Chess Events, Sports, Book, Life
June 22, 2009 • General
Good afternoon to everyone on another completely overcast and miserable day here in New York. It has been some time since I last blogged and this has been due to a variety of reasons. I have also started my preparation for both the World Open and San Sebastian beginning this week, so that is occupying a lot of my time at the present moment. Before I get into all the chess topics which I am sure everyone is anxious to read about, I’d like to start by talking about sports.
First, I was highly impressed with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they came back at 3 different points in the series to beat the Detroit Red Wings. Normally, come June, I have little interest in the playoffs as the teams I root for tend to be long gone. However, along with much of the hockey world, I was glad to see the Wings lose, and for Sid The Kid to get his first ring despite the fact that the true star on the Penguins was Malkin. Overall, kudos to the Pens on a title well deserved. Sadly, despite a great start to the NBA Playoffs involving probably the best opening round series between the Bulls and Celtics, fizzled out considerably towards the end. The Cavaliers who were the clear favourites from the start of the season were completely overmatched against the Magic. Despite Lebron’s great individual performance it was simply not enough to overcome the play from the trio of Turkoglu, Lewis and Howard. In the west, the Lakers had a much tougher road than the Magic, but they were able to turn it on when they got into trouble against both the Rockets and the Nuggets. Although the Lakers beat the Magic 4-1 in the final, the Magic had excellent opportunities to win in games 3 (Love missed the layup at the buzzer) and game 4 (Howard should have hit his free throws). However, I’m sure the young and inexperienced Magic team will learn from the experience and come back as a better team next year. Nevertheless, nothing can be taken away from the Lakers or Phil Jackson who proved that he is the greatest coach of all time and can find ways to win championships even when he doesn’t have a certain player called Michael Jordan on his team. As far as other sporting events go, I was highly disappointed in the final round of the US Open today when Mickelson and Duval came up just short against a couple of random players. Also, I randomly noticed that the US was able to qualify for the semifinals in Soccer, but as I do not follow this sport, I really have nothing to say other than that I am quite convinced they’ll lose once again.
Now onto the more important stuff! I believe that tomorrow, my interview which was conducted on Saturday with John Watson for ChessFM should be appearing on ICC tomorrow. I hope that everyone enjoys the interview as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Much more importantly, I got an invite the other day for Corus-A in January of 2010. Hopefully, I can keep up my good results and make a push at the super elite level of players. As it currently stands, my goal is still to reach 2730 by the end of the year and if I can continue to play well and remain in form, I should have good chances. Anyway, it should be an interesting next half year for me and probably the most important. Stay tuned for my results as I will be playing the World Open 3-day schedule starting July 3rd.
The other big piece of news which I have not mentioned much about is the chess book which I worked on for much of last fall and winter on bullet chess. The title of the book is Bullet Chess: One Minute To Mate, and it is co-authored by myself and Vancouver FM Bruce Harper. I hope that everyone likes it and it is already available for pre-order on Amazon. The current release date is set for September 3rd, 2009 and I hope that it interests people. Here is the actual link itself. http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Chess-One-Minute-Mate/dp/1888690674/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245712290&sr=8-1
That is all for now. If anyone reading this blog is at the World Open, don’t mind saying hello!