Arman wins the 2017 Club Championship

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After six rounds of play, my son Arman takes home the 2017 Kingston Chess Club (KCC) Championship, with 5/6 points. He had only ONE loss against Sid Anjilvel, but won against stronger opponents like Frank Dixon, Sudhir Pokhrel and myself. He also beat John Lukezich who performed well this tournament, beating both Jake Van Rooy and Dave Gordon. Naturally, Arman also ended up with the biggest improvement if CXR Chess Rating points.

Complete results are here: http://www.cxrchess.com/tournaments/WC1025.html

I, on the other hand, finished with 4/6 points. In addition to losing to Arman, I also lost to Jake Van Rooy, who turns out to be the 3rd seed (and I’m the first seed, based on CXR Chess ratings). I guess I’m a little rusty. I didn’t make much attempt to book-up, but it was still a pretty good tournament for me.

I actually enjoyed my game against Van Rooy. He plays just like me, preferring the Hypermodern philosophy, where we allow the opponent to occupy the center, and then try to break down the center from the flanks with stronger pieces (like bishops and knights). But seeing as we both played the Hypermodern style, the 4th and 5th ranks were relatively unoccupied through most of the middle game. More

Chess for the New Year

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After a 2 and a half year hiatus, I’m back at the chess club for a tournament – the Kingston Chess Club Championship. The last time I was at the club was back during the 2014/2015 season.

We have quite a few new faces, and a few that no longer come. And there’s still quite the range of players, from beginner/intermediate, all the way to expert. Seeing as people are still on school holiday, turn out for round one was a little low, about 10 players on 5 boards, with one person taking a bye.

I was seeded third, so being in the first half of the draw put me with a lower rated player. It’s been a while since I played, so I relished having the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs, and start off easy. And since this was the first round, I didn’t know who my opponent was before hand, so I was not able to prepare before hand. I had to rely on my basic knowledge of openings.

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My first game was a good warm up. I played White, and started with the English Opening. I stayed true to the modern style, and let Black control the center, and then chipped away positionally with small advantages over time. There were moments where I had a strong initiative, but I wasn’t able to convert it to a tactical advantage. I was only able to fall back to a positional advantage once the attack sequence was complete. I also made sure to manage my time well. It was a slow game, but towards the end, the sum of all the small advantages led to a definite win. More

Exploring Chess Openings

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Every chess season, I try to improve my knowledge of opening theory by trying out a few new openings. Opening theory is just one aspect of chess, and frankly, some might consider it the least important, compared to the Middle Game and End Game. The idea is, when playing with players of similar strength, the game is usually decided in the End Game (and sometimes the Middle Game). But my problem is that against tougher opponents, I usually find myself at a disadvantage out of the opening, and end up with an inferior end game. Some preparation in opening theory simply should not be dismissed. More

End of the 2012/2013 Chess Season

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The 2012/2013 Kingston Chess Club season is over 😦

We had the end-of-year party last Monday, but my video camera broke, so I wasn’t able to take any videos. I did take some pictures of my trophies after getting home though, here they are on my mantel (the keeper trophies):

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Full results are on the Kingston Chess Club website. I’ll be looking forward to next season, since we’ve also solidified the list of events for next year as well. And 2 of the 4 tournaments will be divided into sections, meaning I’ll be able to play with tougher players. More

Premature c5 break in the Caro-Kann

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So I lost my final Round 5 game of the 2013 Azroy Kandan Spring Open to Sid Anjilvel. We played the Advanced Variation of the Caro-Kann. I had a comfortable position out of the opening, after an early exchange of the light square bishops on move 4. But I think I was complacent in my approach, which resulted in a blundered pawn (and a lost center) on move 10.

Despite the early blunder (which I should have totally avoided), I think I took the wrong attitude towards the game. I was looking to equalize quickly, by regaining the lost pawn. And this only helped my opponent who tried to simplify the position by exchanging pieces. And even though I was able to regain the pawn, I was lost positionally toward the end game.

Instead, after losing the pawn, I should have played to my strength, which is to draw out the game in a closed position, and leave more pieces on the board. I think that would have given me more opportunities. By trying to regain the pawn, I merely accelerated the encounter into a winning end game for White. More

London System Game Commentary

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So I’ve finally prepared my commentary for my recent game against Peter Sibbald. You can view it here:

http://azroykandan.com/PeterSibbald.html#game5

I will now need to prepare against my next and final opponent for this year’s 2013 Azroy Kandan Spring Open, starting with my list of games against Sid Anjilvel. Our previous encounters have been filled with blunders, on both sides. My current KCC tournament record with him is 4-1, with my most recent game being a loss. It’s time for payback!

Playing the London System

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A surprising win today against Peter Sibbald. After learning to play against the London System in an effort to beat Dave Gordon, I decided to give the London System a punt as White. And strangely, I was able to get a small advantage after Black took the poisoned b2 pawn with the Queen. Still, it wasn’t a decisive win, and there were many possible lines after Black had to sacrifice a knight for 2 pawns (to avoid losing the queen completely). I will annotate the game later, and add it to my collection of games against Peter Sibbald. More

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