Sunday, May 28, 2006

Potato Chip defense at the Mass open

MAN! Am I serving up some sloppy chess. The kind you try to put on a bun and it falls all over the place. Eventually you get to sink your teeth in but you hope you have enough filling left to fill your belly.

During round one yeasterday I used what I call the potato chip defense. Because of the odd hours they had the rounds (10:30 and 5 ) I tried to eat well in the morning. By 1PM my stomach was digesting itself and creating disturbances. Luckily I had some time on my clock. The hotel was serving up sandwiches right outside the room. I wolfed down a tuna sandwich and went back in with my bag of chips and diet coke Crinkle Crinkle... CRUNCH munch munch munch ...I sacked a bishop for the position... woops sorry about the crumbs.... CRUNCH munch munch munch... Long story short my oponent was running into time trouble ... and dropped his queen right as he made time control. He "exploded" out of the room. " Can I buy you a coke?" I offered... " I had you .. I can't believe I let it go... " He responded.

Enough with the food stories. 4 rounds down ...2 wins and 2 losses. Wins are against 1660 and 1450 ( 10 year old) player. While the losses are againt an 1820 and a 1650 player ( a 14 year old) . Two more rounds to go.

I am finding myself coming out of the opening fairly strong and I either don't know how to turn it into an advantage or I can't quite figure out how to exploit a weakness with a given position. It seems like whatever I do .. it turns to sloppy joes and I am left scrambling for a draw and losing the initiative ( or the game).

I need to figure this out before the world Open... Bah!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fell off my horse and landed on my sword

Well, I should have checked the ego at the door. After last weeks head swelling draw with the master, I went in this week full speed ahead with "only" an expert. I saw he was a d4 player. Prepared several lines deep with the Slav ( looking intently at the mainline slav, central variation and the geller gambit.) I was ready for him. He played the quiet 4.e3 line which I knew but not as prepared as the others. Besides, its a lot like the London but reverse. I *know* this one ( ego inflating beyond safe limits).

Then I decided to play a cowboy move and rush in for a premature attack... against someone 450 points higher than me.... like I think I know what I am doing. Yeah... you get the picture. I had a good helping of humble pie this week.

For my dad... here's the game ... you all can enjoy watching how the "mighty" can fall off thier horse. I had a good run this month... it was bound to happen. Going to play at teh Mass Open this weekend too. My tail will be between my legs and I'll put the lasso away.

name=blackname value="Duval, George">

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's just a flesh wound ( My DRAW with Curdo)


My fist 1/2 scalp with a life Master AND a Legend! John Curdo and I had an incredible battle despite the 600 rating point spread. By move 11, I was down a bishop and hung on for dear life ( It's just a flesh wound) I kept up the pressure on the g-file and just wouldn't give up. 30 moves later I won back my lost material and gained a pawn! At move 57 we were in a repetitive dance and he accepted the draw! I'm heading to the world open baby!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Scalped another Class A

Second time in one month!

PLaying up in the Open section this month has me paired with tough competition. I am the lowest rated player in the section. Last week I had a draw against a 1799 player. That got me paired with an 1887 player this month. I should have lost that game since I pulled one of my "cowboy" movesw ( Unsound tactics) that I vowed I would never do again at the last Eastern Class tournament. But in teh heat of the battle, I chose a risky move for action versus passivity. It left me behind 2 pawns with his king exposed. It could have been worse... but I seemed to grab initiative and hung on... surprisingly I managed to win! Here is an attampt to post my game:

The problem with winning this round... it only gets tougher from next week I am paired with the legendary John master... GULP!


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Done with the Circles... HUZZAH!

It's been almost 2 years since I started this journey. The first year was part time effort as I was finishing my graduate degree. But since last May I was concentrated on getting through all 7 circles for each of the levels of CT-ART and that day has finally come. Today at 8 PM EST. These are my results:

LEV10 LEV 20 LEV 30 LEV 40 LEV 50 LEV 60 LEV 70 LEV 80 LEV 90
89 74 65 58 54 46 45 40 42
90 77 67 59 58 46 47 43 44
90 80 68 59 55 53 51 48 45
90 82 68 59 59 54 56 56 53
93 86 73 69 69 63 63 69 59
97 90 73 73 66 73 73 77 72
95 89 76 79 71 82 82 91 81

( I still can't do tables.)

8805 problems later. As for on going tactical training, I am now on to "the Brick", Polgar's 5K. I've already completed the first 305 mate in one problems. As for my next circles training, I feel a need to improve my positional sense and I have the strategy 2.0 Cd I started to play with. Well I am off to work on pawn positions.

Let's see how my rating does.... Huzzah!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Playin' Up

This month I was faced with playing in the U1700 section or the Open at the club. All day I was debating whether to play up to "train" for the World open by playing a month of tough competition or to play more in the "comfort zone" and attempt fate at the club prize. If I would play in the open, I would be the lowest rated player in the section. If I played the U1700 section, I would be in the top 20%. The entire drive to the club last night had me going back and forth.

"Poof" the little red devil pops up on my left shoulder telling me " U1700 prize. 100 BUCKS .. you can practice BEATING and CRUSHING the competition!" ....then "Poof" on my right shoulder appears the dork with the halo all dressed in white. He was telling me " You need to practice against tough opposition in order to train for the U1800 section at the WO" ( Ok no comments about the voices in my head)

This went on even as I was signing up. Globular (Aka Matt) was the TD taking registrations said ... " So, what'll it be? U1700 or OPen?... Huh? ... HELLO?" I finally succumned to the inner turmoil and exclaimed " I would like the full abuse section of the open please." The little red guy lost to the dork this time. The angles were applauding. ( OK now you can comment on sanity ... definitely stretched due to too much circles training)

First round I was paired with a guy rated 1799 and almost won. I was happy with the draw ( same colored bishops and I had an extra pawn). Phew! I may post the game at a later date now that I (almost) have PGN viewer figured out. Its only going to get tougher from here. BRING 'EM ON !

On the tactical training, I am in the middle of my fourth iteration of the level 90's trying to get my hit rate above 50%! Pluggin away... almost done my 7 circles. What next? Strategy 2.0 ... already started "circling" some exercises.