CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic
Congratulations to IM Rafael Prasca and Cory Acor (2378) for their 1st place tie with 4.5/5, where their only draw was against each other in their fourth round matchup on board 1.
written by NM Theo Slade, CFCC contributor
Round One; Three-Day Schedule
Going into the Sunshine Open, only Satvik Reddy (1860), Evan Stewart (2004), and I (2127) had entered the Premier section. Evan and I were in the three-day schedule whilst Satvik was in the two-day schedule which meant that on Friday night I played Evan. The top two sections could not really be merged at this point given that many players could have entered the Premier section two-day schedule on Saturday.
Evan was White, and we played the Anti-Berlin. Both sides committed a couple of mistakes before he made a strong exchange sacrifice. However, I missed my chance to return the extra material and reach an equal position, instead allowing a devastating Kingside attack. Evan made no mistake, and after forty-five moves I resigned.
However, immediately after this game, Harvey Lerman asked me if I would like to re-enter. Where I am from, in England, there is no option to re-enter; we only have one schedule! And I had never re-entered before in America as you have to pay another entry fee, you have to fit another game into an already tiring schedule, and adjust to playing a shorter time control in the first round of the two-day schedule, only to have to adjust back to playing with the time control you played with on Friday night. All of this sounds like a lot of inconveniences, especially when you consider that after all of that, you still may lose on Saturday morning! Then it would all be for nothing! Despite all of this, I nevertheless decided to re-enter anyway, although ultimately it did not turn out very well . . .
Perhaps Paul Leggett (1832) has got it all figured out: he lost on Friday night, re-entered, and then took a bye on Saturday morning. This way, he is guaranteed at least half a point out of his first round even if he loses, and he does not have to adjust to a new time control twice or play an extra game.
One final quirk of all this is that for the rest of the tournament, I cannot play Evan anymore because he played me in the first round! When we played each other, we were the top two seeds in the entire tournament, including all sections! If we had have known then that the sections were going to be merged on Saturday, we could have merged the sections on Friday and we would have both played lower rated opponents. It would have been disappointing from a competitive standpoint if both of us had tied for first on 5/5 without the chance to play each other again since I re-entered . . .
Round One; Two-Day Schedule
On Saturday morning I was paired Black against William Xu (1720) on board two, with IM Rafael Prasca (2433) on board one. However, at the last minute, Corey Acor (2378) entered, which meant that my pairing was the same, but instead on board three as White against the same opponent . . . Or was it? Actually, I was not playing against William Xu, but William Wu (1668)! No wonder my Dad misread the pairings; the names were so similar! Anyway, William Wu resigned after fifty moves. In the meantime, Rafael beat Nicholas Weisberger (1724) as White and Corey dispatched William Xu as Black.
On Saturday afternoon the two schedules merged, and Paul beat Wyndell East (1644) as Black. I played the Nimzo-Indian Defense against Leon Cheng (1708) and he resigned after thirty-one moves. This meant that I was on 2/2, maximum points, despite losing my first game! Meanwhile, Rafael won again, this time as Black against Zoe Zelner (1837) in the French Defense. Corey defeated Connor Eickelman (1772) as White in a Rook endgame.
On Saturday evening, I lost to John Givler (1942) in the Modern Benoni in a four-hour game. In my opinion, he played a brilliant sacrificial game, regardless of what the engine says and deserved to win. In the meantime, Paul won again as White against Sivaji Hariharan (1913). This meant that Paul was on 2.5/3 but obviously if there was only one schedule the maximum score for him would have been 2/3, so both Paul and I benefitted from the option to re-enter. Rafael extended his win streak in the antepenultimate round on the top board, defeating Ryan Hamley (1993) with the White pieces. Corey followed suit, beating Evan as Black.
Going into Sunday morning the top two seeds, who were both on maximum points, faced each other on board one. Corey was White, and at one point offered a draw, which was declined by Rafael. However, eventually, the point was indeed split. Credit to both players for playing a true fighting game of chess rather than agreeing on a quick draw.
In the last round, Rafael had Black again, facing Arnold Banner (1888) on the top board. Despite the enormous rating disparity, it was a very long, exciting game with a lot of spectators watching at various points. At one point, I counted as many as eleven people watching at once! However, in the end, Rafael prevailed, meaning that he finished on 4.5/5. On the second board, I was White against Corey and I played the Queen’s pawn opening. However, Corey played very well to checkmate me by underpromoting on the sixty-first move. That meant that Corey and Rafael tied for first, with John finishing third outright. Special mention should also go to Christopher Fashek (1614), who gained a whopping 107 rating points! Congratulations to the two highest rated players, Rafael and Corey, who shared first!
Photo gallery to be posted shortly!
-Central Florida Chess Club (CFCC)