Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jorma Kaukonen performed in Tel Aviv with Hot Tuna!

Talk about Bad Timing!: Hot Tuna did a show there last week and I'll be there in 2 weeks from now. I saw them during the beginning of this year at the Beacon-- They might not be what they were during the Jefferson Airplane days with Slick but Kaukonen and Cassidy still have innovation and the Blues. Check out this awesome article, which discusses Kaukonen's Jewish roots:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gregg Allman is coming out with a new album!

For those unaware or not Allman Brothers fanatics like me, Gregg is coming out with a new solo album January 18th, his first since 1997!!! It will be titled " Low Country Blues". When Gregg mentioned the new album at the Allman Brothers show at the Orpheum in November, everyone including myself went crazy.. He's gonna be promoting it on tour in January. First stop NY Jan 18. I am leaving to the holy land Israel the day before but readers, please go and give opinions. Ill surely be buying the album asap.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tribute to John Lennon

Its been 30 years since the tragic death of our true hero John Lennon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Hannukah!

Its been 3 weeks since I blogged last: its not that I haven't had much to say: I saw an Allman Brothers' concert and played the National Chess Congress-- two possible posts right there. With finals rolling around though, life's been busy. In the spirit of Hannukah though, here's a pretty cool video thats been floating around the internet by the "Maccabeats" an acappella group from Yeshiva University:

Countdown until Israel: 1 month ,11 days! Until then, 3 more finals and a paper and a 1 month internship at a travel pr firm in NY Imagine Communications.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Predictions for the 2010 USCL Finale!!

Expansion team the New England Nor'easters takes on 2 time Championship contender the Miami Sharks
Now, if this was a North vs south matchup that would make up a nice civil war; however, Miami is "in the West", so that's what is the dual of the Eastern and Western champs. Both teams will undoubtedly strive for the very best as NE would love to make history being the first expansion to team to win the Championship, although they already clearly made history with their kind of ridiculous 11-1 score so far, and Miami hope to win their first championship after losing to Baltimore and NY In their two championship outings: So lets, see who shall be the victors!

Bd 1: IM Shanky takes on GM Becerra
I have always viewed Becerra is a rock, Sam begs to differ..... Sam wants to win. I still say Becerra is solid with black... Drawn match in a classical KID.

Bd 2: FM Martinez takes on IM Hungaski
Both players have had great seasons so far: Martinez 6.5/8 and Hungaski 6/7.. Both of Hungaski's draws came when he had the black pieces. Hungaski will get a slightly worse position out of the opening in his normal Scandinavian but will hold things together to hold a draw.

Bd 3: FM master of tricks Chase vs FM Galofre
These players' styles are pretty much as different as can be. As seen in his Galofre's wk 5 GOTW, he is perhaps one of the most wild players in the league, although with good rewards as he has a strong 2.5/3 record and a 2540 performance rating, thats 240 points above his rating...... Chase plays his normal KIA and Galofre gets bored in a taticless game... Lots of maneuvers will happen but neither players will get anywhere... Another draw.

Bd 4: The Shocker of the League Rosenthal takes on Cherniack
Ok, so the last three weeks I regretfully predicted Rosenthal to lose. Instinctively, I would say Cherniack is a clear favorite with his vast experience. The other day, Krasik and I agreed that Cherniack is likely the strongest board 4 in the league.Rosenthal certainly has chances to shock the crowds yet again, but Cherniack is somewhat of a kid killer.. Out of the 5 games he played against 18 yr olds/under this season so far: Shen, Katz, Herbsts, Ostrovskiy, and Xu, hew scored a heavy 4.5/5:: Cherniack wins!

And NE becomes the 2010 champions! Sure, it wasn't fun being eliminated by them last week, but they've been a strong team all season long and didn't get some of the credit they deserved: Lets go NE!!

With that in mind, as the Championship will be taking place, I will be at the next concert on the agenda: The Allman Brothers at the Orpheum. Here's a video of "Hot Lanta" at their AC show two nights ago:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Falafel spot in Boston

I went on a short excursion into Boston today to get my student visa for Israel. With the Middle East in mind, I picked up a chicken shawarma wrap for a lunch at Falafel King on 48 Winter Street right near the Park St Green/Red line stop at the Boston Common. The place's appearance isn't all that appealing and doesn't have places to sit , but if your on the go, its has some great food.

Readers, please share other good falafel/ME food spots around Boston, or NY for that matter.

Also, here's a pretty cool mural I saw in the Downtown Crossing area:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Please help a blogger out and do this survey!!

Bing vs Google!!!!

A small request from your modest blogger: Please fill out to this survey and pass it along to your friends:
For my final Marketing Management presentation, my group is doing an analysis of how Bing can challenge Google and we want your input:)

Excursion to the Other Side of Waltham

Friday night, I went to the other side of Liverpool( oh I mean Waltham). With that to start off this post, I give you a segment of Ringo's awesome birthday show he did this summer playing his new song "The Other Side of Liverpool off his 2010 album Y Not

On to chess though!! I tied for first in the Waltham November G/20 with SM and fellow Boston Blitz player Denys Shmelov. On a side note, congrats to NE and good luck against Miami. Here is my first round win against expert Edward Astrachan:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The Primary Elections" of the Championship": That is the Semi-Finals

The New England Patriots take on the Boston Red Sox in the Eastern Finale tonight!! Oh wait, I mean the New England Nor'easters and THe Boston Blitz: There is a Civil War going on tonight between the north and south sides of Porter Square! Lets see, who shall be victors:

Up first, we see Several Time US Champ Boston long timer GM Christiansen take on a fellow Brandeis Judge yet USCL "enemy" IM/GM Shankland:
At Brandeis chess club last week, Sam told me I should have predicted he beat GM Lenderman rather than the reverse: OK yeah I probably should of... I went on to tell him, " I tell you one thing, there's no way I am gonna predict for you next week":) NO going back.... Larry wins!

Next, we see another SM/GM (a newly made up title for GM strength non- GMS:) , Sammour-Hasbun take on another IM/GM Hungaski.... I lost to Hungaski this past weekend at the BU Open ( game to come up soon) Long story short.... I was worse early in the opening with white ( not so good) and Hungaski never let me back into the game. in wild tactical melee where he easily could of went wrong.... This game will be willd, I am sure of that as it is between two great tactical players. This is Jorge's 1st black game in the last two yeras in the USCL... Somehow I predict this game will be a draw.

On board 3, we see CATDOG IM Esserman...... Catdog with the white pieces= Dominance+ Rating Gap= Dasha... FM Chase will cause some difficulties but at the end of the day, there is no stopping Esserman 1-0 (GOTW perhaps)

Lastly we see, Grant Xu take on the experienced Cherniack.. Cherniack objectively is a favorite with his experience and strong 5.5/7 score.. However, Xu can not be counted out: He does have 1.5/2 this season thus far and a 2382 performance rating.. With that said, Cherniack will most likely squeeze out the point with the white pieces..It helps that he knows Xu's French down and out...

The Bahstan Blitz shall win 2.5-1.5 and advance to the Championship!!!!!!! Sorry NE:)

The West Coast Finale: The Playoff experienced Miami Sharks vs The Arizona Scorpions looking to appear in their first Championship

IM Altounian challenges 4 time! league MVP Rock GM Becerra : This is a game between two rock solid players... GM Becerra has the title and rating nod but Altounian is a rock, especially with the white fellows: This game shall be a long played out draw.

Next GM Elect Barcenilla has the black fellows against GM Gonzalez who had an impressive win with black against Amanov last week: Barcenilla has been having a sub-par season so far and Gonzalez has been playing quite solid... This one is a kind of a toss up but I am gonna go with Gonzalez pulling through.. One pt for Miami.

On battle ground 3, Underrated IM Elect Adamson takes on the higher rated FM Martinez... Adamson drew 4/6 games this season thus far.... I Say he'll draw another one... Draw

Lastly we see underrated expert Rosenthal vs NM Thompson... Rosenthal shocked the crowds the last two weeks upsetting two higher rated masters consecutively.. Can he do it again? Perhaps, but I am gonna say Thompson stops the streak: By statistics an expert, underrated or not, shouldn't beat 3 masters in a row ! One Pt for Arizona...

Arizona's team is just rock solid with a nice balanced lineup.... Drawn match leading Arizona to their first championship!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Metal version of Eleanor Rigby!

I am really not much of a metal fan, but a friend linked to this video among other metal covers of the song and I liked this one the best as it is not too hardcore.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Wild Wild West: Battle in the Quarterfinals

The Mighty Miami Sharks take on the Chicago Blaze looking for serious business in their first playoff match ever

On board 1, we see perhaps two of the more solid GMS in the US taking on each other: GM Becerra and GM Gurevich... Becerra is nothing but a rock: To win MVP 4 times out of six seasons thus far, is an extraordinary accomplishment.. Winning MVP once is one thing but to win a majority of seasons thats just out of the blue.... Beccera with the white pieces wins on board 1.

Next we see, another GM duel between Gonzalez and Amanov. Amanov is lower rated but at the same time underrated---- see He beat Gonzalez with black in wk 9 and had a great result in the Midwest championships a few weeks ago.... Amanov shall slowly outplay Gonzalez... Thats 1 pt for Chicago.

On board 3, one of the strongest FMS ( certainly IM strength) Martinez against Chicago's underrated IM... Its often hard for me to predict games between players who's rating difference contrast from their tittles ( Martinez is higher rated but is an FM).. Last time, I incorrectly predicted Felecan would win..... I am gonna go on a whym and predict a draw....

Last but not least Miami's underrated expert Rosenthal takes on FM Shankar... Rosenthal shocked a lot of people last week as he effectively outplayed SF's underrated powerhouse Yian Lou.... This time though, I think Shankar will come through with a win as he has the white pieces and more experience

And as Vonnegut wrote " so it goes" in Slaugtherhouse-Five", Chicago will end Miami's season as they succeed 2.5-1.5.

The division champs, the Arizona Scorpions challenge the higher-rated "middle of the pack team" that snuck into the playoffs, the Seattle Sluggers

Firstly, we see one of the US's most solid IMS Altounian take on MTV star Akobian aka, US Olympiad Coach: Altounian is a rock but with Akobians kind of ridiculous 2814 performance rating, I see Altounian not getting anything out of the opening and slowly getting outplayed... Seattle Wins

Then, GM-elect Barcenilla ( whom I apologize for incorrectly stating as IM a few weeks ago), takes on a VERY strong FM Cozianu who drew Barcenilla's teamate Altounian in wk 1... This one's kind of a toss-up as I really don't know how to to judge Cozianu, I am gonna predict hes gonna nab the full point... making Seattle 2-0 on boards 1-2

Next, we see FM Mikhailuk vs IM elect Adamson... Robby had impressive results this summer earning his status of IM-elect. With the white pieces I think he is fully capable of doing damage, especially as Mikhailuk has been having a lackluster season thus-far... Adamson wins... If Arizona, can win board 4, they will head the to the semifinals.... Can they do it?:

Board 4!: Good news for AZ: Thompson beat Wang with black in round 1. Anything could happen of course, but Thompson shall take care of business again wheeling in the full point...

Drawn match

What shall happen in the "T" Series between the Blitz and Nor'easters and the semifinals between Arizona and Chicago? : Thats for next week... I will say for now though, I am looking forward to the match next Monday, whether I play or not..... Its kind of ridiculous that the two teams play about a mile away from each other, but it sure will be a great match!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Intensity of the Eastern Quaterfinals is upon us tonight!

Don don da don..............

Certainly an interesting 1st round match up: My crosstown revivals vs my past beloved NY Knights: No one can argue what an accomplishment NE's 9.5-.5 record was, especially considering it was an expansion team

Firsthand, a fellow Brandeis student Shanky, who seemingly likes Shrek, takes on GM Lenderman... Objectively I think Lenderman is a bit stronger, but Shankland has the white pieces and had three impressive league wins in a row against 2 GMS and 1 strong near GM strength IM..... A draw is likely.

Next, we see NY's powerhouse GM Charbonneau take on IM Hungaski, who also seems to be near GM Strength... Charbonneau has been known as a Boston- Killer: It seems as that might be translating to the NE region... He will be tired from working since early morning but Hungaski will be tired from the long drive from CT to Boston...... Charb wins

We then see one of the trickiest masters around Boston FM Chase take on a more of a rock FM Getz... I have played both of these players a number of times and think overall they are in close in strength... I see neither Getz pushing for a win with black nor Chase being unsatisfied with a draw considering NE has draw odds.... Draw

Lastly wee see another Youth vs age match up Ostrovskiy vs Cherniack... Both are known to calculate alot and this will be a crucial match up... Ostrovskiy needs to come back from his tough result this weekend and pull through which I think he can as he has had an impressive 3.5/4 record this season thus far..... I predict Ostrovskiy draws here. However, if Cherniack can pull through with a win, NE will head to the playoffs.

The second duel of the night shall take place between my fellow soldiers the Boston Blitz looking to hold down the fort against the Baltimore Kingfishers( Or as Krasik wrote on his Facebook, "Kingfishes":):

On board 1, we see GM Erenburg fighting IM Christiansen again with the white fellows... Woa-- Larry surprised everybody last time with the Phillidor: I am not sure what he will play tonight but certainly something else! Erenburg shall hope for victory pressing slowly but Christiansen's resistance will hold strong... DRAW

On board 2, we see none other than Harvard Square Specialist IM Catdog Esserman, who has played solidly this weekend in the Marshall Championship, drawing his Smith-Morra nemesis GM Lenderman and IM Sarkar, leading to a 4/5 start, takes on a solid IM from Baltimore Enkhbat...... Enkhbat is solid with 2.5/5 but when Catdog plays, all hell breaks lose, especially when he has the white pieces... Thats one pt for the good guys... Just one more draw on the bottom two boards, and Bahstan shall cruise to the semifinals!

On the next board, our rock Martirosov takes on the slightly higher rated Zimmer... This will be a battle of two solid players: I expect a relatively boring Queens-Indian here... Not much happens and draw is the end...

Last but not least, we see Krasik take on the mighty Balasubramanian who may have the longest name in the league.... These players are about equal in strength... The former has a significantly more experience in the league and the latter has been preforming better this year. At the end of the day I see Balasubramanian pushing for the win to overcome draw odds and Krasik taking the whole point....
For that matter, Zimmer and Erenburg will likely end up pressing more than normal so when the dust clears, my fellow Bahstan Blitz takes on NY next week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Final Predictions of the 2010 main season!

Ok, its a bit of a cliche by now, but welcome to the "First round of the playoffs" in the West: Here's my humble predictions:

"Lord, I was born a ramblin' man

Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can":
Just to get in the mood of my humble nature:) ( Allman Brothers, "Rambling Man" )

Opposite ends of the spectrum coming together fighting to squeeze in the playoffs: The Chicago Blaze vs the Dallas Destiny
GM Gurevich has been having a solid season so far and has beaten Barcenilla's KID a few weeks ago.. A lot depends if IM Bercys holds down the fort.... Gurevich should have a slight edge.

IM Sadorra vs GM Amanov should be another interesting match up... Sadorra has had a great season so far and has the white pieces but is facing a higher level of competition than he has thus far this season: I predict a solid game leading to a draw.

IMS are always scary on board 3 so I give Felecan a clear edge, especially as he has the fate of the white pieces

Dallas has a slight edge on 4 as Lopez has more experience in the league:
Overall, anything could happen, but I predict Chicago will qualify for the playoffs for the first time with a 2.5-1.5 margin.

The SF Mechanics on the verge of not qualifying for the playoffs for the first time who will certainly be looking for revenge against the Miami Sharks who beat them in the Semi-finals last year

As I said in the past, GM Kraai seems to me much stronger with white and Becerra stone: A draw seems very likely. Bds 2 and 3 seem like slight edges for Miami and last year's 3rd team allstar Liou seems like a clear favorite over Rosenthal.....
History is to be made: SF doesnt make the playoffs for the first time losing the match 1.5-2.5!

The Sluggers who will be diehard to win against the St. Louis Bishops who does not have Naka present at a key time

Akobian- Shulman: its always hard to play friends...... they will make a fight but at the end of the night: DRAW will be the outcome.... Bds 2+3 splits and Guo holds down Finegold's attack leading to victory...
Seattle wins 2.5-1.5 making NE being the only expansion team to head to the playoffs.

Coincidentally the same situation as NE vs Carolina from Monday.... 1st place Arizona vs the out of contention LA Vibe

As nothing is really on the line, both teams gave their top players a rest... On the other hand, Arizona has a rating edge on 3/4 boards but draw offers are likely due to a lack of motivation..... Arizona will have one victor and the rest of the boards will draw....
Arizon wins 2.5-1.5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Predictions for Tonight's East Coast Mayhem

Ok in reality, its not quite Mayhem in the east as the play off positioning is pretty much decided.... IF NJ wins 4-0 that would just be ridiculous but hey I guess anythings possible:)

Without further ado, here's my first prediction!: The Bankers and Kids that make up the eliminated Applesauce vs the Locked in 1st place Nor'easters

It looks like Manhattan is tossing in the towel as they are out of playoff contention... Milman- Shankland equal chances... Vovsha's a favorite and Manhattan would be lucky to get .5/2 on the lower boards... If Manhattan has any chance, Vovsha must be Riordan who proves to be a solid player who has scored considerably stronger as white...
As the night approaches its end, the Noreaster's cruise to victory 3-1 finishing the season with an astonishing 9.5-.5 score.

The consolation battle to avoid the rear of the East: Carolina vs Philly

Both teams repeat their line ups from last week..... On the top boards, white wins 2 times.... Same pattern repeats on 3 and 4...

The match shall fizzle in to a drawn match leaving Carolina at the rear...
Side note: As Carolina pulled numerous drawn matches this season, they must be applauded for their effort. However, hopefully next year they can get a strong IM/GM to hold down the fort on bd 1 to be more competitive for the playoffs.

The hardest of matches for me to objectively predict: My fellow Boston Blitz vs my old compatriots the NY Knights

Sr. Hasbun vs the rock named Kachei: a very interesting encounter between a great tactician and a stone solid positional player: very hard to judge but I think this will be a sharp Nimzo-Indian that will fizzle into a draw

Shmelov seeks revenge against Pascal: not sure what hes gonna bring under his sleeve tonight... Hopefully he can hold down a draw... Gotta give the GM the edge here though to come out with the win.

Another rematch: Experience vs youth ( although the not the typical kind as Getz is one of the few kid positional masterminds) : Since Vadim lost to him in round 1 , he had a nice string of wins and draws and is white this time arounds... Vadim shall obtain revenge bringing home the full point.

Yet another rematch: I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that Krasik fully seeks revenge against Ostrovskiy as his first round loss ended his perfect score against Alex in the league... Alex has improved greatly as of late, finishing with an outstanding 6/9 result in the Continental Championship gained 60! rating pts.. On the other hand, Krasik as well all no can play anywhere from 2000-2600 on a given day... With his motive for revenge, Krasik Wins

All in all, the good guys ( I mean the Boston Blitz) win 2.5-1.5

Last but not least, The desperate Joisy boys take on the almost unthinkable role of trying to beat Baltimore 4-0 to qualify for this playoffs

NJ will be going all out thats for sure!
GM Benjamin shall try for ever to grind out GM Erenburg but peace arises... Ok, right there, NJ already wouldn't Qualify, but Benjamin may win... IMS Molner and Kapengut are favorites and Finn has to be seen as an underdog; although as we seen in previous seasons, FInn can be a great attacker...

Normally, Id say each team has equal chances but with the terms of the match, I see NJ pressing to win on all boards and Baltimore winning 3-1.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rare Hendrix Video: "Hey Joe"

Trivia question: Who actually wrote "Hey Joe"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tidbit of NYC Trivia

The Yankees won tonight and are still contenders! With that in mind, here's a bit of NYC Triva:

Identify this picture: time period, location, building.... any details you can come up with. I KNOW alot of you can figure it out:)

Hope is still on!: Predictions for Tonight/ Tribute to Petty

Along with the other predictors, I didn't do so well with Monday night's predictions; hopefully, tonight's will be better.... In all 4 matches one side has a big rating edge.

1st place vs last: Our crosstown rivals vs the Cobras who held us to a draw last week

Schroer fell down to Christiansen last week.... Somehow I think he'll draw Hungaski.... Carolina drew their last two matches and NE secures clear 1st in the division with a draw... A drawn match it is!

The team from the city of the Brotherly love vs the heavy hitter Applesauce looking to squeeze into the play of action

Manhattan shows one of their strongest possible line ups that is pretty stacked... James Black also had an impressive showing this last weekend drawing IM Bonin and drawing IM Lapshun so he cant be counted to lose although FM Shahade is a favorite........ Manhattan wins 3-1.

The confident Arizona scorpions in 1st place vs the three GM muskateer trio the St Louis Archbishops

This may be the first time in USCL History that 3 GMS played 3 IMS!s this line up is just too good. I generally like balanced line ups but against ST Louis, one should have a GM on bd 1.... St. Louis wins 2.5-1.5

The battle of the Christmas Colors: The Dallas Destiny vs The LA Vibe

Dallas has IMS vs FMS on 1 and 2(and rating edges).. They score 1.5/2 (although Tatev played very well in the US womens championship gaining a ton of points so with the white pieces is can be potentially very dangerous. I know considerably less about the players on bds 3 and 4 but I say they split...

Dallas's playoff hopes stay alive as they win 2.5-1.5

In other news, Happy 60th birthday to Tom Petty!!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Express Predictions for tomorrow night

Last week, I faired at 37.5% accuracy. Work is piling up but I couldn't help procrastinating to write these prediction:)

1) New yawwkers vs the Joisy boys: (LETS GO YANKS!!!!!!!! Kick some Ranger's Ass)

Gulko beat GM Sasha in the Morra before..... He wants revenge and has the white pieces: 1-0.... Other matches are interesting but with the Knights having rating edges and with three Alexes, they got this one.
NY wins 2.5-1.5

2) Baltimore passes the middle vs The stalked Bahstan Blitz

Hard fought draw on board 1, Bostons got nice edges on 2 and 3 and faces the consequences of a stalked line up and board 4..... Boston wins 2.5-1.5 ( Shmelov is fast: time disadvantage is nothing)

3) A great start vs a a terrible start: which is better?: Chicago vs Miami

-Two GMS Fight it out: they split the two points
- IM Felecan is scary with white and Rosen has a nice edge on board 4
Chicago wins 3-1 ---- 2.5-1.5 ( as I do think their GMS are slightly weaker then the Shark's Gms collectively)

4) Seattle has a chance to prevent SF from coming to the playoffs for the first time!: Can they do it?

Akobian has white against Friedel: thats one win for Seattle.

Pruess is much stronger with white and Mikhailuk is having a tough season... Score is even.

Lee vs Naroditsky : even match: two positional(!) kids duke it out........ DRAW

Guo vs Liou: 4 letters in a last name is greater than 3... Liou wins

SF wins 2.5-1.5 and keeps its chances to make the play offs!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Predictions for Tonight's Action

My marketing professor told me the other day to keep case study write-ups succinct: I'm gonna apply that advice to my predictions for tonight!

Super Heavy NYERS (quite possibly influenced by the Yanks who are soon going to win the World Series!!!!!!!) vs our local competitors the Nor-Easters: Last week, I spoke to Shankland about how good NE was doing: We agreed that 6.5/7 is a great score but their opponent's average ratings was significantly lower rated than that of any other team at 2342. This will be NE's true test.

With rating edges on 3 boards, I say NY wins 3-1... Things depend on whether or not Shankland holds down Kaschi after his great result in VA this past weekend.

The Upsetter Cobras vs the Good Guys( The Blitz)

Schroer won last week: Can he shock the crowds again? Can I hold down the fort on board 4?: No Jinxing here but Overall Boston will win 3-1 with rating edges on every board.

GGGg St Louis vs "the Kids" named the San Francisco Mechanics

THE GGGg format (USATE 2008 for those of you unaware of the reference) shall be held in tact by the youngsters : Match will be drawn 2-2... SF will score 1/3 on the top boards and win on board 4.

The Battle for 4th place: The Mighty Miami Sharks vs the peaceful LA Vibe

2 GMS are not as great as 3 but are still scary and when board 3 has a rating edge too thats worse..... Miami wins 2.5-1.5

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Boylston Chess Club Facebook Page

To help promote the Boylston, I began a new Facebook page. If you are a member and/or chess player in the Boston area please join and ask your friends to do the same:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday Night Predictions!!!

With three weeks left, USCL Action is coming down to the wire! Here are my prognostics:

The battle of the West and East Sides of the Hudson:
-GM Joel takes down up and coming near GM strength Milman" With Milman working in finance lacking time to significantly prepare I don't think he will equalize out of the opening.... Joisy wins on this board.

-The recently IM crowned beast Mac attacks slightly more experienced Columbia grad student Vovsha that doesn't have all that much time for chess.. I predict a draw here.

- Older brother Shen (WO u2400 champ) shall ultimately surrender to the more experienced macho man Braylovsky... I once heard FM Hoffman say he was annoyed that he wouldn't take a draw for a tie for first... His fighting spirit shall win the full point.
- Shen JR shall take the full point against Mr. CIS Smith after a long tiring day with students...
All in all... I predict a tie leaving both teams out of any decent play off contention.

Baltimore right in the middle of the pack vs The Inventors ( with Bartell back)
-Erenburg is annoyed that he didnt win GOTW last week (who I agree should Have)= Erenburg will be on the top of his game with excellent prep and beat down on Bartell (guy)

-Zimmer take son the Bone!-- I predicted Bonin would win last week against Hungaski--- They drew when Bonin was much better... ZImmer is 300 pts lower rated= Bonin wins ( Bonins 2 hr trip to Philly= more motivation=150 rating pts)
- Balasubramanian vs Dehmelt: a classic example of youth vs experience... Dehmelt's 15 chess hiatus is 3/4 of Balusbramanian's life time... At any rate... I predict a draw as Dehmelt is a solid player with black.
- Selzler vs Costigan: An IM playing on bd 4 is kind of ridiculous: Costigan wins..

When push comes to shove, Philly wins 2.5-1.5 and maintains miniscule chances to go to the play offs

The 2008-2009 champs vs the 2009-2010 Western Division champs ( The Dallas Destiny vs the Seattle Sluggers)

- after not making post-season last year I can't imagine them not making post-season this year !

IM "Beer Cheese" Bercys takes on the "previously unknown" FM Cozianu

A few weeks ago I would say Bercys would be a clear favorite despite a rating disadvantage; however, after Coziano beat Benjamin a few weeks ago I can't say anything for sure... Im gonna go with a draw here as Bercys is solid with the white pieces.

IM Sadorra( who was the first to stop Simpson's miraculous upset run) against FM Milkhaiulk: who scored his 1st solid win last week): Im gonna go with Sadorra coming through here in a wild tatical melee.

FM Kiewra vs FM Milat:two strong FMS, neither of which have a great score so far this season... Its a toss-up but considering I saw Kiewra have a successful outing in a ST Johns Masters back in the summer taking 1st with Lenderman Im gonna go with a win for him..

Zorigt shall start impresing as she did in past years with a rating and age edge... Zorigt wins after Guo goes makes some positional concessions with white.

Dallas wins 3.5-.5...... I mean 3-1 The previous score just seems to good.

The Battle for 1st in the West: Chicago wants to get back to #1

Solid IM Altounian vs New to League GM Amanov

I expect Altounian not to take many chances and Amanov not doing anything crazy for the win making this game a draw.

Tactical IM Aldama vs More positional IM Young who had a magnificent peformance last year but is suffering a bit this year

I expect Aldama to play super sharp trying to mix up the game with black and ultimately suffering defeat... Thats one for Chicago

FM ( SF killer Adamson) vs IM Visnuvardhan ( whom I know absolutely nothing about except the that he beat FM Dehmelt back in Week 6)--- Robby is higher rated though... I predict draw

League Newcomer Gurczak who surprisingly drew Galofre in wk 1 against More experienced and higher rated FM Shankar
As the FM has white and a 200 rating pt edge I have to give my him the win.. although you never know...

Chicago shall get back jo jo ( honoring John Lennon's 70th bday this past weekend although "Get Back" was primarily by Mcartney) to 1st place with a 3-1 margin

Funky Music at the Honkfest in Davis Square Yesterday

In between rounds of the Boylston Tornado yesterday, I had fun watching some funky music at the annual Honkfest. Here a few photos of the event. I also tasted some good Indian food from Diva as they had cheaper selections outside by the music.. If your in the Somverville area, they have some pretty good Indian food.

For a short write-up of the tournament of the tournament look for the CLO national Chess day write ups in the next few days.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two of my favorite all-time Beatles Covers

With John Lennon's 70th! birthday coming up (October 9) and the fact that I haven't posted any music posts in a while, I thought I'd share possibly my two favorite Beatles covers of all time.

The First, is Jeff Beck's 2009 Grammy winning instrumental rendition of "A Day in the Life", John's masterpiece that is listed the #1 Beatles song in this month's Rolling Stone Magazine top 100 Beatles song edition

Next, is Richie Haven's folk version of "Here comes the sun", which he first played in 1970.

This past summer, I saw Ringo and Paul together on stage when Paul sung "Birthday" to Ringo celebrating his own 70th birthday... RIP John and George..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 7 USCL Predictions

Before I get started, here's a trivia question: Whose the guy in the photo down below? :

If you from either of the Boston area teams, U'd sure know: the infamous Murray Turnbul at Havard Square. I went to play the action tournament at the Boylston today and was unfortunately one the two players to show up so no cigar for a tournament, so I decided to head over to Harvard Square before my journey back to Brandeis... 2 1/2 years ago when I told IM Jay Bonin I was going to college in Boston, the first thing he told me was to go to Harvard Square and play the guy in the straw hat... Thats one thing of my bucket list of things to do around Boston:) See my Bucketlist review from my Tokyo flight post a few months back:

Anyway, on to the important stuff!! With four more matches left, play off spots are in the making!

Monday Night Matches

The Vicious Carolina Cobras looking for an upset vs my previously beloved NY Knights:

Bd 1: A solid IM holds down The Georgian GM who once told me that all chess players should make at least IM easily... That was a pretty heavy statement... Im gonna go with Giorgi here.

Bd 2: Lenderman squeezes Simpson with a Catalan... With white, I think Simpson has upset potential as clearly seen in the last few weeks, but with white, Alex has to be a favorite... 2-0 for NY.

Bd 3. Agner- Getz... Agners an underdog by rating but has the white pieces... Getz isn't the most agressive player meaning a draw is likely here.

Bd 4: The Board 4 killer Craig Jones with a 2505 performance rating of 2505 vs newly crowned master Justus Williams... If I had to guess experience will take over here, but things can go either way...

Overall, The Big Apple ( not to be confused with the silly name "The Manhattan Applesauce" wins 2.5-1.5

The team with a silly name, which needs to win to have play-off potential vs the slightly ahead of the pack Baltimore

Stripunsky- Erenburg- a rematch with a reversal of colors... Erenburg shall hold down the fort and the game will end in a treaty.

Kaufman-Milman- as I predicted last week against Rensch, Kaufman will have another prepared Rybka novelty and cruise to victory although Milman is a very strong IM and has a rating edge.. Close call here.

Zimmer- Vovsha.. Zimmer came through with an impressive win last week but with almost a 300 pt rating disadvantage its hard to go against Vovsha winning..

Black vs Balasubramanian - Im gonna go with Balasubramania winning here after a sharp tactical struggle mainly due to more experience at longer time controls and a nice rating edge...

Overall Baltimore shall win 2.5- 1.5 leaving Manhattan in the black for a playoffs spot

The Miami Sharks ( whom to this day don't understand why they fit in the West division but thats another story) vs the ever-dangerous Dallas Destiny... These teams are now tied 5.5-5.5 lifetime and have identical average ratings this week so this will be a very interesting match.

Rock Solid Becerra vs slightly more agressive Ramirez- A tough call: I think Becerra will look to grind down Ramirez for many moves before conceding the 1/2 pt.

GM Gonzalez fights with the black peices vs IM Fernandez during his 2010 USCL debut.... With Gonzalez's more recent practice and GM title I expect him to come out with the victory. However, with Fernandez's dismal lifetime USCL record, change is due at some point... Will this be the time?

The battle of FMs on board 3: Martinez vs Kiewra: I expect Martinez to pull through with the rating edge and white pieces ( perhaps I over-estimate the importance of colors)

Dallas board 4 superstar Zorigt vs Miami new recruit Rosenthal: With her great USCL experience and a heavy rating edge.. Im going with Zorigt cruising to victory here.

Overall thats a 2.5-1.5 victory for Miami keeping their playoff hopes alive... Things were looking much more grim for them a few weeks ago.

The Battle for 1st/2nd/3r place ( depending on Chicago's result): SF vs AZ

GM Kraai vs might as well be GM Barcenilla... From past results , it seems like both of these players are considerably stronger with the white pieces .... Kraai should get a slight edge out of the opening and squeeze it out to victory..

IM Pruess vs IM Rensch- two solid IMS, one who relatively recently made the push to the title.. Its a close call here, but with a phenomenal record so far this season, and the white peices, Im gonna go with Rensch winning ( assuming he can recover well from his loss last week)

Young Positional Master/recent author FM Naroditsky vs more experienced FM Adamson Both have solid records so far this season.. Mainly cause of the white pieces, I expect Naroditsky to pull through with a 1-0 but a draw is a likely result as well..

On board 4, two of the most talented kids are dueling with one another.. Its a toss up in reality, but Im gonna prdict Liou wins due to his success on the all-star team last year

Overall thats a 3-1 victory for SF------> with room for error 2.5-1.5

Wednesday NIght Matches

The Heavy-hitter Catdog team commonly known as the Boston Blitz vs the Revenge seeking NJ Knockouts

Two multi-US Champ title holders duke out for the second time this season with colors reversed... for the same result.. Larry will try to squeeze Joel in a Caro-Kann advanced variation as he did against Shankland but to no cigar. 1/2-1/2

US/USSSR Champ GM Gulko takes on fellow Blitz player Shmelov..... I have to give Gulko an edge here and a likely victory although, I will certainly not count out Shmelov out. I am sure he will have something prepared in the Nimzo....

Another rematch: Martirosov takes on Kapengut... I doubt Kapengut was very pleased to draw Martirosov with white the last time and will take some chances as black... He has a rather solid 3.5 score in the league but was white 3 out of those games... I'm expecting another draw here.

Finally on to my replacement ( from the last NJ match) Krasik versus Matlin.... I doubt Krasik will play a London system like me not knowing exactly what I was doing... Im not quite sure what opening to expect for that matter but I do expect Krasik to bring out the full point...

All in all - thats a 2-2 tie ( I tried to be as objective as possible on this prediction)

A suprisingly watered down Philly team vs our Crosstown rivals leading the pack..

The- Ex-NY Knight/ player to beat more GMS than any non-GM Bonin vs Hungaski... In the words of Jay himself, I think he will achieve a " full-bone"... Thats 1 pt for Philly ( However, Hungaski is a very strong ( near GM if not fully there strength IM) so I think this game is definitely a toss-up.

FM Dehmelt faces ex Chicago star IM Van De Mortel as black: Here, I think the white pieces, and the 150 rating pt gap will kick in with IM Van De Mortel coming through with a victory... However, as FM Dehmelt demonstrated to me when I played him in PA over the summer, he is very solid and can hold resistance.

IM Costigan faces the higher rated solid FM Riordan... I could see Riordan equalizing out of the opening but not gaining much more afterwards: a draw is in order.

A rematch with the same colors: Wilson vs Cherniack: I think this will be the deciding result and this one can go either way... I predict another long draw in a QID.

Despite a 100 point rating edge, Im gonna go with a tie, especially as NE has a clear lead and won't want to take too many chances.

ST Louis with Naka Back in town vs Chicago the 1st place team that admitted an upcoming hard match (

Naka coming back from a solid Olympiad rematches GM Gurevich.... If he beat him last time with black, I can't imagine Naka not winning whith the white pieces.. One for ST Louis.

GM Amanov makes his USCL debut at the right time against GM Finegold... This game will partially depend on how Amanov adjusts to ICC... Assuming he could get the handle of it., I wouldn't be surprised if he goes for the win with white... That'll equate Naka's Win.

Battle of Ims Brooks and Felecan on bd 3.. I am not very familiar with either of their play but Felecan came to my mind as I am sure many others minds as a sharp IM when he beat Shulman with black in week 2 winning GOTW... I say Felecan will go ahead and pick up this point too.

FInegold JR seeks revenge against Cindy Tsai with white again.. I am sure he will have something up his sleeves in the Sicillian... however, I am sure Tsai will as well... The winner will likely be the one who prepares better, but I'm gonna go with the rating favorite Tsai...
All in all, I see a 2.5 victory for Chicago despite a minimal rating disadvantage... The 40 points isnt that great a difference considering SL's ratings points are mostly coming from one basket with Naka's edge on Gurevich.

Last but not least, I shall attempt to predict the result of the scramble between the Vibe and the Sluggers for a share of 4th place.

The Vibe assigned FM Kretchetov bd 1 duties despite his lower rating than Banawa likely as he is more experienced and can play solid with the white pieces.. However, playing our Olympiad captain Akobian is no easy task... I predict Akobian to wheel in the full point for Seattle.

Next, we have FM Milkhaiulk taking on the aforementioned Banawa with the white pieces.. As mentioned on the Seattle blog,
Milkhaiulk has not been doing so well so far this season, but he is facing slightly lower rated competition this week with the white pieces.. I see Milkhaiulk coming through with his first win of the season.

Board 3 sees Konstantin Kavutskiy, previously nicknamed Mclovin, fighting against Rohonyan.. I know next nothing about "Mclovin"'s play as he only played one game so far this year, but with a 80 point rating edge, Rohonyan will pull through a victory.

Then we see a show down of Gupta who is slightly higher rated and Sinanan who has substantial USCL experience.. THis a toss up to me but,, Ill somehow predict Gupta to win this game... Overall, I expect Seattle to win this match 3-1, although, Id say this is the match I feel lest confident about in my predictions.

Last week, I did reasonable in my predictions.. Im hoping to do better this time... It definitely adds more excitement to watching the matches.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Watching my team win from Nowhere Land

"He's a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody."
Ok, I had some predictions, but I was no where to be seen watching the USCL games.. Normally, the USCL is a big distraction... Half the time time USCL games are on, I'll be "studying" with my friends with several ICC windows open on my comp. screen. Friends will think I am crazy playing multiple games at once... When I tell them, I am actually watching several games live, they just look at me on awe..

This time around was different: While four of teammates were sweating away ( or not- don't quite know) at the Harvard Astrophysics center dueling the SF Mechanics, I was sweating away dancing at the Brandeis Chabad for Shemini Atzeret with no eyes on the games until afterwards... Here am now at 3 am sleeping like a normal human being ( I mean writing this blog post)

To start off here's my failure/sucesss in my predictions
I can't complain about my predictions for the night: 3/4 results correct... Different margins but it turns out Ron Young predicted the exact same results as me: Nyers think alike:)

Heres my results on individual match ups:

New England: 2/4: Shankland and Chase won.. Vigorito won, which I predicted was going to be a draw. Theil drew but it seems to me, he offered a draw since NE was already winning the match... I wasn't watching the match though so correct me if I'm wrong:)

Boston Blitz: Larry won in a nice attack as expected... I definitely underestimated the Catdog/ Havard square power of Marc on Bd 2... Heavy ( GOTW maybe) material there! Corke didn't manage to draw.... and Krasik drew rather than winning.... Overall, I only scored 1/4 on individual match ups but got the right result:)

Seattle: I think all the predictors got this one wrong:) With a rating edge, 1 Gm and 2 IMs vs 3 FMS it was hard to pick against NJ. The one match I predicted wrong: I got 1/4 of the results right here as Finn-Guo went exactly the way I said it would with Finn going for an all-out attack..... Cozianu shows he is a serious fighter and is clearly IM strength.

Baltimore Kingfishers:3/4 predictions right ( best of all) : Barcenilla drew as expected.. ok not too quick as I said before but there weren't too many fireworks in the game. Rensch lost to Kaufman who seemingly prepared well and had a very strong attack out of the opening.. Harper- Kaufman was my one mishap here... and Zimmer played a slow positional game with 1.Nf3 and his experience took over against Adelberg..

Overall Game Predictions correct: 7/18 -

Now on to the Blitz's Damage for the night! :

As I was sweating away dancing at the Chabad of Brandeis for shemini atzeret understanding maybe 15% of the Hebrew being chanted, 4 of my teammates were doing business against SF.

On board 1, Larry won with a typical one of his attacks... He played an off beat 2.b3 against Kraai's French and after move 5, the game was completely out of theory: even unnormal for USCL games to go out of book that fast!

On board 2, Marc ( Cat Dog gives no draws) Esserman takes the full point from IM Zilberstein:

I am at fault for underestimating the great powers of Catdog... I never knew he knew how to play with taking pawns... I thought he only knew how to sack them!

Board 3: Corke as far as I can see didn't get much of an advantage from the opening and got outplayed.

Board 4. Krasik plays Dragon but many possible fireworks didn't occur and ultimately peace was the result.

A solid match victory overall bringing us to 2nd place... Next stop is not letting NJ get revenge next week!

My first crack at USCL Predictions

After a topsy-turvy affair last week which ended in Boston's favor, I am sitting on the sidelines this week. Here I go with my 1st set of published predictions:

Our local "enemies" the New New England Nor-easters vs the St Louis Archbishops-Naka-Shulman

With St Louis's weaker line up this week ( only 2228) I can't imagine NE having a tough time winning this match.... My fellow Brandeis student Shankland shall at least draw Finegold with the white pieces. The battle of IMs Vigorito and Brooks, two experienced previous US champ players should lead to a draw. Chase and Theil will win against their 200+ lower rated players...

All in all 3-1 New England.

My newly beloved Boston Blitz vs Shankland's old team the Mechanics

Experienced several time US Champ winner vs relatively new GM.... Expect a sharp attack by Larry 1-0

Catdog Esserman fights Zilberstein as Black- Less crazy attacks here with the black pieces... Expect mayhem anyhow that somehow leads to peace

Underrated college student vs high school star-- Less of mayhem than Zilberstein- Esserman and another draw...

Boston's greatest talker vs underrated kid from SF: Experience takes over ( albeit being lower rated by 1 pt)

Thats Boston wins 3-1----- Margin of Error Adjustment ( using Marketing/Accounting skills) 2.5-1.5

Seattle vs New Jersey ( the battle of the teams needing to win to make the playoffs)

Unknown ( at least to me) very high rated FM Cozianu vs Benjamin- cant help thinking Benjamin is a favorite here: 1 pt for NJ

FM Mikhailuk vs Newly formed IM Mac Molner:

I first heard of Mikhailuk's power when he beat Shabalov with black last year.... This year he has been struggling though with a score of 0-3... With the white pieces and rating edge I expect Molner to squeeze out the victory..... Thats two pts for NJ.

FM Michael Lee vs Albert Kapengut: Up and coming youngster vs experienced IM coming off of a crazy draw against teamate Martirosov... I predict a draw here as Kapengut will play solidly as black and Lee won't push too hard.

Guo vs Finn.....
I haven't seen much of Guo's games and have seen FInn's crazy sacrificial games in the past.. Guo is playing well this year: 2 wins with the french... Seattle shall get their lone win of the match on this board as Guo will take advantage of Finn's material deficit after an all-out gruesome looking attack

In the long Run... NJ wins 2.5-1.5 and its playoff hopes stay alive with a -1 record of 2.5 3.5

The leaders in the West named the Scorpions vs the Middle of the Pack in the East also known as the Kingfishers

IM ( GM Strength) Barcenilla vs Erenburg : I expect peace relatively early as Barcenilla won't try for much.

IM Rensch vs GM Larry Rybka Kaufman- Rensch this is year is making up for his previously struggles in the league with an outstanding 3-0 record/2794 performance rating.... However, with the white peices and the outstanding Rybka-based preperation that I expect, I see Larry coming out with the full point.

FM Harper vs Kaufman JR ( IM Ray Kaufman):

Kaufman will outplay Harper in a QID ala his previous game this season against Dehmelt but Harper will hold out the draw ( The Kaufmans will score 1.5/2 in total)

Another up and coming Adelberg vs Zimmer... Busy student vs busy father.... Im gonnga go on a whim and expect the experience to take over here....

Baltimore wins 2.5-1.5 ( although a lot has to do with how Arizona will play after their loss last week: I know for me one of the hardest things to do in chess psychologically is to play after a loss)

Thats 4-0 for the East: Quite a reversal of Monday night's results with the West winning 3.5/4.. Lets see how much of these predictions hold true:)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Success in Albany

Adventure to Albany:
After my first full week of school, do I stay on campus like a normal student would?- NO.. It seems as over the summer I became addicted to traveling and can not stay in one place. Before Albany, I haven't played in a few weeks since the the Continental Open, where I finished with a modest but solid performance of 3/6 gaining 3 rating points. My final calling was my 2199 rating for September. I had a string of bad results in July and figured it couldn't hurt to try and take advantage of the rating so I decided to enter the u2200.

For now, I will show my 1st round game, where I won rather convincingly. Other than one significant mishap, I won rather smoothly. I played Ernest Johnson, someone I knew for a long time as he is a friend of my old coach and team-ate Alan Kantor but we had never played before. Speaking of which look what I found in a nice pile of Chess Lifes:
Yes the one actual National title I won was the USATE of 2007 along with Alan, Evan Turtel, James Critelli and Nick Panico.. LONG LIVE BEAVIS AND BUTVINNIK!:)

Anyway back to my road to a NY State title:
After this game. I thought I was playing decent chess.. Except for the one relatively major mishap with f4, I thought I calculated pretty well and was prepared in the opening. After this game however, I was dead lost in my next two rounds, and both games ended in draws so although I had a decent score 2/3 the quality of my games were not very high. After I drew Lohrman, an interesting opportunity arose. There were only two people playing in the 2 day schedule so I was offered to re-enter for free. Although many people thought I was crazy to play 4 games in one day, I figured it couldn't hurt to take the opportunity. Luckily, it went well as I finished the 2-day portion of the day with 2.5/3 ( taking a bye in the 1st round).

After that, I won with the black pieces with Chandran and became a half point ahead of the field with 3.5/4 as Ainsworth drew Guevara after drawing Chandran in the morning.

In round five I played Ainsworth, a clearly forced pairing as I was the only 3.5 and he was the only 3. It was annoying however, as it meant my third black in a row. I had prepared to play white but then realized him playing black would mean 4 blacks out of 5 games. It was aggravating to get my third black in a row but after Goichberg and Immit showed me the color priorities in the rules, I knew it was a fair pairing. He played passively in the opening in another Nimzo Indian and ultimately the game petered out to a draw after 70 moves. Of course the last twenty of moves were nothing moves in an opposite-colored bishops endgame. Of course, I was stubborn and didn't want to give a draw.

I will be very blunt and say it was because I don't like it when lower-rated players play for a draw from near the start of the game, especially with the white pieces. Now, I may be somewhat of a hypocrite as in the last round against Guevara I didn't take many chances as white, considering the fact that I was a half point ahead of the field and a draw meant at least a share of first place. However, I made sure I developed a slight advantage rather than sacking a pawn to trade into a bishops of opposite color endgame.

In the long run however, Ainsworth played very solidly and well and deserved a tie first as he demonstrated in his last round against Sells. Not only did he tie for first, but he was playing up a section and cracked expert for the first time.

Thanks to Polly Wright ( for the pictures.

I must also point out that all of the three-member Boston contingent did well ( Yes, I am a New Yorker as conveyed through the pic YANKEES STILL IN 1st!!!!) but I did come from school in Boston and am a member of the Boston Blitz which is coming back to business witha 2-1 score! Catdog Esserman used his newly Harvard Square wisdom to destroy the Open and his student Daniel Bromberg cracked 1700 for the first time.. Being 1597, he didn't wimp out lie me playing in the u2200 and played in the u1800 as he was 1671 unofficial. He had a poor start 0-2 but then turned the tables going wining 4 in a row to earn a respectable 4/6. HEAVY

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm alive and back in Bahstan as a member of the Blitz!

It's been exactly a month since I posted last... Did I live a dreadful boring life since then?: Not exactly, but with work and travel, I have been exhausted and have not been in the mood to blog. To the contrary, today is my last day of work as I am now on the commuter rail to Willmington. I won't go on one of my long travel rants but I will say it is not fun waking up at 5:30 am to get on a train to Boston, to take another train out to Willmington rather than taking a 20 minute drive directly from Brandeis to Willmington.

Other news:

I am an official member of the Boston Blitz! Last Monday, I trekked to the Harvard center of Astrophysics to spectate the first game of the season. I was proud to tell my teamates and the Blitz fans that I was rooting for Boston in the league for the first time against my not-so-hard-to-guess previous team the Knights. Of course I was not happy how Boston went down in flames going 0-4: However, just as the Yanks destroyed the Sox this season after losing several games, Boston will pick up!

****** Disclaimer: Just because I am on the Blitz, does not mean I am a Bostonian.. YANKEES in 1st Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More on USCL and other events coming soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In and around NY/ Lackluster Result in White Plains

And so it goes- I failed to keep my promise to myself that I wouldn't play until I analyzed all my games from two Thursdays ago. When I realized I had three local camps in a row, I told my self I would take advantage and play a few tournaments- but no cigar. I am finally realizing why so many chess teachers don't play chess in the year- I'm hanging pieces left and right! Here's my utterly disgustingly embarrassing blunder against IM Sarkar last night:

I finished with a win against another nemesis of mine, although we only played a few times and evened up my lifetime score against Alex Eydelman.- Overall, it was a lackluster performance of 1/3 and a 2114 performance rating, but it will do... Im now 2192 and still just under the radar of master again.

Here's a few photos I took from my phone around NY the last few weeks. I'm having issues with my camera: more concert reviews to come up when its fixed.... Btw any advice from my readers on a type of new camera I should get?
Two funky street performers at the Columbus Circle Subway Station

A cool new sculpture next to the MET I saw walking through the park yesteray

A Killer Jazz jam band and one of my favorite spots in NY: the Fat Cat

A relatively new extremely cheap and good pizza place on 8th street and 6th ave

The slices are a bit small but with two slices and soda for $2.75, you can't complain especially considering NY prices these days! For breakfast this morning I got a bagel and and ice coffee thinking it might be a bit expensive as it was on 88th and Lex, a good location: I didn't think it would be $6.75 though!- That was just outrageous.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm alive and seeing lots of great concerts!

Although I haven't posted in the last few weeks, I have been doing quite a lot. After Ringo, I saw Robert Plant down in Little Rock and saw Winwood open for Santana last Sunday. Both of them had their ups and downs but were great shows altogether. More to come soon, (this time I promise:).

I'd post more on them now, but I am exhausted- chess camp does tire you out and the traveling doesn't help. Chesswise, I am in a little bit of a losing streak or in the words of my friend Jeremiah Williams "freefall". I played on Tuesday rather miserably in the Marshall Masters scoring 1/4 and falling just below master. Therefore, I decided to skip out on tonight's 4RGT and Bradley this weekend. I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't play until I fully analyze my games from the Masters and the Thursday before I left to Little Rock and put a few up on the blog. On the other hand, as I walking home today down Broadway a bookseller near Fairways asked me if I wanted to play a game of chess. I did not know the man so I figured he had known me from my blog or had seen me around at tournaments... NOPE I guess he saw me quickly glance at the computer chess board that he was trying to sell for $30. Albeit being tired, I figured it couldn't hurt. After I beat him in about 20 moves, he said I was a "good chess player". Little did he know I was actually coming home from teaching a chess camp!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ringo rocks out on his 70th birthday! Part 1

Ringo's show on Wednesday was nothing short of incredible. I can't explain fully how so many friends did not want to see him because he wasn't the "best Beatle".I would not argue with this statement, but that is a relative one. Ringo may have wrote only a few songs for the Beatles, the ones he did and/or covered such as "Act Naturally" were some of the Beatle's biggest hits. Not only that, he did the perfect job at holding a steady beat, which is all the Beatles needed in the long run.

Perhaps,because Ringo knows he was sort of a "sideman" of the Beatles he is very modest on stage at times. He does make a lot of arrogant jokes very deservingly so. For example, when he pointed to a sign that said "Happy Birthday Ringo", he said "That's nice, but where is my gift?". He is different from Mccartney (oops I mean Sr. Paul) who at least at Citifield last year dominates the show. On the other hand, Ringo takes full advantage of the enormous talent his Allstar bandmates have.

I regret not knowing Rick Derringer's music well sooner. I have heard of his song "Hang on Sloopy" which he played phenomenally, but never knew how good of a guitar player he was. He evened pulled out some Steve Vai style shredding at the end of "Rock and roll Hoochie Koo".

In addition, I learned about the great voice of Wally Palmer, of the Romantics who performed excellent renditions of "Talking in Her Sleep" and "What I Like About You". Not only that,he had my favorite kind of guitar, a Rickenbacker. On the off chance that any of my readers are feeling generous and want to buy me an extra birthday gift, you know what to get:)

Before I get on to my favorite parts of the show, I need to share my one objective not so great part of the show: the songs Richard Page played. He is a great bass player but I wasn't too big on the 80s songs he played: "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings".

The Dark Horse who almost stole the show:The Mighty Edgar Winter

This multi-instrumentalist is just extraordinary- no questions asked. I've listened to plenty of his music before, but seeing him lie is something else. He played "Freeride", right after Derringer's "Hang on Sloopy",so the bar was raised pretty high. He certainly met his task. He raised the bar much higher however when he playeed possibly his biggest hit "Frankenstein".

A close contender to Winter however was Gary Wright with his one major hit "Dreamweaver". I always knew this song but never actually knew who sung it. I thought it was interesting how he explained it was influenced by a poem George Harrison showed him while traveling in India. RIP GEORGE.

Part 2 coming soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Short Birthday Excursion to Philadelphia/King of Prussia

It took me a long time to decide whether or not to play the World Open. I wanted to play a nice long tournament but because of work last week, I would of had to play the 3 day schedule.Considering the fact that I was exhausted working three weeks in a row and the steep $350 entry fee, I decided not to play.Instead,Sunday I ventured out to King of Prussia to play in the two quick tournaments and spend my 20th birthday.

I got to Philly pretty easily via Megabus,which is a great means of transit: It was $12 and it has free wifi and outlets unlike the more expensive Greyhound. I then met up with a friend from Brandeis and I wanted to go to a great Kosher Israeli restaurant Hamifgash.We walked over there and it was closed: I tried going there twice before this time and one of those they were closed as well, so I would try calling them first to see they if they are open. If they are though, you certainly won't regret going there.

Instead,we had a great lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Philly, the Imperial Inn:
Not surprisingly on July 4th, there was a big patriotic gathering by the Liberty Bell, in which many people protested against Obama's call to bring home the troops in July of 2011 as they wanted them to come home sooner. I am going to refrain from the politics on the blog, but here are some photos I snapped there:

My birthday in King of Prussia was fun, but I played rather miserable in the g/5 and g/10 tournaments. In the g/10 I hung pieces left and right and withdrew after going 0-3 against one a player and two experts. The g/5 was a little better as I went 5-5, but wasn't great. That's life though- I can't expect to play with out so many blunders after teaching kids three weeks in a row. I am going to try to do some tactics training before my next event to try and not blunder so much.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Rambling Man in the DC Area

Lord, I was born a ramblin' man
Trying to make a living and doing the best I can
When it's time for leaving, I hope you'll understand
That I was born a rambling man.
(Ramblin' Man by the Allman Brothers: A shameless plug of one of my favorite songs of all time by one of the best rock bands)

I may have not been "born a ramblin' man, but since May I certainly have been. Since I left to Asia, I have stayed in 11 hotels, went on 12 flights (including conections), and took 4 bus rides.

This past week, I did a camp in Potomac, Maryland and stayed in Gaithersburg. Here are two places I enjoyed eating at in Gaithersgburg:

1) Ricky's Rice Bowl: A small Asian joint in the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center

At first, I was a bit wary of trying this place as it was Korean owned and had Korean, Japanese, Thai and other kinds of food. Generally, I find places that dont specialize on one cuisine don't make great food. This place was an exception. The two nights in a row that I went there I had peanut chicken and brocoli and it was excellent. It was also reasonably priced at $8.00 for a large portion.

2)The Silver Diner

This diner is located In the Lake Forest Mall of Gaithersburg had a pretty good hamburger and french fries that I ordered. However, I had one complaint:their boombox had one of CSN's best songs spelled wrong!:
It should be Teach Your Children!

The last night I was there, I took the metro to Alexandria to meet my aunt and uncle for dinner. Here is some photos I took along the way including one of a great underground street performer band. I have a new policy that if a street performer actually grabs my attention in a positive manner and I have some change on me, I will give some.

I am now on a bus to Philly to spend my birthday in tradition at the World Open. Look for some upcoming posts on Ringo's concert at Radio City Wednesday night and Little Rock next week!