A chess rivalry – Round 1 of the “Upper Canada Series”

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I thought the chess season was over, but apparently, some of us are still free to play chess on Monday evenings. And so Sid and I are playing every Monday now, until I leave for the summer in July. We should hopefully have 7 games, which we’ll play at the Upper Canada Academy on Brock Street (which is why we’re calling it the “Upper Canada Series”).

Anyway, game 1 ended today, with a loss by me on White. Congratulations to Sid on the early 1-0 lead, of a 7-game series, hopefully.

I played e4 as White, and Black responded with the sicilian defense. I thought I’d play the Grand Prix Attack, which is a favorite of KingsCrusher, a chess commentator whom I follow on YouTube. Black played an unusual e5 on move 2, with a morocy bind type structure. I don’t think I played the opening very well. Here are some things to remember for next time: More

Last game of the season against Peter Sibbald

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The last game of the season, Round 5 as White against Peter Sibbald in the 2012 Peter Sibbald Spring Open, ended with a draw. I was vying for the win, but I really was out-played by this higher-rated (actually highest-rated) opponent.

As with my previous game with Peter, he played aggressively in the opening, attacking before all his pieces were developed. And I simply was not able to take advantage of the position, despite having the first move with White. I wasn’t able to get any sort of advantage out of the opening, and Black was able to develop comfortably into the middle game. Perhaps I need a different strategy in the opening. My options were quite limited, and I had to get creative with the opening breaks.

But even toward the middle game, I think I could have controlled the center better with my pieces, instead of initiating a premature attack with 10.Nd5 (I think 10.Nge2 would have been better), maybe move Qc2 and castle long a little earlier, and then play on the King-side, instead of the center. More

The 2011/2012 chess season is over :(

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I kinda left things hanging after my last round against Peter Sibbald at the 2012 Peter Sibbald Spring Open. We ended with a draw. In fact, the top 4 boards drew. Everybody was basically holding their ground. I will post up the PGN and my analysis soon.

Anyway, last Monday was the year end pizza party, which is when we handed out trophies for all the tournaments of the year. You can see the results, and a short video, on the KCC Blog. I also managed to win the first Grand Aggregate title of the Kingston Chess Club, having won 2 out of the 4 tournaments (although that was not the only criteria).

I’m very much looking forward to the 2012/2013 season, where hopefully I can improve on my record. I won one title in 2010/2011, and 2 titles in 2011/2012. Maybe 3 titles for 2012/2013? I will really have to prepare for this one. Everybody’s looking to win, and we may introduce a cash prize for on the tournaments too. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

So that’s it for chess until we resume on Sept 10, 2012.

2012 KRRA Half Marathon

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My first half marathon in almost TWO YEARS…

Start Line - 2012 KRRA Half Marathon

Start Line – 2012 KRRA Half Marathon

I told myself about a month ago, that I would start running again. I didn’t run a single race the whole of 2011. And so I signed up for the KRRA Half Marathon with only 4 weeks to really train. The last time I ran this race was 2 years ago in 2010, where I finished DEAD LAST (yup, DEAD LAST). The last half marathon I ran is actually the one in Lake Placid, also 2 years ago, which I must say was one of my most enjoyable runs/vacations I have ever had! So how did this run go?

First off, just like my previous KRRA half marathon, I didn’t have much time to train. But I have been running short distances as often as I can (usually 5km 1-2 times a week). And so my “readiness” to run a half marathon was pretty much the same as 2010. I have run a few half marathons before (although several years ago). But was I setting myself up for another last place finish?

Out of sheer paranoia, I checked the results from 2011. And I was relieved to find that there were a couple of runners above the 3-hour mark last year. So I’m thinking if those guys ran again this year, I might not be last this year. Perhaps that was wishful thinking.

So I took precautions (having learned a lot from my 2010 experience): More