Friday, August 20, 2010

US Open Round 8

Despite a few crappy games in rounds 2 and 4, overall I was satisfied with how the two days of multiple games went.  I felt I spent my time well, and I wasn't moving too fast.  The transition from G/60 to 40/2 went smoothly despite my opponent's annoyance with my finger fidgeting.  I think trying to take it easy in between rounds, and not go jumping into the various workshops helped.  It's too easy to get sucked into all the political stuff that comes up at the workshops.  Unfortunately it was hard to avoid the politics once the weekend came.  I'm a USCF delegate for New York, and delegates meeting is held over the weekend at the US Open.

Back when the US Open was two weeks long it would start on a Sunday evening.  We would play 6 rounds from Sunday through Friday.  There would be no round on Saturday evening.  The delegates meetings would run on Saturday and Sunday.  On Sunday evening the second half of the tournament would start.  I recall that sometimes the delegates meeting on Sunday would run up to shortly before the evening round.  I also recall that almost every year I was a delegate, I would lose that Sunday evening round.

With the 9 round schedule we now play on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  Fortunately they have made it a point to end the meetings a few hours before the scheduled start of the round.  That gives delegates who are also playing a chance to eat and unwind before playing their Saturday and Sunday rounds.  At least that's what's supposed to happen.   I got the eating part down right, but not sure about the unwinding and refocusing on chess part.

The meetings weren't quite as brutal as last year's.  The room where we had the meeting this year was fabulous.  It's an amphitheater meeting room with built in desks, really comfy chairs, power outlets at each seat, and internet access.

Delegates Meeting.  Doesn't everyone look excited to be there?

A portion of my round four train wreck post was written during a boring part of the meeting.  John Hillary was posting live updates of the meeting on his Western Chess blog.  If one is really curious about what we talked about for two days, check out John's posts.  He has a concise and somewhat snarky way of presenting the proceedings.  I won't reinvent the wheel to give my take on the meetings.  There wasn't much that I was particularly passionate about.  I only got up and spoke once during the entire two days of meetings.

At the mike.  That's Bill Goichberg standing behind me.

On Saturday we went to 5:00 pm, which gave me 2.5 hours to relax and have dinner.  I had dinner with one of my old friends at this soup and salad buffet place.  Nothing spectacular, but I still managed to eat too much.  Buffets are dangerous, especially when I find something I really like.  They had a number of different breads that I kept going back for more of.

 I'm not sure why I was having so much difficulty playing with White in this tournament.  Every game it seemed to be a struggle to get my pieces developed and coordinated.  I did mange to get my pieces out, and I did not throw my queen out early.  However I went too deep into enemy territory with my knight and it got trapped.  Unfortunately I got no play for the piece, and things quickly went downhill from there.  Here's the game.


That loss assured me of another US Open with a negative score.  The best I could do would be 3 (w)-2(d)-4(l) if I could win on Sunday.  Unfortunately Sunday would be no better then Saturday.

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