Day 2

A lot more draws have been occurring as the playing strength of opponents are evening out. Only four players remain with a perfect 4/4 in all of the events combined. They are: Joshua Doknjas (boys under 8), Yuan Chen Zhang (boys under 10), Kelly Wang (girls under 10) and Jackie Peng (girls under 12). This really shows as to how even the play at the higher sections is. The under 12 boys section might be the most competitive of them all, where Richard Wang drew Tony Lin, rated 1882 in the 4th round. Currently, there is a 5 way tie for first in the section.

In the under 18 section, Eric has himself a half point cushion ahead of Aman Hambleton, after beating him in the 3rd round. Aman then beat Kevin Chung in the 4th round.

The story of the tournament so far could be the Botez sisters. Alexandra is leading the girls under 16 section with 3.5/4. I am not sure as to which of the other girls are in the under 16 or 18, since the two are combined. So I’m not sure how big her lead is over the other under 16 girls. Alexandra is doing what is expected of her and is leading her section as the top seed. Analyzing a game with her showed that she has a very mature style. Olympic team in a few years?! Then in the under 8 section is her younger sister, Andrea Botez, rated 571. Aside from the two unrated players in the section, Andrea is the lowest rated player in the section. She is tied for the lead in the group with 3.5/4! Their father, the always nice and cheery Andrei, is also here at the CYCC. I am not sure what Andrei is feeding his daughters to achieve the great results but I want some of it!

My day started at about 11am, analyzing games with some of the players. I was able to catch the goal and the end of the Spain-Germany game during my lunch break. I was very happy to see Spain win! Go Spain!

Came back after lunch to analyze some more games. I was doing a bit less analysis today in comparison to yesterday. I was completely worn out last night and knew I would have to save up a bit of energy for my simul later. A lot of interesting games were analyzed, including the Qin-Zhao draw from round one written about yesterday. Donovan Zhao came to analyze the game, and it looked like he was on the verge of winning for quite some time there.

After a 40min break, it was time for the simul at 7pm. How do I prepare for a simul? Much like any other chess game, clear my mind and try to rest up. I set the maximum number of boards for the simul at 20. Approximately 15 people showed up. I felt a bit strange at first due to the fact that the last time that I played a long and serious chess game was in September. The simul lasted about 2 hours. Everybody was a joy to play against, with mainly kids and a few adults. I scored approximately 14-1 (assuming 15 people). The game that I lost was to Jackie Peng, who continued her perfect score from the event. She played well. I felt like I had a bit of an advantage in the opening but it was hard to capitalize. She kept fighting hard and at some point I was realizing that it would be very hard to do anything more than liquidate to a draw. Anyways, she kept playing well and was balancing my initiative. Then all of a sudden my queen was trapped on a7, and my passed a-pawn was useless on a6. Well played by Jackie. Below are some pictures from the simul.

I was hoping to finish at a reasonable time, so I had to move fast as you can see below.

Melissa Giblon was the last and most stubborn (in a good way) player to finish in the simul. Melissa is playing in the under 12 section, while her older sister, Rebecca, is in the under 14. Their father, Andrew, is always pleasant to be around. Thanks Andrew for taking all the simul pictures! Picture below is with Melissa.

Also playing in the CYCC are Thomas RR’s two younger sisters, Marina and Lauriane. The family is continuing the chess tradition Thomas has started. Right before the simul, Marina gave me a portrait of me that she drew. The portrait is AMAZING. Thanks Marina!

Below is a photo of it.

I finally got a chance to go to the gym just before it closed at 11 to do some jogging. A great way to stay sane and fit during an event. I try to go to the gym every day while at tournaments and I feel much better during games since I started this tradition. Could be a piece of advice for anybody looking for new routines…


One Response to Day 2

  1. Andrei says:

    Thanks Mark.

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