Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It has been approximately five years since my last big tournament, and that was held at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. I play regularly on Monday nights at the Bergen Chess Mates now based in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but our club tournaments cannot be compared to the ones run by Continental Chess in terms of size and prize money.

This past weekend, I played at the 2010 Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in the Under 1900 section. There were seventy-three players in that group and I shared third place with three other players. Out of seven rounds, a score of five points did not win any cash prize. We were tied at 5.5 points while first and second places were tied at six points. Of course, a lot of " what ifs " went through my mind but such is chess. Your winning chances hinge not on bad versus good moves, but between good and best moves. As usual, my drawn game was a won game compromised by an inaccurate move while my only loss was a won game lost in the time scramble at sudden death. My score was five wins, one draw, and one loss. That's pretty good, and my post-tournament rating jumped one hundred points. I choose not to be bitter about the half point, but to be positive about my performance and experience. I will be posting some of the more interesting positions I got myself into in my next posts.

One of the last games to finish on the last day of competition in the Master Section involved a local master from New Jersey who could not figure out a mate with a bishop and knight against a lone king, no pawns. That was textbook chess, and a basic knowledge for a master-rated player. Over the board is not the place to relearn this skill. A group of spectators circled his board, and it became quite apparent that the master didn't know how to mate with a knight and bishop. The game was finally and mercifully declared a draw due to the 50-move rule. The master blamed a long day of chess for his inability to win the position, but it was obvious to everyone that, judging from his moves, he just didn't know what to do!


Blogger F.A. Buenaventura said...

Hi there chessbuff! This is Kiko of Philippine Chess Chronicles. I realized I have forgotten to read and visit you and your writings. Keep on playing , keep on writing and keep on loving those animals (for their protection!!!) I have a new blog at

4:05 PM  

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