Back To Chess!


Ihad the opportunity to check out some chess in Columbus last week and went to a meeting of the Central Chess Club which meets in a place with a great setting and atmosphere, a nice coffee house in Columbus. Bagel with peanut butter and tea for $4 :) The weekly Thursday night tournaments are 20 with a 5 delay, 4 rounds swiss. I had some butterflies, the last tournament I played in was in Febuary, but it was a G/10 and with a club I was very comfortable with. Before then the last one was October! I was happy it was G/20, especially since it was the first time I was at the club. It's always nice to play less strenous games, G/90 or G/60 can really take a toll. Plus we got to play 4 rounds so if I lost early it wouldn't be the end of the world. The first round had me paired against a very strong player, Michael Vilenchuk. 2198 post tournament quick rating, 2306 regular rating! Needless to say I lost, I was black and we played an interesting Smith-Morra where white played Nd5!? at one point, gambiting the knight! As we looked at it after it was probably best if I took, as I got in to all kinds of trouble but the White's queen was on the e-file and I had yet to castle so it looked very dangerous. My middle two rounds I won, both as white. The first was a very positional manuevering Najdorf which I was happy to win as I never had won against this as White. The second was a dragon where I was able to get in an early c4. An interesting position arose from this game.

In both my games that I won as white I played the Keres Variation as white. 

In both these games, as I usually do when I play this in tournaments, I went back into main lines with d4 and Nd4. But having the flexibility to play something else is always a nice option.

The last game was actually a Dutch Defense! I can't remember much of this game unfortunately, except for the fact that I lost! But 2/4 was a happy result for me, especially given my last round opponent was also strong, 1944. I got a good rating boost to 1699 quick and was quite happy with the results. In the future I may record these games even though they're only G/20. This woud cost me some time for sure but I could always stop recording if I got low, plus I was ahead on all my clocks. But since I don't have a full game from that tournament to show, here's one that I recently lost on where I played the Kevitz-Trajkovich defense.

A good example of always looking for the best moves and not just reacting. I had opportunities even late in this game but was so sure I was losing that I never saw them! Comments are more than welcome, good luck and I hope to see you over the board!