Sunday, December 12, 2010

CyChess Part 3 of 3

  In the last round at CyChess, I found myself playing my fellow Marshalltown Chess Club member Jaleb Jay. Jaleb is a high school junior and has been playing at the club for 4 years. When he first started coming to club, he knew how the pieces moved, but was an unskilled chess player. He never got discouraged and has gotten better and better. Now he is one of the better scholastic players in the state and has pulled off upsets against many adult players in the state . Jaleb goes along with me to most of 1 day tournaments I play in or direct. My kids chess exploits have gained Marshalltown some respect in some Iowa chess circles, but Jaleb’s successes have brought Marshalltown a whole new level of respect in Iowa chess since it is no longer a family affair.

Jaleb Jay, Marshalltown Iowa

  When I was paired against Jaleb in the first round September 2009 CyChess tournament, I decided not to play in order to let a player who was not going to otherwise have a game play. But this was the last round of the tournament, the scores dictated no easy way around the pairing, we each had an outside chance to tie for first place, and Jaleb has been playing me even in our weekly blitz tournaments (I’ve won 9 and lost 7 with 4 draws over the year and a half), so there was no way I was going to bail out on this game. And with 5 of the 18 players from Marshalltown, it was likely that at some point we’d be playing each other. I was happy that Roger was able to keep the Marshalltown players away from each other for the first 2 rounds.

  Jaleb’s style is almost the exact opposite of mine. Where I’m very happy to try to win a pawn and grind the game out, Jaleb is always looking to give up a pawn or 2 to get his pieces out and attack. Generally if I defend accurately I win and if not I lose.

  I'm very happy with the fighting spirit I showed in a tough spot. It was a sloppy game and a very lucky win, but I’ll take it and be happy for it. I’m not likely to be able to beat Jaleb from this kind of disadvantage in another year. Matt Kriegel beat Tim Harder to tie me for second place with 2 and a half points out of 3. This was easily Matt’s most successful tournament ever and he was grinning from ear to ear, which was fun to see. Jerry beat Jon in the other all-Marshalltown matchup and Scott pulled off a 600 point upset by beating Roger so everyone from Marshalltown won at least 1 game and in total we scored 7 wins and 6 losses with 2 draws.

  In my 2 games as White, I showed a poor understanding of how to play against the King’s Indian. I’ll be working on that over the next few weeks. I finished the year with 5 wins and 2 draws in regular tournament play. Not counting the quick chess tournament, I ended up playing in just 2 tournaments for the year and 1 game as a fill in for the Okoboji tournament. I had plans for more, but work, weather, and bad timing interfered. Hopefully I can be more active in 2011.