat eating sour cream!"). All these years he imagined the guys at the tournament to be ten feet tall - but it was the other way around. Pat won by 27 points and swore to attend every tournament from then on! He won the next division the following year and was a contender in the Junior Master the years after.
 
By the way - on the first day of playing at lunch break my companion in the elevator was a serious-looking young man with the tournament's name tag on his shirt. I asked him how he was doing and found he was upset losing the first two games in the Junior Master.
 
I started to explain that a loss at the start in a Swiss system could be good - while the leaders slugger against each other (and make draws) he would have an easy time cleaning up the weaker players and would end up with the same amount of points in the last rounds.
 
I invited him to my room to show some positions and games - the guy was intelligent and took it all in. Valentine Cox of Bahamas won that tournament - just as he would win the Master division the next year to become the youngest Top Master.
 
Pat's example started a stream of Los Angeles players going to the tournaments - CC Stinson, Kennedy, Baily, "Black Russian", and others.

Some years later Pat had a heart transplant which gave him a few more months.
He would come to the club to relax among friends, a satisfied smile never leaving his face.
I hugged him goodbye - he was a good friend to the end.
Category: Los Angeles club | Added by: tgf
Views: 958 | Downloads: 0 | Comments: 1 | Rating: 0.0/0
Total comments: 1
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Very nice information Sir Jake, it was indeed worth reading :-). It's good to know that Bahamas have Top Master(s). I sure hope I can go there and play a few players there. I am sure it will aid in my development. As I develop others will also by playing me or otherwise.

More bless and thanks for sharing smile

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