The Linus curse

The Linus curse

Jul 2, 2013, 1:34 AM |

Update: This is now just going to be my tournament blog

As many juniors from NSW would know, one of the best players is Linus Cooper who hardly ever missed a Sydney Academy of Chess tournament. There was one flaw with Linus though, Until about Febraury 2013 Linus had never won a tournament apart from the interschool ones where we came third nationally! Now he is one of the most common people to win the Sydney Academy of chess tournaments. It also seemed that his most common placing in the tournaments was second. Now though, I fear I have the Linus curse. If you look at a lot of my recent tournaments that are listed below you will find that I have six of my latest tournaments out of seven I have come second. Also four of the tournaments I have also come second on tie-break although one was to get me to second instead of fourth. Even one of them was to the great Linus himself. Please say whether you think i should do something about it. Luckily I have two tournaments on 6/7/2013 and 7/7/2013.

And here is all the tournaments from Sydney Academy of Chess


These two last days have been really interesting. In the end though i have learnt two things.

1. Revenge is sweet

2. I will not be ridding myself of the curse any time soon

Let me explain what happened.

On 6/7/2013 I was in a 7 round swiss competition as on the following day. I was third seed going into the 69 player competition. In the fourth round I won with ease and also watch 2nd seed go up against 5th seed and Linus (first seed) go up against 4th seed. It could hardly of turned out better. Linus lost the game and and seed drew.After the 4th round I was up against 2nd seed. I ended up playing a variation of the Pettrov's defense and won a piece and with it the game while 4th seed and Linus won their games. In the sixth round me and 4th seed where the only ones still on 5/5 so we played against each other. After a tough match I went into a opposite colour bishop endgame a pawn up and as I confirmed after the game he knew the startegy to draw. In the final round I went up against Linus while 4th seed played against someone on 5/6 at the time. I ended up losing to Linus while 4th seed drew against his opponent. So 4th seed won the tournament and Linus came the coverted 2nd while i won on tie-break to come third.

The next day I was third seed again with Linus as first seed. I won the first 4 rounds with ease but in the 5th round I played against second seed.

In the 6th round Linus played against second seed and they drew. So heading into the last round Linus and second seed were on 5.5/6 and me and my friend were on 5/6. In the last round I played against Linus (again) and my friend played against second seed. 2nd seed won but in the game me and Linus fought it out in a Queen ending me being up two pawns but only having two minutes left. I fell for perpetual but Linus thought he could win by cashing in on my time but in the end he took too long and ran out of time while I was with a Queen and King against King. So I ended  up taking 2nd. I hope you enjoyed (except Linus).
Update 8/8/13: Last weekend on sunday I played in the August sunday fun tournament. This time Linus and I met in the fourth round instead of last. In the game had a interesting position where I had a possibility to win the exchange. While Linus and I both recognized this chance I only had 3 minutes and 54 seconds left while Linus had 8 minutes and 11 seconds left and we were still in the middlegame so we agreed to a draw on my proposal. In the fifth round I won while Linus lost to William Tao (from my previous tournaments as second seed), I won against my opponent. In the sixth round though I also lost to William Tao and Linus won his game.
In the seventh round Linus ended up on board 2 meaning he had the higher tie-break. We both won that game. But in a sudden twist of events Linus had board three and I had board two meaning now I had the higher tie-break meaning as long as I won my last game I would most likely come second.
So after this I managed to come 2ndUndecidedUndecidedUndecided again...
Update: After the last few tournaments I forgot about one in which I was second seed to Gordon Yang and again i came second after losing to him. But that was a thing of the past. Now I will talk about a great tournament in which there were many exiting twists and turns(not really but it makes it sounds like a amazing tournament). Once again I was second seed to Gordon who has a rating (NSWJCLR) of 768, I had 707 and 3rd seed had 600. This was a team tournament so in it I  had my teammates with ratings of 504, 458 and two unrated      
I believe. Anyway as usual I thought the first few round would be a breeze but first round I played an unrated (good news) but then I realised he was really good (bad news). After winning a pawn I traded everytging else of and won a rook and pawn ending. The next few round were easy until the 5th round were normally I have a relativey hard match but not like I'm going to lose. But then I realised all of the people on people scores more or less drew. So suddenly Gordon, 3rd seed (Chanuth) and I were the last ones on a perfect score. So then because of my AMAZING LUCK I got drawn against Gordon in the round were I had black. After a bad sicilian with 3.Bb5+ I got into a bad if not losing. So I did the only thing I could think of, I stared at him. I dont know whether or not it was coincidencial or not but just then he blundered a knight. I looked for about 20 seconds and then I realised, there was no tricks, just a free knight. I realised that I might finally break my curse and most importantly help my team secure victory overall. I ended up winning the game shortly after. The next round my lead extended to a full point after the two people on 4.5/5 lost. So all I needed to do was win my last game. And I did! On a perfect score for the first time since 2012 roughly March I won a tournament. But here comes the bad news. Even after our ream getting 18.5/28 we still came (you guessed it) second place to baulkham hills north on 19.
Moral of the story: When all seems like you will break the curse in some way they up in the heavens manages to bring me to 2nd place. There should be many more updates as I am playing in three tournaments in the holidays. Good bye.
Update: 24/9/2013
In the first tournament of the marathon, I have the inner west challenge. Tomorrow, I will upload the Spring One day tournament run by the NSWJCL and next tuesday I will upload the city of sydney champoinships U/15. But lets get started on the tournament. After my bad run of first round opponents I was hoping so badly that I would get a easier opponent. After E4 E5 (I was black) they played Bc4 and I realised that they were trying for the 4 four move checkmate so I figured it was going to be a relativey easy game... but WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT, I BLUNDERED MY QUEEN. Let me just say that it was horrendous. Luckily I managed to win the material back and ended up winning on time. The next three games were relativey easy in then there were 14 people on 4/4 me being the ninth highest rated, but because the swiss ALWAYS makes sense (that may of had a hint of sarcasm in it) I ended up playing against 1st seed. After coming out of the Scotch classical variation quite well I ended up losing a pawn and going into a rook and pawn ending. While we were in the endgame I lost another pawn, but suddenly...

and just like that I was on 5/5 after beating the highest rated player in the tournament. After this round there were 5 players on 5/5 including Linus. The Good News, me being the lowest rated player got to play against somebody on 4.5/5 The bad news it was my friend Raymond Li with a rating of 833.
So I was on 5/6 the next round though linus also lost his game to Raymond and Raymond went on to win the tournament on 7.5/8 meanwhile my next game was easy to bring me onto 6/7 but then the next game was against 8th seed me being ninth. After a tacticalm skirmish in the middlegame he was up a pawn in a queen and pawn ending. Luckily I was able to trade off queens after winning a pawn. At this point we had two pawns and twenty second on the clock. He went for speed I went for winning the pawns in the end I won both the pawns but drew on time. I like linus finished the tournament on 6.5/8 It came down to who had the better tie-break and it turned out it was me ! Thanx for reading. Here is the address.
Earlier I was in the NSWJCL One day tournament. I did not have any high hopes for this one and was even surprised when I learnt I was 18th seed. The first round was easy but the second round was quite hard but in the end I won. Wouldn't you know it though in the thrid round I got drawn against Rishi Dutta (first seed), to make matters even worse I was black.I was actually in a tied king and pawn ending, I might have been winning until I blundered horribly. That was the second time I lost to Rishi Dutta in a drawn king and pawn ending( I don't think that I need to tell you what place I came). The next three rounds I won relatively easy and in the seventh  round I managed to better a 886 rated player in a king and pawn ending( I am 707 in case you couldn't remember). And suddenly I had chances for a good place being on 6/7 ( Linus was on 6.5 and won the tournament on 7.5/8). In the last round though I was paired up against a over 900 rated player and after blundering the exchange ended up losing. Sorry I don't have much to say on this one. I will upload the standing when they come out. Thanx for reading.