Sunday, February 20, 2011

US Amateur Team East - Castling Queen Side To Start - Edited

It's the end of two days at the team tournament. Once again I'm playing board one with Guy, Alan and Silvio.  The tournament got off to a rough start for me.  It had nothing to do with playing super lousy chess or having some awful meltdown in a winning position.  The first round we got paired down. The guys managed to win their games within the first two hours. We're winning the match no matter what I do.  I had the misfortune of playing an under rated kid.  His rating for the tournament was listed as 1428.  In reality his rating is 1543.  He just completely outplayed me and I lost the exchange and a pawn.  After started forcing trades, I decided I would conserve energy and not prolong the agony.  We had played for over 3 hours and I had another match.  Having won our first match we were going to get paired up.  That means I would play someone higher rated then me.  Another game that went over 3 hours! Another loss.  However I didn't feel so bad about being 0-2.

I thought we might get paired down in round three.  Had I read my posts from previous years I would have realized that we were going to play up.  Way up!  We played a team with a 2184 average.  This team won the tournament last year.  However they were upset in some round so we had the pleasure of playing the defending champions.  I had the pleasure of getting crushed by a FIDE Master in 25 moves.  The game took less then two hours.  The only thing good about losing so quickly is I got a free chess lesson out of the deal.  He gave me some suggestions on some of the opening moves.

My line on the wall chart read 0-0-0. Indeed I was living up to my name.

The first three rounds we managed to stay in the main ballroom.  However being 1-2 relegated us to the Heritage ballroom.  That's like being sent to triple A minor leagues.  We no longer were playing with the big boys.  However it's still preferable to being across the hall in the Symms rooms, or heaven forbid in the Morris rooms down the hall.  That's where all the lowest rated teams with very few points end out playing the entire tournament.  Friends and I would refer to that part of the hotel as outer Mongolia.

With no physical issues requiring an assigned board we had to go where our score put us.  We played a team of high school kids.  I was wondering if I would be facing another under rated kid.  Would my line on the wall chart look like this? 0-0 0-0 (Castling King side twice).  Fortunately my opponent allowed me to transpose the position to my playing the white side of a Maroczy Bind.  Having been on the black side of it, I know how agonizing it can be.  I also know many of the pitfalls facing black if he tries to break in the center too soon.  My opponent was not familiar with it, and paid dearly.  The game was done in just over an hour and half.  We won the match 3-1.  Hopefully this will put us back into the ballroom.

Here's the game.  (Note when I first published this post I had not done the analysis.  After editing the post to include a caption for the picture, I decided to add the game.)


The unfortunate part of not being in the ballroom for round four is not seeing the skits and costumes.  The group from Long Island won again.  This is the third year in a row they've won the contest.  I didn't get into the room in time to watch it.  Silvio, Alan and I had an early dinner at Ruth Cris, and barely got out of there before the round was scheduled to start.  One of the teams participating in the contest was playing near us.  Thanks to Ken Ballou for giving me the team name.  I don't know if these were the same people who were on the team when I played the woman 4 years ago.  I caught grief from my team mates for agreeing to a draw against her with her 950 rating.  She played well, and we were winning the match 3-0 at that point.

3 Squares and a Lady

Tomorrow we should be back in the ballroom.  That also means I'll have my work cut out for me again.  However with two rounds to go I have twice as many points as I scored last year.  2 x .5 =1.  More games to follow in a few days.  I'm afraid my coverage of the tournament is sorely lacking.  I don't seem to have the energy to run around and take lots of pictures and research all the top scores. Updates to follow.


chesstiger said...

First board of a team is always special to sit on, atleast in my experience.

I can understand that your teammates were upset that you only draw that 945 rated person. Afterall you are expected to win against such person even with your eyes closed. Secondly its always much more impressive if you can say you won 4-0 then 3,5-0,5.

Have fun with the remainder of this tournament. May you get some more points

Polly said...

Tiger: They weren't really upset. They were just "busting my chops" over giving up the draw. Unless you're on one of the strong teams that's trying to win the whole event, it more about being with your friends.

Unfortunately I got no more points. I faced two tough opponents on board 1 in rounds 5 and 6. Ended the tournament at 1-5.

Ken Ballou said...

The team in the photo is "3 Squares and a Lady".

Polly said...

Thanks Ken. I will add a caption to the photo.