Seattle City Championships 2015

Seattle City Championships 2015

WCM mkkuhner
Jul 26, 2015, 9:55 PM |

(Photo #57752 courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives.)

I don't think anyone notices who ends up as the Seattle City Champion:  it's just an excuse for another local tournament. 

In round 1 a young Expert sacrificed a piece against me:

The master sitting next to me apparently was following my game rather closely, because as soon as my opponent and I went into the skittles room to analyze it, he popped in to tell me I should have taken the bishop!  I think I analyzed only far enough to see that I'd lose the piece back, and not far enough to assess the resulting position.

The next game, against a young 1800 player, featured Black getting everything they could ever want out of the Positional Winawer.  Unfortunately I was White....

Game three, however, is one I will remember for a long time. Games like this remind me why I love chess--even while I was almost surely losing, I was enjoying it immensely.

In round 4 I walked into an opening debacle in the Closed Tarrasch variation of the French against a 1600 player, made even more frustrating because I had seen that he had a strong response to my move, and impulsively played it anyway.  I fought for a long time down a piece for two pawns, but couldn't pull it out.

In the final round, still somewhat shaken by how difficult the other games had been, I faced a small, hyper child who was rated a bit above me.

My results were nothing special, and the upset loss stung, but the third and fifth games were so interesting and exciting that I didn't really mind.  Even more than in the 1980's, though, my playing style seems to involve being in horrific danger almost every game, no matter the opponent.  I started to think whether there was anything I could do to fix this.  Learn the Closed Tarrasch and the Positional Winawer, that seemed like a start.... but I have never studied openings very rigorously, even when I was an Expert, and this plan remained mere talk for quite some time.