Friday, February 20, 2009

Round One: Shaking the Dust Off

The first round last Friday night was my first rated game in over a year. I have had slow time control games in chess league, but in chess league there is no expectation of playing six games in a weekend. Understanding and modifying your pace after the first game is helpful.

Chris N. and I played. He played Black and we played a French Advanced game. Due to an opening miscalculation, I won the d5 Pawn on move 13. But he had more active and better placed Bishops during the middle and endgame.

Anyways, I lost that game, but I found it helpful. I used too much time in the middlegame, which I think led to a stressful time in the endgame. I used that lesson to adjust my time for the rest of my games, which were much more relaxed as a result, at least time-wise.

Monday, February 16, 2009

She was listening to Taylor Swift; I was listening to the Flaming Lips

This weekend I competed in the Sophomore section of the 116th Annual Minnesota Open. Including this weekend, I have played in it six times since 2003. (I only missed '04 when I was living in Phoenix.)

I had a very enjoyable weekend, and I wanted to share some anecdotes, which may or not be in chronological order.

In round two I sat down to play a girl, who I guessed was younger than my own daughter. As we were both donning on iPods, I asked what she was listening to. (See title again.)

Other than the little smile in recognition of divergent tastes in music, we began our game. She played the English. It turned into a very wild reversed Sicilian variation, in which I was under constant attack. As I expected that she knew these lines well, I was shitting bricks for quite a while. Unlike the game I had played the night before, which was much more balanced, this game was completely about defense for me.

When I finished playing move after accurate move grinding down her attack, we had nothing more than a drawn position. I was relieved to escape this tense game with that draw!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Arts funding in Minnesota

One of my friends informed me about potential cuts to the arts proposed by Governor Pawlenty. Here is one perspective in the University of Minnesota's paper on it.