Sunday, December 29, 2013

Empire City Open 2013

I played in the open section at this year's event. I gained about 9 rating points. As usual I played memorable wins losses and draws. I like to focus on the losses because this is where I think I learn the most by analysis. This one is definitely tops in the loss column:
This is a battling draw I played. I'm especially proud of how I surrendered material to create chances in the game.
My only actual win from the tournament. (I was given a forfeit win in the first round when my opponent didn't show up):
I caused a bit of a sensation when I was leading the open section of the tournament after 2 rounds with 1 win and 1 forfeit win. The next game brought me back to earth. This is what I'm playing in the open section for. Strong opposition to uncover my positional oversights. My old time friend Rob Garcia took this picture so I can show my kids and grand kids:

The game I felt I understood the position the least in. I never got a good plan together although I managed to play without a significant error for 21 moves and stood to take an initiative with correct play: The next step is to do deep positional analysis with a write up of the critical moments and places where I went wrong. More on that in a future post. The main take-away from this tournament is that I am justified in playing in the open section of a big tournament. I'm looking forward to my next event which will likely be in about 6 months or so.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Back to the Board

After about 9 months off from competitive chess, I'm just about ready to get back into tournament play. Here's a brief summary of my chess career to now:
  • 1. Started playing chess at the University at Albany around 1996 or so. The champion of the college chess club of sorts at the time was Andrew Koenigsberg. Jorge Soto who I recently met up with again at a tournament in Long Island was also a respectable and able player. I must not forget to mention our resident veteran Bill who never gave us his last name. Bill, Andrew if you are reading this, hope you guys are well and hope you guys still enjoy chess. I'm very interested in meeting up with all of you. Jorge, it's good to be in touch again.
  • 2. I took up competitive chess around 2000 when I started playing at the Manhattan Chess Club. After many trials and tribulations I got my rating to around 1900+ but I struggled to get over 2000.
  • 3. I quit playing for a number of years.
  • 4. Around 2011 or so I got the itch to play again and through dogged determination and hard work I managed to get my rating to 2033. When I say dogged determination I mean that I studied chess about 20 hours a week for about a year. I gave up tournament chess in 2013 in order to be able to travel to London and Paris with my girlfriend. That was great I must say.
My next logical goal of course is to try and obtain a master rating. While I was confident I would manage to make it to 2000+, I am not so certain about getting to a 2200 rating. I'm going to have fun trying though and I will have the play by play here.