Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recent Chess Events

Auntie Kumi has pointed out that I have not been keeping the blog up-to-date so I thought I'd do a quick recap of recent events:

Recently Richie played in the NY City Championships which is held at the New Yorker Hotel annually. He placed 3rd overall in the K-1 section with 4.5/5.0 points and got a nice plaque for being top Kindergartener. There isn't too much to say about the event itself or the result which was about in-line with ratings based expectations.

He also placed well in the NY State Championships, scoring 4.0/5.0. His third round loss was to a player rated a few hundred points below him but after looking at the game score I would say that his opponent is likely on the way up so I don't think the game result was as much of an upset really. The event winner, Hudson Beaudoin, has been a frequent co-participant in recent major events we've attended and I was not surprised at all to see him come out on top.

For a change of pace, we took Richie to the Eastern Class Championships in Sturbridge, MA. This was a two or optionally three day event with very long time controls (90 minutes for 30 moves + 30 minutes after the time control, I think). Richie was very excited for the opportunity to play for a substantial cash prize (his section winner received around $900). He participated in the Class E section (under 1200), and most players were adults which was a bit of a challenge for him. In fact, his one win came against another scholastic player while most of the adults played carefully against him and capitalized on his lack of experience at long time controls. Having said that, he actually put up quite a strong resistance in several games, including one in which he probably missed a win in a difficult game where his opponent had 4 pawns vs. his bishop + 1 pawn. It was actually a fun mini-trip for the family though, so I think these adult class tournaments will become a more frequent part of our chess calendar. It's nice to be able to combine a chess trip with a visit to the the Old Sturbridge historical village, among other things.

The other notable event he played recently was the CT State Scholastic Championships. After last year's experience, we had almost decided not to attend this year's event but we had a change of heart since a few of his CT chess friends were going so we decided to go at the last minute.

Richie didn't have a great tournament, scoring 2.0/4.0 in the K-3 Open section where he was actually seeded #2. I may be partially to blame for the result, however, as I committed the cardinal sin of chess parent/coaching and didn't give Richie the chance for a good night's sleep. We had dinner at a friend's the night before and were goofing around on the computer until nearly midnight after we got home. A review of his games for the tournament adds confirmation to my completely unscientific estimate that getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep for a 6 year old is the equivalent of handicapping him/her by 100-200 ratings points.

On the bright side, we did run across the Suryawanshi brothers who have also been to some of the NY tournaments we've been playing in. Rohan, the younger brother, is another promising kindergartener from Connecticut. He played a scrappy game in round 1 and was able to overcome a 3 pawn deficit by capitalizing on a piece blunder by Richie and efficiently guiding the game to a winning endgame. It seems that there are now a handful of very promising K-1 players in the Fairfield county area. Of particular note from this tournament: From the K-3 Reserve section, event winner and 1st grader Tyrell Staples breezed over Richie in a skittles game afterwards--from what I can tell he already has the foundation for great chess results. Cogan Lawler, Sadie Edelman, and Terry McGrath are a few more young players from the area to highlight. If there was a K-1 regional team event, I think CT could be right up there with NY, TX and CA in this age group.

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