Sunday, May 30, 2010

Greetings From Northern California! - Updated

After 3 straight years of spending Memorial Day weekend at LAX playing in the Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, I decided I needed a change of scenery.  It had nothing to do with trying to avoid the crazy chess parents.  I figured a few days in San Francisco followed by the Capablanca Memorial in Santa Clara would be more fun then being holed up an airport hotel.  Here are few pictures from my sightseeing in San Francisco.

 Golden Gate Bridge
The Painted Ladies.  
Most photographed Victorian houses in San Francisco

Sea Lions at Pier 39
I could spend hours watching them. 
White has the advantage!
Albino alligator at 
California Institute of Science

Wild butterflies in Tropical Rain Forest
California Institute of Science

Let it Bee!

So here I am in Santa Clara.  I'm sitting in the hotel lobby since Internet is free there, but cost $13 a day in the room.  It's a little insane because there are tons of high school kids hanging out.  They're not with the tournament.  There are a number of other events in the area.  It was getting so noisy I finally resorted to cranking up the music on my iPod.  Something I also found myself having to do in the tournament room too.
There was a scholastic tournament with 200 kids today.  Fortunately they were playing in a different part of the hotel.  Unfortunately it made it very difficult to find anywhere to sit in the lobby since the parents stake out a spot, and don't surrender it for the rest of the day.  However it was a one day event so things should be a little calmer tomorrow.

The sections in this tournament are set up in 200 point intervals, but they're on the odd numbers.  I am in the A+ section which is for players rated 1899-1700.  If somebody wants to play up a section they have to pay an extra $20.  Consequently there are only two players under 1700 in the section so far.  That could change when the 2 day schedule starts on Sunday.  I'm NOT playing the two day schedule.  I'm trying to give myself plenty of time, and being out here since Tuesday takes care of the jet lag issue.

In the first round I played an 1800 rated adult.  I was Black and got a lousy position out of the opening against d4.  It was a crazy game. I didn't castle until much later in the game.  There were pawns all over the place.  He made a small mistake and I won a pawn.  If I could survive the attack, I'd be in good shape for the ending.  Unfortunately I had one of those moments where I overlooked the obvious.  He had attacked my pawn on g5 with his rook.  My queen on g7 was protecting it, but she was also protecting h7 from White's queen/bishop battery on the b1-h7 diagonal.  I could have played f6 to guard the pawn again, but instead I played something else.  He plays Rxg5.  If I play Qxg5 I get mated with Qh7.  The queen is pinned to the king.  Suddenly my pawn advantage turns into a queen for a rook disadvantage.  Here's the game.


I was concerned that I might get a bye in the second round since there had been an odd number in the first round, and the other player lower then me drew in the first round.  However someone else entered so the number was even.  Though if knew my second round opponent was going to be such a jerk, I would probably preferred a bye and taken my chances with getting a decent house player as an opponent.  I played another adult, but I felt like I was playing an obnoxious kid.  I had gotten to the board first and started taking out my set.  He comes up and says "I have a set. Let's use mine."  I told him that wasn't necessary, and that I had nice set.  He still wants to use his, and he's being kind of obnoxious about it, so I decided I would invoke my rights as the player with the black pieces.  I have a very nicely weighted wood set, and prefer playing with it when I can.

I played a decent game against him, but it was highly unpleasant.  He reminded me of the kids that don't center their pieces, slap the clock and bang pieces when they think they've made a good move.  I don't know if he had a cold or what, but he kept coughing.  It wasn't like he was doing it on my move, but he never covered his mouth.  Finally I got annoyed and asked to please cover his mouth when coughing.  I listened to music to tune him out, but he was getting on my nerves.  I wanted to win so badly, but I let the initiative slip away and eventually the position fell apart.

I'm having trouble getting the game to load, so I'll have to post it later.  I've had it. The lobby noise is getting to be too much.  Hopefully all these kids are staying on a different floor then me.  I guess it could be worse they all could be drunk.

Here is the game.  I finally got it to work.  The Internet is really slow!  Between that and not having enough RAM to run Windows on my Mac it's been hard to do the analysis.  I probably should get the Mac version of Shredder.


Almost time for round 3.  Hopefully I won't be playing another jerk, and hopefully I can convert any advantage I can get.  At least I'll be White this round.


Erabin said...

sorry for your troubles Polly but I have to compliment you on the Beatles pun:) Hopefully the rest of the tournament goes smoother.


Polly said...

Thanks! I can't complain too much. Better to be losing chess games in sunny California then losing them in New Jersey. LOL

LinuxGuy said...

In game 1, ..f6 looked automatic, although I guess you made a general developing move instead. May have gotten a different opponent for the next round, if you hadn't missed that. ;-)

In game 2, that looked like a tough game. Kid was not an easy opponent to play against. The analysis was interesting in terms of using the pin against his queen on the d-file to reposition pieces.

chesstiger said...

There will always be obnoxious dudes or girls. But i must admit that you do seem to attract them somehow recently. Maybe a change of perfume or eau de cologne might help. :-)

Pity about the two lossess. Maybe its time to learn another opening so that you dont play to much on autopilot the first moves but start to think about the game from move one on.

Polly said...

Linux: My second round opponent was not a kid. He was older then me. He just acted like a horribly obnoxious brat the entire tournament. It wasn't just me he was obnoxious to. It was fun watching him slam his pieces thinking he made a great move, only to find out it wasn't so good. LOL Something makes me think his elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.

Obviously f6 is the move. Without the threat then making a developing move seems better then weakening the king side with a move like f6. Unfortunately the threat was real.

Tiger: These two games were very different opening wise. I didn't feel like I was on auto pilot, but some how in the second game I let my initiative totally slip away. I was actually happier with how I played with Black then how I played with White over the weekend.