Sunday, December 14, 2008

K-12 Nationals Day 2

Saturday is the killer day. 3 rounds of exhausting chess. The match ups get tighter, and the tension increases. It's also when you start to get an idea of how things are going to play out as the favorites either plow their way through the competition, or are met with unexpected resistance. Hopes rise and fall round by round. I saw that just in my own team room. I'm sure the same thing was happening all over the convention center. Here's the scene during any of the rounds.
Must find my child's pairing!

I'm playing somebody rated how much???

You are here.......
Your child is somewhere out here.....
How is he doing?

Today I got a chance to go over to the K-1 room and take pictures before the round started. The kids are adorable, and the Chief TD for that room is like a mother hen, tending to her little chicks. With five and six year olds mom and dad are little more concerned about their little ones and how they'll cope with winning and losing. It usually takes a little longer to clear the room as mommy and daddy give their little ones one last hug, and one last pep talk. I did get a chance to take some pictures of the number one and two players in the First Grade section, and got parental blessing to share these shots. I took these pictures before the start of round four. They both won that round and their fifth round. Sunday in round six they will face each other. There is one other perfect score. Note: I since have updated the caption on the picture below.

Benjamin Lu, of Pennsylvania, rated 1211.
1st Grade National Champion

Aravind Kumar of New Jersey, rated 1595!

I'm glad I don't have to play either one of them. They're six years old. I have a couple of close calls against other six year old kids. It just amazes me that children that age can grasp chess in such a way that they can achieve such impressive results. I think I was maybe playing "Go Fish" or "War" when I was six.

As for myself, I did play in the Parents & Friends tournament. I managed not to lose to any grossly under rated chess parents. I did take a bye in round two, just to break it up a bit. That round usually is pretty stressful as the kids are pouring back into the playing room normally about the time I'm in horrible time pressure! Taking a 1/2 point bye was not exactly the Swiss Gambit, as the other player taking a 1/2 point bye that round was rated 2200, and we faced each other in round three. You can safely assume that since this is at the bottom of the report, that I had the expected result. You know if I had won, that would have been the first thing I wrote.

My round one win was fun, and I will post it another day. My last round game was totally insane as some 1200 was destroying my king side with the Yugoslav Attack. Somehow in the throes of insane time pressure I pulled a rabbit out of a hat. It helps when your opponent makes an illegal move when you have 1 second left. The two minutes added to one's clock for the opponent's illegal move come in really handy.

Off to bed. It's shorter day chess wise, but starts earlier. 9:00 AM for round one. Show time! We're a 1/2 point out of first, and 1/2 point ahead of third.

Stay tuned!


chesstiger said...

Must be long days for those person whose nervous problably are racing thru their bodies from the first round of the day until the curtain is closed.

Pwew, i think that two seconds that you got made a huge difference, otherwise you problably would have lost that game.

Polly said...

CT: Yes you have to have a cast iron stomach, and nerves of steel to survive this.

It was two MINUTES I got, not 2 seconds. That gave me time to look for forks to win material. With one second I would have to go for perpetual.