Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 Iowa Class Championships

The Iowa Class Championships were held on March 21st in conjunction with the state championship event, the Iowa Closed, at the Physicians' Clinic in Cedar Rapids.  This year I played in Class B (U1800).  Papa and Daniel played in Class C (U1600), and my youngest sister played in Class D (U1400).
Before the first round, I played a blitz game with my sister, and then two other (awesome) participants agreed to join us for a few games of bughouse.  Soon pairings were posted.  The time control was 75 minutes per player with a 5 second delay per move.  My first opponent was Nathan Chen (1444).

Nathan proved to be a worthy opponent, and around move 19, he offered a draw. The position was equal, and I could have accepted. But an irrational distaste for agreed draws kept me playing.  In the end I was one pawn behind.  I probably should have drawn the position, but I was under severe time pressure.  After bungling the position, I forfeited on time.  

We ate lunch in the skywalk and then toured the Immaculate Conception Church before returning for the board meeting.  Board meetings generally aren't particularly exciting, and this one was no exception.  There was some lively discussion about whether the state chess magazine En Passant should be switched to an online version, and more than one candidate ran for USCF Delegate, which made it slightly more interesting than usual.

After the meeting, I was paired against Steve Jacobs (1400) for round 2.  

On move 24, I messed up and allowed my d4 knight to be pinned.  In the end, I only survived by the skin of my teeth and a little of what you might call good fortune.  Another player agreed to play a few blitz games afterward and then kindly offered to review the game against Jacobs with me (although I was very a bit scatterbrained).  He pointed out Nxf7 was an option on various moves before my mistake.  Even on 24. I could have played Nxe6 with an even game.

Mr. Jacobs went on to finish the tournament strongly, finishing tied for first in Class B with Nathan Chen.  My third round opponent was Jerry Wiley, who was competing in his first USCF tournament.

After a loss and a draw, I was happy to finally win a game.  I watched my family's games, and then played a practice game with a girlfriend of one of the chess players.  The last round started at 7 p.m.  I played Morgan Lu (1519).

Sometimes it takes a few rounds to warm up!  But by the time we finished our last round and started on our way home, it was 10:30.  We had enjoyed a full day of chess, and there was no time to keep playing!  I was happy to see my youngest sister tie for first in Class D, and my brother Daniel finish in a four-way tie for first in Class C.
Dan Brashaw vs. Dr. Robert Keating
Congrats to Dan Brashaw who won the Iowa Closed and is now the 2015 Iowa Chess Champion!
"Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."  --Blaise Pascal

46 comments:

  1. Congrats on winning your third game. You did well, and I'm sure it was an honor just to be in the competition. Have a great week!

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  2. You absolutely amaze me...and, because I have never played chess, it all looks like Greek to me. I am so glad you were able to go and WIN some! Blessings- xo Diana

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    1. I've heard (and reluctantly believe) that a chess player usually can learn most from losing, but winning really is the fun part. ;)

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  3. you're a smart and strategic family! :)

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  4. Sounds like your whole family enjoys chess. Congrats to you and your sister! Have a happy week ahead!

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  5. Oh boy Bethany, chutes and ladders with my grandkids is about my speed. My hat is off to you. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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    1. You know, I've never played chutes and ladders...thanks to you and Wiki I learned about another game today.

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  6. well I'm glad you had a great time but I sure don't know what you were talking about in that post...at least the chess talk anyway. lol

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  7. I like the quote at the end, but you have to be super smart to play chess at this level!!

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    1. Playing chess isn't that hard--it's winning that's difficult!

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  8. Your brain must have been absolutely wrung out after a day of chess tournament like that, I know mine would have been anyway!

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    1. Pretty much! Though a day of chess like that just makes me want to play more!

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  9. Glad you are able to pursue this passion of yours! Sounds like a fun (if taxing!) competition!

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  10. chess is a grat game for our mind..

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  11. Wow, your family shares in this! That is great. Smart cookies. All of you :)

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    1. It's nice to have a hobby that we all share.

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  12. Hi Bethany, "Chess is the gymnasium of the mind." ... I love that quote. Thanks for taking us along on another tournament day. Congrats on your win. It fascinates me the way you post the board and all your moves. Are they recorded digitally as you move through the game or do you have to put that together afterwards manually? Either way, very nice. By the way, you used the term "irrational distaste" ... I think I have several of those and now I have a way to refer to them! :-) Thanks for another interesting post.

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    1. I take notation (write the moves on a piece of paper) during the game, and then enter the games on my computer after the tournament.

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  13. Congrats on your win, Bethany.
    So nice your family all played at this tournament.

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    1. It was nice to win a couple games even though I did get off to a rough start. Thanks!

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  14. Congratulations on the victory, Bethany.
    Fun to do this with the family.

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  15. Congratulations on your win, Bethany! I can't believe how smart and talented you and your family are!

    Dani from A Vapor in the Wind

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  16. How wonderful that your family participates in these games!

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  17. Love the idea that chess is exercising your mind...and indeed it does!

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    1. Considering how much time I spend playing it, I sure hope so! ;)

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  18. Congrats on your chess playing! I have no idea how to play, but admire those who do. What a neat activity for the whole family.

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    1. I'm sure you could learn if you wanted to :)

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  19. Congratulations Bethany, I am always so impressed with chess players. Thank you for stopping by and I wanted to tell you that Heidi was my favorite series of books when I was a child.

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    1. I don't think I've ever read the books--but I have enjoyed watching a couple of the Heidi movies.

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  20. Congrats Bethany! I'm just amazed by folks who understand chess so well. I was never very good with strategy games and I think I'd become overwhelmed easily! Kudos to you young Lady for being a smart cookie. ;) xo

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    1. The good part is that with 75+ minutes on our clocks, we can get up and walk around whenever we feel overwhelmed. ;)

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  21. Great job, Bethany! What a challenging day for all!

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    1. Most definitely! There were some pretty good players there.

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  22. Hi Bethany,
    Very interesting post on the tournament.
    While I don't play Chess often, I did click on the button on the embedded objects to see what moves were made. I didn't play enough moves to comprehend the strategy, but I am sure both players had a fine strategy. And, special thanks to you for reminding me of Blaise Pascal and his contributions to the theories of probability.
    Have a Beautiful Day!
    Peace :)

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    1. Pascal did come up with some interesting theories and ideas!

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