|Hello all -|
Mr. Burke here with a recap of today's action. What a long, intense day it was. In Round 3 (9:00 AM game) JM played against a player rated 1776 from Alabama. On paper, JM appeared to be the favorite, but the game turned into a long drawn out battle that lasted a little over 4 hours. JM ended up with the win, but he definitely had to work for it.
We only had about 45 minutes to grab a quick lunch before the 2:00 PM Round 4 game. JM was paired with Rishi Rajendran, a fellow NJ player that JM played a few years back in the NJ state championship (I believe it was the 3rd grade championship in 2010, but I could be off by a year). The only time JM and Rishi played they drew and ended up as NJ co-champions. The Round 4 game today was on the large elevated stage in front of the tournament room, in full view of the 2000 other players and hundreds of other spectators in the room. Talk about a pressure cooker environment! True to form, the game was a JM special that went 4.5 hours - when the game finished JM only had 30 seconds on his clock. The game was intense, and ended with both players blitzing out their moves and pounding the clock. JM ended up victorious, winning his 4th straight game.
35 minutes later, after another quick meal, JM was back on the big stage to take on another player with a 4-0 record, a player rated 2033 from West Virginia. This was the toughest player according to rating JM had faced so far, in the dreaded Saturday night 7:00 PM game. Thankfully, the game only lasted 2 hours and ended with both players agreeing to a draw.
All in all, a great day with 2 wins and a draw. JM currently has 4.5 points out of 5. Going into Round 5 there were 6 players with 4.0 scores, and they were all playing each other in Round 5. At 4.5 points JM definitely is in contention to win it all. 2 wins tomorrow would get him to 6.5 points and a strong possibility of at least a share of first place. Round 6 is at 9:00 AM. This tournament has a very fast pace with 7 games in 3 days. JM hasn't had any time to even show me his games - it has been a race to eat and go to bed in between all the chess.
Great performance today by JM - he has put himself into a position to win it all, which is what you want going into the last 2 rounds. Looking forward to an exciting day tomorrow - I will post an update tomorrow night after the tournament is over. For those interested, you can see the standings for the K-6 Championship Section here:http://uschess.org/tournaments/2013/snv/?page=RESULTS