Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2016 - Part 2

Going to sleep early Sunday morning I was so exhausted it would have been impossible for our room at the Marriott to feel uncomfortable.  I enjoyed a pleasant repose, and the hotel curtains blocked the light of dawn out so well I could have slept in for hours.  But...I had an unfinished mission!
Charity, Daniel, and I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, and then we pulled into a convenience store where I purchased pastries and *cheap* granola bars.  All day Saturday I had been eating granola bars from the hotel's concessions (above).  And believe me, they are as expensive as they are delicious!  

Paying $3 a bar, and then not having them prove sufficient brain food for me to actually win my games just wasn't cutting it.  So, before I went broke on eating granola bars, I switched to the generic $1 ones.

Back at the playing hall, I found myself facing Gokul Thangavel (1943).  I have wonderful memories of a game in the distant past where I beat Gokul before he "got good."  But that was many years ago.  
This time we had a relatively uneventful game with no blunders by either side.  We reached a near-even endgame, and Gokul offered a draw (he later mentioned he had homework to do).  I happily accepted.

My travelling companions and I ate lunch and enjoyed walking around the hotel grounds.
My final opponent was Kevin Ho (1822), and I got my third Sicilian opening of the tournament, this time as white.  I was not expecting 13. Rxc3?!

The position started getting awkward after I played 25. Bxc4.  I placed my rooks less than ideally, and moved them back and forth without making progress.  Ho handled the situation well, and things went from bad to worse for me until the game ended.  Kevin is a skillful player.

My only consolation proved to be getting a little revenge with the help of NM James Neal against Kevin Ho and his unwitting partner NM Jacob Furfine a few weeks later when we tested out bughouse on chess.com... 
In my post about last year's tournament, I mentioned that this venue has a squeaky floor, and that Nike tennis shoes squeak the most.  Well...guess what?!  I disregarded my own advice on what brand not to wear...and Nike tennis shoes still are the squeakiest shoes to wear to the Iowa Open.  I did notice a few Nike tennis shoe styles that didn't squeak, however, so next year I'm either going to have to find special chess-tournament-style Nikes--or I'm going to have to get some ballet flats.

I was super glad I remembered to bring a sweater.  The Marriott has a very strong air conditioner.

Daniel and I both finished with 1.5 out of 5, which was slightly disappointing, but we performed in accordance with our ratings...and both had some very interesting games.

Charity joined in the open section Sunday and won one of her two open games.
The Iowa Open was, as always, a very well-directed tournament. It was great to have the opportunity to watch strong players compete, and the location was very spacious and comfortable.

Congratulations to IMs Nagle and Brooks who both finished with 4.5 out of 5 points to win the Iowa Open, and many thanks to Mark Capron for his expert work in organizing and directing the event and to Eric Vigil and the other TDs who helped everything run smoothly.  Bravo!  Well done.

20 comments:

  1. Bethany I would like to play chess as well as you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you study and practice playing the game, you might be surprised how well you can do.

      Delete
  2. Good morning Ms. Bethany, I was wondering how done the rating come about? The numbers that are in the parentheses next to the names. Is it an aggregate score from games played or a point scale to rate players like a poll? I enjoy your chess posts and find myself learning a lot. One other thing what is the Sicilian dragon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Darryl, You can read about the Elo chess rating systems used by the USCF and FIDE here. Basically a player's rating is based off his performance against other players of various ratings.

      The Sicilian Dragon is a chess opening that goes like this: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6. You can read more about it in this Wiki article. It's my all-time favorite way to start a chess game.

      Delete
  3. Bethany,
    I admire you. Can you play in closet. I can not.
    Congratulations and greetings.
    Lucja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you wanted to play chess, I'm sure you could learn!

      Delete
  4. I'm very sorry.
    It was to be: Can you play chess!
    Greetings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. I admire you for your multi-lingual commenting skills. I'm very happy for Google Translate's help reading your blog. I can't imagine what my grammar would be like if I were brave enough to try to write a comment in Polish!

      Delete
  5. Those KIND bars are flippin' expensive. No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would like my sister's method: she makes her own granola bars...and they are delicious!

      Delete
  6. Lovely photos, Bethany, and the Kind bars look delicious and sound healthy, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were very tasty. Considering how much I spent on them, I sure hope they were healthy!

      Delete
  7. Hi Bethany, Once again the comments bring me smiles. Gosia K's comment above says my exact thoughts at this moment ... However, reality sets in and I said to myself, Dream on! :-) Thanks for the fine report on the Iowa Open Chess Tournament!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, John. Dreams can come true if you have the time to put work into them...though with all your hobbies, I can see how finding time for chess could be a problem!

      Delete
  8. Smart move with the granola bars. Everything sold in hotels is so expensive! The hotel grounds look quite scenic. Great for photography!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! I might have to buy a box of granola bars the day before the tournament next time I go there...

      Delete
  9. such a great skill you have. i love granola bars too, i get then at costco they are much cheaper there!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister makes a pan of homemade granola bars every once in a while... I love those since I get them for free! :)

      Delete
  10. I enjoyed developing your games with the editor. Your second opponent was more skilled. It seems that you spent a great time in the tournament and the accommodation was comfortable and nice. Chess is an exciting game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sort of like chess. ;) Glad you enjoyed looking through the games.

      Delete