It's hard to believe that by this time tomorrow Denker 2009 will be over. But there is still a lot of action and excitement to take place. Each round sees top players fall and, at this point, only Abby Marshall of Virginia remains undefeated. (An interesting aside: she is one of only two girls in the tournament.) She's playing Deepak, who defeated Trevor in the last round, on Board One.
Trevor fell from being tied for 3rd to being tied for 10th, with Robert Lau. Trevor's now playing on Board Six on the "strong side" against Joshua Bowman of Pennsylvania. In between the top board and Trevor's are some exciting matches, as favored players such as Jeffrey Haskel, Andrew Ng, and John Patrick Tae fight to get back on top. There are three players with 3.5 points and 5 players with 3 points, followed by Robert & Trevor leading the pack of 2.5's.
Anything can happen when so many state champions mix it up. Chris Andrews of Wyoming came in as the lowest-rated player (only a 1118), but has two points and is tied for 19th with Evan Sandberg of California (2131)! This puts him ahead of Richard Herbst of Colorado, a USCF Expert with a rating of 2052 who has had a rough start and will have to work hard to come out above .500 in the tournament. Biggest surprise so far: Felix Yang of Massachussetts may "only" be a 2033, but he has 3 points and is holding his own against Robert Lau.
On a personal note, I was very proud of how Trevor handled his loss today. Sure, we weren't expecting to win this thing. But it is still hard to watch a dream die. So we had some quiet time to absorb the loss and then went out for a cold, invigorating swim. And Dad's "bachelor food" seemed to provide just the right fuel to get us back on track. We got to the tournament site a little earlier than usual, so had a chance to enjoy meeting Trevor's opponent, Joshua. They are off to a good start and are both enjoying what we all came to do: play (or at least, watch) good chess!