Enough tournament news for the moment. On to my round one! I got down to the playing hall a bit early so I could register my Mon Roi for the tournament. However Jon Haskel who is running the Mon Roi feed had not gotten the pairings early enough, so there wouldn't much in the way of round one games on the live broadcast. I found my pairing and went to my board. I had gotten there first so I set up my clock for the 40/2 SD/1 time limit. It still had the 30/90 SD/1 settings from Santa Clara so I needed to change everything.
I left the board to get water. In the meantime my opponent arrived and put his clock down to my right, and moved my clock. I didn't notice this at first so I moved my clock back to my left. Then I noticed the other clock. I asked him if that was his clock. He answered yes, and I asked him if he preferred to use his since he had Black. He wanted to use his clock, so my next question was, "Is the 5 second delay on?" He had the older model of the Chronos Blitz which has its limitations in how much information can be displayed. After two weekends ago I wasn't taking any chances. I then asked him to run the clock so I could see how the delay, time and move counter would be displayed. He seemed a little confused by what I was asking, but his father knew exactly what I was asking, and why. He told me that he reads my blog. He had read my account of the clock issues at the Capablanca Memorial.
I own that same model of the Chronos, but I stopped using it a number of years ago because I didn't like the display limitations and the size of the move or delay counter. When one has middle aged eyes that don't see small things easily, a clock with large numbers is preferable. The large Chronos takes care of that for me. However my close up vision is not so pathetic that I would need to demand to use my clock. There are certain clocks where I will ask my opponent who has Black if he would mind using my Chronos instead. Most people like the Chronos and are perfectly happy to use my clock. If not, it's no big deal.
The round started a little late while they made various announcements acknowledging the organizers, past (Fred Gruenberg) and present (Al Losoff) and tournament information such as time controls and reporting the results. There was also a moment of silence for Jerry Hanken. Finally the announcements were over, and the games started. One of the things they asked was for a signed score sheet with the result circled. Even if both players were using a Mon Roi they still wanted the top part filled in and signatures and result at the bottom. I decided I would actual keep score on the paper notation sheet. I found this had worked well for me in Bermuda in the two rounds where I had done both.
I thought I had the whole clock thing straightened out but on move 10 what I thought was the move counter said 5. I thought maybe he had changed the settings to have display the delay countdown instead of the move counter. On move 11 I noticed it now said 6. I also noticed my time was running and I had made my move. I don't know how that happened. I was pretty sure I had pressed the clock since I put a time note on my score sheet, but another 5 minutes were gone. He said I had not pressed the clock a couple of times which is why the move counter was off. We pressed the clock back and forth a few times to get synchronized with the actual number of moves made. I guess I missed the button a couple of times which is easy to do with the sensor buttons on the Chronos.
I made sure after that to pay closer attention to the clock after making my move. At such a long time control losing the few minutes usually isn't a big deal. Though on those rare occasions when I get into time trouble at this control, I might regret those missed clock hits. However time was not a factor in this game. My opponent was using more time then me after awhile. I didn't get a great position out of the opening, and for awhile I thought I might have problems since he totally dominated the open d file. He had a battery of his queen and a rook on the file. He would eventually get the second rook on the file, but not before he made the very quiet move move of 16...h6 which gave me an opportunity to complete my development and challenge him on the queen side. I won a pawn on move 18 which I initially thought he could win back or get counter play for.
I thought I was going to have grind out a long drawn out ending to convert my pawn advantage. He undoubled his rooks on the d file which allowed me the move Red1, winning his rook for free or his queen for a rook. After looking at all his different possibilities, he chose to resign. I'm always appreciative of the young player who has the maturity and grace not to play out a lost position in a long time control. Some kids just won't resign, and I'm fine with that. It used to bug the hell out of me because I felt as though the opponent was insulting my intelligence thinking I'd stalemate or blunder. Now I treat it as an opportunity to work on tactics and mating patterns. In this case being the first round of a 3 day tournament it's probably a wise thing to conserve energy instead of hoping for a miracle. Here's the game.
This gave me plenty of time to eat lunch and use my free buffet coupon, and come back to the room and relax. We'll see what round 2 brings. I will be Black against another one pointer. I have my work cut out for me.