Underdogs and the Almost Expert

With the World Open going on, the date was a bit of a gamble, but we still had a slightly better turnout than last month’s event. Sadly though, I don’t think anybody came as a result of the TLA in Chess Life. We had enough players for two quads. The top quad had a nice ratings distribution, but the bottom  quad was much more skewed (1811, 1595, 958, 748). I briefly entertained the notion of getting the bottom two players to participate in a three-game match so the rest could be in a more exciting swiss, but that would not have been fair to the lower-rated players. Even so, we saw some pretty good play from Hugh Scully (748) in his games with me (1595) and Chris (958), and both Chris and Hugh had great games with Craig (1811). Craig W. Fisher won the section with a perfect 3-0.

The top quad was more competitive (2139, 1988, 1877, 1829). I wasn’t able to witness many of their struggles, but I did get a good look at Chester Bean (1988)-Richard Harry (1877) near the end of the time control. Richard was trying to draw a pawn-down, opposite-colored bishops endgame, but it looked like he just used too much time. He flagged when Chester still had about two minutes on his clock. Erick Garcia (2139) did not think well of his own play overall, claiming that his higher playing strength enabled him to bamboozle his way out of sticky situations. He won the section with 2.5-0.5.

A few of us thought Chester might make expert at this event, but he came up just short at 1995. Chester’s rating has been on the rise for months now, and I don’t think he’ll have any trouble getting those five points at our next tournament in August. Good job!

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