Summer's End: A Time of Peace?
Hi everyone! This is IM Darwin Yang returning to my blog. I apologize for the lengthy delay, caused by a busy schedule and a sickness in-between. A lot has passed both in my personal chess journey and worldwide chess news, so let's dive in!
After my last blog from the New York International I have participated in the US Junior, Quebec Open in Montreal, the Denker, and finally the LA Metro International. I'll try to give a quick rundown on the tournaments and include the games I consider instructive.
The US Junior was a rather unfortunate tournament for me, I entered my 8-player qualifying group as the second seed behind GM Conrad Holt, the official US representative to the World Junior. I had high hopes to reach the Final, but I was badly off form. I lost to both the afore-mentioned Holt and the highly talented Jeffrey Xiong (also from Dallas, coincidentally). Congratulations to the US Junior Champion, IM (soon to be GM) Marc Arnold, and the runner up FM Alec Getz!
Next I headed to Montreal for the Quebec Open, a strong invitational of around 40 players where I hoped to get my final Grandmaster norm. Rather unluckily, after my 3rd game I contracted a fever and was forced to withdraw after my 4th game because I was too sick. Very interesting was my game against 16-year old world class GM Wesley So, which I lost:
Denker resulted in a tie for first with Atulya Shetty, which was slightly disappointing but nothing to complain about.
Finally, I headed to Los Angeles for the Metro International. Unfortunately, many foreign players withdrew right before the tournament, depriving it of Super Swiss status (now all the norm seekers had to play 4 foreign players). Many GMs did not finish the tournament as well, for example some heading to Turkey for the Olympiad. I started the tournament with two draws, but I managed to come back and finished with 6/9 for 5th place. Because of the foreign player limit, I was unable to qualify for the GM norm. In any case, here was my best game, a great example of how to build up an attack with Black in the French against IM Jack Peters: