Sunday, July 03, 2011

Day four into the 39th World Open.

Typically my performance at the past World Open events had me too nerved up in the first few rounds to pull off any wins until round 4 or 5. This year, it seems to be different. I am meditating just before each round and staying as centered as possibly knowing that my months of preparation is adequate to play some decent chess in the U1800 section of this major event.

Yes, it would be nice to win money. However, I see to many folks like myself before, all worked up and with r/e next to their names as they re-enter ( and pay even more money) to have a shot at the big prize. Not me…not this year.

My goal is just play some decent chess, have some fun and click my rating up 16 more points to reach my next milestone at 1800! I am well on my way. At the half way point I won 2 games and drew two games. I took a bye for the evening round 5 and spent the time with my wife and a night out on the town recuperating after a grueling 6 hour marathon game that ended in a draw.

The timing of the rounds is not good for someone who is used to eating at certain times of day. At about hour 5 into the Saturday marathon, I decided to buy a couple of hot dogs that were being offered by the hotel just outside the playing hall. These things were sitting around most of the day in lukewarm water way past freshness date. Needless to say, I awoke in the middle of the night, sick and sweating. Not a good start to day four. I was still peaked by the start of the round and my insides were raw. I suffered my first loss and it wasn’t pretty. I just wasn’t myself. The good news is that I had plenty of time to revive myself before the next round. Food poisoning is not fun at a chess event.

Enough of the unpleasant news, here are a couple of my earlier round victories. One is against a player by the name of Dragan and as my name is George… my patron saint is St. George the Dragon slayer! I won with a pawn mate! The second game I won because my opponent blundered away his queen. Been there done that.

That’s all for now, I thought I’d blog from the front lines. I am enjoying watching the “big games” Gata Kamsky , Elvhest, Lendermann and many others showed up for some chess. A quick note about Jann Elvhest. I was getting my usual breakfast sandwich at this corner market a block away from the hotel ( because its much better for the price than the over priced stale hotel offering) and ran into Jaan Elvhest. I say hi to him. He just looks at me, winces and looks back at the menu. Not a word from the grandmaster. Getting snubbed by a GM…I am so honored!


HeinzK said...

Nice write-up, good luck and I hope you aren't using the food poisoning too much as an excuse to feel out of balance (although it seems to be a very reasonable excuse!). From my experience, although GMs usually don't like so much to interact with unknown weakies, if you act cool with them, they will act cool with you... generally...! :-)

LinuxGuy said...

Keep on fighting. There is no reason that you shouldn't be able to win more games.

From hearing all the horror stories about the food there, I can't believe that you hate hot-dogs no less. I would rather starve than eat a hot dog during a chess tournament.

That's right, the GM should snub you. After all, they do make more money than the janitor, don't they(??)

Unknown said...

George, Thanks for the blog-cast from the front lines! I really hope to get to play in the World Open at some point...


1. Eating a hot dog at a hotel?? Wow, that takes guts... What a minute, the hot dog took _your_ guts! LOL

2. Snubbed by a GM? He wasn't whincing at you, he was giving you a subtle signal that he thinks you might be cool, without revealing too much.

3. Your games - I'm looking at them through the "post-Silman" lens. I'm just wrapping up the "Amateur's Mind" and starting to see that even higher ranked amateurs (like 1800) make mistakes (duh!). Seriously, mostly I'm learning to not see ghosts everywhere, and to understand where I am supposed to fight (what side of the board).
--- On your first game, you remarked early on that you wanted to advance your g-pawn, and then you mate him with it - was that planned so far in advance? Even in a general way?
--- On the second game, too bad about your opponent's blunder, but it looks like he was toast anyway. As I was going through the endgame, I kept thinking "George needs to figure out how to trade Queens down to a won endgame...", and then "poof!" he gives you his Queen - LOL!

Anyway, good luck in the rest of your games. And if you send me a summary of your whole experience, I'll jam it into the next MetroWest CC newsletter.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Great attitude, I really admire your ability to keep at this game for the long haul. It was the World Open, two years ago, that killed my enthusiasm for chess. Permanent burnout for any serious chess improvement. So, cheers to you, and great job in the first four games!!!

BlunderProne said...

@harvey: Playing g5 was more a positional thing. Having mobile connected pawns rushing to the king can compensate for a piece not on that side of the board. That is why the Queen and knight attack worked so nicely as the were backed up by the f- and g- pawns.

BlunderProne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BlunderProne said...

Incidentally, I won another game in round 7 after the loss in round 6. Then I crashed and burned in round 8 this morning after 5 days of battle. Taking a last round bye to enjoy the 4th festivities with the wife in this interesting and historic city. Not losing too many rating points. I estimate dropping about 7 points. Oh well. For 5 of the 7 rounds, I played some decent consistent chess for my range. Nothing outstanding but not really blowing it like I had in the past.

Dave Priest said...

Hey George. Nice games! I am psyched for you to be playing a tournament like that. Someday I would definitely like to do that! I enjoyed your games, very solid. BTW seriously, that GM had probably not seen another human since the last tourney he played.. and so he was a bit shocked.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Jaan Ehlvest obviously had no idea who had just greeted him. His loss.

Unknown said...

good game and good job..