Sunday, July 23, 2017 08:48

Blogging Live from DeKalb

Updated: 9:27 PM (Final Post on Live)

Our last little adventure trying to get to DeKalb was interrupted by a blizzard.

This morning, though, it’s supposed to be sunny and roads clear for the first tournament in Illinois of 2011.  My tournament kit is ready and I’ve got just a few things left before we leave for DeKalb.  I’ll be blogging live in this post as I have time throughout the day.

Time to put the laptop away in the kit and get ready and go!

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Pre-tournament:

We have all arrived on time and fine.  Roads were beautiful – wished I’d gotten some contrast pictures with the blizzard.

Hanson Hao is also playing here today.  So we have five of us, all in the lower section.

IMG_0459_s2

The Crew, Ready to Rock!

Checked in (and Ray pointed out that if we paid the $5 annual membeship for DeKalb chess, then we get a discount on the EF plus discounts from now on.  So now we’re committed for a return at some point.)  ;)  Coffee, restroom and conversation later and it’s time to rock!

No time for photos yet; pairings about to happen.  Wish us luck!

Round 1:

Round 1 was a loss for me – I ended up dropping a Rook in a Ruy Lopez.  I know that I’ve used exactly the same trap before.  :(  But hope for Round 2.

The rest of our crew did about as expected.  Michael and I lost, Hanson won, and Niranjan drew.  Ray got a bye for the round.

Pairings coming up imminently – must move quick!

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Round 2:

Round 2 and I had another loss, but in this one we reached an endgame… from a Petroff, which isn’t my strongest opening.  One little pawn promoting made the difference.  This was one of those “fun-to-lose” ones, with enough equality in the game to make it very interesting.

About twenty minutes left on the clocks.  Ray also lost.  Hanson and Niranjan both scored wins… Talk about your hope for the future being in the children!!! :)

Mike got the bye, and we’re heading down to Round 3.  I’m thinking about lunch, or a combined lunch/dinner after next round.  I’d love to show some of the photos, but I’m not sure if I have time.  After coffee and bathroom we’ll see.  If I miss a third round post it’s because I had to get to the board.

Round 2, Now What Mess Have I Gotten Myself Into???  ;)

Round 2, Now What Mess Have I Gotten Myself Into??? ;)

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Round 3:

Round 3 and I finally got on the board!  It was a fairly fast miniature against a player rated in the 400s.  But even then, my opponent and I did postgame analysis which reveals on early study that if White had played 14. Qe2 we would have had a whole different ballgame, with me down a Knight and playing defensive ball.

All the other games are still playing at the moment.

Time for lunch/dinner!  Then photos if I get the chance – if not, then results after Round 4.

My One Victory of the Day.  Thanks, John!

My One Victory of the Day. Thanks, John!

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Round 4:

In Round 4 I faced an opponent that I had previously met during my last tournament in DeKalb.  I had won in our previous encounter with White leading my Giuoco Pianissimo.  This time I was not as fortunate.  An ill-conceived attack had me trade Queen for a Rook, and we worked it into a Queen versus Rook endgame that my opponent handled most excellently.  It will be interesting to analyze to see what better move I might have had rather than setting up what led to the trade-off.

The Crew Considers Just How LaughingVulcan Could Have Gone So Wrong!!!  :D

The Crew Considers Just How LaughingVulcan Could Have Gone So Wrong!!! :D

I feel fairly well about how I handled the endgame, though my opponent certainly knew what he was doing with it and proved the superior advantage of Queen over Rook.  ;)

(Surprisingly to me, mine was the final game of the five of us from Bloomington, so I didn’t have time to post this from up there.)

Post-Tournament

I know that Hanson Hao scored 3.0/4 and Niranjan scored 2.5/4, making them the best of our pack.  I think Ray finished with 1.5/4 including a bye, I finished at 1.0/4, and Michael might have finished at 2.0/4 with including a bye.  But I’ll have to confirm that from the ratings.

All in all, I’m moderately pleased with my performance.  In two of my games against higher rated opponents I worked it down into an endgame.  This proves to me that I need both work on recognizing target opportunities (to start focusing myself into endgames where I am on the winning side,) and also work on my endgames themselves.

Overall, I believe that we all had a good time and it was good to get tournament play with a different group of people.  Much thanks to Bill and the DeKalb Chess Club for hosting the tournament (and also his work in pairings to mostly avoid pairing us Bloomington folks together!)  We’ll definitely be back up that way again!

More photos will be available at the Twin Cities Chess Club site as soon as I get the opportunity to process and post them – probably later this week.

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