GM Ben Finegold's Blog: Musings of a Grandmaster
I was very lucky in my fourth round against second ranked Howard Chen. The game started as a complex King's Indian. Eventually, I was able to secure an advantage, but used up gobs of time and gave all my advantage back, and then some! Luckily (for me!) my opponent also started to use too much time, and we both had less than five minutes to make the last ten moves, and after mutual mistakes, black went too far with 33...f6? losing material.
Spencer was equal or better most of the game against my second round opponent, Nolan Hendrickson, but again time trouble reared its ugly head, and Spencer went down.
The tournament has ended for me, as IM Ron Burnett and I drew quickly in the last round, and we will wait to see who will join us at =1st.
I will send another report later tonight when games finish.
I drew a marathon game in round 3 against Sean Vibbert. I had R and 3 versus R and 2 but could not make any headway (I had the same ending a few years ago against GM Josh Friedel, and I couldn't win that one either!). Spencer won his game relatively quickly against Matt Barrett.
There is one perfect score, as Howard Chen won against Andrew Karklins on board 2. The other perfect scores all drew. I will likely be white against Howard Chen on board 1 in round 4.
The last two rounds are at 10AM and 4:15PM Sunday.
Unlike the NCAA tournament, the top seeds all won in round 2 (of the 3 day schedule) and there are six players with 2-0. I was able to win a tough game versus NM Nolan Hendrickson (I also played him last year in this event!). Spencer lost to NM Kevin Wasiluk. Also winning and staying perfect were Howard Chen, Sean Vibbert, Andrew Karklins, and Doug Eckert.
The 2-day schedule also started today, led by SM Ron Burnett. Other masters in the 2-day include Tenzing Shaw (2225), Gopal Menon (2223), Andrew Tang (2206), and Bob Holliman (2200).
The schedules merge tonight at 6PM local time.
The Mid-America Open takes place this weekend at the Crowne Plaza in Clayton. The tournament will draw over 200 players, although we won't know the final count until Saturday afternoon, as there are two schedules, 3-day and 2-day.
I was able to win my first game against expert Tim Steiner. My son Spencer, playing 2000 rated player Dennis Cummings, also won. There are no titled players other than myself, although IM Ron Burnett has entered the 2-day. Top rated players in the 3-day Open are: Howard Chen (2422), Kevin Wasiluk (2283), Sean Vibbert (2258), Andrew Karklins (2252), Doug Eckert (2245), and Kevin Cao (2233).
I will post games and standings throughout the event. You can also go to the tournament website at: http://www.midamericaopen.com/ .The time control for the 3-day is 40/2 then G/1. The rounds Saturday (for the 3-day) are at 11AM and 6PM.
The 2012 Club Championship was a great tournament, with 31 entries in all, and several masters participating. I was fortunate to win in round 4 against Senior Master Mark Heimann in a very long complex game. I had already requested a half-point bye for round 5, so I clinched first place with the win when the board 2 matchup between McLaughlin and Benjamin was drawn in a complicated Benoni.
There was a three way tie for second place between Heimann, FM Doug Eckert, and Alex Marler, who all scored 4-1. Matthew Larson finished well win 3.5-1.5 and not only won some $$ but also inched ever closer to 1900. Everyone expects Matt to be an expert before years end.
Here are the final standings and my round 4 effort:
2012 Club Championship Final Standings
|#||Name||Rtng||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Tot||Prize|
|3||DOUG D ECKERT||2249||W26||W16||L2||W13||W8||4.0||216.67|
|5||VICTOR R FELDBERG||2210||W14||W6||L1||W19||H---||3.5|
|6||MATTHEW W LARSON||1816||W31||L5||H---||W26||W17||3.5||100.00|
|9||JACOB M ZAX||1739||L1||W11||L19||W29||W20||3.0||12.50|
|12||JAMES R VOELKER||2144||W22||D21||H---||W14||L4||3.0|
|13||DANIEL FR ALDRICH||1826||L19||W20||W29||L3||W22||3.0||12.50|
|15||TOM A MORRELL||1689||L2||W27||W23||L4||H---||2.5|
|16||JEFFREY J KOVALIC||1912||W28||L3||L22||W23||D14||2.5|
|25||MATTHEW C HOSLER||1784||W23||D8||H---||U---||U---||2.0|
|26||NATHAN TU PHAN||1647||L3||W28||H---||L6||L18||1.5|
|29||ROBERT A LUCKEY||1159||L17||B---||L13||L9||L23||1.0|