IHSA State Tournament Part One
Hello viewers! I recently participated in the 40th Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Chess State Tournament. It was one of the most amazing moments in my life so far. I played on board two for Carmel Catholic High School. I place 49th out of 138 schools with a score of 4 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw. For my first year at state (hopefully not my last year at state) I thought I did very well. I can't wait to go back next year!
My first day of chess at state was tough. I lost my first game because of my foolish decision to play the Philidor Defense on black. My opponent was able to take advantage of my passive opening and suffocate me in my own pieces within 25 moves. Note to self: never play that opening again.
My second game was the strangest chess game that I ever played during a match. I played white. I was planning on a simple king's-pawn opening to start the game off. To my surprise, my opponent opened queen-side with d5. Crap, I don't know how to play against a queen-side opening. I continued my development with knight to f3. He takes my king pawn. I was caught off-guard and I slowly worked my way into a corner, unable to escape my opponent's threats. This all changed on move 19. I took his queen with my rook. I was relieved. I then look at my clock and notice that I have 3 minutes left and my opponent has 40 minutes. Oh no. Time for a blitz game... My opponent had almost all of his back-rank pieces and was attempting to dodge all of my attacks. I was unable to maneuver between his plethora of pieces. With 1 minute left on my clock, and 30 minutes on my opponents, I notice he made a major mistake. I can put his king in perpetual check!!! Or, so I thought. He moves his king away, I check it, he moves it back to the original square, I check his king again, He moves to a different square... His king is safe... For now... I push up a knight. He makes another move. I check him again. 10 seconds left on my clock... (My opponent is now in check and has two squares to move to. When he moves to either square, I would be able to check him. He is technically not in perpetual check because he can escape, but then move to the other square.) A crowd of people form around our table, expecting me to loose on time. Thank goodness for the 5 second delay on the clocks. I get up from my chair and stand over the table. My opponent does the same. Check...Check...Check...Check...I offer a draw. He declines. I roll my eyes and people chuckle around me. The checking continues until the tournament director is called over to our table to decide if the game should be a draw. While he is deciding, My opponent and I are moving as fast as possible. My opponent tries to catch me off guard so I loose on time. I didn't fall for it. The director finally stops us and calls the game a draw. Finally the game is over. Stay tuned! Part two of the IHSA Chess State Tournament is coming soon!