Dojo Tournaments!
photo of Wijk aan Zee tournament from

Dojo Tournaments!

IM dpruess

Through ChessDojo, we have been running a steady stream of opportunities for people to practice playing chess, through casual tournaments. At least once per week, we have a rapid tournament, or match, and there have also been blitz tournaments and simultaneous exhibitions. Today I would like to announce a couple changes to our tournament schedule for this week, and invite everyone to a special event, but first, I have something lovely to share from this weekend's tournament.

The interruption of my children's school/daycare interrupted my posting of Beauty Prizes for some time, but we at least managed to keep the weekly tournaments running. And there have been many great games, as celebrated for example in my end of year stream looking at some Dojo highlights.

But there was a particularly sparkling game played in yesterday's Rapid tournament, which made me vow to myself it would be posted, as this game is both exceptionally beautiful and a perfect teaching game. As luck would have it, I coincidentally have a few hours of childcare today, so here I present to you AAAAAAARON's masterpiece.

This game shows how to transfer a superior central position into a kingside attack, in a fairly open game (several pawns traded). Whereas in a closed game (no pawns traded), an attack may proceed very slowly, with a gradual massing of pieces in one area, or a time-consuming pawn storm, in an open game, it is rare to be given much time by your opponent, as their pieces can occupy the center and thus defuse many an attack. So, AAAAAARON's game illustrates the need to be quick, and to "use the initiative," namely to use constant threats to keep the opponent from improving their position, or responding as they'd like to your plans.

I hope you enjoyed, learned, or both from this game. I certainly found it a delight to watch live.

This week, we have two different tournaments. (full schedule of our scheduled streams can be found here). First, we have a pair of blitz tournaments being run at the opposite time of day from our usual-- Tuesday night at 9:15 pm pacific followed by 11:00 pm pacific, which will be morning in Europe/Africa/Asia.

Next, we will have a rapid championship tournament, open to all ratings. Lately we have been dividing our tournaments into 3 sections by rating so people mostly play people of their own rating. But for this event, we are upping the rounds from 4 to 8, meaning one or two mismatches by rating, will still leave players with a lot of very competitive games, and meaning a large field can still determine clear 1st-2nd-3rd places. This event will last just over 4 hours, and will run Friday from 10 am to 2:15 pm pacific time. There is no entry fee, just like in all our other events, but it will determine a current Dojo rapid champion, and will provide a couple Dojo prizes like a game with a Sensei, a game of yours analyzed by a Sensei, or a private lesson with a Sensei. It will be the typical 15+5 time control used in our weekly rapids and most of our team matches. It should be special, testing your endurance a bit as well as your chess skills, and I encourage everyone to participate.

As with all our tournaments, these events are casual-- you can drop in to play 2 games and then withdraw if that's what you feel like or what you have time for. I will provide commentary and analysis during the event, and try to answer some questions before and after.