Monday, July 14, 2008

19th Vermont Resort Open

This event is organized by the Continental Chess Association (CCA) and is hosted annually at Mount Snow in Vermont.

It was a poor turn out at this years event with only twelve players in my section; it was not tended by any strong play on any one's part. Of course, the World Open may have had something to do with the low turn out; that tournament having been played just the week prior to this event.

That being said, I ended up winning my section outright after round 4 with four straight victories. By the time round 5 arrived, I was full of piss and vinegar, arrogant, tired and well, just wanting to get round 5 over with. Let me just say this, playing with a heir of arrogance will never get you a win. Needless, to say I lost round 5, knowing that I had a winning position too. Ah yes...the arrogance of it all.

Of a side note, round 5 of the Vermont Resort Open was also my first loss of the year. Lets look at this game shrouded in arrogance by white:

White: Smith
Black: William Montross
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4

I was hoping for a quick game and desperately hoping to play into a Ruy Lopez Exchange variation, but no..., my opponent opts to play into the "Bird Defense". I've only seen this once before in game play, but because I wanted a quick game, exchanging a piece here and there was the game plan. So taking the knight on d4 and hoping to take advantage of his exposed pawn along the d-file should prove a worthy strategy going forward.

4. Nxd4 exd4 5.d3 c6 6. Bc4 b5 7. Bb3 Bb4+

There are a couple moves that could be made here, c3 being the more conservative of the possibilities, but the theme is arrogance and exchange, so I play 8. Bd2!. Not that this is a bad move, but you can see where I'm going here, you know, "bug off mister", exchange bishops so that I can continue forward with my development. Black obliges and continues to "push" White's buttons, striving for that tempo.

8. Bd2 Bxd2+ 9. Nxd2 a5 10. a4 Ba6 11. O-O d5 12.Re1 Ne7 13. Qg4 O-O 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Qxd4 Nb4 16. Qxd8 Raxd8 17. axb5 Bxb5 18.Rxa5 Ra8

We come to this critical position in the game where white should be feeling really good about himself. After all, he has position, tempo and material. If I were playing this game earlier in the tournament, I would have exercised judicial judgement and properly surveyed the position to play the outright and very strong move 19. Rea8! But, once again, arrogance has its price and I truly felt that my opponent did not have the critical foresight to win this game. So with total disregard to control the open a-file, I exchange rooks straight away and forfeit the file over to my opponent.

Funny thing was...I still didn't feel threatened by my opponent even though I severely weakened my position. This is arrogance at its best!!

I go on to lose the game...yes, that's right...lose a game that White clearly had in the bag. Playing out the rest of the game, you can still sense the arrogance of White's moves and a discontent for Black's strong play in the end.

19. Rxa8 Rxa8 20. g3 g6 21. Re4 c5 22. d4 Ra1+ 23. Nf1 Bxf1 24. Resign...

Yes indeed, arrogance in its purest form will never get you a win. Lesson learned.

Rating Watch: 1468