Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eastern Idaho Open 2009

This tournament was a restful break from soccer coaching. Jay Simmonson always runs a smooth and enjoyable tournament. Tournament numbers were low, however, the quality of the games were very good. I won 4.5/5 pts. and took first place in the reserve section. The games are posted at: http://www.idahochessassociation.org/easternidahoopen2009games.asp for those interested.

I started the tournament with an easy win against Gabriel Moffett, who is a tournament newcomer. I helped him along with recording and tried to provide some pointers as he moved way too fast for this type of tournament. I won with only 2 minutes off my clock in 10 moves! No I did not use a version of scholar's mate! My next game was against Katie Patterson(823) who played solidly until I played a discovered attack on her rook while simultaneously attacking her queen. She played out the game valiantly to the end and continued to harass me with her knight. I was hoping to play Kevin Patterson (1158) in the final round, but round 3 placed us across from one another and we played a rather fun game that produced a huge exchange which snagged me a rook for a bishop and a knight. Plus, I also received a much better position as he scrambled to get his queen-side pieces mobilized. On Sunday morning, after a nice big coffee and latte from the College Market, I began play with Doug Finch (1275), from Utah. I opened with Colle-Zuckertort, but ran into the same problem I had with Katie, with a knight that pushed my white bishop back to e2. We ended with opposite color bishops and a handful of pawns for a drawn game. Win, Lose, or Draw, I had already secured first place by round 5. I played Robert Diercks(1371)as white and unleashed the Colle-Zuckertort system, once again. A knight sacrifice removed his pawns guarding his castled king and all my pieces coordinated attacks that left poor Robert with naught but a queen, bishop, and knight left. I was disappointed in myself as I missed a mate on move 20. The game was won after move 30.

Overall, this was a welcomed reprieve from soccer, however, I couldn't resist seeing the men's ISU Bengals play BSU at Davis field in between rounds. Man, I love competition in soccer and chess!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this tournament too. Jay Simonson does run a very enjoyable tournament!

    I started with a really exciting game against Caleb Abernathy. On move 17, Caleb tried to suck me into trapping his queen. When it appeared I had done so on move 19, suddenly out comes 19...Nc3! which changes everything. It was only lucky for me that when the dust settled on move 23, I was up the exchange and eventually converted that to a win. It pleases me that Caleb considers this first round his best of the tournament. It is an experience we will both cherish for a long time. The excitement of that moment when he played 19...Nc3!!!

    In round 2, I was clearly winning the game when I made an unexplainable blunder with 23...d4 not noticing he could simply take my rook with 24.Qxc6. I countered with an equally clever 24...Qxb3 which removed the pinning piece and normally would have evened out. But the problem was that my Bishop on c5 was undefended, whereas his Knight on c3 was just barely defended enough. Still, with all those extra pawns I had, I was able to make a game of it. On move 38, Black should have played 38...Ka8 instead of 38...Kb8, but it probably didn't make enough of a difference by this time.

    In round 3, I played what I think might have been my best game of the tournament against Gary Owen from Evanston, Wyoming. I created weaknesses in his pawn structure (big time), but kept all 4 rooks on the board until the right time, when my queen-side pawn majority could have greater effect. With a passed b-pawn and his only piece being a wobbly knight needing to keep watch on b1 (his K being off-side on the K-side), my K was able to infiltrate, win the last pawn, then march my c-pawn in for the kill.

    In round 4, I played former Idaho Chess Champion, Hans Morrow. Hans is a very deep player and knows how to press for a win. In this game he was backing me up, and literally into a corner. But I seemed to have just enough to hold the fort. And once I got 27.h5 in, I was more or less out of trouble. In fact, given the clock times, I was in great shape. I had close to an hour, and he was under 15 minutes for the whole game. In post mortem, we couldn't come up with anything more than a draw in a dead-locked position.

    In round 5, I got to play one of the nicest people of the tournament, Patrick Abernathy, an unrated player who played up in the Open Section (and father of my 1st round opponent). Black played solidly enough until move 7 when ...b5 created weaknesses in his position. On move 9 he made tactical mistake by not moving his Knight away and went down a piece after which things just seemed to crumble more for him. He unexplainably just let my bishop roam around his king-side taking everything in sight rather than take it. Humorously though, we both thought that 29.Bg7+ was mate (it certainly looked good, and should have been!), when it actually wasn't! However, White is completely won anyway, as 29...Kg8 30.Be5+ Kf8 31.Nh7+ Kf7 32.Bxd5+ Ke7 33.Rg7+ is utterly hopeless for him.

    While I don't share Adam's passion for soccer, I do share his passion for chess, which thankfully can be played all year around, and all life-long! I will be playing in the Wood River Weekend Swiss on October 10-11, 2009.


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