Year of the Horse 2014

A total of 20 players participated in the Year of the Horse Swiss. Although a short affair with only three rounds, there was plenty of action. The leader after 2 rounds, Colin, was unfortunately not able to play in the last round, and so the top board featured Chris Brooks and Ernie Johnson.

Ernie triumphed, and in doing so captured sole first place (2.5 points). Robert Simmons (2/3) took 2nd on tiebreaks.

I have the Johnson – Brooks game, and will post it along with some others shortly. If you have any other games from this tournament you’d like to share, please send them to me.

Special congrats to Colin for making 1900, I’d like to welcome newcomer Adrien Cadwallader, who beat a class C player in his very first USCF game!

See the USCF for the full crosstable.

Year of the Horse standings

After two rounds, Colin Denniston has the only perfect score, and sits alone in first place (2/2). A logjam follows at 1.5, with Chris Brooks, Scott Strattner, Courtney Denniston, Ernie Johnson, and David Antonucci. It was a very nice turnout on Monday, considering the weather.

Unfortunately a work commitment means that I will not be able to TD the final round, but thankfully Dr. Fisher will be taking over.

year of the horse standings

Old triumphs over the Young

The fourth annual generational battle, Young vs Old, was played on Monday (Jan 20th). Twelve players, split up based on birth date into 6 player teams, competed in a one G/75 match to determine whether the decrepit elders could hold off the vigorous striplings for one more year.

The result should bring joy to the hearts of the grey, as Old took the match by a dominating 5.5/6. The only blemish to this near perfect feat was due to Dr. Fisher taking a draw against Antonucci. I would not normally take time to mention this in a bad light, but since Craig thought I was 10 years older than I am, I felt the urge to point out his disappointing result.

Pairings (White listed first, asterisk indicates Old), rating difference (+ sign indicates advantage to Old), and result:

Board 1: *Strattner (1980)     vs     Kulick (1939)     +41     1-0 (see below for the game)

Board 2: Antonucci (1883)   vs     *Fisher (1818)     -65      1/2-1/2

Board 3: *Jafary (1754)   vs    Rosa (1734)    +20     1-0

Board 4: Woeckener (933P)   vs    *Oliveras (1704)    +771      0-1

Board 5: * O’Connor (1681)    vs    Gould (1473P)     +208     1-0

Board 6: Weigand (Unr)     vs     *Orcutt (1257P)     +N/A     0-1

Before I forget, I’d like to welcome John Weigand to the club! He will be playing on the Young team for a long long time, but I’m sure his rating will quickly climb him to the upper boards.

The board 1 match-up promised to be intense, and I certainly went through a range of emotions when playing. I am not including this to show off a sparkling win (it was not), but rather to demonstrate multiple gotchas that can affect us all.

1. When you have worked hard to achieve an advantage, do not fall asleep. There are dangers hiding around every corner, especially when the opponent still has his queen.

2. When disaster strikes, take a deep breath and try your best to fight through. Tartakower said that the winner makes the next to last mistake, so work hard to make sure that isn’t your opponent.

3. When victory is at hand, sit on your hands. Unless the clock is ticking down the final seconds, you have time to double-check your variation and make sure you play it in the right order.

4. Don’t be ashamed to enforce the rules of tournament chess – sometimes it can help to rectify what feels like a karmic implosion.

Summary of the game: White does well to get an advantage, then Black finds a nice resource to turn the tables in an instant. Resignation is in White’s future, until Black touches the wrong piece.

Deep Freeze results

Fourteen players competed in the first tournament of 2014. A welcome harbinger of a fruitful year? Or did people just want to get out of the cold and warm up by the radiators in room 104 of Rockefeller Hall? In either case, it led to a good group of players competing in the Deep Freeze Swiss.

Four rounds, two games a night, at G/25 + 3 second delay (to ensure that it would be Quick rated only). I feel like I’m missing something…what is it..oh yes! Who won!?

Running through the field like Eddie Lacy (I was going to give a Giants or Jets running back, but neither team has a very good one), Ernie Johnson took first place with a perfect 4/4. He will be presented with a trophy for his efforts. Second place (3/4) goes to Scott Strattner, and Michael Mendez edged out Antonucci and Evans on tiebreaks for third place (2.5/4).

Join us on Jan 20th for the generational grudge match, Young vs Old.

Deep Freeze halftime report

After two rounds of the Deep Freeze Swiss (G/25 + 3 sec delay), top seed Ernie Johnson and Dr. Craig Fisher are the only ones with a perfect score. Eleven players are participating (so far); new players are welcome to show up on Monday (1/13), and can receive one 1/2 point bye.

Deep Freeze round 2 standings

2014 Schedule posted

Not much to say, except that the 2014 schedule (covering January through March, including the Dutchess County Championship) is now posted. You know where to find it, right?

Copies of the schedule will be available at the club, for those who don’t have internet access and can’t see this. Of course if you can’t see this, you won’t know the schedule will be there. Just show up and don’t worry about these chess paradoxes.

Winter Swiss results

Seventeen players participated in the last tournament of the year, the three round (G/75 + d/5) Winter Swiss. Among the players were two newcomers to USCF chess, Seamus Gould and Gautam Mekkat. Welcome to tournament chess and Vassar-Chadwick, and I hope we see more of you at the club next year!

Dan Rosa and Brittany Denniston both ended up with 2.5 points, with Dan squeaking by on tiebreaks for first place. Both will be receiving a well-deserved trophy, to be presented at our next tournament (January 6th).

The tournament submission to the USCF is being delayed due to certain membership issues, but here’s the final standings from SwissSys:

winter swiss final

Turkey Quick Quad and end of year announcement

It was a small turnout, but just enough to field a quad. Scott, David, George, and Michael Mendez participated. When the dust had settled, there was a 3-way tie for first place (Scott, David, Michael), with 2 point apiece. None of the available tiebreak methods helped, which tends to happen in an event where everyone plays each other. The TD, in consultation with David, decided that the first place trophy should go to Michael; as the lowest rated participant, his result was most impressive.

The trophy will be presented prior to the last round of the Winter Swiss (12/16), which starts tonight. The Winter Swiss is our final tournament of 2013, and is a G/75;d/5 regular-rated event. As a reminder, our club will not meet the final two weeks of December (12/23 and 12/30). The 2014 Winter/Spring schedule will be published in the next couple weeks; input is welcome, so send your requests to