Joseph vs. Joseph: Challenger's Cup Round 3

Joseph vs. Joseph: Challenger's Cup Round 3

NM Joseph_Truelson

Yes, that's my opponent, and no he is not playing me. This is actually the next round, with him clearly not happy at me for beating him the night before. But who cares about him, let's talk about me! I took that photo, I won that game, and I am the best! I get the photo credit, but I don't have any credibility. That's too bad! Now let me help you waste your next five minutes with an en captivating beginning:

He dare have the same name! So far I've beaten all Josephs that I've played so all of you Josephs out there better change your name, or just simply stop playing chess.

Before I tell you about my other game against a Joseph, I think that I should explain why a lot of people seemed to be named Joseph.

Joseph, in the bible, has a role of saving the whole Isreal race in the old Testament and also being the father of Jesus. I thought, I want to do that! Or at least be like these amazing people. I bet if I have the same name of these people that then I will be just as great as them! And, not surprisingly, I have been just as good, if not a little better, than both of these amazing people. Go Joseph!

Well, Joseph Levine, a 4th grader, after witnessing the amazing me and how good I was at chess, talking, RARing, intimidating his opponents, and being crazy, decided that he needed to be like me too! So he decided to name himself Joseph. I am certain that this kid robbed my name so he could be like me. But when we played, how would it go? Playing someone like you can be difficult...

To get back on topic, even though this is off topic since it isn't related to my game, I will tell my amazing story. A long time ago, (maybe I should use "Twice upon a Time" to start it off, a long time ago is getting too boring and standard) in January 12, 2013, I was playing in a scholastic tournament. I won my first 3 games, was crushing everybody and in the fourth round I was paired against a kid named Joseph Thompson. Interesting. I'd never heard of this kid, but understandably, he had witnessed my craziness between the rounds, and wanted to be like me, so his name was Joseph. Fortunately, he turned out to be really nice, and before the game we joked and wrote on our notation sheets that the event was the "Joseph T. championships". It sure was a fun round. Unfortunately for Joseph, not sure which one, I won the game by somehow outplaying him even though I was around 800 strength at that time. In fact, I think I might have that game but I'm too lazy to dig through all my games and look for it. Fortunately for me, my opponent was very nice about the loss and we continued to be friends and see each other a lot until I moved to Seattle. It's possible that maybe he lost on purpose so that we could be friends. I hate chess players when they beat me! I talking to you Anthony He, Micheal Lin, and every other player who's beaten me! I hate good chess players! Back to that tournament, I managed to win the last game also and got my first place trophy ever. A really big accomplishment for me, of course I got a lot more first places after that tournament,  but I didn't win as many trophies. I guess that's how it goes. If you get too good you don't win trophies. But I'd rather have money so I could buy the trophy anyways. 

Flash forward 46 months, and around 20 days, and what a lot has happened in between! I've won the Minnesota Elementary Championships because the good chess players didn't show up, I got over 1600, became famous for my crazy and not-really-but-trying-to-be funny style, and then had to move AGAIN. And now I'm paired against Joseph Levine. Just as dramatic as all those significant events in my life. I catch someone else stealing my name! Unlike my other encounter with Joseph Thompson, I've known this kid. I met him last year at the Lakeridge Elementary Tournament held on Mercer Island. My opponent had taken a perpetual check in a sharp position (he was 1200) and I was upset at myself. After talking to a few other players (They kept wanting me to repeat that yes, I drew a 1200) and checking the game over with another prodigy, I walked around the Mercer Island High School cafeteria and saw my opponent, one of the Thakur brothers, analyzing the game with Joseph Levine. Joseph seemed to be a really good chess player at this time already, over 1600 northwest and was telling me all the ways that my opponent could have beaten me. In the end, I was impressed by his play and hoped that I wouldn't have to play him. Fortunately, I didn't. In that tournament, I tied with him for 2nd place along with a few other prodigies, while the evil Owen Xuan won first place after drawing me. Luckily I had gotten revenge twice: Before the game and after it. I'm good at beating them while they are young! 

Ever since then, I have seen Joseph Levine a lot. He started playing a lot of US Chess events, and of course he was severely underrated but has been improving fastly, considering that he was unrated (USCF) last year. Now he is already 1647 according to US Chess, which can never be trusted. (Hope they aren't reading this). 

Fortunately, I had two things that I could use to beat Joseph Levine. One, I am simply the better player, and two, I can use the anti-kid strategy if necessary. Put the two together, and it already clear who will have the better chances.

As I explained somewhere else in my 1 million word collection of blogs (I don't know, that's probably a bad guess), I have a theory of why he was 10 minutes late. Let me test and see if I can write like a normal writer, not nearly as funny, and of course, in the third person, because every single good book seems to be in the third person, and when I tried doing that it failed. But I guess I will try and fail again, because I need to prepare for the massive failures that I will have at my tournament tomorrow:


Joseph Levine was very excited. He had just beaten an 1842 player, in an Under 1800 section. Those cheaters, entering sections that they shouldn't be in, he thought. It never occurred to him that he was playing in the wrong section. He was confident that he could win this tournament. Everyone is so easy! He thought. 2 out of 2! But then as soon as he entered the skittles room, he heard an extremely annoying person.

"That's too bad. But you're still pretty good buddy! Just don't let me RAR your time next time! After all, I RARely lose on time, especially in blitz!"

Joseph sighed. He felt ashamed to share his name with his evil nemesis, Joseph Truelson. 

"How did you do?", the evil Joseph asked.

"I won", the good Joseph replied 

"I did too", said Truelson, "Can we play some blitz, I'm tired of winning. We might even play in the tournament you know!"

"I know", he said in reply. The good Joseph often will say that he knows things that he doesn't know, while the evil Joseph is precisely the opposite, saying that he doesn't know things that he does know.

So they played, and the evil Joseph's trash talking (although only criticizing himself, always making sure only to offend himself, which is why he is evil) brought up to 5 players to watch the game. But Evil Joseph sure was evil. Despite the fact that he was giving time odds of 3 to 2 minutes and didn't focus hardly at all, he won 3 in a row. After that good Joseph's parents told him that they needed to get a meal.


As Joseph Levine ate his burger and fries, he recounted each one of those blitz games, and how Truelson had crushed him with ease. "That is so annoying", he thought. "I bet that he would crush me if we played, if we played 10 minute to 5 hour time odds he would beat me!" So he told his parents, "Can we go home now? I should take a half point bye and rest for tomorrow. His parents were surprised and I don't know what they said, but they apparently didn't agree that he should take a half point bye. After pleading, he read his watch. "6:04". Oh shoot! Now Joseph was going to be late for the round, and his evil nemesis with the same name was sure to win! He rushed back, and sure enough he saw his evil opponent waiting for him, who told him that they were playing.

Joseph Levine sighed, as fate seemed to have turned against him, and went to board 17 and moved. But like Bobby Fischer, Evil Joseph Truelson had seized the psychological edge.

(By the way, I was the "evil" Joseph. And now, here is my game, and the rest of this report will be from first person, I'm tired of telling the truth and admitting that I am evil)


Now the usual question that I ask so I can hope to improve my chess in the future: What can I learn from the game? Probably  not much.

1. Moving fast sure helps make your opponents move fast. That became more and more obvious as the event went on.

2. I did miss a few quicker ways to win. I need to focus on actually taking those wins, as a higher rated player won't offer me nearly as many lucky shots as these kids do.

3. d4 is great!
Before this game I played a lot of bughouse. After the game I played blitz. Joseph was interesting, in that as I beat him every single game in normal chess, 3-check, and King of the Hill, he said nothing. But when we tied in our Loser Chess match, he made sure to capitalize on that and tell me that I was easy.

Confused by that, I asked him the next week, "How can I be so easy if I beat you in our only tournament game?"

"Oh, it's because you played White", he said.

Although White's advantage sure is kind of significant in chess, it isn't everything. But still, playing 2 Blacks on the final day made it more difficult. It's a saying that the hardest game to win is a won game. But that is not true! The hardest game to win is a lost one!

With a solid score of 3-0, I went into the next round with momentum, at least I think so. My opponent? Also with 3-0, and who had also drawn me a few months before, was my true nemesis and main challenger in the tournament, Jeffrey Yan.