December 29, 2011 • Blog
I know that it has been a long time since I added a proper blog, and with the new website up, now is as a good a time as any to start again.
In September while competing in the Kings vs. Queens event in St. Louis, I was approached by one of the players on the queens team, Martha Fierro who invited me to play in the 54th Reggio Emilia tournament. At the time, I did not immediately accept the invitation as I already was looking at a very busy schedule with the Tal Memorial, London Chess Classic and Wijk aan Zee coming up. However, I ultimately chose to play as you never know when there will or will not be tournaments to play in. A good example is Vladimir Kramnik who does not have another event to compete in until June or July.
Prior to playing here, the only previous experience I have had with chess in Italy was when, at the age of young age of 17 (so, so long ago), I competed in the 37th Chess Olympiad held in Turin. Playing on board three for the US team behind Kamsky and Onischuk, we would go on to finish in 3rd place and take home the bronze medal. With such positive and nostalgic memories of Italy, it is almost hard to not enjoy being back once again. I have not had the opportunity to explore the city, but it seems like a fairly small and quiet town with very good food.
Lest I forget, there has actually been some chess being played! So far, I have gotten off to a good start with a first round victory against Vitiugov followed by draws against Caruana and Morozevich. Currently, I am a 1/2 point behind Morozevich, but there are still seven rounds to go and everyone has a chance still.