Sunday, May 1, 2011
Given a choice I naturally chose Anna's picture!
Unless you are still in your "storm shelter" you know that Gata Kamsky and Anna Zatonskih won the US Championship in their respective gender division.
I have noticed that most web sites/blogs just plagerize what has already been posted else where; so in an attempt to be original I'd like to give you a "patzers view" of my observations gleaned from watching the action (as much as I could) on the Saint Lewis Chess Club Web Site.
When we get as much rainfall as we did last week my back yard turns into a swamp and eventually water tries to claim my garage as the eight ocean. So.. around Good Friday I found myself battling the flood waters with a 12 gallon shop vac given to me by my son's family a couple of Christmas's ago. (Young folks love Black Friday!)
On Monday the day after Easter I sent my wife to Home Depot to get another shop vac with a drain plug as I was having trouble controling the water with only one! Last Tuesday while the the Club was forced into the hall due to a tornado warning I was battling the water. As things didn't get rough untill about 2:00 AM I used the box the new shop vac came in as a table and set up my lap top on it to watch the US Chess Championships. While I missed a good deal of the commentary, I actually got to view most of the play off games.
What I learned listening to Maurice Ashley and Jennifer Shahade commemtary was very insightful for me and the games were excellent. The following "lessons" that I gleaned from these sessions were:
Gata Kamsky, currently 18th in the world ratings @ 2732 deserves any accolades given. His first game against Shulman in the men's finals was nothing short of soccery! Check it out on the USCF web site. I will diffinately watch his match with Topalov next week!
Anna Zatonskih, currently the 7th highest female chess player in the world @ 2537 turned in a spendid performance in spite of the roughest opposition! In her interview after winning the Championship she bemoned the fact that she had not "played up to her performance level" but ensured her fans that she will have more time to devote to chess when her 4 year old daughter, Sofia, starts Kindergarten next year. Single and childless couples be assured that her performance was extradordinary under the circumstances!!
Tatev Abrahamyan playes fighting chess ! and hasn't finished 2nd in the last two championships by accident.
My impressions of the Championship are as follows:
1. The women fight without mercy and give no quarter! By far the most intertaining/instructive games were produced by the ladies.
2. The young /up and coming male players are almost as intertaining as the ladies and definately play fighting chess!
3. If Kamsky could play with a World Championship qualifying match pending with Topalov; what was Nakamura's problem?
What I learned from listening to the commentary by GM Ashley, Shahade, and GM's in the audiance:
1. Buying "Opening Books" is a waste of time and money until you are rated 1800.
2. Playing "game 30" doesn't even count in their book!
3. There is not that great of a differance between you and I and the "chess professional". They do it for a living (money) and we do it for fun. But they make the same mistakes we do; even though they have more time to devote to the game.
4. The younger players are throwing the old guys a curve ball by not playing "standard openings"
This is an opinion piece and I'm sure that many of my readers will disagree with some if not all of my opinions; that's ok with me! If this piece provoked you into study, introspection, or the desire to challenge me to a rated game next meeting then I have done my job.
The Club needs more authors, please consider posting on the site. Contact me if you haven't received an invite.