Sunday, June 7, 2009

National Open Day 1


I am dog tired!! No more traveling across three time zones and jumping into the accelerated schedule with four games in one day. Time to suck it up, and pay for an extra night in the hotel. I would have been much better off coming in Thursday, and playing two games each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately my line on the wall chart resembled my blog name after three rounds. O-O-O. In another post I will put up some games. Right now that's too much like work.

The man behind this tournament is Fred Gruenberg of Chicago. He has organized the tournament for the last 25 years. He's done an amazing job over the years. He's got a top notch directing staff led by Bill Snead of Texas. This is the last National Open he's organizing. He's turning it over to Al Losoff. I'm sorry I never got around to coming to this tournament before. It's been very nice so far, lousy score and all.

Fred Gruenberg

Before round four started Al Losoff talked about Fred's contributions to the success of the event, and thanked him for a job well done. He was presented with video screen that's loaded with pictures from the 25 years that Fred has organized it. That's what Bill Snead is holding up in the picture below.

Al Losoff, Bill Snead, Susan Polgar, Fred Gruenberg

After the presentation it was time to play chess. I found myself on floor row. There were three of us on the bottom boards sitting at our 1700 floors with the same crappy 0-3 score. The depressing thing was I was probably 15 years younger then the other two 1700s. We were the "top half" of the zero score group. In this group there was no danger of playing little under rated kids. The kids all points of some sort or another. I finally managed to win, but was because of my stellar play. My opponent blundered a piece early. He had some attacking chances, but I managed to survive.

I finished in about two hours so I had time to kill. I decided I was not going donate any more money to the house. I spent my gambling budget last night. Instead I went bowling with Tom Nelson and his daughter Melinda. I've known Tom for about five years from the scholastic nationals. He is in charge of all those volunteers who take results, run errands, and do what ever else that the directors don't do. He works very hard at those events. He's actually playing this weekend for a change. He's having a much better tournament then me. I don't want to jinx him, so I won't say any more right now.

My bowling started out about as well as my chess. I threw two gutter balls on the very first frame. Tom is a very good bowler and Melinda and my goal was to have our combined score beat his score. We succeeded in the first game, by seven pins. We didn't do so hot on the second game and his score was higher then ours.

Oops missed a few on the side!

Me and Tom

After the bowling I went back to see what was happening in the tournament. Unlike me, some people actually play for six hours. There were about four games left including one on board 5 between IM Irena Krush and GM Gabriel Sarissian.

Below is the position when I left. Black just moved Bb2. Sargissian went on to win it.

Two more rounds to go. I still can get an even score if I win both games. This wasn't quite what I was expecting. Not that I was expecting to go 6-0 and make off with the money. Stay tuned.


chesstiger said...

I hope you get an even score otherwise i am going to have to rethink this whole ratingfloor think (that it has nothing to do with sandbagging but to keep players at a high level rating)

Rolling Pawns said...

I was really surprised by the picture of Ivanchuk and Carlsen:

Try to concentrate like they do, good luck with the rest of the games.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Great updates thanks!!!

Take some scalps home.

tanc (happyhippo) said...

Great coverage and pix, Polly!!

And best of luck for the remainder of your tournament! :)

Linuxguy said...

The ratings floor, they should probably use that for tournaments, but not for your rating itself.

There is a guy where I play, 1400, he lost 3 games at the last tournament and is already at his floor, plays bottom quad. Lord knows how long this has been going on for. hehe. But I am part of the indirect food-chain that is bolstered by his philanthropic rating points, so'z I can't complain too much. ;-D

I remember being 1338, how that felt, and yet I could still beat an A player and nearly draw an expert. Now I look all legit or something at 1751. hehe.

I'm just saying, there is probably some phenomenon at the floor where one thinks they have nothing to lose, waiting around for dumb luck more often.

linuxguyonfics said...

When I am doing the hands-on-head is probably most often is when I am mentally fried and trying to block out distractions as I review easy variations which no longer seem to want to stick in my head.

I should probably concentrate like they are more often, especially to plan attacks.

Linuxguy said...

I was just looking at the Lina Grumette results in CA and stumbled across your name. Shoot, I could have gone to that one and met a fellow blogger. ;-)

Anyhow, now I get it, you played in the open section and your opponents were all rated nearly a hundred points or higher (to closer to 200 pts. higher).

Dang, I say use that floor for all it's worth. hehe. I sure wish I had a 1700 floor. :-)

You sure have played a lot of tournaments during such a short period of time, I see why you could be tired!

Polly said...

Tiger & Linux: Regarding the rating floor. It's a mixed blessing. It was done partly to discourage sandbagging, but also to encourage players who might not other play if they had to worry about their rating falling too much. I know players who won't play because they have hit a rating like 2000 and are afraid to drop below that. To me what's the point of having a high rating if you can't sustain it.

I could probably request to have my rating lowered by another 100 points, but it wouldn't really change things for me in terms of sections I could play in. All it would do is give me crappier pairings and put me in line for full point byes earlier.

Linux: At the Lina Grumette I played up one section there. Premier (under 2000) instead of Amateur (under 1800). Sometimes I do that so that I can play 1800s. Too often I'm in tournaments where I play way up or way down.