We are getting to know more of the American players here, which is wonderful for team camaraderie, opportunities to practice chess, and of course, tossing the football, but it is leaving me less time for blog posting (and more to write about!) I have added in a number of pictures to older posts, so be sure to scroll through and take them in.
Yesterday’s second game brought a much tougher opponent than his first game of the day. Drew was paired against an American, Atreya Vaidya from Texas. Atreya is playing his second WYCC, having competed last year in Slovenia. (The word on the street is that the tournament in Slovenia was much more well-organized and ran much more smoothly than here in UAE.) With a solid FIDE rating and a USCF rating about 500 points higher than Drew’s, we knew that Atreya would be difficult to beat. Once again, there was not much time for preparation. We were able to locate games on chess-db, and Drew studied these on his own before trekking to the tournament hall for a 4 pm start. The game lasted almost four hours, and Drew played well, but he came away with a loss in round 5.
Link to round 5 game:
Drew was able to get a good night’s rest — he has always been one who was asleep by the time his head hit the pillow — and felt good going into round 6 paired against an opponent from Saudi Arabia. In chess tournaments, players are typically paired against someone with the same or similar number of points. With wins in rounds 3 and 5, Drew had garnered two points thus far in the tournament. His opponent also had two points: one bye and one forfeit win. Magesh prepared Drew for some opening traps during the am coaching session and then we escaped campus to visit the Bawadi Mall for a change of pace.
After returning to campus, Drew and I boarded a packed bus to head to the tournament hall. I had just gotten set up in the skittles area to do some writing when Drew came bouncing in, only 35 minutes into the round. He won in 18 moves.
We are just over halfway though the trip and the tournament. With six games down and five to go, it is
Drew vs. Middle East: 3-0 Drew vs. Rest of World: 0-3
Hopefully he can even the score against the “world” in the days to come.
Round 6 game:
Round 6 puzzle: White to move and mate in 2
Answer to puzzle:
1. Bg4+ Ke7 2. exf6#