Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Idaho Closed, Day 1

Welcome to the 2010 ICA Idaho Closed State Championship!  Six rounds over three days, 30/120 SD/60 at Boise State University Student Union Building.  Games could go as long as six hours!  A warm and mist morning greeted the 42 contenders for the tournament, and there is an air of expectation that hangs over the lookout room like a helium balloon lifting into the sky.  One of my favorite moments in a tournament is the adrenalin being released as a round approaches and I could feel the butterflies starting to flutter.   There was lot's of friendly and familiar faces-conversing, reminiscing, laughing, and playing warm-up games.  I really like ICA events as it brings out shared experiences and humor that only a chess player would understand.
Emily, Kevin, Katie

Jay Simonson, ICA President, greeted everyone and announced the requisite time controls, rules, and a little story about ipods and cheating in national chess events.  Andrew Uriarte's face drooped as he immediately asked me to re-confirm Jay's ipod decision.  I continued to help folks program their chess clocks.  Wood River brought four contenders to this tournament including:  Adam Porth (1190), Jeff Baggett(1801), Andrew Uriarte(1196), and Dylan Porth(600).

Jeff overlooks Jay
First round match-ups placed me with Jeff, Andrew with Stephen Oberle(1803), and Dylan with Dave Stewart (1516).  It is clear that this tournament is going to be tough as the average rating is 1360 and the  range included 404 - 2000.  Other notables include four past state champions including Jason Evers(1887), Glen Buckendorf(1800), Larry Parsons(2000), and Garrett Reynolds(1933). Glen and Larry are over 10 time champions!  There were three scholastic champions, Phil Weyland(1824), Katie Abderhalden(1562), and Emily Patterson(1463).  For my own personal aspirations, there are 7 Class E players - most under-rated and only 2 prizes!  This is going to be an exciting and tough tournament.
Glenn plays Kevin during Round 1

Round 1:  Maybe I will post my game against Jeff, but probably not.  I attacked too soon and with too little support from the other troops.  Very basic principles to violate as Hugh Myers(1563) needed to point out.  Impatience can destroy a game and the excitement and anticipation of the day might have affected those ponies.   I could tell Jeff was worried for a bit, but as the game progressed, he succeeded in diffusing my 2 knights attacking by challenging with pawns and opening the ranks and files to shift his pieces to effective and efficient defense that I could not deal with.  Jeff felt it was one of his hardest games in the tournament. Thankfully, that kept me from feeling like a very basic patzer!

Jeff Baggett 
Andrew lost and began flailing (like Shane) about his game and how he stayed right in there, but "that was hard, and he [Stephen Oberle] is so good."  I made my expectations of Dylan's games very clear - "this is practice, honey."  Sometimes my little girl thinks I expect her to win all her games and tries to please me with a false sadness.  I love seeing her play chess and more importantly enjoy seeing her solve problems.  Dylan gleefully went to play with Katie after I told her to just learn from her games, move slow, use your time, try some new ideas, and have some fun with your games.  What an angel-puss!  
Dylan plays in her first Idaho Closed!

Round 2:  Pairings are up and so are my spirits!  I am paired against Patrick Abernathy(unr.), Dylan against Jamie Lang(1219), Jeff against Ricky Weathers(1500), and Andrew against Reggie Holmquist(unr.).   The Abernathy's are a strong chess family and I was surprised to discover Pat was unrated.  He played a very strong game and subverted all my attacks and even started a king-side pawn storm in the middle game that gave me problems until he pushed the wrong pawn allowing me to stall the attack and did not open any files as he was trying to do.  I eventually out-positioned him in a nearly 5 hour game.  I was too engaged with Pat to notice what was going on in the other games but the night ended with a win for me, a loss for Jeff, Andrew and Dylan.

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