Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

11/27/06 - 2006 Knoxville City Championship

I've won the Knoxville City Championship for the 10th time. There are still a couple of games remaining, but I've completed my schedule with a clean 5-0 score. Unfortunately, the trend of the past few years continued and the average rating this year was barely above 1550. Several factors contributed to this. The biggest problem was that we lost our long-time playing site at the World's Fair Park. While the church we now play at is a better site in my opinion, we lost many members. If we hadn't gotten an influx of primary school players, we would have barely had enough players to sustain a club. The other problem was the same as last year when we had too many qualifiers from a single small tournament. This had been addressed by switching back to the system of qualifying tournaments spread throughout the year. However, two of the stronger players who qualified, Robert Hatarik and Nick Barber, qualified while passing through town and were not available for the Championship. This meant that the September qualifier, which was already giving 2 slots was now giving 4. When it turned out that there were only 7 players vying for those 4 spots, it didn't take much to get in. Two players qualified by beating an 800-rated elementary player, winning a game by forfeit, and losing their other two games. It's hard to criticize these players though, since they seemed to be the only ones interested in playing at this time of year. The Amateur Championship ended up having only 4 players, 2 of them were new, and one of the others, the defending champion, Robert Hydzik, played simultaneously in the Championship. I think the system of spreading qualification throughout the year is still best, what we need to do is figure out how to increase participation. As usual, I'll be annotating my games from the event starting later this week.

11/20/2006 - 2006 Kings Island Open

I was back on the tournament trail the weekend before last at the 15th annual Kings Island Open. Unlike previous years, this event was very poorly attended, with only 32 players in the open section and only 2 GMs (Izoria and Lein). This ostensibly weaker field didn't seem to help me though, as I finished with an even score for the second straight year.

I decided to try something different this year and took a half-point bye in Round 1 instead of playing 2 fast games on Saturday morning. In round 2, I had the Black pieces against Seth Homa. It was fairly equal through the opening and middlegame, but I made a serious miscalculation in the ending and got in a spot of trouble in mutual time pressure after 37. Nd5 his pieces are all more active and my king is in a dangerous spot with no legal moves 37...f5? I was counting on this move to free my position, but I guess I needed to do something like the ugly looking 37... g5 preventing the move we both overlooked

38. Bb6? White would win with the simple deflection 38. Bxh6!. The game eventually ended in a draw without further incident.

In round 3, I was on the right side of a mating net with White against William Wright after 38...Kh7

White should be winning with the extra pawn and more active pieces, but I found a way to finish him off quickly 39. Re5 Kg6 40. Rg5+ Kh6 41. Rdd5 f3 42. Rxh5+ Kg6 43. Rdg5+ Kf6 44. Rh6# [1:0] I saw this all when playing 39. Re5, but took a long think on the 41st move because for some reason I thought he could play 42...Kg8. After about 5 minutes of calculating that line, I realized he couldn't do it!

In the 4th round, I was Black against one of the eventual co-winners, Andrew Boekhoff. I didn't get a very good position out of the opening, and struggled to find counterplay the whole game. This game also ended in an endgame mate after 27. Bc1

27... Kh8 27... Rf3+ 28. Ke2 Rxh3 fails to 29. Rxg7+ Nxg7 30. Ng5+ 28. Rh5+ Kg8 29. Rhg5 Kf8 We were both in time pressure, and so I decided not to repeat in a worse position and ran with the king. However, this lets his h-pawn have a clean path to the end zone, perhaps 29... Rf3+ 30. Ke2 Rxh3 was a better choice, but the transfer of the White knight to e6 is still going to be difficult to deal with 30. R5g3 Ke7 31. h4 Bf6 32. h5 Ng7?? 32... Bh4 is a better hope. 33. Nxf6 Kxf6 34. Bg5+ [1:0] since 34... Kf5 35. Rf3#

In the final round, I messed up my move order in the opening with White against Russell Wilson and reached a position with no advantage whatsoever. He offered me a draw on move 16 and I accepted.

11/7/06 - October FIDE Rating List

While I've been pretty busy with the US Chess League the past 10 weeks, the rest of the chess world has not stood still. October saw the regular release of the FIDE rating list. Neither Veselin Topalov (2813) nor Vishy Anand (2779) had any games during the period and they kept the top 2 spots. World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler tied for first at Dortmund and moved into a tie for 3rd-4th at 2750. Kramnik's victory over Topalov in the unification match should boost him even further in the next list. Alexander Morozevich (2747) won Biel again and moved up to the 5th spot.

Gata Kamsky(2705) remains the top US player. His win in the World Open puts him back into Club 2700 for the first time since his comeback, not counting his drop from 2717 to 2700 when he initially returned. The rest of the US list is the usual names jockeying for position: Onischuk(2668), Nakamura(2640), Seirawan(2638), Ibragimov(2616), Shulman(2614), Akobian(2598), Ehlvest(2597), Stripunsky(2597), and Kaidanov(2595) complete the top 10. Alexander Shabalov(2575) had the biggest drop down to #14, losing points in 4 out of the 5 tournaments he played in the period.

I didn't have any FIDE rated games this period, so my rating stayed at 2294. Standing still cost me a few spots on both the US (#172) and World (#6234) lists.

11/3/06 - Carolina 4 :: Tennessee 0

I'm still in a state of shock from the regular season finale of the US Chess League on Wednesday night. In what pretty much summed up our entire season, I lost on time to FM Matthew Hoekstra in a totally winning K+P ending. I'm not going to annotate the game, you can play over it on the USCL site and see that I was winning the entire game. I don't think I've ever been more upset about a loss. Those of you who have been around me after bad losses might find that hard to believe, but I've never wiped the pieces off the board in disgust as I did at the end of that game.

What happened was that normally I play my USCL games using a regular board. I play my move on the board first, then enter it into the computer. When I get short on time, I stop using the board and start playing directly on the computer. However, in this game, because of the 30 second increment, I built my time back up to several minutes and went back to using the board. I guess in my mind I never thought my time would get low again. I'm still not sure where all my time went as most of the moves before the end were fairly obvious and I think I played them quickly. But neither can I believe that I went into a trance for a couple of minutes. Is there a way to get the times off of the ICC? My morbid curiosity wants to know how long I actually had for the final move. When I glanced up at the screen, I saw that my time was ticking down in fractions of a second (which means I had somewhere less than 10 seconds and I couldn't grab the mouse fast enough to play a move (every legal move was winning).

Unfortunately, this game also had the side effect of allowing Carolina into the playoffs instead of Philadelphia.