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

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