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Posts Tagged ‘Tournament’

Blogging Live from DeKalb

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

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!



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.


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!


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??? ;)


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!


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.)


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.

Mad dash for “Last Sunday in the Cornfields”

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Thanks for putting up with my Ribbon hatred last post…

Anyway, took a run up to the Borders in DeKalb today (123 miles and a little over two hour drive away) for a three round G/40 Swiss. (The tourney was titled “Last Sunday in the Cornfields” –  hence the thread title. ; ) )  Played three rounds, won one out of three games, and saw my rating jump quite significantly. None of my opponents were close to my rating range, so that one win was quite dramatic to my rating (to the tune of 71 points Regular, 88 points Quick!) Still in the Patzer section, though.

Of the 15 players there, I had met a couple of them at the Oglesby tournament back in February. One of them was the TD of the event, who reminded me that we played each other at that event (he won,) and another player from the Quad Cities I remembered drawing with there. Didn’t get to play either of them this go around.

That second round game… I haven’t analyzed it yet (just got home an hour ago!) But I’m pretty sure my opponent had me cold when he got a little anxious for the kill – he was going for a mate-in-1 killer, but in trying it he let me take a pawn with check and then mate him first. More on that game for another post.

Anyway, kudos to the DeKalb Chess Club and William Feldman (I think he goes by Bill?) for running a very nice tournament that fit well into an afternoon. I’d happily pop up there again another time! And bring friends from our club!

Bradley Round 2

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Must be even faster here… Lost again to Sam Heil, a local scholastic player… but he’s rated 1496.
Hope for round three? ;) It begins in about ten minutes…

Play Online Chess

It seems that maybe the chess viewer has trouble with names or multiple rounds? Or maybe I loaded the wrong game…

Bradley Open Round 1

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Must go quickly, as I am scarfing lunch while doing this. Round two starts officially at noon, in about eight minutes.

First game was Black against a player rated 1616. I lost a pawn early on, and that turned out to be my undoing. ;)

Oh well. A fun game, and next round coming up!

Play Online Chess

So very tired… but Happy! (IVCC Winter Tornado!)

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I traveled up to Oglesby today (just a tad over an hour’s drive North of me,) and played in a 4 round G/80 tournament today.

My final score: .5 for 4. My second round was a draw that we actually worked down to King versus King. While a theoretical draw, brief post-analysis following the round showed that both my opponent and myself missed wins arising from being able to go Rook up. But oh, well.

I had originally planned to take a fourth round 1/2 point bye, but I got to talking pre Round-3 start. Part of me feels I should have, as I was tired enough that I dropped my Queen on move 6!!?!?! But, even Queen down, I held out for 66(!) moves before resigning.

The other interesting thing that happened… my Chronos clock died at the end of Round 3. (Batteries. I haven’t replaced them in a couple of years.) My opponent was going to call the TD over, but I could see the win he had, he was good enough to make it, and I resigned.

Thanks to Ron Suarez and the Illinois Valley Chess Club for running it!

Two tournaments in three days!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The second was our monthly G/10 Blitz tournament for Tri-City Chess Club, last night. Went 1 for 4 (again!) My win was against an opponent who had a full and tiring day and then dropped – but I’ll take the win with gratitude. :)

The other thing to note: I learned that it is entirely possible to use eNotate to record full games even at G/10. That I went out of time wasn’t because of eNotate. I have *so* got to make a video about that, but it’s move tap-tap, move tap-tap, move tap-tap. With the 3 second delay I lost little, if any, time to recording. I’ll acknowledge that twice the tap-tap led to recording a wrong move, but undoing that was the work of about another 3-5 seconds.

My operational theory is: Blitz chess can, if you record your games and record enough of them, eventually reveal patterns of how one reacts to a given position. The eventual improvement goal is to learn how I see the board and react instinctively, in order to change how I see the board and thus change my reactions to something more winnable. (Not to mention to show myself where I am recognizing patterns appropriately and positively reinforce where I’m moving correctly.)

But, at any rate, chalk up another good thing about eNotate. ;)

The Day After…

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

a really depressing movie about nuclear holocaust in the 80s and people surviving in light of it. ;) (Trek Trivia: The Day After was directed by Nicholas Meyer – the force behind Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and was involved with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. KHAAAAAAAAN!!!!!)

I went ahead last night and did analysis on my losses. My most serious blunder of the tournament is now immortalized over at – have a look! Not quite as bad as nuclear holocaust, but a close analogue over the chessboard.

And life goes on… time to do other Sunday/Sabbath things now. :D

Enjoy your Chess!

Peoria Winter Tornado

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

About This Post…

It’s 7 AM. I’m preparing to head on over to Peoria for the Novice section of the Greater Peoria Chess Federation’s Winter Tornado tournament. If I have Wi-Fi access over there I’ll update this post throughout the day. (Otherwise I’ll just be typing it up after rounds and doing one edit tonight.)


So, it’s 7 AM. I got plenty of sleep last night, but I didn’t actually go to sleep until my body was worn out. When I woke up this morning I realized why…. I’m nervous about today. Not quite like I was for the Northbridge tournament, but it’s the same feeling. Stress. It used to be this way in Speech & Debate, too, as well as when I took the stage, or the pulpit.

Here’s my routine for this, saying the following internally to myself: I am nervous, and this is fine – that means my energy levels are charging up for the best chess I can play. I will play my best chess today. I will use my time well, and my opponent and I will play out our game. If I win I will rejoice, and if I lose I will realize I played the best game I could. Either way will be fine. I am lovable and capable, and I am capable of winning at chess. Then I read through my Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From Chess, and recognize its meaning both to Chess and to Life.

Then I blog a little bit ( ;) ) and I’m a little less nervous for awhile.

Time to eat a good and healthy breakfast, and get my things together to go.

Round 1 – 10:15 AM

Arrived on time, played one of the players I know, rated 1093, from the Bloomington Scholastic scene. I lost with White on Board 7. It may have been one of those “I got too cute by half” games. We’ll have to see in post-analysis.

Rght after the round I had time to run out to my car, scarf my lunch, and then it was 12:00. So it was back into it again.

Round 2 – 12:00 PM

On board 9, lowest board, I won with Black against a player rated 546. I traded Knight for Pawn in the first three moves. But putting me on the defensive pays off – I later won a Rook almost for free. Then traded Queens off, promoted two pawns (losing one to take out his Knight / was up materially a Rook and two pawns at that point,) and a Queen/Rook rolling barrel to checkmate.

Then it was now. I have about a half hour before the scheduled next round start. More to come….

(BTW, note to wife: I think I left my cell phone at home. :O )

Round 3 – 1:45 PM

Remember that part in Star Wars when Luke manages to shoot down a Tie Fighter as they escape from the Death Star? Remember Han’s advice to Luke?

“That’s great, kid! Now don’t get cocky….”

Round 3 was a loss with White, against a scholastic age player. I don’t have his rating – I will post that later…. I tried a Ruy Lopez that went south on me. I was feeling pretty good about it at first – IIRC I opened a diagonal where his Queen could get my Rook for free. But then he started, well, acting his age a little. (As in distracting over the board.) I guess he felt pretty darn good at beating a 40 year old patzer. Whatever.

But Bonus! The tournament is being played at Lakeview Museum. They have a free planetarium show at 3 PM that lasts about 10 minutes on the Winter skies. So I’ll check that out, as the last round doesn’t begin until 3:30.

Even though I’m 1 for 3 so far, I get scientific discovery knowledge of what I can see when I look up at the night sky. Cool!

Round 4 – 3:30 PM

The 10 minute planetarium show was awesome. I am so coming back here for the paid shows! (And my wife rolls her eyes on many different levels.)

As to the last round, well, it was another loss. I had White, essayed an Italian against a 546 player and managed to lose it.

Oh, well. Another 1 for 4 tournament…. It is hard, immediately after defeat, to fnd ways to enjoy one’s chess. But I’m sitting here in the tournament hall watching others play. I had one win – which is more than some other players here (at least one who had zero points received a fourth round bye.) The action is indeed intense. And, as time passes on, that one point looks better and better.

And speaing of byes, time to post this and head home. Post-tournament post when I get there.


Actually, I liked the drive home very much. Sun just going down, eating two hot dogs from Circle K for 99 cents each (relish, onion sauce, ketchup, mustard,) classic rock on the radio….

And now, after it’s done, the last loss (and all of them,) put into proper perspective. It was an enjoyable day!

I didn’t take time before this to note all the faces there that I recognized. The Walbert Brothers, Sam Heil, Evan Johnson… one other person I just can’t recall right now (Sorry!) from the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess group. From Colley’s Chess Cafe and Tri-Cities Chess Club: Rob Nunez, Dennis Bourgerie, Garrett Scott. From outside the area that I recognized: Randy Crum (whom I’ve lost to before…) and David Long, among others. Garrett was kind enough to introduce me to a few other players, as well.

And, of that Pre-Tournament post… The nervousness passed. My energy was high. I played my best chess today, and used my time as well as possible. We played our games. I rejoiced. I realized I played the best game I could in my losses. I am still lovable and capable. I won at chess. I still learned a lot, and made the best use of my finite time today. In short, I enjoyed my chess. I hope today was also a day in which you could

Enjoy your Chess!

Video Experiment

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I uploaded a video in two parts to YouTube, and both parts in one upload to (After uploading, I discovered that what sounded like loud audio to me is really extremely quiet.) I also learned that, like my posts, I can go on and on without intending to. So, without further ado (and because I’ve got to get to bed so I can work the floor at tomorow’s tournament,) here’s both parts of the video:

Enjoy your Chess!

Near Rumination on Northbridge Tournament. Moo!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

My first Regular time control tournament was played at Northbridge Baptist in Normal. It was a four round G/70 with 5 second delay. There were about thirty players total, and it really was enjoyable. Jeff Smith did a great job directing, as did Victor Mata (assistant TD and house player.) I arrived just in time to check in for Round 1.

During the tournament itself, I did some blogging in between rounds. Here’s what I wrote then:


Round 1 is complete. A loss against a 1500 I didn’t know. The critical error came in the midgame when my Queen was vulnerable and I tried to find a way to save her. [Ed. note: I do need to verify that…]

I consider it a very good game, and I was more or less on time with the other player. When I was finished it was great fun. eNotate is working very well.

Round 2, and another loss against a local player I have known somewhat for some time. He’s rated 1484. I was playing White, led into a Giuoco Piano, and I think I got too cute by half. I kept ratcheting up pressure, giving him much of nothing. But I ended up having my Queen trapped, and it was a very quick loss thereafter.

So now I’m in between rounds with 35 minutes to go before the next round. The playing facilities are very nice. The playing room is their main sanctuary space, and their multipurpose room is the skittles area. It is an enjoyable environment.

There are many players here today (about 30.) Many of them I have known for over a year – I can count six that I know well, and another few that I know from the scholastic circuit.

A lot of people are playing skittles games or analyzing their past games. I am not, myself. That’s a tradition that goes back to Speech & Debate in High School. During a S&D tournament, one can review the judge’s notes and try to adjust one’s performance in-tournament. But I never did…. Some of it is that I like the downtime away from the chessboard (and I feel like I’m playing enough chess today.) The other factor is that I don’t want to end up correcting my play, only to have that give me other weaknesses. I can always analyze my whole performance later.

It may seem odd that I’m enjoying myself, with two losses so far. But the reality is that while I want to win, I remind myself of my primary goals in playing chess. Winning is not on to of that list. So, if that means I lose a game or games I still haven’t lost, if you follow. Thus I really am enjoying myself.


Round 3 was another loss to an 1184 player. (Actually, the brother of the player in Round 2.) I had a few other things to accomplish, but I think I felt like I was stronger than this. It was still a very good game, we worked it down to the endgame and the other player had a Knight advantage. I think I was actually winning at one point. But three losses in a row – not good.

Then in Round 4 I scored my first tournament win against an player rated 906. It was a Italian Game, Two Knights defense. I actually blundered by playing 4. Nc3 instead of 4. d3. So the other player got to equalize by forking my Knight and Bishop with a pawn, but I recovered well. A few moves later I went up a Queen. But again, on move 17 I made a less-than-optimal play.

Northbridge tournament, Round 4, after 18. ...Ke7

Northbridge tournament, Round 4, after 18. ...Ke7

I went straight out for 19. Rfe1+. Although I’m not hurting, the best response would have been 19. …Ne6 – breaking up the attack somewhat as then I’d have to shift my Queen. I was lucky – the other player played 19 …Kd7. That allowed me to continue my assault and go up a Rook. Mate came on move 25.

I have to confess feeling a little sorry for my opponent. She was a 5th Grade girl who finished 0/4, and the only player with a 0 score. But she played well against me, and it was an honorable game. Also, in the chess world if you’re going to enter the kitchen of tournament play you take the heat. And I did feel good about my first tournament win ever, and don’t feel I have to apologize for that.

So, about twelve hours later my record was 1/4. There was one other unrated player there… someone provisionally rated 2058 after the tournament – 7 games total. So he took home the trophy for Top Unrated. (Then again, did I really want a trophy for one win and three losses???? ;) OK, honesty time…. Yes I did. :D )

Even without the trophy I very much enjoyed my chess. Today, after shopping and other personal tasks, it will be time for deeper analysis – but I’ll have to use my other laptop for that work. Tomorrow night it’s again TCCC night. In the meantime

Enjoy your Chess!