I guess I should discuss my poor results at the tournament. So:

Before round one, a guy walked up to me and saw that I had an ARML sweatshirt on, and so he told me a problem that he made up. So I parked my bike, found a seat, and worked on it. It turned out to be not so easy, but eventually I solved it. Then he gave me another problem that I was unable to solve. When the pairings came up, we found that we were paired together, and I had the white pieces.

Round 1: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1572) vs. Daniel Finucane (1798). I played the Scotch Gambit, and we each missed a line that would win a pawn. So then I got a winning attack, and instead of winning an exchange and a pawn, I repeated moves and gave him a draw.

Round 2: Daichi Siegrist (1848) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1572). I played the Dragon, and I started to feel very uncomfortable after 9. g4, which I hadn’t prepared because I was worried about 9. 0-0-0. So I played 9…Bd7 instead of 9…Nxd4 which is actually a good move, and then I quickly got into a losing position, which I proceed to lose.

Round 3: Ursula Foster(1726) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1572). 3. c3 Sicilian. What is this nonsense? So we got into an equal position, and then I hung a pawn to a tactic, suffered a bit, won it back, and then we agreed to a draw.

Round 4: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1572) vs. Wasim Azhar (1707). Najdorf Sicilian, and he castled queenside (what on earth???). So I tried to mate him, failed, traded down to an easily drawn endgame, and we agreed to a draw.

Round 5: Maximo Fajardo (1909) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1572). 2. Bg5 Dutch (how come people can’t play decent openings?), and we traded off a ton of pieces, and we each had a bishop, a knight, and seven pawns. Then he decided to make things interesting and hang a pawn so that I could get a winning endgame. So then I decided to return the favor and let his king and knight take two of my pawns while I didn’t get any, so then I was down a pawn instead of up one. So I tried the old “do-nothing” trick to see if he could win it, and thirty moves later, he was about to queen, so I resigned.

Blah. No 1600 rating for me. I get to gain an amazing 12 rating points. How come I can’t play good chess? I’m not supposed to play at a 1638 TPR…


About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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6 Responses to Chess

  1. dareonion says:

    ::points and laughs::
    (just kidding…I would have gotten 0-5 if I played all those people)
    PS (or actually 0-6 including you)
    PPS You played Daichi! Heh, David Chock can beat him sometimes.
    PPPS Have you played David Chock…btw?

    • Simon says:

      Re: Wow
      David Chock won our section with 6/6 (including a win over Daichi in round 5). I have never played David Chock. I’m not sure if I could win or draw against him.

  2. dareonion says:

    O yea…btw, in my opening book the 2.Bg5 Dutch only has this single line:
    1 d4 f5 2 Bg5 h6(r) 3 Bh4 g5 4 Bg3 Nf6(s) 5 e3 Bg7 6 Nd2(t) d6 7 h4 g4 8 h5 Nc6 9 Bb5 Bd7 =
    (r) 2…g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 fxe4 is similar to Staunton Gambit. =
    (s) Of course 4…f4 5 e3 wins a pawn due to threat of 6 Qh5 mate. Interesting is 4…d6 5 e3 Nf6 6 h4 Rg8 7 hxg5 hxg5 8 Bc4 e6 = (Bareyev).
    (t) 6 Bd3 c6 7 Ne2 d6 8 f3 Qc7, B. Damjanovic-M. Gurevich, 1986, is probably a balanced position. The column is Magerramov-Avsalumov, USSR 1987.

    • Simon says:

      I used to play 2…h6, but after getting repeatedly killed after playing it, I decided to play something that wouldn’t get me checkmated so early (hence 2…g6). But he didn’t know what he was doing, so he played 3. c3.

  3. nightsword04 says:

    How are pairings decided in tourneys anyhow? Is there some reason every game you played was against someone with a higher rating?
    I’ve never played a tournament except for a quickchess one where myself with a 0 rating was paired against all the 1800s and I lost every game

    • Simon says:

      There were three sections: master/expert, U2000, and U1600. So I chose to play in U2000 rather than U1600 to get more of a challenge. Also, I get free lessons from my opponents who are stronger than I, and besides, I play better against stronger players. So that’s why all my opponents were higher-rated.
      Swiss system pairings: In round one, they split the group of players into halves so that all the high-rated people are in the top half, and all the low-rated people are in the bottom half. Then they pair the top person from the top half with the top person from the bottom half, and then the second-rated people in each section, etc. In later rounds, they use the same sort of system, except they try to pair people with other people who have the same score (or at least close to the same score).

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