I'm all packed, and ready to skip town. However I couldn't leave without playing some chess this week. Normally I'd be on my way down to New York City for my Thursday cracktion fix, but 4:30 AM Friday comes too quickly, so I'm staying home tonight. Besides I got plenty of chess in this week. I played Monday up in White Plains. Tuesday a few of us went up to Norwalk, CT to check out their event. A number of Connecticut people have been coming down for my Monday tournaments. I figured it was time to return the favor. Wednesday I played the 4th round of the Westchester Chess Club Summer Round Robin.
How were the games? The title says it all.
The Good (Wednesday)
After losing Michael Knatz in my not so grand (prix) return, I bounced back with a win against Andre Morowski. Last night I played Peter Wojnar who was my last round opponent in the club championship. He was the one who I played very cautiously against and traded down to get the draw to win the tournament. Last night there was no need to play it safe. He also played a different line against my English then the last game. I was concerned whether all the pawn pushes I made would come back to haunt me like they did on Tuesday. On Tuesday my pawns became inviting targets in my round one game. Wednesday's game the pawns were a non-factor.
The Bad - Tuesday
Any one of my Tuesday games could have fallen into the bad category. It was just a bad night. They got 12 players and opted to do quads. I ended out being number 1 in a quad of 2 1600s and a 1550. I hate being at the top of a quad. I much prefer to be in the middle to the bottom. On the bright side; I got to play two people I've never played before. I also didn't end out in the same quad with Guy who I had brought up with me.
In the first game I ended out with over extended pawns which became inviting targets to my opponent. In the second round I played Alexandra Wiener. The last time we played she was not feeling very well due to the lack of functioning air conditioning. She had blundered a lot in that game, so I won pretty easily. This time there was plenty of air conditioning. In fact, I had to go out to my car and get a jacket because I was freezing during the first round.
I know when I'm Black against Alexandra it's going to be a painful defensive battle. She plays the Maroczy Bind against my Accelerated Dragon. I have to be patient, and wait for the tension to break. Getting the queen trade helped, but even still her rooks were a lot more active. I did eventually manage to trade down to a won King and Pawn ending. However I was having counting issues, and thought I was losing despite being up a pawn. The way I played the ending, I was lost. However she also misplayed it, so a suitable result based on our bad end game play was a draw.
The Ugly - (Monday)
I won my first round game against a kid rated around 1200. I won a couple of pawns and then simplified. Unlike many kids who play down to mate, he resigned when he saw that I had too many passed pawns on both sides of the board. I was happy with that game. In the second round I had to play the father of one the kids who was playing. Mike wasn't planning to play, but I asked him to because otherwise I would have an odd number. I try avoid having to give byes as much as possible. His son was the second lowest rated player, so he would have been in line for the bye in round two.
Mike started playing back in the sixties and used to take lessons with Sammy Reshevsky back then. He also had played Fischer in a simul. He's been over 2000, but lately has been hovering around his floor of 1800. He likes to play aggressively, and one has to be careful. He will attack with abandon if given the chance. Needless to say I gave him lots of chances to attack. I did not defend well, and got crushed. Of my four losses this week, this by far was the ugliest.
There you have it. A mixed bag of chess for the week. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. I'm going to take a tactics book with me on the plane. Maybe I'll actually do some of them while I'm away. Stay tuned for my European adventures.