AOW Intramural 3 -- A sub comes through!
The DHLC (Dan Heisman Learning Center) often hosts inhouse Swiss style tournaments and in order to mix it up some, some of the earlier Swiss events allowed the players to be on teams. Some time ago (WOW! It's been over a year and a half already!), I formed a team with some other DHLC members and we called ourselves the Art of War. Chess is oftened likened to a war and one of my teammates often quips that it is also an artform. So.... the Art of War team was born.
We've engaged in numerous swiss events now and we even won one! Not every Swiss in the DHLC is teams, howver, and in between events, one of my teammates came up with an idea -- what about an intramural where we play each other? We can stay sharp yet have a friendly competition amongst ourselves. We selected our two highest rated players as captains and assigned teams based on our ratings and between us all, the rating totals were just a few points apart so it was pretty well rounded and fair. One of my teammates, Gunners2004, has blogged on our first intramural event and I invite you to have a look at this excellent recap (and see what happens when you get spooked after an opponent chases your king.. good lesson in that one, let me tell you!).
This is our third intramural. This time, after returning from a vacation in Europe, I had taken so many backward steps in my learning that I decided to sit out for the main event but volunteered to be a substitue player should one be needed at some point.
And of course, life happens. We all have things come up and as it turns out, I was needed as a sub in a game against HReedwork (Harvey). Harvey is a teammate that I adore. He's funny, smart and has turned out to be a great supporter (thanks for all the flight advice!). We've had a few good games already and interestingly enough, in one of them, after analyzing the game with Houdini, I got my first !! move ever! (http://www.chess.com/livechess/game?id=479275421) Harvey IS stronger than I am but I'm trying to fulfill my general goals of not giving an opponent any easy win! And I did it! Harvey likes to play the Sicilian (UGH!) as black but thanks to my teammate Dex (Dacster13), I've learned a secret weapon against the Sicilian. Houdini calls it "Moscow variation with 3 ...Bd7" but Dex says that this is sometimes known as the "Rossolimo" because of that bishop checking move thing that is done. The developmental style is similar to a Ruy (I love the Ruy Lopez) and thus I became relatively comfortable with it. I surprised the daylights out of another opponent with it once. I didn't win but again, he was a lot stronger. Nevertheless, it was another one where I had the opponent biting his nails and I wound up losing due to my ignorance (albeit due to my succeeding in my goals as a player, it goes down in my success column).
In preparation for this match, I practiced a few times with this variation of the Sicilian. Come game day, I was SO SLEEPY but I put on some pop music, settled down, and, as it turns out, really focused well!
Are you ready? Here we go! (For those of you wondering why I didn't turn the board pink -- I tried. There must be a glitch!! FOOEY!)