Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CyChess Part 2 of 3

  After winning my first round game, my next opponent was Steve Jacobs. Steve looks to be in his mid 50’s like Rex, but he has a full head of white hair that make balding guys like me pretty jealous. Steve had tied for first at the under 1600 section of the Des Moines Fall Classic last November, but was currently rated at his floor of 1400. Since a lot of chess tournaments offer cash to the top scores below specified ratings, the US Chess Federation established rating floors to prevent players from losing games on purpose to deflate their rating and win underserved prize money. A floor of 1400 means a player had a rating over 1600 at some point in time and cannot ever have a rating below 1400. My son Matt has a floor of 1800 and he like to needle me by telling me that his floor rating is higher than my actual rating has ever been. My main concern in this game was to not fall behind on the clock since I had already had enough clock-induced excitement for one day. I would also have the black pieces. When I play black, I try to get a position I’m familiar with, neutralize my opponents plans, and then start my counterattack, Steve quickly sacrificed a piece and I was in uncharted (for me) territory after 15 moves.

  As President Bush 43 wishes he hadn’t said, “Mission Accomplished”. I didn’t get in time trouble, and thanks to some help from my opponent, I was finished fairly quickly. I got a 15 minute nap, ate some trail mix, and chatted with Steve and outgoing Iowa State Chess Association president Tim Mc Entee, who had presided over his last annual meeting and was watching the games. I wondered if I had done enough to gain the 4 rating points I needed to pass the 1700 mark, but Tim didn’t think I had. If he thought I had passed it, I’d have been very tempted to pass on the final round, but if I could find one more win, I’d be the CyChess champion. I was co-champion of the May 2008 version of this tournament and I could take that out of the ‘fluke’ column if I could win a second one.