18 November 2012

'Tis but a flesh wound

The Spokane Game 10 Championship was held yesterday. I did not win it. In fact, I finished quite a way down in the standings. There were fourteen players, and we played a double round robin. That would have been 26 games, but a few players could not stay for the marathon and left early. There was only one player whom I failed to beat (an international student from China who is attending high school in our city), but I also managed to lose to nearly every one as well.

I started the event giving up a draw to one of the weaker players (he's a strong sixth grader in the youth tournaments that I run).

Black to move

I played 30...Rd2??

In the second round, I played the other sixth grader. He let me get this nice position.

White to move

I played 12.Bg5 and 13.Bxh6, going on to checkmate my opponent on move 23.

In round three, my opponent missed my mate in one threat on move 14. After three easy games, I had 2 1/2 points.

I won a tough game in round four. I stopped keeping score after my 30.Kg2  because I was under three minutes on the clock.
Black to move

Then, in round five, I successfully navigated complications against last year's Idaho Girl's Champion, but walked into a simple discovery from this position.

Black to move

29...Qxa4 would have maintained my winning advantage. Instead, I played 29...Qxd6??

I continued keeping score for three more games, although only one other player was doing so and it was difficult to notate during such rapid time control. In round eight, my pencil ran out of lead. I might have borrowed a pen or pencil from the tournament director, but chose to cease writing down the games. A few games were instructive and would have been worth preserving, but likely all of them contain egregious tactical oversights that are best forgotten.

I was the second highest rated player. Number three won the event. My performance was a disaster, but at least it only affects my quick rating. It was an enjoyable day of chess with players from Idaho, Montana, and Washington.

At least the top player (the Montana participant) and I managed to get in some wine tasting at Nodland Cellars during the lunch break.

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