Thursday, July 17, 2008

Organized?! Bedlam: Westchester CC Summer Round Robin

We started a new tournament at the club last Wednesday. It's a 12 player round robin. It's the chess version of a free for all. If it had been my event to start with I would have taken all the players who were there and paired against each other and assigned the pairing numbers accordingly. Match up all the no shows each other and let them make up the games. But this not my show since I was far away last week as the picture below indicates.

Polly finds her Seoul mate at Gyeongbokgung Palace?

I'm not sure how pairing numbers were assigned so instead it ended out people just playing random people who may have been matched up for later rounds. As this tournament progresses (regresses) I have visions of a group of people showing up and everyone has played everyone else. I'll let Andre sort that out! I suppose it will all shake out in the end, but I'll be the one submitting all the results to USCF after everything is said and done. Fortunately the newest version of Swiss-Sys makes it fairly easy to jump around to put in results, so hopefully it won't be too much of a pain in the butt before it's all done.

Even though I'm organizationally challenged and my desk continually looks like a bomb has gone off on it, I have difficulty dealing with chaos when it comes to chess tournaments. As a director I like things to run smoothly, and I have my routine to help ensure that things will go as smoothly as possible. As a player I just want to know who and where I'm playing. Albeit difficult, I try not to worry about how I ended out playing a certain person with what ever color I was assigned. Disruptions in my directing and playing routines can cause havoc with my mental frame of mind.

Needless to say this tournament did not get off to a good start for me. I'm sure it was a combination of continuing jet lag and my getting a little stressed by the chaos not knowing who I was supposed to play. Was I going to play my opponent (Ben) from last week's round one which I missed, my actual round two opponent (Silvio) who was going to be an hour late, or my round 3 opponent (Dario) who played his round two game last week during round one? The TD was running around the room figuring out who was playing who. I didn't know whether I should start my game against Dario or not. Like I said in the title organized bedlam. Finally I just thought to myself "the hell with it" and started my game with Dario. At least I tried to. He made his first move as white, and when I hit start on my Mon Roi, I realized I forgot to click the black box, so it was showing me as white. I had to exit the game, and start all over. Inputting all the information such as tournament, date, round, opponent, and rating is the slowest part of using a Mon Roi. Dario graciously stopped the clock while I re-inputted all the information.

Maybe I would have been better off inputting the game from White's side. I sure wasn't seeing anything from Black's side. I lost two pawns early and spend entire game trying to get my pieces out. The first pawn I dropped was a blunder and gave him active squares for his knight. I gave up the send pawn thinking I was getting counter play. Nope. I forgot his f3 knight was covering the square where I wanted to stick my queen and annoy him.


We were the last game going on so everyone was watching. When he played 47. Bh3 I could not see beyond the fact that I had to abandon the queening square. I was sure within a move or two I'd be fored to give up the exchange to stop his pawn from queening. When I resigned at that point all the kibitzers were quick to point out things I could have done. Before I could even record the result they were moving the pieces around the board. There was a little life left in the position for me, but I think at that point I was too tired and stressed to work it out. Here are a few possibilities that I looked at today.

47...Ra7 48. f8/Q Rxf8 49. Rxf8 Rxh7 (this was what I didn't see for me if promotes right away.) 50. Rb8+ Kc6 51. Bg5 Ba5 I still have to contend with the h pawn, but it's not an easy win for white.

47...Ra7 48. Bc1 Rcc8 49. Rg1 Bf8 50. h4 Ra2+ 51. Kd3! (51. Kd1?? is bad for white. Rh2 52. Rh8 c2+ 53. Ke1 Bb4+ 54. Kf1 Rxh8) 51...Rh2 52. Rh8 Rf2. Still an uphill battle for me, but not hopeless quite yet.


likesforests said...

Well that was nice (stopping the clock while you setup your Monroi)! I think I have an evil streak when I'm at the board and would gleefully steal those extra few minutes of clock time--although I stop short of doing anything really bad like one opponent who tried to 'innocently' shake hands one move from mate. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Interesting. Did the opening surprise you? I would never expect that line against the sicilian!

Polly said...

Like: Some people do let the clock run while I make the change. It's not the first time it's happened. I don't expect people to let me stop the clock while I fix my stupid mistake of not selecting black. At a shorter time control if someone lets the clock run, I've written my moves down until I've corrected my set up on their time.

I appreciated Dario's gesture. In the grand scheme of things it didn't matter. The clock was not the issue that game. However it shows a great deal of common courtesy and respect to a fellow club member and adult.

It was a very classy thing to do, unlike what a certain teen aged kid who will remain nameless did when I forgot to press my clock on the 4th move in a game/30 tournament. He let my clock run for over a minute before I noticed. As soon as I pressed the clock he immediately castled. It was certainly within his right to do that, but I thought it pretty crass on his part. It would not have bothered me so much if he'd been some random kid who didn't know me from Adam. However, considering how many times I had given the kid a ride home at night after tournaments, and spent time with his family I thought it was a rather underhanded thing to do.

I did give him a piece of my mind afterwards since I felt it was a terrible thing to do to a friend.

Anon: It transposed into a Sicilian, and yes the opening surprised me. In hindsight I wish I had played d6 before developing the other knight. e5 was kind of a pain in the butt. There is a line against the Sicilian where white trades the c6 knight and pushes e5. I've had some problems with it in the past.