USATE 2011: Round 6, results and wrapup

CROSSTABLE POSTED  (final update)

US Chess Federation has rated the tournament. I lost a whopping 14 points! How’d you do?


UPDATE 3:  Misc quotes from the weekend

“Well his rating was 1400, but I’m telling you, that kid is no 1400!” – At least 100 different people, all talking about different opponents.

“You suck!” – How Matt motivates his teammates after a loss.

“What happened to Slater’s beard? It’s all white!”  -Anonymous.


UPDATE 2: Well lookit, NJCF already has the prizewinners posted. Congratulations to winners West Orange Krush! That’s Zlotnikov’s team, according to the final writeup on

I don’t know what “Consuela and her Epic Lemon” means, but congrats to them as well (for a great team name) [SEE COMMENTS FOR EXPLANATION].

I think Daniel Zack deserves a shout-out here also. There’s a prize given each round to the player who scores the biggest rating upset. Mr. Zack won that award in three of the six rounds. His initial rating of 807 is likely to change in light of his wins over opponents rated 1596, 1739 and 1974!


After the round 5 debacle (I walked into a knight fork in a winning position, and my team got wiped out by a lower-rated group, and they weren’t even little kids) we played the final round on Board 80. That’s the last board, the very last board, in the main ballroom. I beat a 1600 and hit the road. Matt will hopefully provide the final details.

On the opposite end of the cavern, Board One featured Team Zlotnikov (old Russian IM) vs Team Marc Arnold (little American kid). All the Massachusetts teams had played their way out of contention, although the defending champ Cambridge Springers had worked their way up behind the ropes.

Will update this post with results and crosstable links as I find ’em.

Also I have some pix to post, including my potentially award-winning photoessay “Welcome to Parsippany”, but have to get caught up at work first.

So another great year is behind us. Lesson learned for me — no, I can’t walk in and play rusty and expect good results. Frequent naps and fresh food (that’s my wife’s awesome site, check it out) can only take me so far. But I can play unevenly and still have fun. And that I did.


15 thoughts on “USATE 2011: Round 6, results and wrapup

  1. The kid, Kenneth (not Kevin) won, so with another queen ending looming, I took a draw to secure the match. The Other Matt was up two pawns in a rook ending when I left, so it looked good.

    I did get to play Nxf7, so I’m happy.

    The team went 3-3, as did I, not at all bad.

    Cap’n Matt

  2. Matt: Just like I said, Kenneth.

    Nxf7 was nice.

    3-3 would have been better if we’d swapped & won round 5, lost round 6 to a higher squad. But it was fun! Thanks for organizing & handling registration etc.

    Keith: There’s method to the madness (sorta).

  3. Consuela and the Epic Lemon Pledge is a Family Guy reference (I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I am an unabashed fan of the show). They were a very nice young team from NYC that we happened to beat the stuffing out of in Round 4.

  4. Greg,
    I too am a fan… here’s a snippet of the reference:

    Now…as for Robot Chicken.. I really should get more sleep and turn off the TV at night…. but… some of that stuff is over the top funny.

  5. Greg & Blunder – thanks. “Pledge” is cut off on the winners’ list which makes it even more mysterious.

    Greg, how did your team finish up?

    Katrushka – cool!

  6. Derek, we finished with an undefeated 4.5. Not enough for prize consideration, but still a pretty good result.

  7. Hello Derek, I have had to be silent due to an overwhelming urge to write about USATE, my corner, but have always and still do love your blog. I respect and admire you so much. You got the physical Gasho over your R shoulder, and now the cyber-virtual Gasho!

    But here I must speak. Orange Krush [1] (assuredly, not Irina kind who nevertheless is most estimable in all ways) did take first, but of our five teams, Rythems of Orange took first for under 1700, sporting a 1698 average rating, was it?

    I was board four, sporting my old 1452 rating provisional, from 1973, and yes, the GM author of one of the best chess books of the year asked ME to send HIM his games for a book, in chessBase, so yea, there are some wild lower ratings…

    I am certain I played three or four hired killers as 1383 or totally unrated, and barely survived, so my contribution was to not LOOSE against most of these guys, the sorts who say they ‘play with their kids (yea?!) and haven’t played much, then play all the right moves in the Bronstein-Larsen variation, and I do me all of it. I only have 4,000 games that line, and they out-complicate me early, hugh, but unrated, sure! Yes, they are all just kids and new to the game.

    Then the Dvoretsky-esque endings, from these players, and unrated, like Capablanca, they never study, just preternaturally handsome, and dashing, free of strain.

    156 moves here, Saturday round one, two, then early three, a killer too, 1:00 to 5:45, then 7:30 to but 11:50, get to bed at 1:45 am, cannot sleep, doing the game blindfold ALL night in my head, wake at 5:30, 6:00, get up at 7;10 am, why try to sleep, yea, a walk in the park by all of us!

    [1] Or is it REM, 80’s dudes pls help, don’t know this one…

    [2] Have you seen the youTube videos abv? :-)

  8. GK – nicely done!

    DK – It was great to meet you in person after knowing you for 4 years :) “Hired killers” totally sums it up. Did your Parsippany experience live up to expectations?

    1. Oh, yes I’ve watched some of those videos, and also one where you read — was it Howl? or Naked Lunch? — aloud with a friend and both fall apart laughing. Wonderfully amusing!

  9. Derek, Thank you. You ask what me a weighty question which I cannot disregard. Please bear with me to start as I tell a brief story, then answer–or more–right and proper. This is a true story:

    There was once a dedicated sports writer dedicated to his craft and the ‘art of the game’, which ever it was, at ESPN. He had set his sights on a major feature interview with this one major athlete. Not like a stalker, but for sure in a very committed yet circumspect way. A year or more went by. He tried and tried. Resolute in his certainty that one day he would get to talk with this figure, he planted himself just outside the access gate of a major sports stadium.

    The name of this athlete escapes me, but think just off the very first tier, such as Ray Allan, Donovan McNabb, Jorge Posada, Vijay Singh (sports aficionados, forgive me if any examples are off, but you get the idea).

    His moment and positioned near the car window, he gives him a shout. I make up a name: “Brad, Brad! I want to interview you. I really do. I AM YOUR FRIEND!”

    The moment of truth came. In his jive, as I recall it, he squints and grins and says, “Man. Mannnn, you are MY friend?? Ya know what, being a friend comes with certain things. A friend is someone who you can call in the middle of the night, at any and they are gonna be there for you. That’s a friend. He shock his head”. And he drove off.

    So, you ask me whether my Parsippany experience lived up to my experience. Himmm? You will get what you expect from me:

    * * *

    I am a man, to a fault, who expects a lot in life, from people, and processes. So when I tell you that I showed up, with no expectations, and I do mean none, this is quite a thing.

    My family is from West Caldwell, and we have been hear or about for over 80, maybe 90 years. We are working people. Yet I have been away for thirty years, and truth be told, knowing next to nothing about this, I could but think of YOU, having read your blog in yesteryears, and of course the ever beloved Polly Wright. So the are is hardly new for me, and this is very old soil, old air, old feeling, deep, uncanny, incommensurable things. As Thoreau said, and I paraphrase, “Who needs to travel, when by simply looking out the window or coming into town, I can see the most fantastic things rivaling any tale from The Arabian Nights”. Exactly.

    I had even been to this Hilton, to submit my resume in November, walking in as if I were an undercover knowledge worker, seeking a skilled labor job.

    Not having played a rated game since 1973, till a few weeks ago, after joining the USCF, so that I could enter the West Orange Chess Championship. Ever overconfident, my fault to a tee, I went 0-3 in even games to slightly behind, but mostly draws which usually be lost on a mistake. After 30,000 blitz games, and bullet, and recently even taking IM, Master, and now and again GM scalps at chess 960 (Fisherdom chess), you can imagine the hubris of thinking that I would quickly pull up my rating of 1452 provisional for 11 games, as an age 15 boy, almost 14 really, when this sorrowfully happened.

    I called Jose Fernandez, this same man who captained the team that won ALL of the tournament, and captained our team, and told him that I had not lost confidence, or interest, or a sense of preparation, but freely was willing to step down, and let someone else play. It is not lost on me, now that we won the under 1700 prize, with three very strong 1800’s or so, that my rating allowed us to have a 1698 average rating, plus being a potential weapon in play. I didn’t know I would dependably be meeting similar fourth board killer fish, but that is another matter.

    On arrival, I saw thousands of person, expecting hundreds. My heart was beating… And in the end, getting home Monday night, in the post snow inclemencies and all, I checked the website, expecting no more than to perchance get news, but really figuring nothing would be there, only to be utterly startled to see we won. It must have been on tiebreak’s, on average rating of other winners, probably at 3.5 out of six, and a matter of much satisfaction out of utterly nothing.

    Synergies abounded, such as coming in before round four, and asking a total stranger from Boston was it or NY, if they knew Polly, and they did. And having checked the boards for you, but overwhelmed with records, could not find you… So asked them, do you know Derek Slater, or is he here? And lo, after five years actually, not four, you come walking up, ‘David Korn?’ Damn! Providential.

    Specifically: in Lewis and Clark form, post modern in tone:

    In the event of the United States being split into bioregions, far more sensitive to climate, in a world of certain raising seas upon global warming, Parsippany will be unaffected by this raising oceans. But much concrete, steel, and asphalt infrastructure will remain, yet unusual for this developed area, some forest and greenery will still exist and be suitable for harvest and cultivation, if not animal husbandry.

    The population at the turn of the century, from the evidence and things written, seems to have been mainly preoccupied with insurance, medical paper work, automotive repair, fast food, missiles and projectiles, and chain restaurants or other such major retailers. Strange towers are placed at intervals, which seem to have been worshipped remotely, and 22nd century cryptographers conjecture that this was in the worship of post-modern deities by the name of Verizon, Attie, Nokia, Blackberry, Apple. Carbon dating cannot detect blackberries or apples, but the latest spectroscopy may as yet be able to determine their true purpose.

    The American Trilateralpicticus was once a great and far reaching culture, and Asian and Indic travelogues tell of the undoing of this society by too much focus upon cinema, mobile communications, broadcasts of famous actors and actresses notable for whether their intimate areas were visible by Papparazi, who could make large sums of money by photographing these images. There were also large green areas, maintained by energy consumption equal or greater than all the energy used by the Ottoman empire, where professional events were held, and men could make more money in what were called skin games, than the providers of labor could secure in twenty years of constant, grueling labor. Owners of capital all kept records of things called shares, which were based on things never seen or hears, but which had great value.

    In the pursuit of justice, great systems were put in place to insure that these same laborers never escaped, using things called legal, accounting, military, taxation, and mind control.

    Some persons evolved a game called chess, involving carefully determined visual computation, and despite its being a form of mental torture, some either liked it very much, or at least were good at it, but it necessitated devotion to its arts to the neglect of physical hygiene, spouses, physical environment, world events, and other well determined forms of leisure. An Italian man named Elo caused a sensation, and vast swarms of ants crawled over each to see who could make the grandest construct, surpassing all other ants. These were recorded, and sold, and the best sellers showed the initial moves, ensuring that these same players would never excel in tactics, planning, or endgames, but such activity distracting, like Pascals Pences, distraction of certain death in a cold and endless dark blue whirling galaxy.

  10. I have to ask, Re: 1400 kids. At what age did you find kids getting “tougher than they should be”? I need to enjoy these brief years of kids younger than high school being more or less “fresh meat” while I can.

    It is good to hear that David’s still in the land of the living!

    @Ivan: Derek usually requires some sort of animal sacrifice.

  11. DK – done in your finest form :) But if it weren’t chess distracting us, it’d be something else. And I think some distraction is necessary.

    Ivan – see reply to previous request! Instead of a lengthy unfocused blogroll that nobody reads, I’ve opted for a small eclectic blogroll (that nobody reads. But if they did they’d find interesting stuff there.) I link more often to individual posts that I want to point people to.

    Donnie – I don’t have a good answer to that other than “when they get a coach”. — I didn’t know until recently that Bent Larsen took up chess seriously at 17 and was an IM two years later!!

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