Western Class Champs r1

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The Western Class Champs are an annual continental chess event in Los Angeles. I played this tournament several times 12-14 years ago when I was a developing master, but had not played it recently. This year there are several interesting opponents I can look forward to playing with at some point: GM Khachiyan, IM Zhanibek Amanov, IM Sal Bercys, IM Roman Yankovsky, IM Ray Kaufman, and perhaps my host FM Kostya Kavutskiy who is becoming quite a good player.

But before I could get excited about clashing with the most awesome players, I had to try to win my first round. As at my last couple events, one of my major goals is still to play my best in the first and last round games. I kicked off last night with a reasonable win over International Master Ed Formanek:



Now comes... round 2 of the tournament ;-)

Interesting moment from when I was taking the train down the coast to L.A. (which is highly recommended: it's comfortable, you can plug your gadgets into power supply, and you can see some beautiful scenery, spring flowers were in bloom on the hills!)-- I overheard a man and woman talking, and the man was saying he was riding the train instead of driving his car because it would save him money: $80 for a round trip, vs. $60 for a tank of gas, and it takes him close to two tanks to go both ways. It made me think-- if we raised the price of gas like they do in Europe, it really would cause more people to use the train. Anyway, the Surfliner is definitely the way to go! :-)

[day 2]