Friday, March 27, 2015

Club Championship Wrapup Quick Report

Twenty five players 37 games.  One Champion, Ben Caiello, goes 4.5/5.

Congrats to Big Ben on his repeat!

Ian "For whom the" Bell "tolls" takes clear second with 3.5 points.

Tied for third with 3 points
Sam Copeland
James MacDougall
Mark Woodman

Top U1600 Richard "Kilo" Watts

Top U1200 Mark Woodman

Full Crosstable here

Board 1 Game
James MacDougall vs Ben Caiello

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Round 4 Little room for Error

Drawn games are sometimes more scintillating than any conclusive contest. - S. Tartakower

Twelve players competed in Round 4 of the Columbia Chess Club Championship.  Leader Ben Caiello and Gil Homes had requested byes which allowed a little ground to be claimed by the pack of wolves following closely.

On board 1, familiar foes Keith Eubanks and James MacDougall paired off and played a highly competitive game as both were still in the hunt for the Championship.
Board 1 Game

On board 2, Ian Bell and Sam Copeland played a French.  Board 3 matched Adam Shaw and Robert Folts against each other.  The top 3 boards all ended in draws after much maneuvering and thought.

On the other three boards, the Black side claimed the point in each.
Mark Woodman claimed the point from Ed Stewart.

Richard Watts defeated Jared Whiting and David Stoner claimed victory against Birney Blind in a very tight contest.

After round 4 Ben Caiello is atop the tournament with 3.5 points.  James MacDougall is in sole second place with 3 points, which will setup an exciting 5th round battle between the two.  Can James MacDougall claim the point and the title?  Ben Caiello clinches with a Win or a Draw.

Five players follow with 2.5 points.

Leaders for the U1600 prize are Ian Bell and Richard Watts with 2.5 points
Josh Goley, 2.5 points, is in the lead for the U1200 award with Mark Woodman in second with 2 points.

Full Crosstable is here

It should be a very exciting Round 5 on March 26th.  Confirm your entries by 7:15 to be counted.

No club meeting on April 2nd.

Haste is never more dangerous than when you feel that victory is in your grasp.-Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

Friday, March 13, 2015

Round 3, A most exciting Round!

The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. - S. Tartakower

Eighteen members suited up for battle over the board in Round 3 of the Columbia Chess Club Championship while a handful gathered in the skittles room for blitz and to watch and kibitz about the fireworks.   Full crosstable here

On Board 1, the leaders matched up in what turned out to be one of the most exciting games the club has seen in a while, arguably ever.  Ben Caiello(2115) and Keith Eubanks(2069) started a quiet with a quiet Pirc opening and finished with a tactical flurry of piece sacrifices.  When the smoke cleared Caiello claimed the point after sacrificing no less than both rooks and a promoted queen and Eubanks giving up a bishop and a Queen!  With so much carnage, spectators were taking cover to avoid being collateral damage.

Board 1 Slugfest

On Board 2, Gil Holmes(1739) pulled a huge upset by defeating Sam Copeland(2303).  The game was an Alekhine's Defense by Copeland and Holmes created two Octopus Knights deep in enemy territory.
Board 2

Board 3 hosted James MacDougall(2017) against Adam Shaw's(1879) French Defense. MacDougall took home the point after pulling another one from his bag of tricks.  His choice was a Larsen type setup with 2.b3  and later following up with g4?! and h4.  An interesting setup to the bastion of the French Defense.
Board 3

Ian Bell(1588) took down Marty Anderson(1139), Shaun McCoy(1382) defeated Jared Whiting(1045) and Brandon Jordan(1648) returned to the board to defeat David Stoner(1643).

Richard Watts(1257) grabbed a piece for a pawn then battened down the hatches to hang on against Ron Tims(1459) initiative.

After a bare knuckle donnybrook erupted for majority of the round, Ed Stewart(949) and Birney Blind(1106) drew and agreed to settle it another day.

Although not the tactical melee as board 1, the Mark Woodman(995)- Josh Goley(1190) brewhaha on board 6 was just as exciting.  A play by play man might say, Woodman mate threat, Goley to 1 second on the clock finds only move.  Oh my! Woodman mate threat Goley down to 1 second on the clock finds only move.  Woodman moved to remove only defender and allows Goley counter play with checks. In the end Goley promted a pawn and then gobbled up Woodman's remaining pawn before executing fine technique leading to mate.

Current leaders after 3 rounds
Ben Caiello 3 points. James MacDougall and Gil Holmes 2.5 points.
U1600 Ian Bell, Shaun McCoy 2 points Richard Watts 1.5
U1200 Josh Goley 2 points, Marty Anderson, Jared Whiting, and Mark Woodman, Ed Stewart with 1 point.

The Champion is still to be decided with 2 more rounds and some interesting match ups to be played.
Join the fun in Round 4 on March 19. Reserve your spot by 7:15 pm to be counted.

Chess is a matter of delicate judgement, knowing when to punch and how to duck. - Robert J. Fischer  

A passed pawn increase in strength as the number of pieces on the board diminishes. - J. R. Capablanca

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Round 2 a Big Barn Burner

With familiar faces old and new, Twenty -Two players brought their "A" game for Round 2 of the Columbia Chess Club Championship.  With so many byes in round 1 the pairings looked on paper as many mismatches rating-wise but the fighting spirit was in full force.  In the end, all the higher rateds won, with one draw but that doesn't tell the full story of how hard and well the underdogs played.
Current Crosstable is here.

On Board 1, Ben Caiello(2115), fresh off his 5-0 performance at the SC State Scholastic Championship, defeated up and comer Josh Goley(1140) to stay in the lead and move to 2-0.

On Board 2, Marty Anderson(1139) put up a tremendous battle against Keith Eubanks(2069) but finally succumbing to the stronger player.  This game looked like a draw early on then better for black and in the end Keith claimed victory moving to 2-0 to keep pace with the defending champion.

James MacDougall(2017), returned to rated play determined not to falter and quickly equaled up as black in a tame Sicilian, then never gave up the initiative against Daniel Smith(1404).  Sam Copeland(2303) pulled the King's Gambit from his bag of tricks and claimed the point against a determined David Stoner(1643).

Adam Shaw(1879) welcomed stalwart club member Mike Mayfield(1391) back to the club by exerting the power of the bishops and moving to 1.5 points.   Coming off a near upset in week one, Richard Watts(1257) could not deter Gil Holmes(1739) from his goal in round 2, also moving to Round 2.

Shaun McCoy(1382) returned to the club and played a fine game against a higher rated Robert Folts(1735).  In the end, after a minor piece and pawns endgame the game ended in a draw, the only of the night.

Runner up SC State Scholastic Champion Ian Bell(1588) defeated Ed Stewart(949).  David Boyd(1368), playing with black returned to the club to defeat Luke Copeland(617).  Mark Woodman(995) bounced back from a round 1 loss to defeat new club member Tim Watkins and Jared Whiting(1045) defeated a talented new member in Olivia Watkins.

Current leaders after 2 rounds with much chess to be played.
Ben Caiello and Keith Eubanks 2 points
U1600 Ian Bell, Shaun McCoy, David Boyd with 1 point
U1200 Josh Goley, Marty Anderson, Jared Whiting, and Mark Woodman with 1 point.

Round 3 continues the tournament on March 12.  Reserve your spot by 7:15 pm to be counted.

As a highlight to the fighting spirit I will recycle a post form 2010. This was submitted by Donny Gray and originally published in the TN Chess News. Donny gave me permission to share this. It may give you a better outlook next time you play someone much higher rated that you.

When playing someone that is vastly higher rated than you it is very easy to get discouraged and almost be defeated before you even move one pawn. There is the other side of this subject as well. What about when you are the higher-rated player in this situation? Then you have the tendency to play fast and careless.

But the truth is that anyone can play way over their head on occasion. You just have to forget ratings and go for it!At the recent TN Senior Open my 2nd round game had all the above and then some. Most likely in all my tournaments my 2nd round opponent was the lowest player I have ever played. If I have played others in his rating range I have forgotten. - Donny Gray