To win at World Open, avoid strong opponents

To win at World Open, avoid strong opponents

GM dretch
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Jul 16, 2013

In this year's World Open I faced surprisingly weak opposition compared to past years. When I played in the Open section in 2010 and 2011, I faced boatloads of grandmasters (7 and 6 respectively). This time, I didn't play any GMs until round 7! An...

Endgame incompetence!

Endgame incompetence!

GM dretch
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May 27, 2013

 When the board is thick with pieces, I usually know what to do; it is simple for me. But as the armies are decimated, I become confused and lost. This pattern has occured in many of my past games, but my performance in the Chicago Open was truly ...

Two Winning Habits at US Championship

Two Winning Habits at US Championship

GM dretch
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May 17, 2013

I recently competed in the U.S. Championship from May 3-12. It was held at the St. Louis Chess Club which as usual provided excellent conditions. Congrats to Gata Kamsky for winning; Alejandro Ramirez for tying for 1st in the classical games; Kayd...

Final Four

Final Four

GM dretch
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Apr 13, 2013

I played for the University of Texas at Dallas at the President's Cup, or Final Four of Chess. The qualifiers were the 4 US teams who finished highest at the Pan-American Intercollegiate tourament. Teams can have up to 6 players, four of whom play...

Recovery from series of bad games

Recovery from series of bad games

GM dretch
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Mar 20, 2013

The University of Texas at Dallas chess program has one training tournament in each semester. Usually it has been a round robin, but this time it was an open tournament, held on March 9-13. Thirteen Grandmasters were playing. In rounds 1 and 2 I w...

Texas Masters ends in 4-way tie

Texas Masters ends in 4-way tie

GM dretch
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Feb 28, 2013

On February 15-17 I played at a 5-round tournament called the Texas Masters, which was held at the Dallas Chess club.  I tied for first with 3 other players: GM Cristian Chirila (against whom I won in round 3), IM Darwin Yang (drew in round 4), a...

When the King Leads the Charge

When the King Leads the Charge

GM dretch
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Jan 31, 2013

Sometimes, when you are trying to checkmate the opposing king, you find that all your queens, bishops, knights, rooks, and pawns aren't enough. Therefore, the king must be enlisted to increase the pressure. In my database I encountered an enterta...

Victory for UTD at Pan-Ams

Victory for UTD at Pan-Ams

GM dretch
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Jan 1, 2013

On December 27-30 I played in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championship.  I was on the University of Texas at Dallas A team. In each round we played a 4-board match against a team from some other university, or in the case of round 5, ou...

dretch's Training Regimen, or lack thereof

dretch's Training Regimen, or lack thereof

GM dretch
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Nov 30, 2012

Oftentimes chessplayers will feel that they hit a wall in their chess development, or simply want to improve faster. So a question that many like to ask to grandmasters is, "What do you do to get better at chess?" There is no secret ingredient for...

Playing in US Chess League

Playing in US Chess League

GM dretch
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Oct 6, 2012

This year is my second year playing for the Dallas Destiny team in the US Chess League. It is an online league where the games are played at chess.com this year, or at least the ones I've been involved in so far are. Currently we are first place i...

World Junior part 2

World Junior part 2

GM dretch
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Aug 22, 2012

The last 5 rounds of the World Junior did not go well for me. I did manage to win against Mark Lapidus, who was rated only 2129, in round 9. But after that I couldn't win any more games. In round 10 I lost with white to GM Alexander Ipatov represe...

World Junior

World Junior

GM dretch
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Aug 11, 2012

I'm representing the US right now at the World Junior (under 20) Championship in Athens. I have 6/8 so far and there are still 5 rounds to go. Today was the first day that I played against a Grandmaster; in previous rounds I always played a lower-...

How to draw the endgame down a queen

How to draw the endgame down a queen

GM dretch
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May 31, 2012

Recently I played in the Chicago Open. I did not play many good games, so instead I will show one where I managed to escape with a draw after ruining my position.    The following position is a theoretical draw: As you can see, the defense hin...

Some thoughts on my Deathmatch

Some thoughts on my Deathmatch

GM dretch
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May 15, 2012

Since I've finished finals at UTD and gone back to Kansas now, I am finally going to write a blog about the chess.com deathmatch. I played it on April 28 against Eric Hansen, a fellow member of the UTD chess team. After a couple of weeks the games...

GM title complete

GM title complete

GM dretch
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Mar 25, 2012

Over Spring Break I played at the latest UTD (University of Texas at Dallas) invitational tournament in Richardson, Texas. The format was a Scheveningen and you can google the tournament if you want to know more about it. Going into the tournament...

An International Tournament?

An International Tournament?

GM dretch
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Mar 4, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a tournament with Grandmasters from 7 federations. Yes, that is counting only the GMs. Why didn't you hear about such a big international event? Well, that's actually just a weekend Swiss in Texas. The tour...

Dispersing a storm cloud over my king

Dispersing a storm cloud over my king

GM dretch
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Feb 7, 2012

I'm going to blog about something today, so I thought it would be interesting to examine an entertaining position from an old game that I played. With White I reached the following position:                               Whoa! T...

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