Monday, April 5, 2010

Grand Pacific Open - Sunday

When we came in for our 4th round today, it looked like the Easter Bunny had stopped by. Sitting on top of the rooks were chocolate Easter eggs. It was a clever touch on the organizer's part. I needed a little chocolate after yesterday's ugliness.

Happy Easter!

Last night after the last game was done they had a blitz tournament. I decided not to play. I figured I did enough losing for the day without making worse by playing blitz. There were 28 players in the blitz, a good portion of them being kids. The winner was Tanraj Sohal, pictured below.
Tanraj Sohal

Just as I predicted, the 4 3-0 players all drew. That left 5 players with 3.5 going into round 5. Black won on the top 3 boards so it's making for an ugly color situation on board 1. There are 3 players with 4.5. # 1 seed, FM Jack Yoos is White against #2 FM Holger Grund. Grund has the misfortune of getting 4 blacks. #4 IM Lawrence Day is White against #13 Tanraj Sohal. Sohul has 4 points. There are three other players with 4 points. I suspect with all those players a half point behind we won't see any quick draws on the top boards.

FM Jack Yoos

IM Lawrence Day

Having reported on what's happening on the top boards, now for the report from the bottom boards.
The one who traveled the farthest.

The first round today was a tough one. I had to really suck it up, and work through a complicated position. I was playing an unrated. There are weak unrateds and there are strong unrateds. The strong ones usually have a Russian sounding name. His last name was Bower, so I could not make any judgments based on the name. I didn't know whether this was his first tournament or whether he might have a provisional rating that hasn't been published. None of that stuff matters when I'm faced with a difficult position.

My opponent had several different pins, and I was convinced I was going was going to lose a piece. As I was looking at the board, I was getting more and more angry with myself. The thought of losing again was very upsetting. At one point during my analysis I stopped being able to figure out what was going on in the position. It was my move. I got up from the board, went over to refill my water glass, and try to clear my head. Sometimes that's the only way I can get my mind off of the negative thoughts. I came back to the board and after several minutes of analyzing, I made a move. I was still not convinced I could escape the mess I had made. I left the room while my opponent was thinking.

When I came back inside and sat down, suddenly it dawned on me. I had a way to save my piece. I could move the pinned piece attacking my opponent's queen. I ended out with ugly doubled pawns. My opponent would win one of them, but being down a pawn was far better then what I thought was going to happen. My opponent misplayed the position and I was able to get some counter play and got the pawn back. I offered a draw which he refused. He won another pawn, but there wasn't really a way to exploit it. He ended out offering me a draw, which I took.

With a 30 second increment one is required to keep score the entire time. I like keeping score as long as I can when playing other time controls, but I was having problems. I left out a couple of moves, so the position on the Monroi didn't look like the position on the board. I ended out making very strange looking moves on the Monroi in order to keep some semblance of a score. I didn't have enough time to borrow my opponent's score sheet to figure out where I messed up. If anyone tried to follow the game live, they would have seen the white queen go from b2 to d8+. I had left out the move Qd2.

In round 5 I had crazy game where my opponent allowed me to win a couple of pawns and the exchange. It was not an easy win from there. He had some play on the dark squares and annoying little threats. I eventually was able to win another piece, and finally got the elusive first win of the tournament.

I will post the games with some analysis later. It's late and Monday's round is at 10:00 am. If you can't wait for my games they are on the Monroi website under Grand Pacific Open. I probably won't make another post until I get back to the airport in Seattle or back to New York.


Anonymous said...

Hey Polly - Chris Richmond here. Found your blog a while ago and just wanted to let you know I am still alive and well (and in VT!) and I even played in a tournament a few weeks ago. Parker Montgomery noticed and emailed me and put me back in touch with Dave Carter. I hope you are well and thank you for the kind things you have said about us in previous posts. I remember the camping trip especially! Best wishes.

Polly said...

OMG! Great to hear from you! I've been thinking about that crazy camping trip. I have another blog called Checkmate State By State. I'm trying to put in the 1st game from each state and a story about the tournament. I haven't gotten around to the Maine post which would be that tournament. I was trying to remember who was on the trip. You, David and Kyle? Was Alan with us?

Anonymous said...

Is Monroi hard to keep score on?

Sam said...

Hi Polly. I really like your blog, one of the most active and interesting ones I've seen (with real photos of real places!).

I saw back a while ago ( ) you mentioned that you played some blindfold chess.

I'm learning blindfold (and blogging on it) at the moment, so I was interested in knowing your experiences and if you had any tips.

Polly said...

Myopic: I'm terrible at blindfold chess. Once I get out of the opening I really have trouble visualizing the board. When we played on that trip, I was totally lost out of the opening. I don't think I've tried playing blindfold chess since then.

I would imagine it would be good to read up on outstanding blindfold players and see if any of them have given insights or have tricks to help remembering the position.

Anonymous said...

Polly - I remember the rain and playing blindfold in the pitch black of the tent against Kyle. I think Alan was there too, but I'm not certain. Reviewing my old games I see I finished 3-2 including draws against Parker Montgomery and Jon Curdo and a victory over Hal Terrie and another expert in the final round. Maybe I should have camped more often! Cheers - Chris:)

_Griphin_ said...

I found your blog by accident actually. Nice to see your covering the Grand Pacific Open, as not a lot of chess sites are doing that. I've also posted your blog as a link on my blog (_Griphin's_ Chess Blog) at if your curious to look at it. Have a good day

From the patzer said...

I find it a pity that one gets the elo of a player before seeing the game. Reason for this is that one underestimates the ratings lower then the one has oneself and players with 150 and more ratingpoints then oneself gets overestimated.

Offcourse this is a wrong attitude, one has to play always with the same intensity, concentration and focus. It may not matter what for rating a player has, low or high, one has to play always the same way.

But subconsiously one thinks "oh, a 1300 i will sweep of the board easily" while by a 2100+ "Pfffffffft, this is gonna be a hard fight which in the end i gonna lose" .

While if one doesn't know the rating one thinks "This is gonna be a hard fight but i am gonna do the best that i can". Which is the correct thinking before and during a game. Respect the opponent and do the best you can to win as possible.