Good morning, RoundUnvarnished readers! The final round of the 2009 Denker National Tournament of Champions is up and running. This morning we find Trevor playing Robert Lau on the third board. The winner of this match has a strong chance of coming in 3rd or 4th in the tournament, where Abby Marshall of Virginia remains undefeated on the top board. She's playing Michael Yang of Minnesota, who has 4.5 points to Marshall's perfect 5.0. Two players have 4 points: Jeffrey Haskel (FL) and Vincent Huang (CA). Currently Trevor is tied for 5th along with Lau, Deepak Aaron, and Steve Breckenridge of Oregon. (Special Note for Pastor Rossow: Matt Anzis of Iowa has 2.5 points with a group of 10 other competitors.)
As usual, the Champ spent time this AM on opposition research and game prep while Chess Dad fixed breakfast. Trevor is black this round, and so Lau will set the pace. Trevor explained over breakfast that he was wary of another closed Italian game, and hoped that Lau would play the Ruy Lopez. Fortunately for Trevor, he doesn't have a lot of games readily available over the internet, so unless Lau of Hawaii reads Illinois Chess Bulletin, the "opposition research" on Trevor actually shows a player with success against the Italian. So perhaps Lau will go with the Ruy Lopez - Trevor's best game - and play into Trevor's hands. So Dad will look for 3. B-b5 as the game begins.
We have some turmoil getting here. We neglected to watch the weather this AM, and so were surprized by a fierce thunderstorm. We rushed to get out the door, knowing that it might take extra time to get to the site. The parking lot was already flooding and my Grand Marquis was only a couple minutes' rain more from not getting out of the lot. A little hail was felt, but I plodded on, saying: "This is why we have insurance!" Fortunately, the hail held off. Traffic snarls were fortunately on the other side of the freeway and we got to the tournament early.
Arriving early gave me a chance to soak in the hall one last time. I took a few pictures and listened to the TD (tournament director) give final instructions to the players. Six years of "Denker Dreams" in our household and now it is coming to a close. We've worked hard to get here and Trevor has done well in the tournament to get to this point. No matter how this board turns out, this has been a great experience. Time to bask. God is good.
Meanwhile, the tournament starts and so Dad watches the opening before heading off to blog and to read. Watch for that third move. White plays B-b5. The Ruy Lopez!
We're off and running.