Monday, February 4, 2013

College of Idaho v. WRHS

2013 College of Idaho Invitational 
Over Winter Break at the 2012 Family and Friends Tournament, Kitt Connor and I organized an invitational chess tournament between the College of Idaho Chess Club (formerly Albertson's College) and the WRHS Chess Club.  On February 2, we set out in thick fog from the Wood River valley to Caldwell.  On the way I thought of my chess friend, Jeff Roland and decided to see if he would also like to play in this tournament with us.  I was only able to muster four players from our club as WRHS Debate, wrestling, and the robotics team already sequestered my chess players.  Desmond, our highest rated player, agreed to work so that he could get time off for the Idaho Closed coming up February 16-18.  So I was worried that we would not bring enough competitiveness for the college students.  
Me and Kitt Connor (my former student) get to play a game (Wow, my hair used to be black!).
Kitt Connor used to be the WRHS Chess Club President and is a long time friend of mine from those early days when he was in high school.  I am very glad that he is still active in chess.  This past year, as a senior at the College of Idaho in engineering and mathematics, he formed the first formal chess club and was able to secure funding for clocks, boards, and tournament supplies.  He also organized this invitational tournament this last weekend.  

Seven College of Idaho students and my three high school students and one middle schooler squared off for a 5-round, swiss tourney.  Riley Clark and Dylan Porth were my only experienced players with Anna and Andre Murphy newcomers that were trying to gain experience in tournament play.  The WRHS team of four competed the previous weekend in the West Jordan Scholastic tournament and obtained 3rd place against the Salt Lake City teams.  
Anna's boards looked fairly strong, but she moved her king-side pawn defenses
My students all had strong openings and seemed to have great positions through the middle game, but I was always surprised when I later looked at the boards to find that they fell behind in material or had wrecked their positional lead, or had dropped a queen.  I also was unable to persuade them to record so it was virtually impossible to examine what had actually happened.  During my games, I tried to watch a few of theirs and began to see the problem.   Knight forks!  I watched Riley lose her queen in two games to forks and neglect to spot a guarded square as she was focused on a severe mating attack against her opponent.  I almost chuckled aloud when she took the a7 pawn guarding the enemy king and began to say "checkm. . ." but stopped short when her opponent grabbed the queen with a knight.  OOPS!  Sometimes when students are winning, the excitement of dominating their opponent blinds them to simple and elementary defenses.  Better to take the extra time to evaluate a position (which is advice I need  to heed myself - see below!).  Anna gave away a game and her 13 point material lead, en prise, in the first round.  Dylan seemed to make it equalized to the endgame but miscalculated promotions of her opponent's pawns in two games that I watched.
Andre is working hard (hey, don't block your queen pawn so that you can get your black-square bishop developed!).
Andre was very focused and concentrated during this tournament.  He felt a bit roughed up after West Jordan.  Andre earned 2.5 points and played very good and close games.  I was happy that he felt so enthusiastic after the tournament.  He even said, "aww, that was such a close game," in round 2 and in round 5.  After a dismal loss in a five move trap that sent his head spinning in West Jordan, he performed the similar 5 move variation of the Scholar's Mate and won his first round game against Fabian.  Andre showed him how to defend against it after the game.  His competitor dropped out of the tournament after that.
Jeff Roland plays Reinaldo Gil  in round 5
Jeff Roland was on fire at this tournament and the coffee I supplied him worked wonders to feed the flames.  He finished 5.0 points to earn a perfect tournament.  I played an interesting game with him and was in a rather complex position, but I watched too much of the other players games and lost my focus on a basic mate that certainly could have been avoided.
Unbelievably stupid move by me, Nxd6??
fxe6 would have left me with a Fritz evaluation = (0.00)
Nick Hinrichsen and Kitt Connor realized that they might have crossed paths at the State Scholastics when they were in high school, and both were buzzing with reminiscences and stories that they shared with me and Jeff.  Everyone became friends at this tournament.
Dylan Porth plays Nick Hinrichsen in round 3
The college students were excited to play such difficult chess games and appreciated the ideas my students shared.  I was also able to help a couple of players recognize some opening strategies as my role was more of mentorship than of trying to win the tournament.  I want to build enthusiasm to try this again in the spring.  What a great experience for everyone! 

No.
Name
Pts
Rnd1
Rnd2
Rnd3
Rnd4
Rnd5
1
Roland, Jeff
5.0
W5
W7
W6
W3
W8
2
Hinrichsen, Nick
4.0
W13
L3
W10
W8
W6
3
Porth, Adam
3.5
-H-
W2
W4
L1
W5
4
Connor, Kitt
3.0
W11
W10
L3
L5
W7
5
Garcia, Tirso
3.0
L1
W9
W7
W4
L3
6
Murphy, Andre
2.5
W12
D13
L1
W10
L2
7
Dingman, Payden
2.0
W9
L1
L5
W11
L4
8
Gil, Reinaldo
2.0
L10
W11
W9
L2
L1
9
Murphy, Anna
2.0
L7
L5
L8
-B-
W11
10
Porth, Dylan
2.0
W8
L4
L2
L6
-B-
11
Clark, Riley
1.0
L4
L8
-B-
L7
L9
12
Soto, Fabian
1.0
L6
-B-
-U-
-U-
-U-
13
Delic, Demir
0.5
L2
D6
-U-
-U-
-U-


The next tournament is Thursday, Feb. 7, the English vs. the French Theme tournament at WRHS Chess Club.  And this weekend offers the ICA Girl's State Scholastic Championship and the Novice Scholastic Tournament.





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