Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ICCA Division Championship - Feb 7th

Last Saturday, I traveled back home to New Lenox to check out the ICCA Division Championship held at Lincoln-Way Central (My former high school). I planned on analyzing games of my former teammates to help prepare them for state, however due to there being an odd amount of players in the open I ended up playing in the open. First round, I played my former teammate Keith Swanberg, a freshmen at Joliet Junior College. He blundered a pawn in the opening, but he ended up getting some compensation for it. Short on time, he blundered most of his pieces. Second round, I played Matt Halloway. I played fast out of the opening missing some ideas and ended up in a passive position, however I was able to trade off most of his pieces and got into a bad bishop vs. knight endgame, which I easily won. My last round, I played against my teammate Ulysses Acevedo, a junior at Loyola University Chicago. I got a slight advantage out the opening and held it throughout the middlegame. However, it was hard to break through Ulysses position. He mostly just reacted to my moves and I still couldn't break through. I got in time pressure and got into a endgame with a strong passed pawn, which won the game. I thought it was funny that in the last round two Loyola students faced off for the title. Overall, the tournament was exceptionally run by Lincoln-Way Central's coach Kevin Dailey. This is the fourth year that the tournament was hosted by Lincoln Way Central. The only disappointing feature of the tournament was the turn out. This year the date of the tournament was switched to the week before state instead of two weeks after. This was thought to bring out more players, however it failed to do so. Being a player who competed in this tournament I believe that it is very hard to find a good week to have this tournament. In all other sports after state the season is over, which is why it shouldn't be after state. However, scheduling it right before state seems like a lot of chess before state since there are so many other tournaments taking place in January and Feburary. State is when you want your team to be rested and ready to play chess. Having them in a tournament the weekend before might not be such a good idea with all the traveling and playing. To finish up I want to congratulate Ilan Meerovich on finishing first in Division I and Fedor Titov on being the ICCA Representative in the ICA Denker Qualifier. You can find the results on http://www.chesscoach.org/

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tip of the Week!

Tactics, Tactics, Tactics! They can do wonders to your game. Study them they can help you win a game and prevent you from losing one. I recommend picking up a good tactics book or tactics program and study tactics for two hours a week.

My First Post!

Hey everyone,

I am Adam Strunk a sophomore at Loyola University in Chicago. I have been playing chess seriously since I was 14 years old. My highest rating was 2127 USCF and my current rating is 2105 USCF. More to come soon...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Loyola vs. Hedgehogs - Feb 4th

On Wednesday, the Loyola Chess Team as usual traveled downtown, this time to play The Hedgehogs. The Hedgehogs are having a great season so far with a 4-1-1 record. Our last match against the Hedgehogs was the first match of the season and ended in a draw. However, the Hedgehogs were without their top player - Michael Rauchman. Making this match one of the toughest matches of the season.
Match #7 Loyola vs. Hedgehogs
Board 1, Adam Strunk vs. M. Rauchman 1-0
Board 2, Alex Strunk vs. M. Smith 1-0
Board 3, Ulysses Acevedo vs. T. Jasaitis 0-1
Board 4, Will Adams vs. J. Palmer 1/2-1/2
Board 5, Jonathan Plotner vs. J. Heiner 1/2-1/2
Board 6, Andrew Sova vs. A. Chavez 1/2-1/2
The match ended up 3.5-2.5, which amounted to a victory for the Loyola Chess Team. Our record is now 4-2-1. I added some photos from the match to the Loyola Chess Team slideshow. Also, I will be posting my game from this match with annotations soon. Our next match is against AMARS. Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CICL Games

Hey everyone,

I was hoping to post some annotated games from CICL matches on the blog, however I haven't had many games worth annotating lately. I figured I might as well post my game from this week's match against AMATS. I played board 2 against AMATS's Fred Furtner, a 1408 USCF player. Fred played fine in the opening until around move 11 or 12 where he needed to find a plan. Instead, he played useless developing moves (along with 13. Nb8), while my space advantage grew, leading to a blast in the center with 14. c5. Here's the game:

Strunk,Alex (1948) - Furtner,Fred (1408) [E91]
AMATS vs. Loyola , 26.01.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Bg7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 c6 7.0–0 Bg4 8.Be3 Nbd7 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 e5 11.d5 Qc7 12.Rc1 Rfd8 13.b4 Nb8 14.c5 dxc5 15.bxc5 b5 16.Qb3 a6 17.a4 Qd7 18.Rfd1 Qe8 19.Rd2 bxa4 20.Qxa4 cxd5 21.Qxe8+ Rxe8 22.exd5 e4 23.Be2 Nfd7 24.Na4 Be5 25.c6 Rc8 26.Rb1 f5 27.cxd7 Nxd7 28.Bd4 Bd6 29.Rdb2 Rc7 30.Rb7 Rac8 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Bxa6 f4 33.Be2 h5 34.Nb6 Nxb6 35.Bxb6 Rb7 36.Ba6 Rb8 37.Rb5 f3 38.gxf3 exf3 39.Be3 Rxb5 40.Bxb5 Kf7 41.Bd3 Kf6 42.Be4 g5 43.Bxf3 h4 44.Kg2 Kg6 45.Bg4 Kf6 46.Kf3 Kg6 47.Ke4 1–0

I hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Loyola vs. AMATS - Jan 26th

Yesterday the Loyola Chess Team again traveled downtown this time to play AMA Tornado Snakes. AMATS hasn't been having their best year, however they recently obtained a new addition to their team - Frank Johnson. Frank, a 1930 USCF player, recently moved from Georgia and now works in the IT department at AMA. This new addition adds much more strength to AMATS's team. Unfortunately, AMATS was unable to obtain a 5th and 6th board, which resulted in our team having a 2-0 start.
Match #6 Loyola vs. AMATS
Board 1, Adam Strunk vs. Frank Johnson 0-1
Board 2, Alex Strunk vs. Fred Furtner 1-0
Board 3, James Alexander vs. Ben Meyer-Abbott 1-0
Board 4, Jonathan Plotner vs. Monroe Harper 1-0
Board 5, Loyola vs. Forfeit 1-0
Board 6, Loyola vs. Forfeit 1-0
The match ended up 5-1, which amounted to a victory for the Loyola Chess Team. Our record is now 3-2-1. Our next match is against Hedgehogs. Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Loyola vs. Citadel Group - Jan 21st

On last Wednesday the Loyola Chess Team traveled downtown to play Citadel Group a global financial institution. Citadel proved to have a strong chess team, which proved quite a challenge to us Ramblers.
Match #5 Loyola vs. Citadel
Board 1, Adam Strunk 1/2-1/2
Board 2, Alex Strunk 1-0
Board 3, Ulysses Acevedo 0-1
Board 4, William Adams 0-1
Board 5, James Alexander 1-0
Board 6, Jonathan Plotner 0-1
The match ended up 2.5-3.5, which unfortunately amounted to a loss for the Loyola Chess Team. Our record is now 2-2-1.
Our next match is tomorrow against AMATS. Wish us luck!