Albany Club Championship Begins!

On Wednesday October 26, 2016 the first round of the Albany Area Chess Club (AACC) Championship 2016-17 occurred at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland, NY.

This year’s AACC Championship format involves a single round robin of 14 participants; a typical number of participants in recent years. The participants include (decreasing rating order): Jeremy Berman (2048), Dean Howard (2000), Dave Finnerman (1998), Gordon Magat (1929), Tim Wright (1943), Krishna Nallamothu (1832), Arthur Alowitz (1724), Kun Park (1687), Cory Northrup (1686), Tom Clark (1608), Paul Axel-Lute (1534), Premjith Narayan (1521), Paul Moore (1382), and Adam Steinberger (unrated).

There are many familiar faces to the Capital District chess scene, with 5 players (Berman, Finnerman, Magat, Wright, and Howard) above 1900. However there are also the new faces of Krishna (1832), Premjith (1521), and Adam (unrated). And Kun Park (1687), who played in the club championship two years ago. These guys promise to inject fresh energy and surprises to the usual club championship, and the round robin format will give them the chance to show their stuff against the usual suspects. Welcome to all!

The results of the first round are given below:

Jeremy Berman 1 – 0 Dave Finnerman
Gordon Magat 1 – 0 Tim Wright
Cory Northrup 1 – 0 Paul Moore
Premjith Narayan 1 – 0 Arthur Alowitz
Krishna Nallamothu 1 – 0 Paul Axel-Lute
Adam Steinberger 0 – 1 Kun Park
Tom Clark 0 – 1 Dean Howard

The first round featured all decisive games, with the higher rated player winning each game, except for the one upset of Premjith (1521) winning over Arthur (1724). More on this game below.

The top two boards featured exciting games between four of the top five rated players. Berman-Finnerman featured a Symmetrical English with positional play dominating the game play, finishing in the final minutes for each player with Mr. Berman winning the ending. Magat-Wright featured a Slav defense with Mr. Wright grabbing the c-pawn and trying to hold it. Eventually Mr. Magat found enough initiative to bring about a very tactical game in which he got the better of the position and won.

Today’s game of the week features Premjith’s win over Arthur. Premjith joined the AACC last year, after the Championship. He and his son have frequented the club this past year, with lots of chess practice. Arthur of course is a grizzled veteran of the Capital Region chess scene, and has been a solid and super fast player. As we will see below, Premjith uses his opening preparation to throw Arthur off balance and to take the early lead. But a game is not always won so easily at club level, and Arthur looks for chances to hold. Enjoy!

When Black resigned, due to the overwhelming White advantage and the eminent fall of the black b-pawn. A well played game by White, using his opening knowledge to score an early advantage. But some critical miscues allowed Black a few opportunities to equalize the game. As the saying goes, you sometimes have to win a won game several times over…and in this case White did just that. But as a lesson for the weaker side, there often are chances to come back…but you have to look for tactics!!


News of the Local Clubs and a Game

My apologies to the followers of this blog. There has been no posts for several days beyond my usual pattern. I have to plead illness; a nasty cold and its aftermath kept me abed for this passed week. Even that mildest of effort, typing this stuff, was not possible.

However, the tide and the news waits for no man. Several newsworthy items landed on my desk during this time. They are: Continue reading “News of the Local Clubs and a Game”

The Finals Line Up Decided at Schenectady

The initial part of the chess season is coming to a close along with the year 2011. Just about all of the games of the preliminary sectional play at Schenectady are complete. One of the last games to finish games was of particular import; Le Cours versus Connors. They played Thursday evening in Saratoga. The outcome of that game Continue reading “The Finals Line Up Decided at Schenectady”