Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) is facing off against Pentala Harikrishna (IND) in the final at Chichén Itzá.
I heard it predicted on Thursday morning that the final would probably consist of these two men. I am not able to attend the final games this year like I did last year. It is a bit of a disappointment. The problem is that they are playing an hour and a half out of town and I had a few other events today. I will watch it online as much as possible for the final round tonight.
I did grab some audio the other day at the chess tournament but it had a horrible buzz in it. I was not able to salvage anything. Nor did I really get to listen to it. The whole time I was trying to listen a young teenager was trying to be friendly and talk. I hate telling people to buzz off, but I wanted to. Then when my son got through playing his match he took the receiver from me and listened to it himself.
My son finished the tournament with just 2 out of 6 possible points. We did not prepare well for this week and it shows. We did learn though that taking a bit of time to focus on an upcoming tournament can really help your outcome. Maybe the 5 Christmas parties, Tae Kwon Do belt exam and other extra activities this week did not help.
The International Chess Tournament Carlos Torre Repetto in Memoriam started last week. Today was the first day for my son’s age group. He played his first and second rounds. He won the first one and lost the second.
Tomorrow he plays rounds three and four with five and six being on Friday.
Last year’s overall winner, Vassily Ivanchuk, also started his tournament today. Many of the top players are participating in two types of tournaments this week. The first, which started last Saturday, is a standard tournament. Each player plays a set number of rounds and the person with the most points after the end of the week is the winner. The second tournament is called a Wimbledon style tournament. I am not sure of all the rules, but it seems like it is a single or double elimination type event.
It is fun to be around all these Grand Masters, many of whom I do not know anything about, but I am still in awe of their abilities.
This year there is a new service that the tournament is providing. While the big boys play on stage there is a group of people analyzing their games. They are transmitting the analysis through a closed radio transmission. You can listen in while the games are being played. I will try to grab some audio from one of those tomorrow and stick it on the blog. It will most likely be in Spanish, but for a few moments it would be interesting to hear.
UPDATE: I just read that Ivanchuk knocked out Bruzón. They are the two who fought head to head in the championship game last year with Ivanchuk winning. It is too bad they faced each other so early this year. Bruzón was the winner two years ago when Ivanchuk was not able to attend.
Remember about a year ago I mentioned that I was going to quit my day job and play chess full time? That was because I had won $250 (pesos) in a tournament. I was reminded of that this week because we just played that tournament again. Tonight was the awards ceremony for it.
I did not win anything. In fact, besides byes and forfeits, I have not won a single game in a tournament since last year.
My son’s chess club tied for 3rd place in the team competition. He won 2.5 (out of 6) games in that tournament, but it did not get him any prizes this year either. We walked away empty handed. But, we still enjoy the game.
He actually played 2 tournaments this last week. In the second one he won 3.5 games out of a possible 5. That was not quite good enough to place in his division, but he did really well in the tournament.
One of the podcasts I have enjoyed is the Chess is Cool podcast hosted by Alexandra Kosteniuk. She has been on a break way too long. But just last week she released a new episode. In it she talked about a new video podcast that she is now doing. It is called Chess Killer Tips.
While I really don’t watch many video podcasts, this one appeals to me. She is planning to keep the shows short (1 to 3 minutes). It is also much easier to follow chess moves when you can see them as opposed to just hearing the positions read.
If you are into chess at all, then Alexandra has some great tips. She obviously knows what she is talking about since she has been a Grand Master since the age of 14 and is currently ranked #6 in the world for women. Much of her stuff is understandable by the common man. But, some of it is pretty advanced and it takes me much longer to think through it than she gives me time for. With the video podcast it is pretty easy to pause and see the moves as they happen.
I have only watched a couple of episodes so far. She is planning to put a new one out several times a week. I think this is a great tool for anyone wanting to improve their chess skills.
I have been getting a large number of hits to my website through a link provided by the Boylston Chess Club. Their blog linked to a post of mine about chess clocks about a month ago. Since then they have driven more traffic than any other link to my website over the last month.
Thank you Boylston Chess Club. Link to me anytime.