". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Beautiful Morning in Indy . . .

and we are up and running with Round 4 of the Denker National Tournament of Champions!

This morning Trevor is playing Deepak Aaron, a USCF Master (i.e. rating over 2200) from New York. Deepak is the third seed in the tournament, besting some stronger players along the way--no surprise, as New York is the strongest state for youth chess. Trevor would have played the former tournament leader, Robert Lau of Hawaii (who also drew his game last night), but this would have meant one of them playing as White for three games out of four. Thus, computer adjusted the pairings to keep things more even, resulting in this morning's battle: Aaron (White) v. Magness (Black).

Thanks to the tireless efforts of our tournament officials, who are doing a great job keeping things running smoothly and making everyone feel comfortable and well-informed, we were able to discover Trevor's pairing first thing this morning. So "opposition research" was intensely being pursued as Chess Dad cooked a high-protein breakfast (bacon, eggs, cheese, lo-carb bread). For those watching on MonRoi, expect Trevor and Deepak to play what is called "The Italian." The big question for Trevor is whether Aaron will make this an "open" Italian or a "closed" Italian. (Hint: look for move 4 or 5, to see if Aaron plays d3, to "close" the Italian, or d4, to open it up.)

What does this mean for the general spectator? An open game will move more quickly; a closed likely means a long match. As Black, Trevor will have more opportunities to gain an advantage with the open game. (Side note from Cheryl for those who like me are not chess "savvy": Black is always at a disadvantage because White moves first and determines the opening and pace of the game. Thus, a draw for Black is akin to a win because it means that Black was able to overcome his inherent disadvantage. If Black wins, it's probably because White made a mistake and Black was able to capitalize!). If the game is closed, black has to play very carefully and wait for white to make some sort of mistake. Trevor comments that this latter game is similar to a variation of the Ruy Lopez known as "The Spanish Inquisition."

Fortunately, Trevor does well with long games, and is strongest in the end game. It may be that Aaron will close the game, thinking that it will give Black fewer opportunities. But then, he may have done some opposition research on Trevor . . . . :-)

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