Matt Larson of Yale’s Chess Club wrote a report on Yale’s attendance at the 2017 Inter-Ivy Chess Tournament. Check it out below!
Going into the 2017 Inter-Ivy at Columbia, Yale was seeded second out of eight teams. We were optimistic about our chances, but we knew we would face strong competition from Columbia, the top seed. The other schools represented, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Dartmouth, were also not to be underestimated. Our team consisted of myself, a rusty FM, Weiliang Tan, a CM who is a visiting student from Yale-NUS, and two experts, Narahari Bharadwaj and Michael Bogaty.
The first round was an early 9:30 in the morning, so we all came in the night before. Weiliang came early in order to explore New York, but the rest of us took the train in that evening. The next morning, we showed up bright and early to the residence hall where the tournament was to take place.
In the first round, we were paired against Columbia’s B team. We outrated them substantially on every board. I quickly dispatched my opponent:
Narahari also won a nice game:
The rest of the team didn’t have much trouble either, so we won 4-0.
Next round, we were paired against University of Pennsylvania. We had a big rating edge on boards 1, 2, and 4, but Narahari was slightly outrated by his opponent. Weiliang and Michael won without too much trouble, but Narahari lost, and I blundered in a time scramble and lost, thus tying the match:
We didn’t get an easy pairing in the third round either: we were paired against Columbia’s A team. Columbia had a very strong team, led by International Master Arthur Shen. We were outrated by at least 100 points on every board. I was surprised in the opening, and allowed him to get a strong attack. While I had several chances to get good counterplay, I missed them in time trouble and got mated. Ultimately, we ended up losing on all four boards.
In the last round, we were somehow paired against Brown, who had won all of their matches so far. Columbia A, a point behind Brown, was playing the significantly weaker team of Dartmouth. This left us in the position of kingmaker: if we beat Brown, then Columbia would tie for first with Brown.
I won my game quite easily when my opponent failed to get compensation for a sacrificed pawn, and soon lost an exchange. Things were looking up for us, as Weiliang had a lot of pressure and Narahari had a good position. But then Michael lost and Narahari drew. After some suspicious play in time trouble, Weiliang was losing. His opponent was unable to find the win and forced a draw instead, thus tying the match and giving Brown first place.
Yale ended up 3rd-6th (3rd on tiebreaks). We were a little disappointed with our result, but it was nice to be able to play in a tournament in the middle of the semester. I also enjoyed seeing Columbia. You can find the results at http://www.uschess.org/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,181/