Broken Pawn Reserve 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

One chess tournament I didn't want to miss this year was the Broken Pawn U2000 tournament held on February 8th in conjunction with the $1150 Expert Open directed and organized by Hank Anzis and  NM Tim McEntee.  My papa, Iowa Reserve co-champion Tim Carson, also thought the tournament sounded fun, so we left home at about 8:30 and headed toward Marshalltown.  
There was a light blanket of snow over the road, so we decided to take the gravel route where we would have the road all to ourselves; for a good part of the way we were the trailbreakers--there were no tire tracks ahead of us.  

On the way I read Isaiah 50-52.  One verse I really like is Isaiah 52:10 "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God."  Whenever I'm ready to get down to serious business whether in a ping-pong game, gardening, or washing dishes, I roll up my sleeves.  Someday God is going to roll up His sleeves and say, "That's enough!" to all the sin and suffering in this world, bring judgment on the wicked, and save the righteous; every eye will see Him.

I finished reading just as we reached the outskirts of Marshalltown.  We pulled into the Salvation Army.  I settled in to a practice game with Seth, one of the regular Marshalltown chess club attendees.  The practice game helped me get into tournament mode. 

Soon the first round started, and I found myself paired against Cliff Yates who was playing his first rated tournament.  One never knows what to expect when paying unrated players, so I tried to be very careful.  The game was tough to start with, but eventually I managed to pull through a victory.  Mr. Yates, who is a part-time photographer, posted an awesome Youtube video of the day in photos here

I watched other games still in progress and talked with a gentleman who was playing in the Unrated Team Iowa meet-up, held in the same spacious room as the Reserve tournament.  This was his first over-the-board tournament after a 30 year hiatus from tournament play during which he had maintained his skills through correspondence chess.  Papa was playing on board 2 against someone rated in the 1700s.  He fought valiantly to the last second (literally), but lost in the end.

Round 2 started and I found myself on board 2 facing Joe Meyer, rated 1768.  The last time I played Joe was about a year ago at the Panther Open; I was slightly nervous as he had won both that game and our game at the Iowa Blitz Championship in 2012. 

I fell for an opening trap which would have lost a piece, but he overlooked it at as well, and I survived to see an interesting mid-game.  My position seemed good for part of the game, but my skillful opponent managed to worsen the situation for me.  At the end of the game I was low on time (And wishing for the 45 second delay we have in Team League).  The tournament's 45 5 time control is more practical for over-the-board play, but it can still be tough when playing against a difficult opponent.  The position shown when I quit notation is not completely lost, but it's far from ideal and quickly crumbled.

After round 2, it was time for a lunch break.  I was starving, so Papa (who won his second round game) and I unpacked the lunch Mama had sent with us and enjoyed sandwiches and yogurt with cold water to drink. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will be posted soon!


  1. Hi Bethany, thank you for posting our game. Not being use to making a move, then writing the move down, I scribbled and scratched and made up new squares on the chess board. L95 to K17...... T3 takes the S pawn....... In fact according to my score sheet I won-!!!??? Gee go figure-! I was very impressed with how everyone was so friendly and nice. You were so sweet and kind after you crushed me, that the pain and delirium that wound have set in, never did. I was happy to meet your father too. I can see and read from your post you both support each other. That is so important to have great parents!!!! I just wished I would have thought to ask to get a picture of you guys together. Next time-- yes?
    - And thanks for the link to our chess tourney video-!

  2. It was great meeting you! Yes, taking notation can be tricky...I've been doing it for years and still mess up mine more often than not. Loved the video of photos--you're a great photographer!