Sunday, April 3, 2011

MVCC Results

Wood River takes home 1st - 3rd place
The Magic Valley Chess Championship attracted only 15 participants this year. The low numbers did not dissuade intense and very competitive games, however. For the second year in a row, I endured an early morning blizzard driving to Twin Falls for the championship. This time I had 3 other sleeping club members with me: Nick Bruck, Riley Clark, and Desmond. Twin Falls is approximately an hour south of the Wood River Valley and the climate seems to be a whole continent away. We still have snow and Twin is already growing grass.

My first game was a dismal failure and I played as if I was training one of my elementary students. I was paired with Jared Arp, a ninth grader?, that was trying to show me a new opening that he even named. I listened and nodded with teacherly instinct. The match was about to begin and I was still yawning from the drive and my lesson. I was black and responded to e4 with the Karo-Cann (c6) and quickly got into a comfortable position. Maybe too comfortable because on move 15 I gave up a knight. . . en prise! A couple of moves later, another knight from my forces and desire to play vaporized immediately.
Desmond plays David in Round 1
I frequently have trouble playing children in competitive tournaments, but vowed to not lose another game in this tournament. And I didn't. When playing in a tournament, it is necessary to be unmerciful and relentless. A tournament is for competition and challenging yourself to play your best. It isn't an experiment or a venue to "see if". The sting I felt when the boy shook my hand and said, "I guess it wasn't your day," was a wake up call to my competitive instincts. Always play your best in a tournament.
Barry plays Gary Dugger in Round 2
Tournaments at the Obenchain Building are always entertaining and the friendly faces that are there to greet you are welcoming. Barry Eacker was the TD and he always knows just what to say to make my stomach hurt with laughter. I gave him plenty of material during round 1 and I hope he continues to chide me so that my embarrassment keeps me in the winning spirit. The insurance building that we play in is small, very plain, and smells and looks of the seventies. The toilet is always on the brink of spilling over, as in other tournaments there. This time the plumbing problems seemed to emanate from under the sink. A slowly growing pool began creeping across the floor.
Riley played two very good games in this tournament
The day ended positively for Nick with 2.0 points, Desmond (1.0), and me (1.0). We got home about 11 o'clock and I suggested that Nick and Riley just stay the night. We needed to leave at about 6:30 am to be on time for round 3 beginning at 8:00 am.
Nick had a mission in round 3 . . .beat me!
I was paired with Nick for round 3 and figured that he would expect me to open with something he has never seen before. So I planned to open with the Colle-Zuckertort and work to positionally weaken him. It certainly worked well in that game.

At lunch, we began the requisite pre-calculation of the possible outcomes of the tournament. I was paired with David Dalesandro, a strong tournament newcomer. If I win, and Nick and Desi play to a draw, or Desmond wins, our Wood River group wins 1st-3rd place. If Desmond loses, or I lose, then our group only will take home one trophy. I decided that it is better for our club if we win all three positions.
Desmond and Nick battle
Round 4, brought some interesting games. Nick was actually playing to obtain a drawn position on the board and never offered Desmond a draw. Desmond was caught up in a great position and went for the win against Nick and got it. Nick slammed his king down and scattered pieces like Irina Krush against Anna Zatonskih, and then stormed off. Always play your best. Meanwhile, I successfully removed the three defending pawns of David's castled king but had to give up a rook to maintain pressure and tempo. I felt waves of adrenalin surging through my abdomin and then work its way up to my face in several tense moments.  In the end, we did it and despite some misunderstanding, Desmond and Nick learned how to work together, and Nick began  recognizing larger views.
Dan Looney, MVCC Champion
In the championship section, Daniel Looney (1636) won first place with 3.0 points, Jim Stark (1617) second with 2.5 points, and Glen Buckendorf (1800) won third with 2.0 points. Trophies were for first through third. Glen has been donating books from his library for 4th place prizes and this went to Aleksandr Vereshchagin (1433). In the challenger section, I won first place with 3.0 points, Desmond won second with 3.0 points, and Nick won third with 2.0 points. David got to take home the book. Next year, I get to be in the championship section.  Always play your best and to win.
Glen Buckendorf plays Aleksandr Vereshchagin

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