Tournament Adventures: Uncompromising Chess in Charlotte!
I had the great pleasure of visiting the Charlotte Chess Center and playing in the Reverse Angle tournament this past week and weekend. I began playing chess in Columbia, South Carolina, so I cut my teeth (so to speak) in some of the Charlotte events. For instance, my first win over a master was in Charlotte. Charlotte is about an hour and a half away from Columbia, SC so it is very feasible to drive up for a day or night when I am visiting my family. I had recently read the following article (http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12581/757) about the new brick and mortar chess club built by the Charlotte Chess Center, and I was eager to see it when I was visiting family this last week.
It's a really beautiful club, and I was very inspired by the different events at the club (lectures, weekly tournaments, camps, etc.). The club even offered live commentary on the top board games downstairs during the Reverse Angle tournament. Unfortunately, all my games went to the wire so I wasn't able to enjoy the commentary personally.
I was able to play 4 standard rated games in Charlotte last week. All of my opponents played really enterprising chess, and together we engaged in some real battles. I was fortunate to win all the games (and push my rating to a new high of 2246), but there certainly weren't any easy games. I think the level of the games was quite high. There were many interesting and instructive moments in all my games. I especially enjoyed the first round game from Saturday. I had the opportunity to play 24. Kf2!! This allowed my opponent 8 possible discovered checks, but fortunately, none worked out. My games 2 and 3 were broadcast downstairs for commentary, but this game wasn't because of the hustle of getting set up in the first round. That was slightly dissapointing as the game was a real joy to play, and I believe it would have been ideal for commentary.
I shared first place in the Reverse Angle tournament with Candidate Master Dominique Meyers who upset NM Chris Mabe in the last round. Hearty congratulations to Dominique on his fine result! I have annotated all four of my games in detail. I think they were all very interesting and at least worth a look see. I hope you enjoy them
Game 1 (Skyland Restaurant)
This game was played on Wednesday night. For me, it was a standalone rated game. I drove up with Brandon Jordan (thanks to Brandon for driving!) and Experts Keith Eubanks, James Macdougal. Thanks to them for their fine company. I have known Keith and James for sometime, but I hadn't seen them in years, so it was great to catch up with them. My opponent in this game was entirely new to me, but I had heard he was quite a strong player (near master) with a bit of an aggresive style. I also knew that he played the Alekhine, and I thought I would go for a line played against me in the Alekhine. I was generally happy with my play in this game. We exchanged quite a few inaccuracies, but we were both fighting for an advantage the entire game. The result was a very uncompromising game with many interesting imbalances.
Game 2: Round 1 (Reverse Angle)
My gentlemanly opponent was unknown to me, but I thought he played several interesting moves in this game. I was told after the game that he had recently had an outstanding tournament result and would probably clear 2000. I expect he will stay above it for quite some time.
Game 3: Round 2 (Reverse Angle)
I have played Patrick a few times before. He has been playing in Charlotte for as long as I have been playing chess. When I started, he was in the high 1900s, but I believe he has been an expert for years now.
Game 4: Round 3 (Reverse Angle)
Keith is a Columbia player and we actually rode together to the tournament. I have known Keith for over 10 years, but I didn't see as much of him when I lived in SC as I did of other players. He has been a strong expert for some time, and has come close to 2200 on occasion. Keith exudes a real sense of enthusiasm for the combat of chess. I was very impressed that he seemed just as interested in the positions in the games he won as in those he lost.
This game was interesting because it began in the same way as my round 2 game against Patrick McCartney. The opening motivations are very different though.