I thought by playing in the Action tournament I'd be far away from AK, but he dropped out the three day event and entered the action tournament. Oh well, can't win them all. I decided at this point I had to stop being annoyed by him. His fourth round opponent last night told him off, so perhaps he'd be a little gentler on the pieces this time around.
I got paired way down in round one. I was on the next to last board. When I'm paired down that far down it either means I a pathetically low rated player or I'm playing an unrated. I'm not sure which is worse. Playing a really low rated player can either be a total blow out, or they can surprise you, and put a serious fight before going down. No matter what it's annoying because there not much to gain from the win. Playing an unrated player is no bargain either. You just don't know what to expect. They could be a really strong player with an unpublished rating or they could be a total fish.
My opponent is an older man with a Eastern European name. I didn't make the connection to the last name when I wrote it down. Before the round had started I took a few pictures of the top board players in the Open Section. I looked at the pairings so I knew who it was I had taken pictures of. This was one of the pictures I took.
This is Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan. He's originally from Armenia and lives in the Los Angeles area. He coaches many of the talented young juniors in the Los Angeles area, including AK. He tied for 1st with 5 points out of 6. I didn't make the connection when I saw that my first round opponent on the next to last board in the action was named Zaven Khachiyan. Note to self: Beware of unrated players with the same last name as GM playing in same place. I had no clue that he is the father of GM Khachiyan. All I saw was I got paired way down against an older guy who was either low rated or unrated. I'm not sure if knowing who he was would have helped or not, but perhaps I wouldn't tried for some of the little cheap shots.
Ouch! That was not the way I wanted to start the tournament. Now having lost in round one I was going to get paired way down. This time I played an 1200 who was trying to mate me right from the get go. One's gotta love adult players who try for variations on the Scholar's Mate.
I won my next two games including one against an eight year old who was far better behaved then some of the other kids I had seen over the weekend. He didn't slam the pieces, adjust constantly, tap the clock excessively or do all those other annoying things that I see way too many kids do. He did make two of those wishful thinking draw offers. Somehow when a cute little eight year old kid makes a draw offer it's not as annoying when a 12 year old does the same thing. He fought hard to the end. I felt bad because he burst into tears when I mated him.
It would have been a nice tournament for me if I had not played like a total idiot in the last round. I finally got paired up against a 2200, but didn't put up much of a fight. Maybe I should have taken a last round bye in that section! Racing back to play my last round in the Lina Grumette tournament gave me a convenient excuse to resign quickly and be done with the ugliness.