Wednesday, December 07, 2022 08:56

Archive for April, 2011

U.S. Championships 2011 – St. Louis

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

A half dozen of us from the club are here in St. Louis today to watch the Semifinal Round 1 of the U.S. Championships. Garrett Scott, Joe Alford, Chris Morgan, Dennis Bourgerie, Michael Boyle, and I are all present. I will be blogging live / adding photos as I can today.

After arriving and looking around for awhile, we went for lunch at Pi, a pretty famous pizza placd here in town. Great pizza, but it caused us to be a couple of minutes late coming back in; as such I missed the chance to take board photos. (Oh, well!)

3:06 – been looking at the Shankland-Kamsky game. It’s different to be here, as opposed to watching it on video. Some of it is being in the audience and watching the audience reactions to things. There are GMs in the audience today as well.

After looking at the boards for a few minutes, I came back down to the analysis room. (Where I am right now at 2:15.) The plyaers have already advanced their openings (8 or so moves for each player.) Hess-Shulman is the match to be watching IMVHO, though the Krush-Zatonskih match is also compelling.

4:35 – Warm in the commentary room… Michael Boyle and I played two games outside upstairs and then came back to the commentary room. Been watching Irina Krush implode, also. (Implode in the minds of the commentators, a patzer like me can follow along with the analysis but not come up with it. A common problem for us patzers – how do we bridge the knowledge gap? And then, when a couple of moves later Krush hasn’t actually imploded after all, even if Zatonskih is better off.)

5:02 – The sort of thing you never get a chance to see if you’re not here in person, seeing GM’s Seirawan and Hammer discussing the games.

GMs in the room include Ben Finegold, Jan (Jann??) Hammer, and Yasser Seirawan. (And of course Maurice Ashley and Jennifer Shahade doing our commentary.)

Normal Open Chess

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

(The all-too-cliche joke in Bloomington/Normal would be, “As opposed to Abnormal Open Chess?”)

Yesterday it was up to Northbridge Baptist church to play in a 4 round G/70. In deference to the joke, though, the turnout was abnormally light. Aside from one person from Hudson, nobody from out of town came despite lots of promotion.

Jeff showed why he’s a Senior TD, though, in rolling with the punch: The players collectively decided we’d forego the prizes in order to just play some rated chess. (And much thanks to Bill Barton and the folks at Northbridge in allowing the use of their facilities.)

Before the day was done, eleven of us had played seventeen games in total. (Several players either left early, arrived late, and one house player – the director – had one game.) But it was still a fun day, and much thanks to Jeff for setting it up!

I only had one win for four games. I felt pretty good about my level of play in all of them, though. In all four games I reached an endgame (though in the first game I flubbed in the early middlegame and played a silly desperation move in attempting to pull a draw out when I saw a loss coming,) and in all my losses I made my 1300s-1700s opponents work very hard to get their points.

Instead of thinking it is time to resume my correspondence play, I’m going to delay that until I get some good analysis time on all four games. Which is another reason to appreciate the games – there are good learning moments in all of them.

So, it has been a good weekend for enjoying my chess. I hope that you can also

Enjoy your chess!