Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets 2015 - Part 2

We spent the night at Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel.  Part of the hotel was under renovation, but it was quiet.  I managed to get a relatively decent night's sleep considering that I usually don't sleep as well in hotels.  
Sunday morning we made our way to the dining room where we enjoyed a continental breakfast of eggs, sausages, french toast, fruit, and cake.  It was good and filling, though not spectacular.  After breakfast we played a few games of table soccer before leaving.  The one thing that surprised me  was that the stairs and walkways were apparently not heated, though the rest of the building was warm.  Regardless, it was a nice place to stay.

Back at the tournament, I was paired against Thomas Gaul (1825) for the third round.  He was delayed, and by the time he could arrive, he had already lost over an half hour off his clock, which put him at a disadvantage.  
The game progressed quickly.  I most likely allowed too much trading when complication would have been preferable.  At move 30, Mr. Gaul noted that I had made the mistake of setting the clock for a 30 second simple delay instead of the required 30 second increment, so the TD furnished a new clock, and added more time to each of our clocks.  

At that point, Mr. Gaul offered a draw.  I knew a draw was all I could realistically hope for out of the position, but I declined and played on.  My reasoning was that I would not be winning the tournament anyway, and I needed to practice my endgames.  But by move 44, the game was a dead draw.  
We ate lunch, and I persuaded my two travelling companions to join me in touring the National Czech & Slovak museum a few minutes away.  The museum (pictured above) will be addressed in a subsequent post.  

In the final round, I was matched against Steven Patterson (1747).  I went all out for a huge pawn center--usually not my style--and it worked!

I don't know what I was thinking on move 25 when I took the pawn instead of the bishop--I don't even remember considering the latter possibility.  Perhaps I was unconsciously suffering from mental exhaustion.  In later moves, the back rank mating threat of Rb1 worried me, but I had a definite advantage, and after a hard fight, my opponent resigned.
James Hodina faces Arshaq Saleem
In the end, I tied for the U1800 prize with 2.5 points out of 4 and won $30.00, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.  I finished the tournament with a resolve to thoroughly reinforce my endgame studies.  Studying tactics would likely help as well.  However, endgames are more finite.  I figure if I know how to handle any endgame, then I should be able to draw just about any opponent, since I believe I already can survive until an endgame or at least until the late mid-game...but easier said than done!

In any case, it was a very enjoyable tournament, and if you play chess and live in the Midwest, you should consider participating next year.  You won't be disappointed.

Congrats to Dan Brashaw, Valeriy Kosokin, and Arshaq Saleem for winning the Open, and to David Taylor for winning the Reserve.  Many thanks to James Hodina for organizing this fun event, to Shawn Kmetz for directing, and to Robert Keating for hosting.  

64 comments:

  1. not sure if my comment took or not.

    glad you enjoyed the tournament! the czech and slovak museum looks neat. looking forward to seeing more about it.

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  2. I'm glad you had a good time and again I must tell you that I am impressed. I am looking forward to your post about the museum!

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  3. It is always fun to hear about these tournaments that you and your Papa go to, Bethany! My husband and our son are the chess players in this family...and our son has been teaching both his girls (ages 10 and 11).

    I look forward to reading about your time at the Czech and Slovak Museum!

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    1. Awesome to hear that your granddaughters are learning how to play chess. Women and girls are very much outnumbered as far as chess players go, so it's good to hear of reinforcements!

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  4. I love that beautiful picture of the museum with the snow on the ground :)

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    1. The snow is beautiful, but I'm glad to see it leaving us now!

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  5. Glad you had fun and even won a little money! The museum is beautiful and I'll look forward to reading more about it.

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    1. It was a pleasant surprise--didn't quite cover my entry fee (I don't think I'll become a professional chess player anytime soon), but it was nice.

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  6. Whooo Hooo-you won some money. Not playing chess it is like reading Greek to me....lol..but I love the spirit of the game you played. Looking forward to the museum. xo Diana

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  7. Well done!!!
    And thanks for this fascinating account of your travails.
    I thought the breakfast looked quite nice.

    Have a great Thursday.

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    1. It was good brain food thankfully. ;) Have a wonderful day!

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  8. How cool that you ended up winning a prize, too! Sounds like a good experience, all around!

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  9. Well done dear Bethany! Goondess! I'm very impressed:). Hugs to you!

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  10. Well done Bethany, great that you still have won something.
    Chess I do not understand.

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    1. Even those of us who have played it for years are still working on fully understanding it. It's a complicated--but interesting--game.

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  11. The beautiful chess match, ah, those were the days.

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  12. Well done, Bethany! It is nice you did still win a prize and you had a fun time too. The museum looks pretty, I will look forward to your museum post. Have a happy day!

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  13. The photo of the museum is spectacular! Very well done.

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  14. I know very little about the game but it sounds like you've spent time on the board.
    R

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  15. Well done!! I admire you for competing in this intellectual game. Looking forward to the museum post.

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  16. Super- I try to read your moves and figure out what happened in the game, but I get lost fairly quickly. I love checkers, but I stink at chess! Will love to see your museum post. Have a blessed (and warm) day!

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    1. The reverse seems to be true for me when it comes to checkers: I can play, but I'm not very good. Thanks so much for the warm wishes! ;)

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  17. Hi Bethany, Like Michelle said above, I admire you for competing in chess. No worries about replies, but I am curious about two things. First, what would the top prize be if you won first place in the Tournament? Second, Is there any effort underway to attract more women into the competition? Now, looking back on the days when I was teaching high school ... We had a chess club. As you will know, teachers are often asked to be advisors to student activities and are usually given a small stipend for doing so. In our school the teacher who held that position loved it and quickly signed up for it again, year after year. I think he must have really enjoyed it. John

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    1. The total prize fund for the open section was something like $750; I don't remember for sure how much of that went to first place.

      A state girls chess championship is held every year, and the winner of that is given a stipend to go to the national girls championship or the Susan Polgar Invitational where GM Polgar and her husband give the girls a week of instruction and hold a tournament. When I was playing in scholastic tournaments they also had special trophies for top scoring girl and second-top scoring girl. This would basically guarantee girls a trophy as there would often be only a few of us there anyway. That was probably overdoing it a little. Papa would tease me that I won the prize for prettiest girl there.

      There are a couple movies about high school chess clubs and the good they do children. The Mighty Pawns is probably my favorite. Neat that the high school you taught at had one! I don't blame that teacher--sounds like a great position!

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  18. Very well done, Bethany!!! And the Continental breakfast looks very good. :)

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  19. Marvelous Bethany, great job! I am impressed! :)

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  20. It looks like you had a good time; congratulations on the prize! :)
    That looks pretty good for a continental breakfast. :)
    I look forward to seeing your museum post!

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    1. It was a very enjoyable weekend for sure!

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  21. Hooray for your $30.00 award, Bethany! The museum looks lovely from the outside and I look forward to learning more about it from your perspective :-)

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  22. A draw and a forfeit by your opponent... Pretty impressive results if you ask me!

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    1. I was pretty happy with my results for the day as well. It turned out much better on Sunday than Saturday.

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  23. Greetings from Queensland, Australia, where we have just begun autumn. I think you are very clever to play chess this well. My grandson loves playing it also. He is 20 and in Uni. Blessings.

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    1. I'm guessing by Uni you mean just a university and not UNI (the University of Northern Iowa). I've played at the UNI chess club a few times but don't remember meeting any Australians. In any case glad he plays, and glad you stopped by! Thanks! :)

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  24. Que Deus te dê um esplendoroso dia, com raios luminosos que te possam clarear os olhos para ver o quanto és importante. Deus Pai te fez assim: mulher importante e figura do próprio amor. Ele te moldou como uma rosa: forte e justa como os espinhos, linda e suave como as pétalas.

    FELIZ DIA INTERNACIONAL DAS MULHERES!
    Um doce abraço, Marie.

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    1. Thank you for the sweet words and blessings, Marie! I hope you had a happy International Women's Day as well! God bless!

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  25. Terrific job! You are a good chess player. How neat that you compete the way you do.
    Debbie
    xo

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    1. It's a lot of fun, and there's always room to learn more and improve!

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  26. Congratulations, Bethany. I admire your ability to play chess.

    Interesting the halls and stairwells were not heated. Hmmm.

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    1. I was wondering if was due to the ongoing renovation, or if the hotel just decided it was a good way to save money on heating bills.

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  27. Hi Bethany, Just stopping by again to wish you a good weekend ... and don't forget to set your clock ahead by one hour tonight before retiring. :-) John

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  28. well at least you didn't come away empty handed.

    the museum is a pretty building.

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  29. Hello Bethanany!:) Congratulations on winning a prize. Will look forward to your next post about the Czech Museum.

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  30. Must have been wonderful ...
    Great shots, Bethany ,,,

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  31. I admire anybody who can play chess at a high level - not a skill I have!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. It often takes a lot of dedication to become very good at anything!

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  32. you are very dedicated and that is wonderful to see. it looks like a beautiful place!!!

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    1. It's an awesome location for tournaments!

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