Saturday, October 14, 2006

Twin Cities Chess League, Round Two

On Friday night, Tal Tales (Kelly, myself, John, and Blaine) took on Isolated Pawn Storm (Dan, Shawn, Matt, and Duane) in the second round of the TCCL. As I referred to in earlier postings, we were outgunned rating wise on each board.

Board One: Dan (
1949) v Kelly (1295)
Board Two: M
e (1287) v Shawn (1900)
Board Three: Matt (1525) v John (1106)
Board Four: Blaine (provisional) v Duane (1521)

I half-jokingly told John and Blaine that it was going to be up to them for us to get a draw in the match, as boards one and two would be a really bitch for Kelly and me. (Dan is Kelly's and John's coach.) I've played Dan and Shawn before, and they are tough players. I knew what we'd be in for.

Duane had the shortest game and lost to Duane within the first half-hour. (The matches are G/90). Kelly and Dan had a pretty interesting game. Dan played the exchange version of the Ruy Lopez (C68). I did not have a chance to pay attention to most of it, but it looked like a good battle. However, Kelly resigned.

So now it was up to me and John. I had a rough game against Shawn. He played the Alekhine's Defense against my 1. e4. The beginning went 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. c4 Nb6 4. Nf3 d6 5. d3??? (I've played against the Alekhine's before, so I don't know why I played the horsecrap d3. There is no way I should play the sharp c4 followed by the passive and weakening (to my position) d3. d4 is a key square. By not pushing to d4, I left a big hole in my position for Shawn to take advantage of, which he did. (I'll post the whole game later.) Anyways, that game ended up as a miniature, with Shawn checkmating me in 22 moves.

So, with my game finished, we have lost the match. John, however, is undettered, and is playing a great game against Matt. He remained focused, had at least 12-15 minutes more on his clock than Matt, and had a sweet position. I was pretty sure he would win the game if he kept it up. I watched for a little bit before following Kelly out in the hall.

I said, "Win or lose, John is playing like a m--f--ing stud!" We were talking about the game with Dan and Duane, trying to figure out which way their game was going to go. I said that I thought John would win, although he played a sub-optimal move that could have given Matt a chance to recover.

However, John kept his grip on the board, Matt had severe time trouble, and John mated him. Great game!

I am really proud of our team, despite losing 1-3. I am not sure yet who we will be playing next month, but I feel like we will have a good match.

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