US Chess League Match 3
September 11, 2008 • General
Greetings to everyone from sunny Vancouver! Last night I played my first game for the Seattle Sluggers in the US Chess League. When I played last year for the New York Knights, I must admit that it did not go particularly well as I started out with a loss against GM-elect Vinay Bhat. After that traumatic loss in my first round, I never really was able to get on track as I only won 1 game against IM Eli Vovsha and drew the rest. One of the major issues which I found at the time was that playing on a computer made it much more difficult to focus and I tended to treat the games less seriously. Therefore, I made a conscious decision to not play solely on the computer this year. Fortunately, Seattle has DGT boards which allow players to make moves on a normal board while being relayed to ICC.
In the first game of the season for me, I was paired against GM Joel Benjamin with White. I started off with 1.g3 and we reached a relatively standard position after about 7 moves. The game then took a rather unusual turn of events with queens coming off the board on move 12. After this, the game was fairly balanced, however, I especially disliked Benjamin’s moves 15…exf4 (I would have preferred 15…g6 and then 16…Nb6 17.b4 after which I think I have a nice advantage. Better would have been 16..g6. For further analysis on the game, look forward to my analysis in Northwest Chess. After reaching this position, Benjamin proceeded to fall apart and lost. So we were up 1-0 in the match, only to realize to my horror that IM Tangborn was in a dogfight against GM Gulko while our board 4 Josh Sinanan was completely lost against FM Lian. As it would turn out Sinanan got a very lucky draw while FM Readey also drew in a slightly better position against GM Molner. So it all came down to the board 2 game between GM Gulko and IM Tangborn. Unfortunately as time pressure loomed, Tangborn slowly got squeezed and lost. Nevertheless after some rather stupid predictions by Sharma and Adamson, we cannot be too upset with a draw in the match. Hopefully, we can improve from here and start winning matches! Go Sluggers!