GM Ben Finegold's Blog: Musings of a Grandmaster

Super Team Championship

The 2012 Super Team Championship was awesome!  Games were shown live and results were updated quickly.  The tournament had about 50 participants, with several masters.  Our team, made up of me, Spencer, and Nick Karlow was called "Winning!!" and win we did, scoring 11 points out of 12 games, winning all four matches.  Spencer was worse/losing the last round against strong expert Gordon Ruan, but Gordon hung his knight with less than 45 seconds on his clock.  I played well and was able to win all of my games.  The tournament was rated immediately, and Spencer broke 2230 to solidify his master rating.

Here are my games from the event, with light notes.

2012 National Open

The 2012 National Open did not go well.  I drew 3 games to start, and won in round 4 before calling it a tournament and withdrawing. I was winning in rounds 1 and 2 but was unable to convert easy wins against players under 2300.

Due to my bad play of late, and the fact that I can't seem to see tactics anymore, I have decided to retire from competitve chess.  I will play events at the Chess Club when requested, and if members want to play ladder games, that is also fine, but I will not travel to tournaments anymore or play competitively.

The tournament had 20 GMs and was won by Aleksandr Lenderman with 5.5-0.5, a great result!

Here are my awful games:


Teddy KGB draws but Ivan instantly crushes

The last day of the Chicago Open was a tough one for me.  I was white in round eight againt Teddy Coleman.  I was better for most of the game, and close to winning, but I could not nurse my pawn advantage in a Q and R ending.  A very long draw.  I thought I would be paired down in the last round, but instead was humbled by 2655 rated Ivan Ivanisevic.  I have never been beaten so easily, in such a simple looking position.

Spencer fared better, drawing his last two, winning $500, and breaking master!  A lot of entries this year, over 700, enjoyed the event.

My next event is back as commentator, where I belong, as Yasser and Karpov face off June 9-13.  Then it's off to Vegas to see if I can improve on my Chicago performance.

Sometimes The Troff is tough to take -- Then My Knights went Ni

An interersting day at the Chicago Open.  I was black in round 6 against Kayden Troff.  I played one of my best games, then after move 24, started playing like a beginner.  I was +3 several ways, and instead got into a likely losing ending.  I did manage to draw in a nice way by jettisoning my kingside pawns, but still...  I made up for it, somewhat, by winning easily against Ni in the same opening as Troff!  Viktoria had a long game in round 5 and said she couldn't see anything in our game.

Spencer went 2-0 today, beating FM Andrew Karklins in round 5.  Spencer has 4-1, and has not only a good chance for $$, but he also broke master for the first time this tournament, and is easily up 30-40 USCF already!

Lots of tough, interesting games in the Open section.  I think there are over 600 players total in all sections.

Tomorrow is the MONEY day!

Back to reality

Not a great day.  I was able to hold a draw with the black pieces against Yury Shulman, but then lost in round 5 to Mesgen Amanov, and with white!  Spencer was 2-0, and then lost in round 3.  Lots of players from Missouri are here.  I would write more, but it is 1:30AM, and losing has a way of making me write less ;)

Tomorrow is another day....


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