Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grand Pacific Open Wrap Up

I'm back in New York, and thoroughly recovered from any residual jet lag I any have had from my albeit too brief trip to Victoria, British Columbia. Here is my rather belated report on last round action at the Grand Pacific Open. Monday turned out to be the nicest day of the weekend. It always seems to be that on the last day of a trip is when the nice weather comes. It was beautiful and sunny.

April tulip

One of the things that makes this particular tournament venue unique is the location of the tournament room. The hotel has a lovely ballroom right off the lobby with big windows that let in lots of light. There's a patio that surrounds the entire area so players can wander outside between moves to soak up the sunshine, take in the view, or for the nicotine addicts take a few puffs on their cigarette. Below is a view of the harbor that is seen from the ballroom. I must say it's delightful change from the usual windowless ballrooms or meeting rooms that most weekend tournaments are held in.

Victoria Harbor on a sunny Easter Monday.

Behind every well organized tournament is a hard working staff.
Mark S. Dutton, International Arbiter
with organizers Brian Raymer and Roger Patterson

As mentioned in my previous post there were 3 players with 4.5 points; FM Jack Yoos, FM Holger Grund and IM Lawrence Day. Yoos and Grund were paired against each other, and Day dropped down to play 13 year old Tanraj Sohal who had 4 points. Tanraj was not the highest 4 pointer, but due to color considerations he ended out playing Day. The arbiter had to explain twice why this pairing was made. Once to the player, and once to his mother.

People forget that the lowest ranked player from the higher score group doesn't automatically play the highest ranked in the next score group. If the colors work out right then that will be the case. If the highest ranked player is due the same color as the player who is dropping, and there is another player in the score group due the opposite color then there are possibilities of making a switch. Since it was the last round of a 6 round tournament it was important to balance the colors if possible. Nothing could be done about the 2w - 4b split on board 1, but 3w - 3b could be accomplished on board 2.

Yoos and Grund played to win, but ended out drawing to score 5 points. Day won against Sohul to score 5.5 and take clear first. NM Radu-Laurentiu Roua won his last round game to join Yoos and Grund in a 3 way tie for 2nd-4th.

IM Lawrence Day vs Tanraj Sohul

Final position Day - Sohul
Yes that is a 2nd White queen on h8

As for myself, I finished off my tournament with a draw. I was hoping to win so that I'd finish with an even score. 2.5 - 3.5 was not a terrible score. It could have been much worse. However it also could have been better if I had played a little better, especially in my 4th round draw. Here is my last round game. The Sunday games will be in a separate post as there are other aspects of the games that warrant discussion.


After all the games were done and the results determined they gave out the prizes. They have a nice awards ceremony and present the players with their prizes in cash. It's a tradition that the winners hold up and fan out their bills. The youngest winner was 7 year old Joshua Doknjas who tied for 2nd in the Under 1400 section.

Show me the money!

Grund, Yoos and Roua 2nd - 4th

1st place IM Lawrence Day.

Complete results and games can be found at

After the awards ceremony there was a bughouse tournament. It was tempting to play, but I decided I did not want to humiliate myself by playing like an idiot with an unknown partner. Instead I used the gift card I received as the furthest traveler to have lunch at The Bard & Banker Pub. This is fairly new restaurant that has opened in an old bank building. It's large with high ceilings and nice atmosphere. They have live music in the evenings. I guess that evening's singer was doing a sound check. He sang one song and left. The food was good and they had a nice selection of wines and beers including some local brews and wines.

After lunch I did a little last minute shopping. There is a British Columbia winery that has a shop in Victoria. On our last trip to Victoria we did a tasting and brought back some wonderful wines. We can't get their wines in the States so I picked up a couple of bottles of Mission Hill wine before heading back. Then it was time to gather my belongings and walk down to the Victoria Clipper ferry back to Seattle. When discussing the possibility of flying into Victoria, one person made a very good point. How often can you take a boat right to your hotel?

As you can see from the pictures below, the trip back to Seattle was much calmer then the trip to Victoria. Next year's tournament will be as late as it can ever be. Easter is very late in 2011. The dates are April 22 - 25th. The weather should be much better in late April. For a nice change of scenery and a well run FIDE rated event, I highly recommend the Grand Pacific Open. I like the time control with the 30 second increment.

Is there a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow?


Anonymous said...

polly, i dont remember seeing a post of your training routine and i was wondering how you went about with a training schedule. i also cant compliment enough on how GREAT your photos have been. thanks...

Hampers said...

Beautiful.... the pictures and words were a joy to see and read... :O) keep on posting.

Polly said...

Anon: I'm very lazy when it comes to training. I play a lot, but can't seem to get myself excited about sitting down with a chess book or doing online tactics. I keep saying I will do some studying, but not happening at the moment.

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the pictures. I love photography and this has been a nice way to share.

tanc (happyhippo) said...

Hi Polly,

A training routine is always good.

At the very least, analyse your own games and try to aim to complete a chess book within a year. eg. going over any GM book+annotations.

You'd be surprised by what you find. It doesn't have to be a "heavy" book, it could be any light book that you bring with you on trips - even books like Diary of a Chess Queen or something along those lines. Easy enough to read on a plane and not heavy enough to be a pure chess book that will make the reading onerous. :)

For the moment, I'm resting after my trip to San Francisco and am working towards relearning tactics.

Those are some wonderful photos by the way! :)

Polly said...

tanc: I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to San Francisco. I do analyze my games, especially since they become a part of what I'm writing about. I'm finding it interesting how what I find in my analysis is so different then what I feel like was happening during the game. I can be sitting there thinking to myself, OMG I am so busted, but in reality there's a winning move on my part just waiting to be made.

chesstiger said...

Nice closing report of what seems a wonderfull tournament. Pity the result isn't always there but atleast you are playing which i cannot say of myself at the moment.

CaseMoney said...

Looks like a really cool tournament, I'd say you did well to make the trip!