Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Became Runner in North American Open Chess Tournament 2013 in Las Vegas

I just have had a nice spring of tournaments at the end of 2013. First I was joint runner up in Tuesday Night Marathon Fall by defeating the then tournament leader Oleg Shakhnazarov.Then during Christmas break, I played in North American Open, Las Vegas and became sloe runner up in Under 1900 section bagging couple of thousand dollars.

Here are the games I played - 
  1. Round 1 won against John Hale
  2. Round 2 won against Ronald Morris
  3. Round 3 drew a winning rook end game against George Shan
  4. Round 4 won against Faisal Kaleem
  5. Round 5 drew a lost position against Olayemi Ogungbe
  6. Round 6 won against Justin Gomez
  7. Round 7 won against Kursat Karatas
As Sadiaa is visiting us from Boston, we made it a vacation plan. We first drive to Los Angeles renting a Chevy Tahoe 25th December. Saiful from San Diego joined us there. We stayed in LAX Marriott and visited Getty Institute next morning. Then we reached Bally's Las Vegas at 26th night where Zeeshan Bhai, Bhabi and their 5 kids joined the party.

Ahyan, Zayan and Raisah played in Under 1250 section while I played in Under 1900 (as my rating was 1882). I also met FIDE Master Mehdi Hasan Parag who came from Bangladesh and played in Open section scoring 4 out of 9 games. His current FIDE rating is 2285 and so he was expecting to play in Under 2300 section. However, he found at the very last moment that his USCF rating is 2302 and hence he was the lat seed in the open section. He was accompanied by Rifat Halim bhai who was playing in Under 1500 section coming from Florida. I and Rifat Bhai are trying to see how we can use Parag's chess talent to increase Bangladeshi chess players presence in the top boards of chess tournaments in USA.

Last year in this same tournament Ashfaq, Shumi, Sadiaa were also there with us. That time my rating was 1987 and I have lost more than 100 rating points over a year. However, last couple of months I am swinging back the ladder again and this time with the perofrmance in Las Vegas my rating in January 2014 has become 1990! You can see the final standings if you click the Under 1900 section link here -

To my astonishment, I saw the announcement of GM Maurice Ashley's Millionaire Open Chess when I came back to Fremont at 30th December. We came back earlier than New Year's Eve to have 31st night party in Sumit Bhai's house with all our close family friends.

I have registered for the Millionaire Chess Tournament already that will be help during October 9th to 13th in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas (which is adjacent to Bally's where I just played North American Open 2 consecutive years now). I am very hopeful about this tournament and Ahyan will also play in the Under 1000 section.

I started a thread in chess.com to promote this event and I am nervous about actually meeting the 1500 registrations by 31st March. GM Ashley has already handled a half million dollar Chess Tournament (HB Golbal in 2005 at Minneapolis) and I trust his calculations and capability in this regard. I wish success to this even whole-heartedly as it will be a great win for the game of Chess in USA.

I also played Bay Area International Amateur section (1800-2199 USCF rating group) last weekend scoring an average 4 out of 6. My immediate next targets are Golden State Open tournament that will be held in Concord, California (BART accessible from my home) in Under 2200 section and Foxwoods Open in Connecticut at 24th to 26th January in Under 2000 section. I will meeting Parag and Rifat Bhai there in Foxwoods who will also be playing that tournament.

Thoughts on Life, Death, and Overcoming Fear

I've been pondering a topic that's universally relevant yet rarely discussed - death and the anxieties it evokes. As I delve deeper ...