Sunday, May 30, 2010

CyChess Part 3 of 3

  In the last round of the Cychess tournament, I was paired against Eric Vander Linden. Eric looks to be in his mid 50's like my previous 2 opponents. I knew Matt beat him twice last year, but otherwise he was a mystery to me.

Eric Vander Linden (right), battling Dan Vasto at the 2010 Iowa Class Championships on May 1st. (Picture courtesy Dave Wolz)

  There were 5 players who were 2-0, Eric, myself, Dave Wolz (the barefoot chess player), Eddie Divanovic (from Ankeny by way of Bosnia), and Bill Broich. Dave and Eddie were playing, while Bill had to play top seed Jeremy Madison who had surrendered a draw in the previous round. Eric outrated me by 180 points so statistically I had about a 10% chance of winning, but I had beaten bigger odds and hoped I was up for the challenge.

  I wasn't too upset at being in such terrible time pressure in this game. Eric played great and I needed all my time to ward off his threats. In fact, I was encouraged at how well I played with such little time left. I would have liked to have found the Nb4 move to get a big advantage, but it was not a cold stone winner even if I had.

  Since Dave defeated Eddie and Bill lost to Jeremy, Dave won the tournament and I tied Eric, Jeremy, and Matt Jacob for 2nd place. I was sad at not winning the tournament, but on the bright side I was able to nudge my rating over the 1700 mark for the first time ever. Studies have shown that a chess player's strength peaks after 8 years of playing. Since I have played for over 25 years and have my peak rating, I have either defied the odds or seriously underperformed in my youth and can look forward for even greater chess achievements in the years ahead.