I Feel Idiotically Happy Today

by admin on October 20, 2008

Many years ago there was a cartoon in The New Yorker that shows a frumpy old housewife with permed hair, standing in a house that is the epitome of depressing: a bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling, a flea-bitten dog, a bald husband with a t-shirt and a beer belly who is not paying any attention to her. With a big silly grin on her face, she announces to no one in particular, “I feel idiotically happy today!”

If you don’t know The New Yorker‘s sense of humor, the point is that she is just an idiot.

Anyway, that’s the way I feel on the morning after the Western States Open chess tournament. I won a completely loopy last-round game that made my score 3-3, which believe it or not was good enough for a prize. I tied for second place under-2300 with, among other people, fpawn. I didn’t exactly win a lot of money, but it was almost enough to recover my entry fee. I’ll also gain a few rating points. Woo hoo!

The winner of the whole shebang, as you can probably read by now on the USCF website, was Sergey Kudrin. He went into the last round in clear first place with 4.5/5. I think there were two people with 4/5. Kudrin drew one of them, and the other drew also, so Kudrin took clear first with 5 points.

This will have to be a very abbreviated post because I have to leave soon. I will certainly post some more details on my games after I get home. For now, it will suffice to say that the last day was a prime example of “the equalizing injustice of chess.” In round five I had an easily drawn and perhaps winning endgame against a master, Gregg Small, but I managed to find the only way to lose. But I got my “karma point” back in the last round against Jennifer Acon, a class-A player. It’s a very long story, but the gist of it is that she was almost certainly winning at some point, but I managed to beat her in an endgame with rook and bishop versus rook and three pawns. You read that right! Even rook and bishop versus rook is supposed to be a draw, so how on earth did I win when she had three extra pawns? Tune into my next entry to find out!

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