Thursday, April 23, 2009

ICA Spring Open

As I mentioned in my last post I played at the ICA Spring Open on Sunday. This was my third time playing there. It was an extremely strong event with four Grandmasters and two International Masters. There were also 3 masters. It was funny the drop in rating from #6, IM Dean Ippolito (2515) to #7 Igor Yeliseyev (2204). Everyone was wondering where the 2300 and 2400 players were. They weren't at the Marshall since Steve was running the New York April Under 2300.

Despite the strength at the top I was fairly high up on the bottom half. The last two times I played there, I was paired against Boris Privman. He wasn't there, so I didn't get the opportunity to try to "improve" my record to 1-17 against him. Instead I got to play Ippolito in round 1.

As you can see from the above photo taken by Jim West, I managed to hang on for a decent amount of time against him. There were a lot of games done by the time I tipped over my king. Unfortunately my pieces got tied up in knots, so it was like I was giving him rook odds. Try playing against an IM with two pieces totally out of play. I was only down a pawn when I resigned. Unfortunately his extra pawn was sitting on f2 in this position.

It's my move, but I can't stop mate in four. 33. h3 f1/Q+ 34. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 35. Qxf1 Qxf1+ 36. Kh2 Qg2#

In the next round, I got paired against an adult rated 1471. It's so rare I actually play adults in this tournament after the first round. Usually there is some under rated kid waiting to pounce on me. This game was rather dull. It looked like I would only get a draw. My opponent kept things quiet, and traded down. We reached this position after 32 moves.

I was ready to offer a draw, but then my opponent continued with the trading down theme by playing 33. Qc5 I spent a good amount of time calculating what happens after the queen trade. He gets the passed pawn, but it's isolated. I worked out that he'd evntually run out of moves and I'd be able to pick it off. I played 33...Qxc5+ 34. bxc5 Kd7 35. Ke3 Kc6 36. Kd4 a5 37. g3 h5 38. g4 hxg4 39. hxg4 g6 White resigns. 0-1 He can try 40. g5, but after 40...a4, he has to give a pawn or step back with 41. Kd3.

There were 7 of us from Westchester County that came to play in this tournament. Some of us carpooled. I had brought Josh Colas and his dad down. Alexander and Ben from my team came down together. Another few kids also had come. In a field of 41 players, what were the chances that I'd end out playing any of them? I guess as good as getting paired against any Marshall usual suspect. Yep, I had to play my perpetual nemesis Ben. This is the first time I've played him since my unfortunate meltdown in February. Time was not an issue in this game. He just ground me down, and eventually I lost material. This is the final position.

Unlike my position against Ippolito in round one, I can defend against mates and the loss of my queen. However I think the similarity of the positions made me feel I couldn't, so I resigned. However when one is playing four rounds in one day, resigning in a position like this isn't such a terrible idea. Sigh. 0-11 since my last win against him.

I had a nice win in in the last round. I'm going to show that game in a separate post because there were some interesting and instructive ideas that came up in the position. It made a great lesson for my tournament player group on Tuesday.

In the meantime at the top, going into the last round there were four players with 3-0 scores. GM Alexander Stripunski beat GM Michael Rohde to take clear first, since GM Kudrin drew with IM Lenderman to finish a half point behind.

I finished 2-2 which is more points then I got in my previous two appearances there. I may have won a little money for a tie for under 1800. I picked the big walloping 8 rating points which I promptly tossed back the next day during my birthday bomb out. (Maybe details to follow. Wacky Wednesday material?)


Pawn Shaman said...

Looks like your almost in the Grip in the third picture.

Polly said...

I wasn't having a good day with the white pieces.

chesstiger said...

Well played but i hope that you win next time against your Nemesis!

Anonymous said...

Are you planning on covering the US Chess Championship?

It's taking place in St. Louis this year:



Saul R. Priever said...

Hi Polly,
I just wanted to ask for your help and opinion on an opening line with which you are probably quite familiar and I'm having trouble with it (from black's and white's perspective). 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 g6 5 Nc3 Bg7 6 Be3 Nf6 7 Bc4 Qa5 8 O-O Qb4
It appears that White is losing a pawn, but I don't know this line. Please help me if you can.
P.S. I look forward to seeing you in May!

James Stripes said...

What a privilege to play Dean Ippolito! Through my acquaintance with his website and publications, and from the limited email contact I've had with him, I understand him to be a terrific chess teacher and a nice man. Did you get a helpful postmortem?

Polly said...

Jared: I will not be in St. Louis during the US Championship. My next national "coverage" will be in Las Vegas for the National Open. Since I don't get paid to do this blog, and I get just a little bit of money for pictures that end out on CLO I cover events that I'm going to be playing in, or involved with in some capacity. If somebody wants to fly me out to St. Louis to blog and take pictures I'd be happy to make time for the trip. :-)

I do want to come out to St. Louis at some point and play in an event at the St. Louis Chess Center. It looks like a totally awesome venue.

Saul: Black is living dangerously if he grabs the pawn. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 Qa5 8.
O-O Qb4 (The normal line after 8. O-) is 8... O-O 9. Bd5 Ng4 10. Qxg4 Nxd4 11. Qd1 Nc6 which is equal) 9. Bd5 O-O (after 9...Qxb2 10. Ndb5 Qb4 11. e5 Nxe5 12. Nc7+ Kd8 13. Nxa8 e6 14. Bd4 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. c3 Qf8 17. Bxa7 Qa3 18. Bb6+ Ke7 19. Nc7 Black is down) 10. a3 Qd6 11. Bb3 Nxd4 12. Qxd4 Qxd4 13. Bxd4 d6 14. Rfe1 Bd7 15. Rad1 Rfe8 White has slight edge.

I play 8...O-O when White castles on move 8. I find it too nerve wracking to go onto the b file with my queen. Too much play for white, and possibility queen will get trapped.

James: Dean is a very nice person. I got to spend time with his family and him at the Bermuda Open. His kids are really cute and nice. We didn't get much time to really analyze but he did point a few things to me.

Saul said...

Ok, thanks Polly. I agree Black is slightly underdeveloped, the queen is slightly overexposed, and White has a lot of (scary) minors in the center, but I don't see the point of Black's 7...Qa5 line (pressurizing the e4 pawn) after White plays 8 O-O.

Polly said...

Saul: 7...Qa5 is to stop White from transposing to a Yugoslav variation with 8. f3. If 8. f3 Qb4. Then there are a bunch trappy lines that gains material for Black if White doesn't play the correct moves. 8. O-O O-O is the main line.