Monday, August 21, 2017

Drew Agaginst IM Oscar Cartagena in Carlsen Swiss @Norcal House of Chess

I and Ahyan played a short 3 round Carlsen Swiss chess tournament at NorCal of Chess where I drew in last round against IM Oscar Cartagena. Here are the games I played.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Became Champion in Bernardo Smith Memorial Chess Tournament @Mechanics Chess Club, SFO

I became undefeated champion in Bernardo Smith Memorial Chess Under 2200 Tournament  at Mechanics Chess Club, San Francisco this weekend scoring 5.5 out of 6. After last week's joint championship in Fresno in Under 2050 section - this consecutive win came with pleasure of excellent performance from my son Ahyan Zaman too.

Ahyan got his biggest scalp by winning the 1st round against the top seed National Master Michael Lei Wang rated 2186. In the G1 (1 hour each side for first 4 rounds and then 2 hours each side for round 5 and 6) game, we arrived 20 minutes late - so his opponent not only had a rating 644 higher than him but also had a time advantage. His first reaction after winning was that now he can negotiate a full week of screen time back from his Mom!

End of first day and 4 rounds, I was leading the standings with all wins while Ahyan was alone in 2nd position with 3.5 and his first round nemesis Michael Wang and Gary Warmerdan are trailing in 3rd position with 3 points. And the rest of the field is way behind with 2.5 or less points. Ahyan drew the second round against 1767, won the 3rd round against 1650 and won the 4th round against 1892 - all of whom were higher rated than him. Arbiter IM John Donaldson was in trouble to avoid paring between father and son - and paired Michael against me for me instead of Ahyan for 5th round. As I drew the 5th round as per my plan, Ahyan lost to Gary. So I had to play Ahyan in the last round and despite Ahyan's attack and sacrifice, I won. 

The final standings can be found here -

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Round 4:

Round 5:

Round 6:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Both I and Ahyan won prize money in Summer 2017 Tuesday Night Marathon at Mechanics

Last night was the last round of Summer 2017 Tuesday Night Marathon. I was playing in second board against the top seed Tenzing Shaw (2310) while each of first 4 boards were deciding the final standings of the tournament. Derek O'Connor won against Romulo in first board being sole champion with 7 points while I luckily drew a 2 pawn down rook end game against Tenzing. Elliott won a competitive game against Condra Diaz being sole runner up. With this draw I became jointly 3rd with 4 others with 6 points out of 8, also grabbing best Under 2200 performance and $120 prize money. My son Ahyan Zaman won a very long and drawish end game against my ex-colleague and friend Bruce Ricard with best Under 1400 performance and $115 prize money! Also in that group with Ahyan the other best Under 1400 performance with the same 4.5 score was my another ex-colleague and friend Ganesh Mathroobutham. A tense night ended with dreaming results for us.

This week's TNM newsletter mentioned the results here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Attended the seminar by Garry Kasparov on Future of Artificial Intelligence

Last Thursday (8th June) I attended Garry Kasparov's seminar promoting his latest book Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins. The event was organized by The Commonwealth Club at Marines' Memorial Theatre, San Francisco. This one hour event started at noon and was moderated by Holly Kernan, VP of news editing of San Francisco Chronicle, followed by a book signing session in stage by Kasparov. The event was sold out and I am fortunate that I purchased the ticket earlier. In this semiar he discussed about Putin's terrible regime in Russia and gave an optimistic view of artificial intelligence assisting human creativity in future.

I ordered the book from Amazon ahead of time and hence was able to get an autograph of Kasparov on this book along with getting the above picture taken by the photographer. It was a great moment for me as I regard him as the strongest chess player of all time. I have studied his games, his biography, his famous series of chess books - My Great Predecessors, his mammoth clashes over the board with another legend Anatoly Karpov. A lot of my love for chess may be sourced from the enthusiasm from this great chess player.

Book signing photos: The book signing Facebook album is here

Video: Watch the Facebook live stream of the event here

Saturday, April 22, 2017

XCell Chess Club Runner Up in USAT National 2017 Playoffs

We, XCell Chess Club, became runner up in the United States Amateur Team (USAT) 2017 Championship. We won the semi-final against North by 3-1. I lost in third board with White against Michael Auger rated 2268 (almost 300 more than mine) but all our other boards won. In the other semi-final game, East defeated South by 2.5-1.5 margin. South's first board couldn't play due to a personal emergency and hence they had to play up with 3 boards.

In the final we faced the current champion East. I won my game with Black against Warren Wang rated 2198 (again more than 200 points above mine). Arul and Ashrita lost in fourth and second board respectively. In first board Hayk had better position against Ethan Li but drew in time pressure as the game prolonged. Well, we were very close but couldn't make it. We will have to be happy with the runnner up. But this was a great experience and good team work. Kudos to team manager Tigran and XCell Chess Club owner Eshwaran for arranging everything for us. There is always a next time!

This playoff along with the original west zone team championship is the most significant team competition I have ever played!