IBM vs INTEL

Congratulations to MSCTT'ers Stan Sun, Mark Johnson,Tri Tran, Victor Qiu, and Hong Guan who as Team IBM defeated Team INTEL led by MSCTT'ers Patrick Wu and Wei Chen in a hard fought competition held at INTEL on Saturday 9/17 by a score of 10-8.

The format of the competition was 15 singles matches and 4 doubles matches with all five team members playing three singles matches each and four team members playing two doubles matches each. The singles matches were split evenly 7-7 when the four doubles matches were played. Team IBM then used it superiority in doubles to win three of the four matches to claim the "Corporate Challenge Cup". Team IBM is ready, willing, and able to defend its cup against all challengers. Contact Stan Sun if interested.

Team INTEL hosted Team IBM in the first Corporate Challenge Cup on Saturday, 9/17. Team INTEL was represented by Patrick Wu, Wei Chen, Duc Nguyen, Kien Ngo, and Jian Wang. Team IBM was represented by Stan Sun, Mark Johnson, Tri Tran, Victor Qiu, and Hong Guan.

The format of the competion was 15 singles matches and 4 doubles matches. Each player would play three singles matches against randomly selected members of the opposing team. Four members of a team would be paired into two doubles teams. Each doubles team would play both of the opposing teams doubles teams for a total of four doubles matches. A winner would be declared once a team had won 10 matches.

The first order of business in the competition was for the captains to complete the draw so that the players could find out who they would be playing in singles and who would not be playing in the doubles. INTEL team captain Patrick Wu decided to sit himself out for the doubles while Team IBM caption Stan Sun chose Hong Guan to sit out the doubles. Looks like advantage Team IBM since Patrick is the top rated player for Team INTEL (although truth be told Patrick had little choice in this matter since he had another commitment which precluded his participation in the doubles). The singles draw turned up some interesting matchups which would probably be critical in deciding the eventual victor. By luck of the draw, Team INTEL captain Patrick Wu will indeed face Team IBM captain Stan Sun. Both team captains are their teams top rated players. Also the #2 rated players for both teams --- Wei Chen for Team INTEL and Mark Johnson for Team IBM --- will face off against each other in the "super tiebreaker". However, since this match is the last in the competition it will only be held if the match score stands 9-9 at the time (since otherwise a victor will have already been declared)..

There are two tables available for this competition at the posh accomodations at INTEL, so there are two matches to open the competition. Team INTEL #4 seed Kien Ngo faces Team IBM #3 seed Tri Tran on one table while Team INTEL #3 seed Duc Nguyen faces Team IBM #4 seed Victor Qiu on the other table. No surprises in these first two matches as the chalk holds true with the higher seed winning comfortably in three straight games on both tables --- Duc beats Victor 7,7,5 while Tri beats Kien 9,5,6.

The next two matches include what could be the pivotal match of the competiton with team captains Patrick Wu and Stan Sun facing off against each other on one table while on the other table Team INTEL #5 seed Jian Wang meets Team IBM #2 seed Mark Johnson. Mark defeats Jian reasonably comfortably in three straight (although one games does go duece) by scores of 8,2,10 and then the attention of both is riveted on the other match. In a mild surprise, Stan takes this match in four close games 8,10,-10, 9.

The next two matches find Team INTEL #2 seed Wei Chen against Team IBM #5 seed Hong Guan on one table and Team INTEL #3 seed Duc Nguyen agaiinst Team IBM #3 seed Tri Tran on the other table. This latter match is another pivotal match since it involves a match between equally seeded players. No real surprise when Wei makes fairly short work of Hong defeating him in three staight 6,9,6 but Team IBM wins another critical match when Tri defeats Duc in three close games (two of them going deuce) 9,11,11. Will Team INTEL recover?

The next two matches find Team INTEL captain Patrick Wu against Team IBM #5 seed Hong Guan on one table and Team INTEL #4 seed Kien Ngo against Team IBM #4 seed Victor Qiu on the other. Patrick recovers nicely from his earlier defeat to take Hong in three quick games 4,7,7 while Team INTEL claims its first key victory when Kien comes back from a close opening game loss to defeat Victor in four games -7,12,6,9. His victory in the second game after many deuces allowed him to wrest the momentum of the match and he refused to let it up. Team IBM now leads Team INTEL 2-1 in matches between equally seeded players. As of yet there have been no upsets --- i.e. in matches where the seeds are different, the highier seed has prevailed each time. Has Team INTEL turned the tide?

The next two matches find Team IBM captain Stan Sun against Team INTEL #4 seed Kien Ngo on one table and Team INTEL #2 seed Wei Chen against Team IBM #3 seed Tri Tran on the other. As expected Stan makes short work of Kien taking him in three games 6,9,5 but
Tri authors the first upset of the competion by defeating Wei in four tight games 9,-9,9,7. This victory allows Tri --- the Team IBM #3 seed --- to complete his singles matches with a perfect 3-0 record. Is Tri leading Team IBM to victory? Kien's singles paay has concluded with a 1-2 record. Both Tri and Kien are left to cheer on their teammates until the doubles commence .

The next two matches find Team INTEL captain Patrick Wu against Team IBM #2 seed Mark Johnson on one table and Team INTEL #5 seed Jian Wang against Team IBM #4 seed Victor Qiu on the other. Patrick appears to be winning his match in a walk when he takes the first two games but Mark makes a game of it by taking the next two but Patrick recovers to close it out in five games 8,8,-6,-3,7. Team INTEL takes both matches when Jian upsets Victor in a close five game match 3,-12,-8,3,9. Victor's game is a bit off in the unfamiliar surroundings and completes his singles matches with an 0-3 record. Patrick has completed his ingles matches with a 2-1 record and since he will not play in the doubles, his day is done. Can Team INTEL win with no further help from him?

The next two matches find Team IBM captain Stan Sun against Team INTEL #5 seed Jian Wang and Team INTEL #3 seed Duc Nguyen against Team IBM #5 seed Hong Guan. Both matches go as expected as Stan overwhelms Jian in three straight 9,7,3 while Duc uses close wins in the first two games to defeat Hong in four games 10,9,-7.,7. Stan completes his singles play with a perfect 3-0 record while Duc completes his with a 2-1 record, Jian completes his with a 1-2 record, and Hong completes his with an 0-3 record. However Hong had a particularly tough draw for a #5 seed so his finish is not unexpected. Since he is not playing in the doubles, he could leave but instead chooses to stay and cheer on Team IBM in the upcoming doubles matches. The first 14 singles matches have concluded and the teams are dead even 7-7. If the upcoming four doubles matches are split 2-2, the "super tiebreaker" singles match between Team INTEL #2 seed Wei Chen and Team IBM #2 seed Mark Johnson will be needed to decide the victor.

The next two matches are the first doubles matches of the day with the Team INTEL #1 doubles team of Wei Chen and Duc Nguyen against the Team IBM #2 doubles team of Tri Tran and Victor Qiu on one table and the Team IBM #1 doubles team of Stan Sun and Mark Johnson against the Team INTEL #2 doubles team of Kien Ngo and Jian Wang on the other. No surprises as the #1 seeds take care of business although the Team IBM #2 seeded doubles team of Tri and Victor put up quite a fight before going down in five 9,-1,7,-9,7 (yep, one of their game wins was by a healthy 11-1 margin). The Team IBM #1 seeded doubles team of Stan and Mark had no such diffuculty winning handily in three striaght 6,4,8. Things are getting really interesting now. The team score is now deadlocked at 8-8. Unless one team sweeps the final two doubles matches, it will indeed go down to the "super tiebreaker".

The next two doubles matches are the most critical matches of the competition. The Team INTEL #1 seeded doubles team of Wei Chen and Duc Nguyen face the Team IBM #1 seeded doubles team of Stan Sun and Mark Johnson on one table while the Team INTEL #2 seeded doubles team of Kien Ngo and Jian Wang face the Team IBM #2 seeded doubles team of Tri Tran and Victor Qiu on the other table. Things look to be going the way of Team INTEL early as they take the first two games on the #1 table and the first game on the #2 table. However, Team IBM recovers to take the next three games comfortably on both tables to claim the Corporate Challenge Cup. The final scors are -9,-8,7,4,6 on table #1 and -4,6,7,5 on table #2.
Once again its superiority in doubles play has served Team IBM well.

Picking an MVP for Team IBM is difficult. There are two worthy candidates. Team captain Stan Sun was undefeated with a 3-0 record in singles play and a 2-0 record in doubles play. However, he was the team's #1 seed in both singles and doubles and so this wasn't totally unexpected (although his victory over Patrick would have to be rated as somewhat of a surprise). Tri Tran was undefeated in singles play with a 3-0 record (including an unexpected win over Wei Chen) and was 1-1 in doubles play --- with only a tough 5 game loss soiling his record It could be argued that he would have been the one to go undefeated in doubles if he had the Team IBM #2 player as his partner as Stan did rather than the Team IBM #4 player. Thus the only fair outcome is to award co-MVP's --- Stan and Tri. Congratulations, guys!!!

Team IBM now stands ready, willing, and able to accept a new challenge from corporate America. For those foolhardy enough to accept this invitation, please contact Stan Sun.

FINAL RESULTS:

SINGLES DOUBLES

TEAM IBM

Stan Sun 3-0 2-0
Mark Johnson 1-1 2-0
Tri Tran 3-0 1-1
Victor Qiu 0-3 1-1
Hong Guan 0-3 0-0


TEAM INTEL

Patrick Wu 2-1 0-0
Wei Chen 1-1 1-1
Duc Nguyen 2-1 1-1
Kien Ngo 1-2 0-2
Jian Wang 1-2 0-2

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