Sunday, June 13, 2010

National Open - Photo Time!

I had two totally insipid draws.  Both games were ones where I got behind in development, beat back the opponent's pressure and traded down.  *Yawn*  It didn't matter whether I was White or Black.  The games aren't even worth looking at.  Instead today's post features pictures from the tournament.

The hotel is huge.  It's actually one of the nicer hotels I've stayed in for chess.  The rooms are really big, and there are a lot good eating choices within the hotel that are reasonably priced.  The other good thing is everything stays open late so it's easy to grab a bite to eat if your round runs late.  My only gripe is the smell of cigarette smoke.  However it's a casino so what can I expect?  It is easy to walk from my room to the convention center portion without having to go through the casino itself.  Though it is fun to go people watch there.  I can only take the casino in small doses.  Between the noise of the slot machines and the smoke it becomes overload after awhile.

Mountains surrounding Las Vegas

Urban sprawl - Las Vegas Style

I did manage to leave the hotel and go outside and take some pictures of the surrounding scenery.  It was actually very cool.  Looking at the landscape reminds me that this is the desert.  I noticed many new developments surrounding the hotel property.  It's kind of scary thinking about how many people live out here and need lots of water.  My lasting impression of my previous trip out here was flying over Hoover Dam and seeing just how much water loss there has been in Lake Meade.  One can see how far the water line has gone down.

Back inside the tournament room we had the merge of all schedules.  Now at least there won't be disruptions as players from different schedules come in at varying times.  Here's a view from the stage of one side of the room.  My board is way back in the last row near the door.  It has it's good points and bad points.  The good thing is there is no one seated behind me.  The bad point is being near the door.  However my iPod takes care of the noise factor for the most part.  The staff is good about trying to keep things as quiet as possible.

Along with the tournament itself there are lectures and games analysis.  Anna Zatonskih was giving a lecture on zugzwang when I came into observe and take pictures.  She's very animated and keeps the topic lively and entertaining.  The problem she was showing was quite challenging.

WGM Anna Zatonskih

Art Bisguier is available to go over players' game when their done.  At one point I saw a guy waiting patiently by the door in anticipation of Bisguier's arrival.  I guess he had a quick game, and wanted to be the first one on line.

GM Art Bisguier

Art and I go back a long way.  The USCF used to having a visiting Grandmaster program where they would send a GM to various clubs to give a simul and lecture.  The hosting club would take care of his lodging and meals.  The simul and lecture was free, but he'd be available to give private lessons for a reasonable fee.  It was a great program, but after a few years was discontinued for budget reasons.  GM Bisguier came up to Burlington, Vermont on several occasions when I was attending college up there in the early 70s.  He was also the Grandmaster I ever played in a tournament.  I think I got so nervous that I hung a piece on about the 10th move.

After last night's round there is one perfect score remaining.  GM Varuzhan Akobian beat GM Mikheil Kekelidze.  There are 6 players with 3.5 nipping at his heels, so the tournament is far from being decided.

GM Varuzhan Akobian
(Nice shirt!)

Alfred Walker

I didn't even having the nicest chess themed article of clothing yesterday.  That distinction would go to Alfred Walker who was demonstrating his invention "Lucky-Chess".  It's played using either dice or picking a card from a deck.  You have to move what ever piece is shown on the dice or card.  You can choose to roll dice or pick a card.  It's fun and has a large component of luck to it because of the dice and cards.  You might have a great capture, but if you don't roll the piece you need you won't get to make it.  On the other hand the en prise piece may sit for a few moves and you might get to take it.

White may or may not be able to take that on e6.  Black may or may not be able to take the bishop on d5.  It depends who is the lucky one.  Maybe I need to play with the dice.  The moves I'm making by choice can't be any worse then the random moves I may have to make with the roll of the dice.  This Las Vegas after all.  He doesn't have a working website at the moment, but if you're interested in knowing more about the game you can contact him via email.  awlouis438 at yahoo dot com.


Anonymous said...

I wonder where Alfred got the cool vest.

chesstiger said...

Maybe you should have gone over one of your draws with Art so that he could give some opening advise (since you said your opp was better after the opening stages) and how to play a bit more, lets say, active instead of doing the big swap. ;-)

Polly said...

Anon: He bought it at a tournament in Spain, but he didn't know who the vendor was. Believe me I wanted to find it, but not enough information to go on.

Tiger: I keep having mood swings over my openings. I haven't really been able to sort out what I want to do with the opening.