Thursday, May 19, 2016

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2015 - Part 1

I'm stepping back into my drafts folder to post about the state's strongest tournament, the Iowa Open, which we participated in on August 29th and 30th, 2015.  I'm not sure why this never got posted, but better late than never.  Like in 2014, the Iowa Open was held at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa.
I woke up at 6:00 A.M., packed and caught up on emails (and made sure I made a move in my correspondence chess games so I wouldn't forfeit on time while gone).  Charity, Papa, and I left shortly after 7:00 A.M.  On our way we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast.  We arrived at the Marriott with plenty of time, and checked in with Mark Capron, the tournament organizer.

Soon I was playing bughouse with a couple guys from FICS, MadonnaFN and InsaneManiac, as well as Christine's son, whom she calls "Emperor."  InsaneManiac is really good (a 2000er in bughouse online), so the games worked out well partnered with him, but playing against him was another matter.

The first round, I played John Hartmann (1771) from Nebraska.  Since I was the lower rated player, I figured I was expected to lose the first round, and I didn't want that to happen.  So, I was hoping for a draw.  John blundered unfortunately though, giving me the full point.  
I finished just as Charity and Papa came back from lunch.  They brought me a double cheeseburger (which I consumed), and the sad news that they both had lost the first round.  Walking through the hotel, I decided it was time to whip out my camera to take some pictures of everything.  To my dismay, I discovered I had forgotten to bring my memory card....and my camera has no internal memory!  I couldn't take any pictures until we stopped at Walmart for a card the next day.
The hallway I wanted to take a picture of--the Marriott is a pretty fancy place for a tournament!
There was a wedding ongoing, but over in the tournament room, we couldn't hear any noise from the wedding.  

The second round, I played James Ellis (1900).  Tim Harder gave me some reassuring last minute advice, basically, "Get him under time pressure, and you might win.  Otherwise you're in trouble."

Ellis ended up with an isolated pawn, which I was able to capture.  On move 33. he offered a draw.  I actually had less time than he did at this point (7 minutes to his 11).  My nerves were about shot, so since a draw against a 1900er isn't bad, I accepted.

We pulled through a Burger King drive-thru for supper.  Upon returning for the third round, I found myself face to face with WCM Claudia Muñoz (2068) of Texas!

I had been rooting for WCM Muñoz, since she, WGM Baginskaite, and myself were the only women in the open at the time (two more joined the second day); so I was a little ambivalent about having to play a fellow woman (It seemed a little like playing a teammate!).  But, it's not every day I have the chance to play a candidate master, so I was very thankful for the opportunity...and excited to play Claudia!
 We opened with the Queen's Gambit Declined, Slav Variation, which I've been very comfortable with ever since I drew a game with it against the state high school champion, Matt Anzis, in 2011.  I was hoping to get a draw this time, and might have done so were it not for my tragically careless 36...Rd2.  Claudia quickly exploited my blunder.
The talented WCM Claudia Muñoz
Charity finished the Reserve with 1.5/4 and Papa with 2/4, but we were happy to see Tim Harder finish in a three-way tie for first with Owen Fiedorowicz and Vlad Tivanski.  

While the Reserve was only a one-day tournament, the Open was a weekend event.  By the time I had thought to make hotel reservations, the Marriott was already booked.  We spent the night at a nearby Best Western.
Stay tuned for Part 2!

20 comments:

  1. Your chess posts always impress me, Bethany. The recording of the plays looks so difficult! Do you have a special program to track games and then share the results? xx

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    1. We notate all our games by writing our moves down on scoresheets. When I get home I enter my moves into a PGN file that I can open to analyze or share using a viewer.

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  2. you are really talentd person love from Poland

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  3. I am impressed that you participate in these tournaments. A total meeting of the minds!

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  4. I have the feeling that you really enjoy these tournaments. And that hallway in the hotel looks very pretty.

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    1. I wonder what could have given that impression... :D I do. :) Yes, the hotel was a beautiful place for the tournament.

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  5. Ahhh Beth again??? Thinking now that you really enjoy these chess tournaments and I am so glad you enjoying it. Wishing you good luck, Liuba x

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    1. So many chess posts in a row is probably pushing it a little, but I'm trying to get all my posts from last year done. :D

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  6. I am always rooting for you in these tournaments :)

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  7. Sorry the hotel was already booked but glad you were able to stay near. As for drafts, I find some in my folder too. And think? What the heck, why didn't I post this. Well, now though, I cleaned out my draft folder but before, this would happen.

    Anyway, happy weekend :-)

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    1. Have a great week! Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. It seems that you spent a great time in the tournament. I find the photo of the building center really nice. I sometimes like to eat breakfast at the MacDonalds here. They offer orange juice, coffee and bread with eggs, ham and bacon for 3 dollars. It tastes good.

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    1. McDonalds does have plenty to choose from! Usually I get a sausage egg McMuffin, but last time I ate breakfast from there I ordered pancakes.

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    2. Still, it doesn't beat home cooking! After eating at McDonald's two days in a row on my last trip, I was very happy to be home!

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  9. Hi Bethany, I will have to echo Gracie's very first comment ... Your chess posts always impress me. It's just a great hobby, indeed! Speaking of great ... It was great to get your recent comments on my blog and your reply to the comment I left on your April 22nd post. To answer your question, I left another reply there for you (in your awaiting moderation folder). Hope you and your family have a fine weekend and Memorial Day holiday.

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    1. Thanks John! I hope you are enjoying a great Memorial Day weekend as well.

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