US Amateur Team East 07, round 1

Quasi-live blogging the event from the Hanover Marriott. Chess tournament is across the highway at the Parsippany Hilton, as always.

Day One: Though this team chess tournament is huge – typically on the order of 1200 players – I see many familiar faces in the crowd. It’s a well run tourney but the sheer size makes it look like a three-ring circus, with Steve Doyle as a combined ringmaster/barker giving out random prizes before the first round.

The bathrooms already smell. This is not good.

Lots of GMs playing this year. That is good. However, I got one of them in the first round. (Not good.) Larry Christiansen, many-time US champion.

Short game. Major ouch. The theory goes that there’s no shame in losing a game like this, where you’re paired against an opponent 600+ rating points above you. However, when you demonstrate utter cluelessness in a queenless position and don’t make it to move 25, there is some shame.

Update: Our team, Simple Minds, comprises the usual suspects (Tim Newman, Matt Phelps and me) plus our pickup player of the year, Jim Frawley. Jim is on fourth board and he was the only one to scratch in the first round, beating Natasha Christiansen (Larry’s wife), who is generally a tough player. So Jim’s the MVP so far.

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