May 17, 2008 • General
Hello everyone! It has been far too long since I last blogged so now seems to be an apt time for one. Recently, I have been enjoying life in Vancouver as I mentioned before with very little to no chess. Although for those who are interested, I did indeed do a simul in Richmond, BC scoring 35 wins and 2 draws against a field of 37 players. For further information and pictures go to the site http://www.bjdy.com/juniorchess/GM_simul.html
Onto the US Championship, it seems that many people have been asking me why I am not playing in it. Although there are a plethora of reasons, as I blogged several months ago this weekend marks the end of my brothers college career as he will be graduating from UPenn – Wharton School of Business. Throughout my life, chess has been the driving force and having missed both my brothers middle school and high school graduation due to tournaments, this is the final opportunity to spend time with him before he also moves off in his own direction with life. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and may you always be blessed with good fortune.
As far as the US Championship itself goes in terms of the competition, I am amazingly stunned at how incredibly bad the level of play has been. With the exception of some stellar play from Onischuk, none of the players have really impressed me. Shabalov continues his usual shaky form of making ridiculous blunders early in swiss events, however, I do not think he will be able to come back and win this particular event. The other player who seems to be playing atrocious chess is Gulko who is blundering left and right like there is no tomorrow. My prediction is that Onischuk will win this event unless Shulman plays exceptionally well. There are still many rounds to go and anything can happen though.
As I mentioned before, I have not played a tournament game in 1 1/2 months, but I will be returning to the board very shortly for the Chicago Open which starts on May 23rd. Recently, I have started returning to studying and playing ICC. For anyone who is interested, whenever my ICC rating starts getting above 3500 consistently it means I am getting ready for tournament play. After this, I will be playing the French League Part III in beautiful Paris, followed by the National Open in Las Vegas. I have actually won my last six tournaments in the state of Nevada, and I hope to continue this trend in June. Following this slew of tournaments, I will not be playing again until the World Open in early July. As of this point in time I do not have any tournaments planned after the World Open until October. Hopefully I get an invite to Biel, but I am not holding my breath.
Life in general has been extremely good for me lately as I have been doing well in Vancouver, Canada. Many people have recently started asking me whether I plan to defect to Canada; at this point I still remain a player for the US. However, this may change at some point unless there is a sudden change in the US chess scene. That is all for now, however if there are any New Yorkers reading this blog, please note that if you wish to see me, I will probably be out in Washington Square Park hustling next Thursday.