US Amateur Team East 2015

NM RobKing
Feb 22, 2015, 11:53 AM |

Hi everyone, it's time for my annual blog on the US Amateur Team East tournament held in Parsippany, NJ. This is one of my favorite events of the year for several reasons.

  • One of the biggest chess parties of the year Tons of friends show up that I don't get to see often and the relaxed nature of the tournament allows for a lot of late night fun.
  • No money on the line This tournament is for pride only and therefore no undue financial stress is put on anyone. 
  • Team dynamic makes this amazing An advantage on one board means a disadvantage on another, upsets are flying around, and the comradrie is amazing for post-match analysis.

As a team, we did pretty poorly compared to previous years. We were upset in round 2 by a team almost 200 points below us in  average rating and we lost a few other matches as well. Coming into the tournament with an average rating of 2190, we usually expect to compete, but this wasn't the year for us.

Personally, I had a pretty good tournament. I went 5.5/6 but mainly due to weak competition and that only helped raise my rating by 6 points. Many of my games were not in question from move 1 but there were a few very exciting ones. Round 5 is a must see!

Round 1

From the beginning of the game, I had a bad feeling. My opponent surprised me on move 2 and I was on my own for the rest of the game. White developed a seemingly dangerous initiative and one imprecise move allowed me to consolidate and take advantage of the structural weaknesses in his position.

Round 5
Not my prettiest game, but perhaps one of my prettiest finishes! My young opponent played aggressively and was very close to bringing home the full point. The difference that one tempi makes!

The rest of my games weren't really anything special. Two of them ended within 30 minutes of their start and another involved my opponent playing Ndc4, Nd2, Nbc4, Nb2, Nbc4 on 5 consecutive moves while I pushed a pawn to f3 and mated him swiftly. Another involved some home preparation that netted an instant win that I don't want to make public just yet.

 I hope you enjoy these games and I can't wait to play this event again next year!