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Via Cappuccino, May 2013

Via Cappuccino, May 2013

May 21, 2013, 12:26 PM 1
Via Cappuchinno, May 2013

This event was yet another reminder of the turbulent times chess in North Carolina finds itself in, at least from my perspective.  Only a few weeks ago, Jeff Jones announced he would no longer be organizing tournaments, which probably means an end to the Enchillada series and another drought for tournaments in the Raleigh area in general.  Locally, Via Cappuchino had been the defacto meeting place for all things chess in Rocky Mount.  Earlier this year, the owner announced that he was closing up shop and moving out of state.  There had been hope that he would be able to sell off the buisness and we could continue our traditions.  With time running out, the possiblity of this happening seems bleak.  The question then, and most of the discussion outside of the tournament this past weekend was where do we go from here.  I'm certain we will be able to relocate the club to another location, it's just a matter of deciding which buisness would appreciate having us there (and which one we would want to patronize).

Until then, we have this tournament and the one planned for August to enjoy.  I use these tournaments much like my correspondence games, to tweak my game.  Since these are G/20 (no delay or increment!), I don't take them too seriously, but I do notate them as much as I can so I can learn from them.  With the reduced time, I have to play more intuitively in the openings and it's a great way to test how well my selections blend with my natural tendencies.  My finally getting serious about learning openings has shown itself in this format moreso than anywhere else.  Early game play for me now seems effortless in this format and leaves me more time in the middle game for calculations (still not nearly enough time though, LOL).

There were only 10 players for this one, so it was one section with awards for 1st, 2nd and top scholastic.  Based on rating, I was the top player in the field and I think, by rating, I ended up with the hardest schedule.  I ended up taking first with 4.5 of 5, giving Bethany (Gordon's daughter) a draw in round 4 (a remarkably quiet and mistake free game, BTW).  I had a slight positional edge moving into the endgame, but it was going to be a complex rook/pawn ending and both of us were starting to press for time.  I had a half point lead on 2nd place and didn't see the need to risk that trying to win this game.  I decided to just go ahead and get out of this game and carry my lead into round 5.  I would end up, not only winning round 5, but doing so with some nice combinations!  I also knew that I had played all higher rated players and would have nothing less than the expectation of a win in the last round.  To her credit though, I gave her plenty of opprotunites to give me the game early on, but she played a very safe and solid game.

So here are my 5 games from this tournament.  Considering this is G/20 with no delay, I try not to get too technical or critical, but I also want to include some of the missed opprotunites...for both sides.

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