Friday, October 30, 2009

Rankings after Thursday

1.  Desmond 986
2.  Adam 948
3.  Nick 943
4.  Tyler J. 916
5.  Chris 916
6.  Britton 916
7.  Tyler W. 916

Chess Club Thursday

Thursday night featured two new players joining our ranks (get it?) - welcome:  Jason Black and Alex Bates.

Two Vice-Presidents are offered up:  Taylor Walton and Shane Breuss.

Thursday was more of a party than a chess club meeting.  The school unblocked You Tube and so strange and funny videos were brought up on the big screen, despite my efforts to keep loading GM games.  Oh well.  Think Like a King software was a huge attraction with Nick now in the lead for the executive set, while Shane and Taylor are still plugging away and nearly caught up. 

Bughouse dominated the night with more serious games played by yours truly and Erwin KettDesmond was in a losing position, but then pulled out a surprise check mate on Erwin in an end game that made dad proud.  He sucker-punched Erwin by providing an enticing mate in two that Erwin could not refuse, and then removed a guard on the 2nd rank allowing his rook free access to the first rank and a  mate.

I explored the orangutan opening and won 3 games against Chris, Andrew, and Erwin.  The orangutan is also known as the Sokolsky Opening or the Polish Opening, and thrives on queenside tactics after 1. b4!.   I was surprised at the success of the opening game and the focus by which I played.  I enjoyed how katy-whompus the board looked during the middle game because of asymmetry.  I also refused to make a move until I was able to concentrate on the board.  This was a huge feat as players were loud, rude videos were guarded against, Desmond and Jake were amping up on soda, and several kids were on my computer.  Plus I kept smelling dead animal.  It turns out, today, that I found my cooler with a rotten pair of deer lungs in the lab that my Physiology class was dissecting two days ago and neglected cleaning up.  It really was a dead animal!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chess Club Rankings

17 kids total:

1.  Desmond Porth 947
2.  Nick  943
3.  Chris  932
4.  Tyler  916
5.  Britton  916
6.  Tyler  916

Also, don't forget, the largest number of workbook points gets an executive, triple weighted chess bag/set by Christmas Break.

Chess Club News

Think Like a King workouts had 3 kids on it all night!  I really like the way the kids stayed focused on the program while chess club was going.  They alternated between games as there was an odd number of players.

Two new players:  welcome Evan Puluti & Josh Whitlock!

We had 13 kids show up.  Chris was on fire and quietly won all his games.  Nick brought rice krispy treats for everyone and then proceeded to slam all who challenged him including me into the tabletops!  I did not pay attention to my last blog post and was helping a student with Physical Science and carelessly blundered a bishop and my position in one swoop against Nick.

Erwin enjoyed playing the kids and rocketed through 4 games before he faced me.  I was ornery after my game with Nick and Erwin did not have a chance.  Nothing was going to deter me from focusing on the game - even my son's stomach as 6:30 pm approached.  I ended with a trick-or- treat bag filled with pawns and promoted queens (I hope Barry and Garrett don't read this post!). 

A great showing and fun for all.  See you Thursday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Passen Sie Auf!

Staying focused and paying attention during your chess game is paramount in a serious chess game. While this may sound simple, many players often do lose focus during a game and lose, including me.   So the moral of the story is to stay focused on your game so that you do not make elementary mistakes. During tournaments, one should not have discussions with other players, think about or worry about other players, or to engage in other activites while playing.  This seems to be my one of my major weaknesses (that and lack of experience!).  While these sound like, and are excuses for losing, I will endeavor to play more seriously in the future.  Garrett's 5 move draw against Larry Parsons was a valuable lesson, in that they both recognized the competitiveness of the tournament and perceived their near future lack of focus, and agreed to a draw.  What a clear example of why they are champions and win more than lose chess games.

Here are two games that I failed to win (when I was winning) during a tournament I was TDing:

Me vs. Erwin Kett (see move 27 - I began entering results in the computer for the tournament!)
Tyler Jaramillo vs. Me (see move 10 - I was cleaning up the tables, came back and moved without looking at board!  Move 31 - I lost interest in the game and began taking tables down and entering results, I also just had a conversation with Garrett about his 5 move draw and was worried that he was not enjoying himself!  Move 37 - I began cleaning again, returned, moved without looking at board and thought I had an en prise move!)

Every bad move was preceeded by a lack of attention and focus.  I could clearly identify what I was doing when I made these horrbile moves.  When I was attentive and thinking only about the game, I was in control of the game, and thoroughly unbeatable!

Tournament Flyers

2009 Wood River Weekend
You can find flyers for all WRHS tournaments this year at in the tournament link. WRHS Chess Club Newsletters are on the WRHS page in the Bio link. Don't forget the ICA Southern Open scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in Twin Falls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WRHS Chess Club is Rolling!

Lot's of news here. . .

We had started our 2009-10 chess club meeting with 12 kids signing up and a full bag of popcorn being chowed down (I don't know how they consume so much salt and I have decided that teenagers are ravenous after school). I purchased Think Like a King software for our club to use and it seems to be working smoothly with registering and recording games. Tyler already started some of the chess workouts. I will give an executive chess set to the individual that completes the most workout points before Christmas Break.

Nick Bruck is our President. The Vice President will be selected at our next meeting. Dues are $5.

Most of the students were from last year, however, we had one new member. Welcome Joey Altermatt.

There is a newsletter posted at my school website and the chessnut website (link on right). Go see the Historical game, sodoku, problem of the week, news, tournament listings, and tips (I cannot upload a file here).

After watching Tyler practically leap out of his pants during a bughouse game after winning, I think sportsmanship/poise is going to be a focus this year.

Here is a complete list of planned tournaments for our club:

South SLC Scholastic, Nov. 7, SLC, Utah
Southern Idaho Open, Nov. 14 - 15, TF
Winter Scholastic, Dec. 5, WRHS
National Scholastic, Dec. 11 - 13, Dallas, Texas
WRHS Blitz & Bughouse Championship, Dec. 15 & 17
Scotch Tournament, Jan. 12 & 14, WRHS
Ruy lopez Tournament, Jan. 26 & 28, WRHS
West Jordan Scholastic, Jan. 30, West Jordan, Utah
Mid-winter Scholastic, Feb. 6, WRHS
Idaho Closed, Feb 13-15, Boise
ICA Girls Scholastic, Feb. 27, Boise
Spring Warmup, Mar. 6, WRHS
ICA Scholastic Championship, Mar. 20, Boise

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wood River Weekend 2009

Jeff Roland, Boise won the one section open tournament with 3.5 pts. out after four rounds of enjoyable chess in the Idaho Chess Association Wood River Weekend Swiss Open chess tournament in Hailey, Idaho. The tournament boasted 14 of the top competitors in the state of Idaho, and from the Wood River Valley. This tournament also attracted two tough opponents from Wyoming and Utah.

All eyes were on table one in the fourth round to see 15-time Idaho State Champion, Larry Parsons play twice and current Idaho State Champion, Garrett Reynolds. As the first moves unfolded, the spirit of the weekend overcame the competitiveness of the two state champions, and they decided to draw after 5 moves. This allowed Jeff Roland an opportunity to show his stuff in his final game against Wyoming competitor, Richard Cohen and take home a tournament win. Larry Parsons, Garrett Reynolds, and Jeff Baggett split the second prize winnings with 3 pts. a piece.

Some notable upsets occurred when Larry Parsons drew against Utah opponent, Doug Finch in a game that used the entire time. In the last round, Tyler Jaramillo scooped up a queen early in the game and won against his own chess coach, Adam Porth. Jeff Roland also obtained a draw against Garrett Reynolds in round 3 which seemed to set the tone of the fourth round for most competitors. Other impressive scores were obtained for two tournament newcomers and valley residents, Erwin Kett and Jeff Baggett. Both players won important games against experienced tournament players.

Four Wood River High Schoolers were among the mix and were very impressive to their opponents. Nick Bruck commented on how different the games were with longer time settings - 4 hour games! And Shane Bruess, Chris Ellis, and Tyler Jaramillo were very close to beating some of the experienced opponents. Richard Cohen said he had to be very careful.

The weekend included opportunities for the chess players to socialize outside of the competition room and play more chess just for fun. The Ketts served up German lunches for all the competitors and the Porths filled the house on Saturday evening for dinner. Richard Cohen awed the chess players with outstanding piano songs and magic tricks. Were it not for the social hours, the chess games might have been more merciless!

Thank you ICA, Jeff Roland, Barry Eacker for support of the tournament, and Lynnet Porth and Mr. & Mrs. Erwin Kett for housing, food, and encouragement to the chess players.

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