Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012 SIO Results

My daughter and I competed yesterday in the 2012 Southern Idaho Open and fared well in the Reserve Section, 1st and 3rd.  The Southern Idaho Open is the third in a series of four tournaments sponsored by the Idaho Chess Association, culminating on Dec. 8-9 with the Western Idaho Open.  The Eastern Idaho Open is held in Pocatello, the Wood River Progressive in Hailey, the Southern Idaho Open in Twin Falls, and the Western Idaho Open in Boise.  This is the first year that the ICA has embraced Northwest Chess membership and all events have been Grand Prix.  I just found out this past weekend that it is also a FIDE rate event with some FMs planning on attending.

The Southern Idaho Open (4SS G/60) featured 18 competitors with two sections:  Open and Reserve.  The reserve is for U1400, however, anyone is able to play in the Open Section.  Because of low numbers, the reserve section was combined with the Open Section allowing reserve players to vie for the Open Section prizes.  Those opting to play up in the Open Section before round 1 were allowed to only compete in the Open Section after the tournament began.

The morning drive to Twin was beautiful as you can see from the photo, but I was concerned about playing because I am fighting off pneumonia and the side affects from all the medications!  Prednisone, codeine syrup, ciprofloxacin, albuterol, and dysol - who can play well on all these meds!  Certainly not me.    My games were dismally uneventful except in the endings where time pressure kept me dropping pieces and missing important checks.  In all games, I would be under a minute with my opponent having  nearly 15 - 20 minutes to contemplate their moves.  Time management was very difficult with my sniffs, wheezes, and stuffiness.  My daughter empathizes, as sweet as any middle-schooler can.
John Carr, 1995 State Champion
We arrived with about 15 minutes to spare and begin the ritual setting up the board and consulting the pairing charts.  I was paired with John Carr (1995 State Champion), whom I've seen play on the top board in the Idaho Closed State Championship a couple different times.  In round 1, my game was relatively conservative, but weak squares and overloaded pieces near move 22 had my rook and lone knight fighting without any time against a bishop pair and a knight (< 2 minutes to his 5 minutes).  I succumbed in the end to a forfeit clock and a headache.  But, my performance was not that bad and I felt happy to be at a chess tournament.
Roast your dad like a pig!

pig roastRound 2 pitted me against Dylan, my daughter for the first time in a tournament.  As Dylan lamented, Barry encouraged her, "...roast him like a pig."  We all chuckled.  Dylan (483) has not played in a tournament since last April and is concerned about her performance based on the first round against Fred Bartell (1675).  Dylan is quite tough on herself despite the fact that she is the lowest rated player at SIO.  She seems to be doing what I used to do a few years back - drop a piece early in the game and then fight hard for the rest of the game.  Nowadays, I drop the piece in the ending, destroying my opening and middle game successes  under time pressure.  Maybe I should play more Blitz?  Knowing that she struggled this past year with 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 ..(a blitz opening), I thought it would be good to see her responses so that we could find better answers together the next day.

My game with Dylan underway and my lungs feeling tight, I paced the room with my inhaler.  The albuterol makes me as jittery as a cup of Hawaiian Kona and in my eccentric state I envisioned a video I am going to produce: the bouncing, tapping, twisting, and gyrating behavior of chess players put to music.  As a distraction during play with my daughter, I began filming the cacophony of motion that nobody seemed to notice.  I found it interesting that the excitement of good moves or strategy reached a crescendo with the bouncing, but immediately ceased when the opponent found an adequate reply, response; or the position melts away.  A psychologist or ethologist would discover a lifetime of study in a  chess tournament hall.  My own distractions and interests included.
Mark Ayers, came from California to play
Tom Booth
Kim Barney,
he gave everyone in the tournament a souvenir braided bracelet 
I notice that the distractions that players do notice seem to be rare noises - an adjusted chair squeaks, a cell phone vibrates, dibble-dabble coffee pouring sounds, and other trivia, like guttural belch.  I see some players look toward the distraction, some truly disturbed, but most with a glazed look as they ponder the position and look vacantly at the source out of habituation   One older gentleman begins whistling a John Phillip Sousa march when he found a good position - the tune was recognizable and only occasionally audible.  But, I watched his opponent cover his own mouth to avoid breathing the waft of whistled air.  Maybe he forgot to brush his teeth, too?
Idaho always astounds me because of the unique people I continually meet.  After my match with Dylan, we went on a shopping tour until round 3 began.  At the downtown store, Ooh-La-La, we found some great retro-clothing and bought a mustard colored pancho.  We began to talk about our chess game while the store owner listened.  She was a petite, Russian woman that energetically began telling us about Gary Kasparov and how Kasparov and her dad used to play chess together in a cafe when they were boys.  She told me that he is now in politics, but is not taken seriously by the Russian people.  Chess brings many people together and provides common ground.

This tournament is also unique in that several students from the University of Utah Chess Team  entered and enjoyed the difficulties and challenges that their Idaho opponents provided.  They are practicing for the 2012 PAN-AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP coming up at the end of December
Bryan Leano, University of Utah plays Fred Bartell in Round 4.  Bryan wins tournament with 4.0 pts.
Vahan Kardzhyan intently solves a problem.
Round 4:  Where is my win with this position!  I can not find it.  I looked at 1. Qb4+ Kg8 2. Ne7+, but Qxe7.

My 3 round game had me lose on time in another fairly equal game where I began dropping pieces under a minute again.  Chess is unforgiving with some mistakes seemingly subtle and others glaringly losers.  During Round 4, I got to play one of the university players, Vahan Kardzhayan.  "Hmpf, Karo Cann, right?" he asked of me on move 2.  He played his best game of the tournament against me and under time pressure, we drew.  I was sure that I had a win with this particular position, but I was hard-pressed to find it and Vahan's responses were adequate if not outstanding.  Of course, under time pressure I threw away a rook and a knight with the hopes of promoting one of my pawns, but I soon realized that a draw was inevitable and I was lucky to achieve one, as my friend Fred Bartell quipped!
Round 4:  I got a lucky draw off this board after being a knight and a rook up!  I really need to play more blitz. 

Open Results:
Bryan Leano (1752) 1st
4.0 $90.00
Petro Gretchanei (1692) 2nd
3.0 $67.50
Fred Bartell (1675) 2nd
3.0 $67.50
Mark Ayers (1873) 3rd
2.5 $15.00
Jeff Roland (1700) 3rd
2.5 $15.00
Abhinav Mathur (1579) 3rd
2.5 $15.00
John Carr (1717)
Cody Gorman (1383)
Kim Barney (1623)
Barry Eacker (1619)
Michael Henderson (1856)
Tom Booth (1554)
Dan Looney (1615)

Reserve Results:
Adam Porth (1333) 1st
1.5 $52.50
Vahan Kardzhyan (1099) 1st
1.5 $52.50
Cindy Hanson (1058) 2nd
1.0 $15.00
Dylan Porth (483) 2nd
1.0 $15.00
Eladio Arizmendi (unr.)
Special Thanks to:  Barry Eacker, Tournament Director

Cody Gorman vs. John Carr

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