June 14, 2017

Tip of the Week
Great Serves are the Best Way to Avoid Upsets and Compete with Strong Players.

$4500 Maryland State Championships
I ran them this past weekend at MDTTC, with great help from Mossa Barandao of PongMobile and Wen Hsu. Complete results are at Omnipong – the program is great for running tournaments and posting results. After the tournament finished on Sunday night, I sent in the results – and they were processed for rating shortly after lunch! (Do you remember the days when it sometimes took months, and how happy we were when they started going up consistently within ten days?)

Below is my write-up (skip ahead if you aren’t interested in the illustrious play of Marylanders – lots of other segments), which will need some adjusting as I referred to post-tournament ratings a couple of times that will likely change, though probably not too much in these two cases. Alas, there was some sort of glitch, and one event – Under 15 – has all sorts of mistakes. The results sent in were identical to the correct online ones above, but for reasons that aren’t clear yet, the results for that one event were completely jumbled up, so that it has a number of matches by players against players from other groups they never played, including 50-point losses that never actually happened. USATT is working to fix it, and hopefully they will be corrected today. 

[NOTE - ratings were corrected and are online. I've also added links to photos of the finalists in most of the events in the results below.]

We suspect the root of the problem was the following. When the Under 15 event was initially set up, it wasn’t set up for a 3-4 playoff. We realized this after the initial RR group results and some of the playoffs had already been played and entered on the computer. When we fixed this, we inadvertently reset the draw, losing all the results. Mossa quickly retyped in the results, and all seemed well, since we now had correct results on the screen and in the published results at Omnipong. But internally, something must have gone wrong.

$4500 Maryland State Championships
By Larry Hodges, tournament director

June 10-11 - The $4500 Maryland State Championships were held this weekend at the Maryland Table Tennis Center (MDTTC) in Gaithersburg, MD, with 88 players. The two biggest winners at the tournament were Men’s Singles Champion Chen Bowen (18) and Tiffany Ke (12). Main results are below; complete results are at Omnipong.

In the Men’s Final, #1 seed Chen, an all-out two-winged penhold looper who loops harder than Mike Tyson could ever punch, defeated #2 seed and last year’s champion, Jeffrey Zeng, known for his consistent rallying shots, at 10,8,-10,12,-8,1. In the semifinals, it was Chen over Khaleel Asgarali (5,9,5,10), who would go on to win Under 2400, and Zeng over Roy Ke in a titanic seven-game battle, -12,3,-8,8,-6,7,4. (Here’s a photo of the Final.) 

Chen and Zeng teamed up to win Open Doubles, over chopper/loopers Wang Qing Liang/Wu Jiacheng, at 7,-6,10,10. All four are full-time coaches at MDTTC. Brother/sister combo Roy and Tiffany Ke came in third in the final RR – and were up 2-1 on Chen/Zeng, and up 2-0 on Wang/Wu.

In the Women’s Final, top-seeded Tiffany Ke (2302 at age 12!), an all-out hitter with short pips on the forehand, defeated close-to-the-table two-winged looper Lisa Lin (13), 8,7,8. It was a repeat of last year’s final, where Ke had become the youngest Maryland State Women’s Singles Champion ever at age 11, winning deuce in the fifth over Lin (then 12) in the youngest Maryland Women’s Final in history.

A local rivalry has formed in the junior events, between Ryan Dabbs (13, 2275) and George Li (14, 2280 after this tournament). They played three times, and all three went five, two of them deuce or 11-9 in the fifth. In Under 18, they met in the preliminary RR Group, with George winning at -8,6,3,-8,9. They met again in the final, and again George won, this time 10,-8,-9,9,6. Ryan turned the tables in the Under 15 final, winning -8,6,3,-8,9. (Ryan would also make the final of Under 2400.) Other local juniors battling with them include the Chen brothers, Spencer (15, rated 2222 after this tournament) and Ronald (12), who were in the Under 2100 final (with Spencer defaulting), as well Tiffany Ke and Lisa Lin (see above), Jessica Lin (13), Joshua Gong (14), and Abbas Paryavi (14), and others. (Mysteriously missing was Klaus Wood, 15, rated 2313.) 

Special thanks goes to tournament sponsors HW Global Foundation (a Talent Development Program), PongMobile, Newgy Table Tennis Robots, Asian Pacific Table Tennis Balls, and USA Table Tennis. Great thanks also goes to Mossa Barandao of PongMobile for his tireless help in running the tournament; to Referees Paul Kovac and Joseph Lee; Umpire Stephen Yeh; and to scorekeepers Ali Paryavi, Lance Wei (Under 1000 Champion), Adrian Yang (Under 12 Semifinalist), and James Zhang (Under 12 Semifinalist).

(Click on links to see pictures of finalists.)
Men’s Singles – Final: Chen Bo Wen d. Jeffrey Zeng, 10,8,-10,12,-8,1; SF: Chen d. Khaleel Asgarali, 5,9,5,10; Zeng d. Roy Ke, -12,3,-8,8,-6,7,4; 3-4: Ke d. Asgarali, 9,-11,-6,9,9,6; QF: Asgarali d. Wang Qing Liang, 5,9,5,10; Ke d. Abbas Paryavi, 9,2,7; Chen & Zeng byes.
Women’s Singles – Final: Tiffany Ke d. Lisa Lin, 8,7,8; SF: Ke d. Claudia Ikeizumi, 5,9,8; Lin d. Caroline Kalihara, 7,11,9; 3-4: Ikeizumi d. Kalihara, def.
Open Doubles: 1st Chen Bo Wen/Jeffrey Zeng, 3-0 (d. Paryavi/Paryavi, 1,2,3; d. Ke/Ke, -9,7,-8,7,7; d. Wang/Wu, 7,-6,10,10); 2nd Wang Qing Liang/Jiacheng Wu, 2-1 (d. Paryavi/Paryavi, 3,4,5; d. Ke/Ke, -5,-9,5,6,8); 3rd Roy Ke/Tiffany Ke, 1-2 (d. Paryavi/Paryavi, 7,6,7); 4th Ali Paryavi/Abbas Paryavi, 0-3.
Under 18 - Final: George Li d. Ryan Dabbs, 10,-8,-9,9,6; SF: Li d. Tiffany Ke, 12,-8,9,3; Dabbs d. Spencer Chen, 6,9,3; 3-4: Ke d. Chen, 1,4,4.
Under 15 - Final: Ryan Dabbs d. George Li, -8,6,3,-8,9; SF: Dabbs d. Tiffany Ke, -9,8,5,-9,11; Li d. Jessica Lin, 8,6,9; 3-4: Ke d. Lin, 9,5,3.
Under 12 - Final: Hanfei Hu d. Jackson Beaver, -5,12,-6,9,9; SF: Hu d. James Zhang, 10,8,-8,9; Beaver d. Adrian Yang, -9,4,10,-12,8; 3-4: Yang d. Zhang, 4,5,6.
Under 10: 1st Stanley Hsu, 2-0; 2nd Mu Du, 1-1; 3rd Andy Wu, 0-2.
Over 40: 1st Matt Chando, 3-0; 2nd Lixin Lang, 2-1; 3rd Yunhua Gong, 1-2.
Over 50 - Final: Thomas Sampson d. Yunhua Gong, -6,8,11,-6,7; SF: Sampson d. Changping Duan, 5,9,10; Gong d. Lixin Lang, -8,8,8,3; 3-4: Duan d. Lang, def.
Over 60 - Final: Bob Slapnik d. Changping Duan, 6,-8,6,7; SF: Slapnick d. Chris Buckley, 5,9,10; Duan d. Somchai Paarporn, -8,8,6,4; 3-4: Paarporn d. Buckley, -6,11,9,3.
Over 70 - Final: Ed Watts d. Gordon Gregg, 2,7,2.
Under 2400 – Final: Khaleel Asgarali d. Ryan Dabbs, 9,-10,7,3; SF: Asgarali d. George Li, 10,6,5; Dabbs d. Tiffany Ke, 7,-6,9,9; QF: Asgrali d. Joshua Gong, 6,5,6; Li d. Naveen Vaddadi, -4,5,9,7; Dabbs d. Ronald Chen, 3,5,9; Ke d. Spencer Chen, 4,10,6.
Under 2100 – Final: Ronald Chen d. Spencer Chen, def.; SF: R.Chen d. Mohamed Kamara, 8,9,-4,8; S.Chen d. Joshua Gong, 5,8,7; 3-4: Gong d. Kamara, def.
Under 1800 – Final: Sean Hwang d. Jackson Beaver, 6,14,6; SF: Hwang d. Liren Guo, 5,-3,9,8; Beaver d. Hanfei Hu, -7,7,-9,3,9.
Under 1500 – Final: Ryan Lee d. Andy Wu, -10,7,3,-15,11; SF: Lee d. Hanfei Hu, 8,-11,8,7; Wu d. James Zhang, 8,-7,-2,5,6.
Under 1200 – Final: Anoop Srivastava d. Kurtus Hsu, -13,6,4,8; SF: Srivastava d. Lance Wei, 5,108; Hsu d. Todd Klinger, 6,6,-10,2.
Under 1000 – Final: Lance Wei d. Nikhil Naravan, -11,10,8,7; SF: Wei d. Jeremiah Jeffrey, -6,5,8,-7,8; Naravan d. Christopher Timasonravichki, 8,-7,5,7.
U4000 Doubles: 1st Kevin Zhou/Arndt Plagge, 1-1/5-4; 2nd Abbas Paryavi/Ali Paryavi, 1-1/5-5; 3rd Donn Olsen/Kyongsook Kim, 1-1/4-5.
U3200 Doubles – Final: Mu Du/Ryan Lee d. Andy Wu/Stephanie Zhang, 5,3,5; SF: Du/Lee d. Nicole Deng/Michelle Kang, 11,10,6; Wu/Zhang d. Jackson Beaver/Hanfei Hu, 3,-4,9,14.
U2400 Doubles: 1st James Zhang/Jason Liu, 2-0; 2nd Hanfei Hu/Lance Wei, 1-1; 3rd Todd Klinger/Nikhil Narayan, 0-2.

News from USATT and ITTF
Since my last blog there’s been a lot of news items at the USATT News page and the ITTF page. I’ll link to some, but why not browse over these pages and see what’s interesting?

USATT Minutes
Our long national nightmare is over – the minutes of USATT board meetings and teleconferences from December through May are now up at the USATT Minutes & Actions page! They were all approved, one by one, at the June 12 USATT teleconference. It’s done, it’s over now!

Pan Am Junior Championships
Here’s the USATT announcement. The team will be competing at the 2017 Pan American Junior Championships to be held June 20-25 in Argentina, and also at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit Argentina Junior Open in Buenos Aires 18-19.

Some of you may remember that I blogged on Dec. 2, 2016, about why I believe our teams should be primarily made up by trials, not selections. Since that time, the rules have changed in that direction – but they take effect on July 1. So the Pan Am Junior Team was the last one under the old rules. USATT did face a serious problem in that we have a glut of top juniors right now – the best in U.S. history in terms of depth – and so not all could go. On the boys’ side, players selected were Kanak Jha, Sharon Alguetti, Jack Wang, and Victor Liu. Not selected included Krish Avvari, Kunal Chodri, Nicholas Tio, and Adar Alguetti, and others. Bruce Liu wrote on Facebook about his objections to these selections (both players and coaches). NOTE - for most of the day it was linked to what turned out to be a private Facebook page. I've changed the link to where it was posted in a public one.) 

How to Maintain Tactical Focus
Here’s the coaching article from Brian Pace of Triangle Table Tennis.

No Lone Rangers - Don't neglect this one main aspect of improvement...
Here’s the coaching article from Samson Dubina. “In the world of elite table tennis, there are no lone rangers. If you want to improve your game this year, you won’t be able to stay hidden in your house forming game strategies for months and come out 500 points ahead.”

Is Blocking Stroke Good For You?
Here’s the coaching article from Table Tennis Spot.

How to Make High Risk Shots into Low Risk
Here’s the coaching article from Coach Me Table Tennis.

Ask the Coach
Questions Answered at PingSkills.

Table Tennis Footwork
Here’s the new video (12:07) from EmRatThich. Here’s Part 1 (8:22), which I linked to in May.

How to Play Backhand Topspin
Here’s the video (9:58) from Yangyang. Links to previous coaching videos are on right.

Our Visit to the Thomas Keinath Table Tennis Academy in Germany
Here’s the video (6:05) from PongUniverse.

History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 19 (1991-1992)
Here's chapter twelve! Or order your own print copies at TimBogganTableTennis.com, as well as Volume 19!

Get to Know Kasumi Ishikawa Better
Here’s the video (30 sec) taken at the Worlds with the world #6 (formerly #3) from Japan.

Usain Bolt Plays Table Tennis in China
Here’s the video (2:35).

Adam Bobrow vs. Asuka Sakai – World’s Fastest Server
Here’s the video (1:52), but you might want to skip ahead to 1:34, where Japan’s Sakai throws his famous super-fast serve at Adam – ace!!! Some of you may remember the “Fastest Serve” video (44 sec) from two years ago that introduced us to the world’s fastest serve. He’s grown up now, out of the juniors, but is now ranked #112 in the world among men, and #14 in Under 21 Men.

Giant Ping-Pong Challenge
Here’s the video (13:13). Big paddles, big balls – is this the future of Table Tennis?

Send us your own coaching news!