Phew… I should have lost Round 4

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It’s the nature of club level games that we all make blunders. In the previous round, I made a blunder which thankfully I was able to recover from. For this round however, I was clearly losing after many missteps in the opening. However, my opponent made a critical blunder at move 29, and resigned 2 moves later. You can check out my complete commentary/annotation here:

http://www.azroykandan.com/2012_PeterSibbald_SpringOpen.html

My key takeaways here:

1 – I really should prepare better, regardless of who my opponent is. My opponent clearly prepared to play against my Sicilian opening. And I on the other hand didn’t bother to anticipate my opponent. My lacklustre efforts lead to a dreadful middle game where I was struggling to keep the pressure.

2 – When choosing an opening, I really should stick to what I know. And if I want to divert from theory, I should understand the best places to move off the main line. My attempt at moving away from theory with d6 on move 5 was clearly not good. Sticking to theory, despite my opponents preparation, might have been better in this case.

3 – I used a lot of time in today’s game. White really had a chance to win on time, if he was up to the challenge. I found myself thinking after every move, which is actually a good thing. I always find myself skipping this step when I’m winning and too excited. And as I’ve told my son before, if you’re gonna spend extra time while you’re losing, why not use that same extra time while you’re winning? You’ll yield better results.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. I got off easy this time. I’m hoping I’ll get to play the tournament leader, Wayne Coppin, in the next round. It’ll either be me or Dave Gordon.

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Oops… I almost lost Round 3

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So for Round 3 of the 2012 Peter Sibbald Spring Open, I was matched up against David Chan, a junior which I drew with just a few weeks ago in the final round of the 2012 Kingston Chess Club Championship. I told myself I would learn from my mistakes there, and play a more aggressive game. Ironically, my “more aggressive” game was more of a repeat of last week’s game against Sid. And if you recall, I lost that one after a critical blunder / miscalculation.

Anyway, I decided to open with my trusty English Opening, with a King-side fianchetto. Black opts for an early d5 to contest the center.

At move 10, I decided to play more tactically, by bringing out my queen. I managed to control quite a bit of space in the center and the queen-side. I would say I had a comfortable position, while Black was struggling for counter play.

At move 18, I managed to constrain Black’s queen to c8, blocked in but its own bishop on e6 and pawn on f5. Playing aggressively meant that there were some weaknesses in my pawn structure, but it would be difficult for Black to penetrate through my front lines.

However, at move 24, I made a critical error, and miscalculated a key continuation. As a result, I lost my dark square bishop, for only a pawn in return. With my bishop gone, it looked like it was only a matter of time for Black to penetrate my defense. Although I was ahead 20 minutes on the clock, I quickly blew away my time advantage thinking up a solution, which I couldn’t find. More

QuickSchools Teacher of the Year 2012

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I just want to spread the word. QuickSchools is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Teacher of the Year. Selected candidates will be showcased on the QuickSchools blog, where you can vote for your favourite teacher. The winning teacher will receive a New iPad (iPad 3).

This is the first time QuickSchools is giving out such an award. And we hope schools will participate. Only schools who subscribe to the QuickSchools service are eligible.

Nominations will close at 11:59pm PST on Sunday April 15, 2012. To put in your nomination, click on the link below to fill in the form:

http://blog.quickschools.com/2012/03/28/quickschools-teacher-of-the-year-award-details/

Selected candidates will be announced the week of April 15. And then voting can commence!  I’ll keep you guys updated…

Running again

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I was looking through my old blog entries and came across my experience running the KRRA Half Marathon in 2010. And I realized that I didn’t run any half marathons the whole of last year (2011). So I thought to myself, I should really run AT LEAST 2 half marathons each year. And it doesn’t have to break the bank. The KRRA Half Marathon in is Kingston every April, and the Brockville Half Marathon, held in September, is only an hour’s drive away.

So anyway, that’s my new resolution moving forward. I’ve just registered for the KRRA Half Marathon, which will be on April 29, 2012. That gives me about a month to train. Just like 2010, I’ve only been running short distances these past months (about 5km or so). So I should have time to run longer distances in preparation (maybe get a couple 10-km and 15-km runs in). And also, I should stick to my old running shoes for this run (although some new ones are probably due). Another positive note, last year’s run saw a few slower runners. So if the participants this year are like last year, I shouldn’t be dead last again… hopefully.

Also, I will most likely try to run the half marathon portion of the Ottawa Marathon, which is scheduled for May 27. I don’t think I’ll be able to make the Brockville Half Marathon this September, because I would have just gotten back from Malaysia, and will probably be busy getting everything (kids and all) ready for the new school year. Incidentally, I’ve never actually run the Brockville Half Marathon, because in the past, it coincides with the fasting month of Ramadhan. I will definitely try for next year. But for this year, I should still aim for another race in the Fall, maybe in late September or early October, before it gets cold.

I’ll be sure to blog about the races I run.