This event is organized by the Continental Chess Association (CCA) and is annually hosted at the Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
It is another popular tournament with solid turnouts; albeit not as strong as say the Continental Open or Foxwoods Open. However, this tournament is my second favorite competition to play; Foxwoods deserving my top spot. This will be my fourth time attending this particular tournament.
What attracts me to this tournament, in addition to its energetic and competitive nature, is the ambiance and comforts offered by the hosting hotel. Clean, efficient and courteous staff and amenities that you can use without questioning the hygienic state of these facilities. The rooms are cozy and offer great room service! The function rooms are spacious enough to provide comfort and quiet for this competitive tournament. Right outside the function rooms are clean rest rooms, a bar, restaurant and a coffee stand!
The CCA deserves its due here too; they provided an efficient running tournament with top quality TD's to ensure a fair and fun competition. My hat is off to those folks everytime they put these events to together. Such volunteer work requires a lot of love for the game in general; and they have it!
This was a successful tournament for me. I scored 4.0/5 in the U1600 section to share a second place finish and prize money. However, as for the quality of play from my opponents, well, not to take anything away from them, but with the exception of the final round, they played up to the level of their D ratings. Yes, that's right, I was in the U1600 section and I did not see a "C" rated player until round 5. Needless to say, the games from this tournament were not of very high quality and what I mean by this; the games didn't generate anything exciting enough for me to blog about.
The exception was in round 2, where I suffered my only loss of the tournament. And by exception, I mean the level of play offered by my opponent. I played a young man from New York with a provisional rating of 1299 - Chandler Natarajan. He played a solid game as White and took advantage of my inability to come up with any strategies throughout the game. In this game he played like a "C" rated player and I played like a tangerine monkey looking to find a tree to climb in.
The line in this game was an ill fated King's Indian Defense. Usually, I have a solid game plan and formulate all sorts of strategies in this line of play, but not this round. I was moving pieces without any thought to position and then moving some of them back to the sqaure they just came from. I don't know why, but I just couldn't think in this game...it was a wierd experience. The only thing I could think of that would attribute to such a strange quandery was the fact that I just gulped down a venti quad latte and I was wired to the point where I couldn't settle down to think.
Lesson here, don't drink a quad latte before a calming game of chess!
Rating Watch: 1492