Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XIV

I'm here, about to start R2.  I lost my first game (as expected) - player was rated 1033 to my 579, eek!

I gave him a battle but in the end he got me, aaaaaahhhhhhh.....

Now I've got to run and see who I'm paired against.  Ellen Wanek is here - more later.

Update 1:55 p.m.
Well, I went down in flames to Sabrina Huang in 22 minutes - and I had the white pieces.  Going downhill fast - my head hurts!  Ouch!

On a positive note, there are 12 female players out of 80, for an excellent participation rate of about 15%!  I'm absolutely delighted.  There are three femmes playing in the Open, including Rachel Ulrich who I believe has a 1728 rating.  She won her first game and in game 2 has the black pieces against a player rated above 2200, so she's going to have her work cut out for her!  All the rest of us femmes are playing in the Reserve.

Today I met Pat Foat, who has 2 sons who play chess and she learned to play so she could play while they're playing! This is Pat's first rated tournament.  She also plays casually at the Southwest Chess Club and at a chess club in Waukesha.  Each of her sons belongs to his "own" club!

Ellen Wanek teaches chess to kids in Sheboygan-area schools.  She's got a rating in the 900s, she wasn't exactly sure.  She won game 2 against Pat.  I'm not sure, but I expect I may be paired with Pat for R3.

I'm about spent - it's amazing that I can spend a day stomping around the Met and never get exhausted (until I fall over when my legs give out, that is) and yet playing two chess games since 10 a.m. has sapped my brain!  Round 3 begins at 3:30.  I must try to play better! 

I have taken only a few pictures.  I should wrap this up now and go track down some of the other femmes and ask if I can take their photos...

It's now 5:31 and I am home.  I left at the end of R3, which did not last very long.  I was horribly pathetic in my last game and I feel awful, actually, that I did not give more of a game to Alena Huang.  I lasted 8 lousy moves.  Eight!  Someone just take me out and shoot me now, please.  Yeah yeah, she's rated 1300 something, but I give Shira (who at her peak was over 1700) better games than I gave Alena H. today. Sorry, Alena. 

I was too tired to stick around after I finished R3 to try and get pics of some of the female players and in no shape to wait until the conclusion of R4, which doesn't begin until 6 p.m., to hand out prize checks to the winners!  Maybe next Challenge -  but I won't play in that one, I'll just hang around making a pest of myself with my camera and asking stupid questions, darlings!  LOL!  We'll see.  Right now, my head hurts and I'm dehydrated.  Wine, I need wine...

Unfortunately the one photo that I did take was blurry - it's of Ellen Wanek and Marquis McVicker (I hope I have his name right).  He's a senior in high school and a scholastic player; and he won his first two games in the Reserve Section where I played.  He has a scholastic rating (which I don't know) but he does not have a USCF rating. Today he joined USCF in order to play in the HCCC XIV and he will now get a USCF rating, which I expect will be very respectable!  He's a cool, collected young man, and very charming.  I hope he continues to play in USCF-rated events.

Pat Foat's son, Dustin, took this photo of four of us chess femmes before the start of R2 - unfortunately also a little blurry:

On the left is Ellen Wanek and me (Ellen is pointing at me and I was making a face), and across from us are Sabrina Huang, who was my opponent in R2, and in front of her is Pat Foat. 

I was able to meet/greet some other female players and some parents of some of the younger players.  Tom Fogec (one of the TDs) insisted in spotting me out by introducing me to both Open and Reserve Sections, and I think I stayed red for the rest of the tournament.  He told me that he'd also done that at the last Challenge I attended (Challenge XII) - I must have blanked the memory out of my mind...

So, in retrospect, my first game was probably my best - at least I lasted 28 moves until I was mated, ach!  That was also my longest game, time wise.  Time issues are definitely not a problem with my play at its current level...

I am pleased to report that I did manage to write down each and every move that I made as well as the moves of my challengers.  Now, I'll admit it's not all in official notation and I may have muffed some of them and put our pieces in impossible squares - although some of the easy stuff like pawn from e2 to e4 I did absolutely 100% correct!  Life Master Sheldon G., who was available throughout the Tournament in the Skittles Room to go over games with the players afterwards, was present and saw some of my R3 game and I think I nearly gave him a stroke, poor man.  Alas, Life Master, I have not improved one iota from the woman who hung a knight a year ago...

Soooo - here's some news from the Southwest Chess Club's blog:

In the Open, going into R4:

25. Ulrich, Rachel J (29)......... WI 1721 W39 L4 D19 A31 1.5
37. Rajendra, Anupama (35)........ WI 1611 W41 L21 L11 A32 1.0
41. Karimikonda, Teja (46)........ WI 1242 L37 W39 L20 A35 1.0

Honorary Mention to Anne Ulrich, who did not officially play in the Tournament but consented to be a - I'm not sure I've got the term right - table player?.  Tom F. explained to me that this is a person who agrees to play another player who otherwise would be left without a game because of an odd number of players.

In the Reserve, going into R4:

1. McVicker, Marqis (37)......... WI nnnn W28 W23 W8 A2 3.0
12. Pahl, Sandra R (14)........... WI 1342 L3 W27 W28 A8 2.0
14. Ulrich, Susanna G (18)........ WI 1279 L21 W24 W30 A10 2.0
16. Murali, Anjana (22)........... WI 1169 -H- D32 W21 A11 2.0
23. Huang, Alena (15)............. WI 1335 L8 L1 W34 A29 1.0
28. Huang, Sabrina (27)........... WI 914 L1 W34 L12 A22 1.0
29. Wanek, Ellen A (28)........... WI 906 L19 W36 L10 A23 1.0

33. Murali, Ananya (30)........... WI 753 -H- L17 L22 A32 0.5
34. Newton, Jan L (33)............ WI 579 L27 L28 L23 -N- 0.0

36. Foat, Patricia J (35)......... WI 350 L5 L29 L31 A37 0.0
37. Ulrich, Anne E (36)........... WI 182 -N- -N- -N- A36 0.0

P.S. Here's a pic I tried to take of myself after I got home, just to show that I am actually still alive and it is not the Ghost of Jan Newton writing this:

My Xena, Princess Warrior figure is chastising me above my head (she's riding the black elephant - a potent chess symbol).  Well, at least my outfit was nice!


Anonymous said...

It is evident that you forgot to employ the Kasparov Death Stare (tm) on your opponents. That is equivalent to at least one pawn advantage.

Jan said...

OHMYGODDESS! You are absolutely right. I was having such a good time socializing I forgot all about "playing chess" - and that young jiggling "Kasparov" across from me in R1 didn't trigger TOTAL RECALL, either. Mea culpa.

I am now seriously considering taking lessons. A brief discussion with a certain retired Methodist minister after I so ignominiously crashed and burned in R3 made me realize that I CAN make time for one hour a week for a chess lesson! I just need the will to do it. And I'm finding that will even as I'm typing this.

Eugene Wee said...

Thanks for posting this. I am a chessplayer from Singapore who visits your blog every few months after having discovered it last year. Actually seeing you post about your results from a tournament, rather than just commenting on the results of the professionals, makes you feel much more like the real person that you are rather than just another entity on the Internet.

By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Navin Sawalani finished in second place in the open. My guess is that he is the same player who won the national junior championship in Singapore more than a decade ago (1998, I think), when I was just starting to represent my school in the lower age divisions. If you have the chance to meet him again, perhaps you should ask him about it :)

Jan said...

Hello Eugene,

Thanks for reading my blog! I'm flattered :)

I checked out Navin Sawalani and I believe it is the same NS that you knew. His USCF listing listed his FIDE Country as SIN, the same as his FIDE rating does, and the ratings (USCF and FIDE) are about the same.

I will give him a shout-out at the Southwest Chess Club blog; you can do that yourself, too:


Eugene Wee said...

Yeah, so amazing to read your blog by chance, and then to find out that we have a common acquaintance despite living on different continents :D

How exactly should I give a "shout-out at the Southwest Chess Club blog"? I do not see any shoutbox or the like.

Eugene Wee said...

Oh, and speaking of chess advice: I recommend that you work through volumes I, II and III of the Comprehensive Chess Course by FM Roman Pelts, GM Lev Alburt, and GM Sam Palatnik. It was my use of volume II, coupled with a game each day before lessons started, that helped me to become a leading player in my school chess club, despite being merely a first year student and newbie tournament player.

Volumes I and II concentrate on the fundamentals of chess and can seem pretty basic and even repetitive, but the point is to cover the gaps you have in your understanding of chess fundamentals. Volume III is really about its name: chess tactics for the tournament player. Ultimately, I expect that you will win in tournament play and see a corresponding increase in rating points, but more importantly, you will gain a better appreciation of chess and more fun while you are at it :)

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