Daniel Shubin and his evil knight endgames: SCC September Tornado Round 3 (or Backstory)

Daniel Shubin and his evil knight endgames: SCC September Tornado Round 3 (or Backstory)

NM Joseph_Truelson

Photos by me, as usual. Do I have to keep saying this? Whatever. None of them were used with the permission of the people inside them. Don't sue me! The main picture was actually taken the week after this event. Writes me... 

I'm not sure where I heard this (good thing, or else I'd have to cite), but I heard that a good story usually has some sort of backstory, or things that happened before the story. But that confused me. If the backstory is in the story, then it is part of the story, so there would need to be a back backstory in order for it to be a good story. And a triple back story, and so forth. Very confusing. Why do I say, I mean write, I mean type this? Because I'll have a lot of backstories. The main story is the actual event, then our other encounter, and the backstory to that is our other encounters. So we're going to go back in time, then forward in time, and then back again to confuse you, and we'll never return to the present time. So if you are ready to get in a time loop and never come out of it, read on. (Once again, I'm not sure where I heard the term time loop, so I can't cite that either).

Me and Daniel Shubin met each other sometime last year, as always at a tournament. I saw his amazing rating, and he was so short! So, I asked him when he was looking at a game that I was casually playing, "How did you get so young?" Now we go forward in time. Since then I have asked many young kids this answer, and I have gotten a lot of funny answers.

"I don't know"

"I don't know, I just am young"


"That's really not funny. That doesn't make any sense!"

"I am not young, you are!"

Now we will go back in time again. Daniel turned out to be older than I thought he was (11?), so he knew I was joking, so he just smiled. In fact, he does that to a good number of my jokes. He seemed to be a very mature kid and it was always nice to play a blitz game with him or ask a few other odd questions/jokes to him. A lot of smiles as replies.

In fact, I got to see him quite a lot since he plays a lot, but I was happy that I didn't have to play him. His rating kept going up at a solid amount, like most youngsters except me. Basically every youngster is always underrated. It gets kind of annoying for players like me because even if we get better our rating still will go down! Stop getting better young players! Get worse, so my rating goes up. Rating is all that matters in chess. Since it's going down I am getting discouraged at chess! I remember playing 800s and crushing them, then the next year they are 1400 and it is almost impossible to beat them. I win anyways, but because of my psychological edge, which leads to them thinking that they are worse when they are winning, and then they play losing moves. It is so annoying to see players gain so much rating and me gaining none! Daniel Shubin was definitely an underrated youngster.

But I could not avoid playing anybody that I see so often forever. The day fatefully arrived. It was my fault though. In the Washington Open, I won my first round game, and as a result in the second round I was paired against him . As White. I had a 200 point edge on him, so I should have won. But I didn't win. I wish I could show the game here, but I lost the game. I mean I lost the game notation, not the actual game. I mean I lost the actual game paper, I didn't lose the game, ok too hard to explain. To make it easier, the game ended in a draw. I played the French Exchange, and when there is only one open file, the e(vil)-file, all the rooks and queens are traded and it is a draw immediately. We entered an endgame with one knight and a bunch of pawns. I think we had a king each, but I'm not sure. Unfortunately, he played that endgame quite well and forced me to realize that I wasn't going to get anywhere, so a draw was the illogical result. As a result, I decided to avoid an equal knight endgame if we played again.

Now to the day of the tournament. Daniel Shubin devised a clever and cunning strategy to beat me, but it wasn't obvious until after an hour of play. After we entered a dead equal position, I thought a lot, to try to beat him. He moved fast and made obvious moves, and suddenly we entered another knight endgame! Are you serious? What a coincidence! These might be my only knight vs. knight endgames that I have ever played! Definitely the only ones that I have played that were equal. I was low on time though, so I had to keep caution. Could Daniel actually beat me, when I was so down on time? I realized that I couldn't win with less than 5 minutes on the clock...

Therefore, all of my efforts to win failed. I should not have tried so hard and damaged my brain looking for win.

Still, as I have realized after both this and my first round game, having a high rating is good. I never would have thought that I had a high rating, but it appears that by having a good rating everyone will give you draws even if they have a superior position. Or they won't try so hard to win, intending to make everything blocked and boring. I do this a lot too against higher rated players, and it is really problematic for my chess. Try to win every game, don't even think about playing for a draw! I advise you all to do that. (To my advantage of course) As usual though, I don't follow my own advice. If I did I would be a Master, maybe even higher. Because just 2 weeks later, I was really hoping to draw against a Master. That attitude made it harder to do so.

My opponent Daniel Shubin ended up winning around $40 I believe, since he strategically took a half point bye for the last round so that he would win a prize. (He had 3/4, he beat a lower rated and a 1700, drew me, and more impressively, drew BYE!)

Anyways, with 2/3, I had only one game left.. And it was against Sophie Tien, who beat Maddy Addy (Addison Lee), as he forgot to listen to my advice to cheat (and RAR, and whatever advice I give to help people win). 

What would happen in this critical game? It was an all important money-game. $29 What a huge amount. Did I win? You can check the US Chess website to find out (as I'm sure you have all done), or find out tomorrow.