Thursday, April 29, 2010

More exciting concerts coming to locations near your this summer!

First of all, I wanted to share some incredible concerts coming up this summer that I hope I get to see:

1)
Beatles are back! There going to open Shea Stadium this summer with a new great show!... No- but I did find a surprisingly somewhat accurate list of the top 50 classic rock bands not surprisingly with the Beatles on top: http://classicrock.about.com/od/recommendationsandreviews/a/top100_bands.htm

I do certainly have some personal criticisms of the list however: please share your opinions.
For example:
- Led Zeppelin should replace Pink Floyd as #2
-The Allman Brothers should replace The Eagles as #6
-Cream should be higher, possibly ranked #9 instead of the Moody Blues although I don't know nearly as mouch about them

Unfortunately, I cant quite buy tickets yet as I don't know where I will be throughout the summer; however, these are some more concerts I want to see:

1) Crosby Stills and Nash and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cant stress enough how much I want to see this show that I just found out about today. About a month ago I mentioned on here that I wanted to see Tom Petty but him going on tour with CSN sounds just priceless.. 4 of the best guitarists/songwriters of all time
2) "A modern-day warrior
Mean mean stride
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean mean pride"!!!!!!!!!!!!
...... Rush!!!! Never saw them live yet and there going on tour for the first time in a few years..
3) "Welcome to the Hotel Califfornia... Such a lovely place, such a lovely place..."
another great band Ive yet to see going on tour... The Eagles!!!

Its hard for me not liking my generation of music. The guys whose music I love aren't going to be around touring for much longer; I have to see them while I can!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beginning of Anand-Topalov Match/Predictions




For a change, I will discuss high-level chess instead of my own foul-play. I will by no means attempt to analyze the games as much stronger annotators such as Yermolinski on Chessfm and Giri on Chessbase.com gave gave their input;however, I do want to my put some my insights.

Personally, I think Anand is a clear favorite to win the match. I predict he will win the match 7-5 as Topalov will try to hard to win some key games toward the end of the match. Before the start of the ridiculous bathroom scandal in his 2006 match against Kramnik, which I am sure you are all aware of, I rooted for Topalov to become World Champion because of his entertaining tactical and interesting style.


Oh No!! Kramnik is not at the board! He must be cheating in the bathroom!


I remember I went to a lecture Joel Benjamin gave at the Marshall about half way through the match. In his introduction, he asked how many people were rooting for Topalov before and after the bathroom controversy. Beforehand, about 3/4 of the 20 or so people there said they were rooting for him and few if any were afterwords.

Perhaps my prediction that Anand will win is biased but the two factors of their overall lifetime score and the fact that Anand beat Kramnik are in Anand's favor. Feel free to share your predictions.

As to the first two games: Somewhat amusing, somewhat not so amazing

To a certain degree, it was an incredible start to the match in terms of excitement:two consecutive decisive games. On the other hand I don't find two players rattling off 22 moves in the 1st game and Anand blundering on move 23, at least according to chessbase.com,so interesting. Obviously, preparation is a large factor in such a prestigious match I don't find a game so heavily based on it to be so interesting. I would even prefer a long-fought draw with a lot of positional nuances. Of course, I could be criticized for bias for Anand again by saying this, but I truly did appreciate his victory more as although the game wasn't perfect, he did play some high-level nuances such as 27.bf3 that a weak player like myself would likely ignore.

According to IM Malcom' Pein's article on Chessbase.com, Anand played some questionable moves such as his "not so great" novelty 15.Qa3. Yermolinski does agree with Pein on this annotation as he expressed on his ChessFM video. On the other hand, I think this was a great physcological blow to to Topalov going back to the principles of Lasker, which I learned about in the 1st chapter of "Counter Attack" an excellent new book by Gm Zenon Franco. Lasker would often purposely play "inferior" moves if he thought his opponents would not react in the best way. Whether this is what Anand was thinking or not, its a good explanation that I would like to believe!

Thats all for now.. Check back for more reactions to the Championship in a few days.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blues Great meets Opera Great and Question for Readers




Clapton and Pavarotti: Two of the best musicians in their perspective genres.. I never thought they would have played on one stage though.. In this video, Pavorotti's opera voice gives Clapton's underrated song "Holy Mother" an interesting twist.



Question: I had this blog for a few months now and seems to me most of the comments I get are from chess articles and not ones that discuss music. Please share with me what you expect on a blog, and what types of posts would interest you. I am relatively new blogger and am open for new ideas.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hartford Open: Youth vs the Aged

When I boarded the bus at South Station to Hartford, I ran into Libardo Rueda, who unsurprisingly also going to play in the tournament. See my old post regarding the USATE for psychological warfare against his team! On the bus, we had a conversation regarding young and older chess players. When we both said we were playing in the u2205 section, and he said we may play, I automatically said it would most likely be in the 4th or 5th round and he said that showed overconfidence as we both would have to score high in the early rounds to do so.

With that said, I did keep some degree of self-confidence as necessary. In round 2, I played Barsky, who I lost two twice previously and many more times years ago in the Marshall Friday Night Rapids; however I did not let these losses get to me and managed to keep strong self-confidence. Here was one of the game's most critical positions:



After this game, I drew Meredith as seen as in my last Hartford post. Now, myself, Meredith, Plotkin and Patrick Chi had 2.5/3. I find my game against Chi heavily influenced by his high level of self confidence. Patrick Chi is a great talent, who recently won the NYS Elementary championships and broke expert. Assuming he goes, he will have a great shot of winning the Elementary nationals too- best of luck to him. Without question he is by far stronger (1000 rating pts!) stronger than I was at his age so I give him my utmost respect but perhaps he could use advice when it comes to his super high confidence that may lead to his downfall sometimes as shown through my game against him:


Thats all for now...For all your non-chess readers though, heres a rather hilarious video I saw recently of Ringo saying to his fans to stop sending fan mail.... If you don't remember from a few posts back, yes, I am currently possessed by a craze for Ringo's music.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best Beatles Cover Ive seen a long time!!!!!!

This is the first time I am posting more than once in one day but couldn't resist to post this absolutely fantastic rendition of "Hey Jude" by the incredible up and coming blues guitarist Derek Trucks who won a Grammy this year for Best Contemporary Blues Album and his wife Susan Tedeschi.



If you haven't heard of Derek Trucks yet, who is now a regular part of the Allman Brothers, check out his new excellent cd, Already Free

Bradley Open: First u22[05] section as a master!


This post is a preview: more to come tomorrow or Wednesday but Matan was very quick in putting a link on uschess.org so I had to do something for now:) If you haven't yet check out his article with some nice games of Esserman: http://main.uschess.org/content/view/10319/141/.

This was my third playing in Bradley; the first two were pretty much disasters. The first time was the Bradley Open in 2006 when as one of the top seats I scored 1.5/4 against all A players before drawing. My second appearance at Bradley was not much better: In 2008,when I played in the Open, being just over 2100. What did I do after the two hour drive to Hartford?: Hang a rook in two moves against a 1600, ie, not a great start:( In that tournament I actually started to play well afterwards and ended up losing a money round in the last round against Dan Lowinger to finish with 2.5. Anyhow, enough ranting about my previous struggles in Bradley. During that time, I told my then roomate Nolan,who actually had a rather good tournament winning clear first in the u2000 section, that I would never come back to this location as despite a nice host site, there isn't much around the area.

However, as many of you know, I am an addict. As I recently made master, I knew it was one of may last u2200 sections, at least hopefully, so I couldn't help going to give it a chance.Fortunately, In the long run, I did manage to change my Bradley feat and tie for first with Derek Meredith. Congrats to him too! Here is my game against my co-Hartford u2205 champion in Round 3: More games will be in my next post.


After that, in round four I beat Patrick Chi rather quickly while Derek drew Plotkin. Then I drew Plotkin a a great 5 move struggle, while Derek outplayed Dale Sharp after 6 hours to tie with me. Come back soon for some more games/ anecdotes from the tournament.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ringo Starr Interview: New Album/ The Vatican

As, I mentioned two posts ago, I will likely see Ringo this Summer, I found this interview from a few days ago very interesting:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yom Hashoah Shabbat Dinner/ BCC $10 Open

Shabbat Dinner

Last night, I went to an interesting Yom Hashoah commemoration Shabbat dinner at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. It is a unique temple, who consider themselves "unorthodox" and specifically non-reform. Too be honest I did not realize much of a difference of there and a reform Schul but it was certainly an interesting experience. People played instruments and it was an upbeat service. `

It was co-organized by Boston 3G and Birthright Israel Next. If you don't know what 3G is, that is normal as I didn't know what it was before last night either.. Its a group of young Jewish professionals whose grandparents are survivors of the Holocaust. Several of 3G members gave touching accounts about their grandparents' survival stories. One story that particularly intrigued me was when of the members accounted how her grandmother and 3 sisters, who all survived the Holcaust together had about 80 children overall.. I learned the Jews in reality lost more than 6 Million people as they could not reproduce.. May they be remembered.

BCC Underwater $10 Open

On a much better note, I played pretty well at the Boylston today and am still a master! I beat two 1800s, and evened my lifetime score against Lawyer Times, which is now 1.5-1.5. I being the only 3-0 was paired against Denys Shmelov, who had 2.5 as he took a round 1 bye.. I played Denys 3 times now,, all losses with black.. Maybe eventually I could play white against him once:)

Note to self: Be careful when preparing for your opponents as to they are not directly behind you:

I was preparing for Denys, looking at one of his losses against Ippolito in the US Chess League last year. I was using my Ipod to see the moves and making them on the chess board, completely oblivious to the fact that Denys was right behind me:).. Sure enough, he walked right into the same line he lost to Ippolito in and I won the game! ... No, more like instead of 1.d4 nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 allowing the Nimzo Indian, he played the Catalan:



So overall it was a decent tournament... I tied for 2nd with a fellow (alumni) Brandeisian Steven Winer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yankees!! /Concerts for the Summer


Yankees
Whats that boston?: 2-1 Yanks! I knew they would get their act together. Rays will be going down this weekend too:)

Concerts

There's plenty of shows happening this summer.. Unfortunately, I cant really buy tickets yet as I don't know where Ill be throughout the summer as I will teaching chess camps for USA chess.

I. Mountain Jam: June 4-6 - a great music festival up in Hunter Mountain. I went there last year and had a great time. I'm not liking the fact that the Allman brothers aren't playing there this year but if I go again, which is very likely, Ill be very excited for Govt mule again, Derek Trucks, this time with his wife Susan Tedeschi, and Matisyahu among others! Check it out: www.mountainjam.com Heres some pics I took from last year's Mountain Jam:

href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_A6Wx9VjG8wk/S75obxWQzGI/AAAAAAAAAF8/nnpWvYzD0F0/s1600/P1020444.JPG">



Notice, what type of hat the great Greg Allman is wearing:)

II. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: one great band who Ive yet to see in Concert. They will be playing at the garden July 28 and elsewhere.. Hopefully Ill get to see them.

III. The Concert as of now that I want to see most!: the one and only......................... Ringo Starr.. Last year I saw the other living Beatle Mcartney... Only makes sense to see Ringo. Last year when I decided to see Mcartney, many people asked me why I was willing to spend so much money as he was not the greatest Beatle. Admittedly, John was my favorite Beatle, but that is is relative statement... Each Beatle wrote his fair share of songs and with out anyone of them some of their greatest songs would never been around.. What would the Beatles be without Mcartney and his countless masterpieces including "Yesterday", "Drive my car", among many others... or would what the Beatles be without Ringo's great work: including the first Beatles song I remember listening to back in 1st grade in Betsy's music class at Churchill!!!!!!!!: "Octupus's garden" Wow, those were the good old days.






Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Master!!!!!!

Its been ages since I posted last... well a bit less than two weeks ago but still a long time. Todays my last day of Spring Break- going back to Boston today. Sunday was not the best of nights as many of you can probably imagine.. In case you can't heres a small clue:


With the help of Kevin Youkillis, the Bahstanian Red Sox did beat the Yanks.. Congrats.. However, lets flashback to about one year ago.. Who beat the Yanks 8 games in a row before the dominant team came together and won the World Series? Ill leave that to to the reader to decide:) Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!



On the the important stuff: Playing chess over spring break was worthwhile!!

More games to come, but for now Ill share one of my wins from last night that gave my my final boost over the magic 2200:


Thats all for now.. I am going to take a small break from chess to study for finals( possibly play one or two tournaments to stay in shape).. then in May strive to maintain master!!!!