Monday, June 26, 2006

Candidates Results

I can't say the tournament went horribly, but the finish wasn't great. I beat the 2nd lowest player in the field in round one fairly routinely. In round 2 I played my good friend NM Eugene Yanayt and after I equalized as black he decided he'd had it for the day so he offered a draw and we both got to end early. In round 3 I played for the fourth time (all as white) a strong expert Craig Clawitter. In the first 3 games there had been, a dragon, a hippo, and a french. The first one I was winning I messed up and drew, the second game I didn't really get anything and the position got kind of locked up and we drew. In the third game I beat him to qualify for the state championship candidates last year (which I couldn't play in). In this game, he decided to go back to the dragon, but since then I had switched from the 9. Bc4 lines to the 9. 0-0-0 lines against the dragon. He followed with Bd7 which is played, but isn't as good against 9. 0-0-0 so I quick got a huge initiative. He wisely sacked a pawn to keep his play alive, but eventually I got a big attack and that pawn became a powerful passed pawn and in the end I managed to display some tricks to simplify and be left with a promoting pawn which was easy to mop up. In the last round, I was willing to take a draw if I got nothing from the opening (although I realized I might have missed out on qualifying by tiebreaks had this happened, but I couldn't play in the championships anyways, I'm in Hawaii at that time). So in round 4 I played strong expert (although probably now master after this result) Francis Chen and that game was an absolute disaster. I was moving a little too fast in the opening and played a slight inaccuracy that allowed him to completely equalize with maybe even a slightly better position. So I played a move which I thought allowed him to liquidate and offered a draw which I was pretty sure he would be fine with. This is true, but this move carelessly blundered a piece so he decided to take the piece instead. Quite embarassing, but still a good overall result for the tournament.

Rating Change: 2138->2145

Friday, June 23, 2006

State Championship Candidates Tournament

There's the state championship candidates tournament this weekend. It's a 4 round FIDE rated swiss event. The top 4 finishers get a spot into the the closed state championship (this event is also qualification based for that matter). It's a pretty tough field. There basically a few low rated players, a ton of experts and a few masters. I'll need to play better than I have been lately to have a chance of qualifying, but I feel up to the task and I would love to do some more damage towards my master title. I decided to give myself a new goal that's a little more ambitious than making master by the end of the year. I played my first tournament game on October 12th, 2002 so I would like to break 2200 unofficially (or officially would be fine too) by October 12th, 2005. That probably gives me a handful of tournaments between now and then, should make it attainable, but not trivial.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

William Addison Open

My first tournament since moving to San Francisco was a success, kind of. I will say it's nice to be able to walk less than half a mile to a chess tournament. It turns out I can play like absolute crap and miss tactics 1600s would find and still finish with a 2500 tournament performance rating by the USCF rating calculator. I had an amazing result in this G/45 tournament scoring 4.5/5 against an average opponent rating of over 2000 and defeating 2 masters in the process. I tied for first with IM De Guzman to net a share for the 1st-2nd overall prize money. I don't know really how to feel about this tournament. I don't feel like I'm playing well at all, it was G/45 and I certainly cannot argue with the result (although I missed a win in the game I drew). Either way I still know I have significant tactical practice that needs to be done, but if I can play this badly and net a cool 20+ rating points in every tournament I'll be in healthy shape.
I have a fairly big event coming up next weekend in the SCCF state championship qualifier that I hope to do well in. Wish me luck.

Estimated Rating Change: 2111->2138 WOOHOO