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Tournament: Part I

Tournament: Part I

Hikaru Junction

Tournament: Part I

Hello all–

Welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet with absolutely unimaginative titles. Today I thought I’d catch you all up on the last tournament I played in over the board, as a way of easing back into this blogging business. In any case, I last played at the Empire City Open in NYC, where I scored a rather pitiful 1/6. Hopefully my mistakes will prove instructive. Let’s get into it, then!

Mario Guevara-Rodriguez–HikaruShindo Empire City Open 2017

Then, the lunch break. Having played reasonably well for the first twenty moves of the previous game, I was not too downcast, and I went to the sandwich shop to get lunch: A grilled chicken sandwich with melted cheese, if I remember correctly. And some of the below chips:


I only mention these chips because they represented a perfect image of my mental state at the time: perfectly adequate, but not particularly good and cracking at the slightest pressure. Going into the second round, I was cautiously confident.

HikaruShindo–Jeffrey A. Gelman Empire City Open 2017

Now, though my fighting spirit may be condemned somewhat, the circumstances in which I agreed a draw I believe to be fair: material is even, as is piece development. Black’s pawn structure is marginally weaker, but the difference is unexploitable by White.

Reasonably satisfied with the day’s play, I went home and watched The Office (the US version) for what felt like six hours (and probably was six hours) until I fell asleep. The nest morning, I woke up dim and early, ate some yoghurt, and returned to do battle with what I allowed myself to believe was the spirit of some reincarnated Viking, but in retrospect, reading over the game, was more like that of the 2012-2013 Minnesota Vikings, or perhaps Toby Flenderson.

HikaruShindo–Joshua Dong Empire City Open 2017

I think it’s frustrating to play games that conclude along these lines because each move, individually, has little wrong with it, and there’s not much you can exploit, not very many risks you can take without being objectively worse off. You can’t play the game on a knife’s edge if you’re only handed the hilt, and even so, the effort you put in seems to merit more than the anticlimactic end the game eventually reaches; you expect either a win or a loss, or at least an interesting draw, rather than one that just happens. A game that just peters out, like this blog post, with a long, boring, set of words/moves.

Tournament: Part II this Sunday.
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