Thursday, May 28, 2009

U1800 Rd 1: Ryde Eastwood vs Parramatta Results

Okay, this is getting really weird.

Last night, I arrived early at the club and helped to setup the pieces.
David Beveridge (? - apologies as I didn't ask for your last name), the U1800 team captain - from Parramatta arrived early as well and he was very helpful in helping me to set up the boards.

Shane Burgess arrived later and helped us to set the clocks for the Grade Matches.

Many thanks to David and Shane for their help.

I was scheduled to play on Board 4. I thought I would be playing Joshua Christensen but it so turns out that his team captain moved him to play on Board 2 instead. I was subsequently rescheduled to play another player, Frank Barisic. After we had filled out the preliminary entries on our scoresheets, I reminded Frank to turn off his mobile phone if he had one and he mentioned that he left it in the car (which I thought was a good idea).

I knew the rules for the grade matches were very strict, the moment a player's mobile phone goes off during a game, the game will be immediately declared lost for the player.

A minute or so later, David moved Frank onto Board 3 instead an
d - who else would replace him but Sitompul Sotarduga! Imagine my surprise to see him. Sitompul used to be a regular club member for the Ryde Eastwood chess club but having since moved away, he joined the Parramatta chess club instead.

We exchanged pleasantries, shook hands and started the game.

I misplayed my opening and got into an exceptionally bad position and was spending considerable time desperately trying to salvage my position. Then suddenly......

Sitompul's mobile went off.... very loudly.

I let out a small groan and shook my head because I knew the repercussions of what had happened.

Bill Gletsos promptly appeared and approached our table and enquired whose phone had gone off. Once he learned it was Sitompul's, the game was declared lost for him.

Poor Sitompul. All this time Sitompul and I hadn't said a single word.

We analysed the game later and we both agreed that that he would have won if his phone hadn't gone off and he said I was lucky. I agreed with him wholeheartedly.

After the game, I felt horrible and very guilty in winning in this manner. I still do.

Parramata won on Board 1 while there was some sort of discrepancy on Board 2 which was ruled in our favour. Overall, we were victorious with a margin of 3-1.

My brother-in-law Steven showed up (very much to my surprise) and we played a couple of 5 minute blitz games afterwards. I was consistently getting thrashed and only managed to win like 2 or 3 games out of the 10 odd games we played.

To chesstiger: I will try to put up a position from one of my games. Thank you for your comments!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

U1600 Rd1: Norths Bears vs Norths Grizzlies Results

My first game tonight in the U1600 was against Robert Pike. We were on Board 1. Time controls were G/75 + 30 min.

I initially had already waited 15 minutes for Robert before his team member Rex asked me to just start the clock. Robert arrived some 10 minutes afterwards. In the end, he just failed to reach the first time control (within 30 moves) and he played his 30th move just after the time has passed and I flagged him.

I felt a bit guilty to win in this manner. In some ways, I wish I didn't have to resort to winning on time.

Overall, my U1600 team (Norths Bears) didn't do well.

Roger and Michael lost on Boards 2 and 4 respectively while David drew on Board 3. So our team lost 1.5-2.5. Ouch.

Tomorrow is my U1800 match vs Paramatta and it is likely that I will be on 4th board. I'm not sure what the arrangements are with Paramatta but I expect to play possibly Joshua Christensen who is rated some 100++ points above me. I expect it to be a tough fight. Joshua has beaten me before last year in the Ryde Eastwood club championships. I like to play against Joshua. He's a good player and has a wonderful attitude.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NSW Grade Matches 2009

Next week is the start of the NSW Grade Matches.

And it so turns out that I have been placed in a rather unusual/unique situation of having to play for 2 separate teams in separate groups (this is allowed).

I am rostered to play for U1600 Norths Bears for North Sydney and for the U1800 team for Ryde Eastwood.

My schedule is now packed and looks like this:

Tuesday May 26 - U1600 Norths Bears vs Norths Grizzlies
Wednesday May 27 - U1800 Ryde Eastwood vs Parramatta
Tuesday June 02 - U1800 St George Saints vs Ryde Eastwood
Thursday June 04 - U1600 Parramatta vs Norths Bears
Tuesday June 09 - U1600 Norths Bears vs Manly
Monday June 15 - U1600 Canterbury vs Norths Bears
Tuesday June 16 - U1800 Norths Grizzlies vs Ryde Eastwood
Monday June 22 - U1600 Rooty Hill vs Norths Bears
Wednesday June 24 - U1800 Ryde Eastwood vs Norths Brown Bears
Tuesday June 30 - U1600 Norths Bears vs St George Saints
Thursday July 02 - U1800 Parramatta vs Ryde Eastwood
Tuesday July 07 -
U1600 St George Dragons vs Norths Bears
Wednesday July 08 - U1800 Ryde Eastwood vs St George Saints
Wednesday July 15 - U1800 Ryde Eastwood vs Norths Bear Cubs
Wednesday July 22 - U1800 Ryde Eastwood vs Norths Grizzlies
Tuesday July 28 - U1800 Norths Brown Bears vs Ryde Eastwood

In addition, where I am not playing the NSW Grade Matches on Tuesday nights, I intend to play in the North Sydney Winter Challenge which takes place every Tuesday night as well. This event however is non rated unlike the Grade Matches and time controls are 1hr+30 sec increment for each move. Good enough for a good solid rate of gameplay and not too hurried to be in the same vein as a rapid game.

Ryde Eastwood is having severe problems in fielding players in both the U1800 category and U1600 category (there were not enough of available players for the U1600 team so there is no U1600 team from Ryde Eastwood this year). I'm only rated 1540 (and this rating is expected to fall below 1500 when the next list comes out in June) and I've signed up for the U1800 team. *shakes head*

Friday, May 15, 2009

Still In A Slump

My OTB games have been torrid the last couple of weeks.

Losing to a 1300 then an unrated and then a 1400. The demise continues.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what's going on.

My play is lethargic and my concentration is just not there. When I am seated on the board, I just lose focus and my competitive spirit is just not there.

Maybe what I desperately need is a swift kick up my rear and I can't administer it myself unfortunately. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meeting Up With Ivan

I promised to post the answer why I played 1. f4 but I'll do that in subsequent posts. Sorry about this.

Last night, I met up with fellow chess blogger, Ivan of Getting to 2000.

He has graciously put up a photo of us as well as his report on the Sydney Chess scene. It was great getting to play a few blitz games with him before we headed off to the North Sydney chess club.

My brother-in-law, Steven, won a great game against his opponent last night. Yours truly blundered yet again (if I continue to blunder again, I might be tempted to rename this blog Blunderprone but I think the name has been taken) :)

In the final critical position,Steven produced this move below (he is White). White played the move

1. b5!?

Now.... the golden question is:

Is it possible for Black to play

1.... Be2

and then calculating after 2. Rc5 3. Bxb5 3. Rxb5 Rxc7 with chances to fight for a draw.

Once you have evaluated it, highlight between the brackets to see the answer.

[The answer is no but that's what his opponent thought.

Steven's opponent did play

1.... Be2
2. Rc5 3. Bxb5
Now comes the shocker
3. Nd5!!

and now the c7 pawn is protected, Black's bishop is under attack and even worse, White's Knight is threatening Ne7+ forking King and Rook and there is no way to salvage the Rook now after

4. Rxb5 with idea of 5. Rb8 next

A truly beautiful trap.

If you see that move, well done!]