Monday, November 23, 2009

Southern Alberta Open Results

Just finished the tournament this afternoon. (I tried to post this yesterday but the hotels internet conection wasn’t working) Here are my results:

Round 1 - Black vs. Kim Nguyen (2082).
I played the Scandinavian w/ 2...Nf6. I think I could have equalized early with c5 but I made my Nc6 move immediately and then saw that c5 was probably best. I played the opening badly and then followed up by playing the rest of the game poorly. Kim was playing well throughout the weekend and ended up winning the tournament by beating Dale Haessel in the last round.

Round 2 - White vs. Mike Scholz (1431)
I was looking for blood and played the King's gambit and tried to make the game as complicated as possible. He offered me a draw several times and when I made it clear I wasn't going to take a draw, he resigned. Apparently he had somewhere else he had to go, but we hadn't even played 20 moves yet. I think when he resigned he might have been better, since I hadn't been able to create an effective attack for my pawn yet, but I was still looking for something to sac.

Round 3 - Black vs. Aaron Sequillion (1994)

I played the Scandinavian with Qd6. I chose this variation after talking over some openings with Roy Yearwood in-between rounds. I decided to castle long and try to storm his king. Once again I didn't play the opening very well and eventually lost a pawn and was most likely lost, but Aaron let me create some counterplay against his King but he managed to escape and wrap up the win. Aaron is much stronger now than when I played him last time two years ago (even if he has lost 100 points after gaining 300)

After the first day I was not very happy with my play. My opening play was bad and I just didn't feel sharp at all. I wasn't calculating very well and seemed to miss many of my opponents moves. I was choosing openings that I wanted to try out, but I didn't know them well enough to play them effectively or well enough to follow through with a middle game plan. I decided that on the final day I would scrap my plan to try out more new openings (like the 2.c3 Sicilian that Roy also suggested) and stick with the openings I played years ago and so that even if I didn't remember the moves I would at least have familiarity with the positions and be able to come up with a plan.

Round 4 - White vs. Hemant Persaud (1744)
Hemant is actually a fairly strong player who seems to me to have some bad habits that cause him to be underrated. He plays very fast and lets himself be distracted throughout the game. In this tournament I believe he was winning in 4 of his games but let 3 of them slip away. I played a closed Sicilian and once again I chose to castle long and storm the kingside in an all out win or lose attack. He managed to breakthrough first. I miscalculated my defence and then had to give up the exchange and trade my remaining major pieces and although I tried to create counterplay, I didn't have enough material left to be successful. Hemant also has another habit that was quite annoying during the game. He was constantly adjusting the pieces and half the time he did it, it was my turn. A couple of times I was deep in thought and he would come back from walking around and sit down and say "adjust" while wiggling three or four pieces. I was going to say something to him in the middle of the game, but I decided it wasn't intentional and instead started counting them. I estimated that he did it 20 times! I meant to bring it up after the game but I had to run out between rounds to eat and then forgot about it until now. If your reading this Hament you need to stop this habit.


Round 5 - White vs. Chris White (1768)

He played the French Defence and exchanged on e4. I sacked my Knight on f7 for two pawns and then I traded my Rook and Bishop for his Queen. This lead to his King being in the center and I was able to use my remaining Bishop, Rook, and Queen effectively to wrap up the win. This was my most enjoyable game, mainly because I was chasing his King around.


Overall not the result I wanted, but probably what I deserved considering I did no preparation. It's curious that three of my opponents brought up the fact that I play very aggressively. They say your style of chess should match your personality, but mine seems to be the opposite, since I am generally pragmatically cautious. Maybe I need to look at adjusting my perspective during tournament games or maybe I just wasn't taking this tournament very seriously.
Update. I've posted my games now. The last game was fun and so I ended on a good note.  I went back to the Calgary chess club again on Tuesday night and participated in their speed chess tounament. Even though I'm not a great speed chess player, I managed to share the under 1700 prize with 2 others (Tony and ??).  I was shut out by Martin Robichaud and an unknown Graham ??, who showed up late and then won 7/8.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Southern Alberta Open

Well, I have booked my flights and hotel and I have registrared for the Soutern Alberta Open this weekend. I am combining this tourney with a business trip I have planned, otherwise I would not be playing. The preregistrared list is still less than 20 and there are not that may strong players yet, but still, I will probably end up in the bottom half and be paired up to one of the top boards in round one.

I do feel alittle guilty about playing in the tournament because I now found out my son has a hockey tournament on Saturday. I could skip the chess tournament and drive to Calgary for business but that would be twelve hours of driving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

World Youth Tournament

The world Junior Turnament has started in Turkey. I've added David Zhang's website to my blog list as he plans to update it regularily from Turkey. I was thinking of having a poll as to which Canadian will do best, but I figure there would only be about four votes anyway, so I'll just give my prediction. I think Richard Wang will have the best result in the under 12 division, followed by Eric Hansen in the under 18 division.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why I Might actually play in a Tournament

I haven't posted much lately because there has been nothing new going on in my life regarding chess but that might change. It looks like I might be able to play in the Southern Alberta Open this month. I guess I need to dust off the old chess board and study an opening or two. To any future opponent wondering which openings I am studying, let me just say it's the Hammerslong as black and white - I swear.

The only reason I am contemplating playing is because I can combine it with a business trip. If not I would not consider it.

In other current chess events (concerning people who might actually read this blog):

Keith MacKinnon won the Edm International Qualifier last weekend and will be playing GM's and IM's in Dec. It will be tough but should be a good learning experience for him.

Eric Hansen and Kevin Me are going to the World Youth Championship. Good Luck!

Aaron Sequillion. It's hard to understand Aaron's results. When I played him a couple of years ago he was under 1800 and I was able to beat him. After that he went on a tear and climbed over 2100 and looked like he was on his was to becoming a master but since then he's plummeted to back under 2000.???? I hear the best way to improve your rating is to play alot and I guess the easiest way to lose points is to play too much.

Rick Pederson has been going the other way. He was under 1854 and in less than a year has climbed to an all time high at 2126. I played him at the Sask Open when he was 1908. I could have won that game if I saw a simple tactic but missed it and went on to lose in the final round so he came second instead of me.

Robert Sasata. Hasn't played much lately. I thought he might play in the Canadian Open this year but he didn't. The Edm International still has one spot open. I'm sure he could give them some tough opposition.

Looks like Jamin Gluckie hasn't played much lately either and has even let his CFC membership expire.