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?)