I am officially not California Class B Champion…


Not that I was expecting to be or anything, but somehow I came remarkably close. The first thing to note is that I’m not even a B player, at least before the tournament. Anyway, round by round results:

Round 1: Michael O’Brien (1671) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) I guess my opponent decided he had better things to do than show up, so I got a forfeit win. I wasn’t happy with that at all.

Round 2: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) vs. Chien-Ye Liu (1736) My opponent played the Alekhine’s Defense by mistake because he thought I had played d4 rather than e4, and he had never played Alekhine’s Defense in his life before (or so he said). I won a pawn with a nice little tactic then traded everything and won the pawn-up endgame without too much difficulty.

Round 3: Grant Fleming (1786) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) This was a Leningrad Dutch, but my opponent knew no theory. Amazingly, he managed to invent 14 moves of almost perfect mainline theory, but that process used up so much of his time that I thought I might flag him before the time control (30/90) was over. After that he made some inaccuracies, and I got a very strong (probably winning) position, but I was down a pawn, so I stupidly won it back at the first opportunity rather than try to mate him. Winning the pawn back forced me to trade queens, and then I entered a slightly worse endgame, and my opponent tortured me for hours, and finally, in an endgame where he had rook and 2 pawns and I had rook and 1 pawn, we agreed to a draw after I found a clever plan that either stranded his king on the h-file or won the pawn back.

Round 4: Nelson Sowell (1702) vs. Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) This was another Leningrad Dutch, but my opponent deviated on move 8 this time. However, I made some terrible blunders and found myself in the receiving end of a nasty tactic that won him an exchange. However, my opponent thought he was playing G/30 or something, so I made the position as complicated as possible, and before long the position was drawn: I had a queen and 3 pawns, and he had 2 rooks and 3 pawns, but my queen was extremely active. However, he got greedy and took one of my pawns, and so I forked his king and rook and proceeded to win all his pawns and then his other rook, so I won.

Round 5: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) vs. Kayven Riese (1756) My opponent played 5…Nbd7 in an open sicilian, so I found myself thinking seriously by move 6. On move 8 my opponent made an awful blunder that would allow me to get a rook and 2 pawns for a bishop and a knight, but somehow I managed not to see this obvious tactic. I was probably slightly better for a while, and we traded off lots of pieces, and then we were each left with a queen and 5 pawns. I had a passed pawn, so I thought about trying to win it, but my king was stranded on h2, so it wasn’t going to help me, so we just repeated moves and drew.

Round 6: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo (1567) vs. Glenn Leotaud (1735) I missed all sorts of interesting tactical ideas in the opening and just played a really safe game for about 15 moves. Then I decided it would be a good idea to mate him, so I moved all my pieces to the area around his king, but alas there was no mate. Then he made an awful blunder that would allow me to win an exchange, but I missed it (second time in one day — not good). When I found out that I wasn’t going to mate him, I was worried because a few of my pawns were hanging, and I didn’t think entering into a lost ending would be a brilliant plan. When he took one of my pawns, I found a neat little tactic beginning with a temporary rook sacrifice to win it back, and I was still trying to mate him, but he didn’t fall for any cheap tricks, so we agreed to a draw with rook + knight + 5 pawns against rook + bishop + 5 pawns right after the time control.

So I got 4.5/6, which left me in a 2-way tie for second place behind Kayven Riese, who got 5/6. That got me $160, which is $5 short of triple the entry fee, so I find that quite acceptable. According the USCF rating calculator, I will be gaining 105 rating points, and I had a performance rating of 1891.

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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 I am officially not California Class B Champion…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Chess
    Hah, u showed them who’s boss in chess! I wouldnt be surpirsed if you used some Game Theoretic tactic, ie: symettry 🙂

    • Simon says:

      Re: Chess
      I read Noam Elkies’s paper “On Numbers and Endgames,” and that was awesome. Unfortunately, his techniques can really only be used in mutual zugzwang position in endgames, and all my wins were already practically decided before the endgame.

  2. z9r4c3 says:

    yay! You already told me, but…

  3. gompers says:

    congrats, simon. i really oughta be practicing more chess. erkerk.

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