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  • James Neal

Women’s Chess Championship (3)

Collecting myself after a difficult second round.


I am a little depressed today by yesterday’s chess games. I put so much faith into Begim Tokhirjonova being my front runner and I saw her defeated by a player I nearly wrote off (Alice Lee). I knew Alice was strong but I did not believe her to be strong enough to overpower Begim. Seeing the game was a little too much to take. I spent the rest of that evening quietly studying at the library.


Later that night I was struck with more bad luck when I opened my laptop to find a keyboard malfunction. Only 40 % of the keys were operational. That pretty much doomed my laptop to be placed back into storage. I will be forced to make my posts standard. I can no longer get crazy with my photo editing without a laptop (likely a blessing in disguise).


I was reinvigorated today after I watched Begim pick off Rochelle Wu. Begim is only a half point off the lead. Alice and Megan drew their rounds while Jennifer lost to Tatev. I did not expect much from Megan but I am beginning to think her preparation is matchup specific. She is attempting to remain unpredictable and rely on her playing strength to determine the result. Against Irina Krush, she again played an offbeat opening and Irina could not refute it. If Irina cannot overpower her, I think Megan is in great shape.


Alice Lee could win this event but her youth has me speculative. She is extremely hard to beat but I will have a more clear opinion on her position once she faces the veterans (Sabina, Irina, Tatev, and Nazi). I feel the older players have a chance of making a good call when preparing for her. They might pay attention to the type of positions that trouble her.

I thought preparing in advance was the best recipe for success but it does not seem everyone agrees. After I heard the 2nd round interview with Christopher Yoo, I was convinced he prepared his Petroff defense over night. I am sure he knew a lot about the Petroff but who would have thought game time decisions would be so effective? The experience of the veterans might be their ability to play a variety of positions. I think in Christopher’s case, he can rely on his calculating ability to guide him through tough positions (think Puzzle Duels).


I have no idea who will win this event but I if I had to choose one person from the top 5, I would choose Tatev Abrahamyan. Tatev beat Jennifer Yu and she might possess that veteran consistency.

On another note, I am currently in Denver Colorado and churning my thoughts to whether I should go to California or St. Louis for my next trip. I am planning to hit the road again the first week of December after I have completed my contracts but I am not sure which location would be best. California will have better weather while St. Louis will have better chess…


I suppose I already answered the question. Power is the product of Inconvenience.


It will be St. Louis for me! 😃

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