Recap of the 20th Arkport Open

I competed in the 20th Arkport Open this past weekend. I’m going to take an excerpt from my previous post about the 19th Arkport Open:

This tournament has a special place in my chess career because it was the first “big” tournament that I played in when I returned to chess SEVEN [sic. EIGHT] years ago.

This year there was a four-way tie for first place. I secured a spot along with three other strong players from the Rochester, NY area. The cross-table is available on the USCF site. Among the first place finisher was last years champion Daniel Johnston. Finishing with 3.5/4 was a good achievement for me. I haven’t been playing as often as I have in the past so each game means a bit more to me than it used to.

I’m always bemused when someone I know, or don’t know, tells me that they read this blog. I had an incident in Arkport that I found hilarious and felt I had to share. I was speaking to a friend from the chess center, apparently he hadn’t seen my blog before. He relayed to me this little

Him: “I stumbled onto your blog the other day. Spent around 30 minutes there… what a waste of time!”

We had a good laugh at that. Another glowing endorsement from my loyal readers :D.

Before we examine some games I wanted to show some photos. I took more photos this year than I did last year:

The first round was not my best effort. I gave my opponent too many chances. He missed the best continuations and eventually I after a lot of puttering around. My technique this game was pitiful:

The next game I played was a far smoother affair. I was initially annoyed with my pairing; my opponent is a strong player and can beat anyone on a good day. I was hoping for someone easier after my first round misery. The good news, for me anyhow, is that my opponent walked into some home analysis. I waited three of four years to spring this on someone and I finally got my chance! After obtaining a good position my opponent blundered:

My third game was a difficult affair. My opponent challenged me right out of the opening. Somehow I got tricked into playing a variation of the French that I didn’t know at all. At some point I got the impression that my opponent didn’t want to continue playing this game. I offered him a draw that he accepted. During the game I was pessimistic about my position:

My final game was a gem. Thinking about it now brings me great pleasure and glee. I got to pretend to be my latest hero, David Bronstein for a game. If you haven’t read the sorcerer’s apprentice put it on your list; it’s amazing. Without further ado, I present to you my loyal readers; my favorite game of 2015 (thus far):

Thanks once again to Fred Harris and Ron Lohrman for organizing the Arkport Open. I enjoyed playing and hope that next time more of you will show up.

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