My Third IM Norm
I recently participated in the New Jersey FIDE Futurity Tournament at Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg NJ, which took place over the weekend of January 9th and January 16th. It was a round-robin tournament, with 5 being the score for an IM norm and 6.5 being the score for a GM norm. I've decided to blog about this tournament due to the strange quality of games played by everyone. It seems like no one was able to convert winning positions, and I can think of 10 games off the top of my head where a different result would have been expected at some point in the game. I definitely feel like I played much better at the World Open and NY International, where I got my other 2 norms, but I'll take it!
The participants, listed by USCF rating, were -
GM Tamaz Gelashvili - 2682
GM Leonid Yudasin - 2618
IM Akshat Chandra - 2609
GM Mackenzie Molner - 2569
FM Arthur Shen - 2507
IM Kassa Korley - 2480
IM Dean Ippolito - 2476
FM John Burke - 2473 (that's me if you couldn't figure it out)
FM Praveen Balakrishnan - 2411
FM Rostislav Taborsky - 2318
In the first round I was black against IM Akshat Chandra. He already has two GM norms and it's just a matter of time before he gets his third. He's been ripped off by the technicalities of the norm system before and I honestly can't think of any stronger IM in the world. Unfortunately he didn't manage to get his third norm in this tournament, but I'm sure it will happen soon.
In round 3 I was black against FM Praveen Balakrishnan. This was our 9th game, the first being when we were both rated below 800!
That game could have easily gone south for me, but fortunately my position held together. Now on the final day I was black against Arthur Shen in round 8 and white against Gelashvili in round 9. I needed at least one draw out of those two games to become an IM. I definitely wanted to get it done against Arthur and not leave that kind of pressure to the last round game against the highest rated player in the tournament.
That's about it I guess. I would like to thank Dean for organizing this great tournament. The conditions were absolutely fantastic. Also, congrats to Praveen who was the only undefeated player and scored an IM norm with 1 win and 8 draws. As GM Gelashvili said, Petrosian would be proud! As soon as the technicalities are taken care of, I will officially be an IM.
Until next time...