Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grand Pacific Open - Mid Tournament Report

I'm at the half way point of the Grand Pacific Open here in Victoria, BC. I won't talk about how my tournament is going quite yet. However if you want to cheat without looking ahead, feel free to check out There you can find my third round game. Just click on replay games. You will have to sign up to access the games, but it's free.

The tournament is being held at the Hotel Grand Pacific which is located right by the harbor. It certainly was very easy to get to from the ferry terminal. It's a very beautiful hotel, and probably one the more expensive ones in Victoria. It's not the one my husband and I stay in when we come here. We usually stay at the Best Western down the street which is more utilitarian, but fits our budget. However the tournament room rate is $99.00 a night, so why stay anywhere else? Also it's important to support the organizer by staying at the host hotel, who in this case is also one of the sponsors. It's probably one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in for a chess tournament.
Hotel Grand Pacific

One of the views from my room.

When packing for an out of town event, it's hard to know what to bring and what to leave home. Something I always bring is a set, board and clock. In this particular case I could have left those things back home. The tournament room is completely equipped with sets, boards and clocks. The sets are not the typical cheap plastic ones that one might see at the few tournaments in the United States that do provide equipment. Instead every board is set up with the nicely weighted House of Staunton sets. The cheap sets were in the skittles room. However since even at tournaments where sets are provided, there usually are not any in the skittles room.

I could have left home without this stuff.

When packing for a trip on the other coast, it's hard to know what to bring. For the most part I brought the right clothing. I tend to bring layers so that I can add on or peel off depending on weather conditions. In the playing room I keep having to add layers. The air conditioning has been working a little too well. However when leaving New York where it was 70 degrees, it's hard to remember everything one might need. Yesterday I went out for a walk to find breakfast. My first stop was a souvenir shop to find a hat and gloves!

Don't leave home without these!

Enough on the weather! Back to the tournament venue. The playing room is on the main floor right off the lobby. There are big picture windows through out the room that gives everyone nice views of the harbor, and lets in lots of sunlight or perhaps cloud light might be more accurate.

The masses
The top boards.
Nice trophy that I will not win.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made it just in time to take a quick shower, and change into fresh clothes. I came down to the tournament hall about five minutes before 6:00 pm. As I walk in I hear one of the organizers say "I'm waiting for some of the paid entries to check in."

I said "I'm one of those paid entries."

He said "You must be Polly Wright."

"Yes, I guess that wasn't hard to figure out since there aren't that many women playing." Probably more to the point was a woman without a Canadian accent. I would have trouble passing myself off as Canadian. It doesn't matter how many times I end a question with "eh?".

In the first round I was paired against Roger Patterson who is one of the organizers and rated 2204. It wasn't a particularly exciting game. He had a bit of an edge out of the opening, but I did manage to regroup. I was rather surprised when he offered me a draw on move 24. After the day I had getting here, I was not one to turn down a draw against a master. During the game he seemed a bit distracted by the goings on. I suspect he may have wanted to stay on top of things as one of the organizers. There wasn't much in the position, so with correct play I should be able to hold it.

Here's the game.


I guess I wasn't the only one who was having difficulty getting from the mainland to Victoria. There were a number of no-shows, or people having to request first round byes.

Saturday it was back to reality for me. I was paired against a 2032 who had taken a first round bye. I struggled out of the opening, and a few indecisive moves caught up with me. Not a pretty game, but here it is.


In round 3 I finally got paired "down". That's if you can call playing a teenager with a 1614 rating getting paired down. I'm not sure what happened, but I just kept messing up my analysis. I can't really blame it on the clock. The time limit was Game/90 with a 30 second increment. It's the first time I've played with an increment in a real tournament. I don't count games on ICC or FICS as real chess. I did eventually run out of time, but I was already busted at that point. It was what I call a clock resignation. That's when one runs out of time in a lost position. This game went out on the Monroi broadcast. If anyone wants to follow my remaining games live they will be on


Meanwhile at the top of the tournament there are 4 players with 3-0 scores:

FM Jack Yoos
FM Holger Grund
IM Lawrence Day
NM Harry Moore.

Behind them are another 8 players with 2.5. Today will either clear things up, or cause a big logjam at the top if the 3-0 scorers draw. Hopefully I can get one in the win column. It will be very embarrassing to come all this way, and not win any games.

On the tourist front; Victoria is a beautiful city at night. I went out after my 3rd round and walked around and took pictures of some of the various landmarks that are beautifully lit up at night. These pictures came out much better then the ones I took on my last trip here.

The Empress Hotel
Famous for afternoon tea.

Government Building at night.
It looks like Christmas.
Weather wise it feels like Christmas.

In reality it's Easter Sunday.

1 comment:

Rolling Pawns said...

Nice pictures. I think in the 3rd game he lulled you into a false sense of security with his exchanges, creating impression that he just wants a draw.