Every year the US Championship is after nationals, just when the kids and I are both getting bored with serious work, so we spend a fun two weeks looking at some of the best games/moments. This morning we saw Stripunsky's amazing defense against Jaan Ehlvest's rook sac. Of course, we all enter the fantasy contest, and I'm pleased to say that three of my students, Yuxin Zhao, Brian Aguirre, and David Kim, are tied for first for the second day in a row. Last year, Orlando Gonzalez won the grand prize of a Monroi and a board signed by all the participants. I am very proud, even though my team:
1. GM Alexander Onischuk (2765)
2. GM Yury Shulman (2669)
3. GM Robert Hess (2657)
4. GM Melikset Khachiyan (2613)
5. GM Ray Robson (2607)
6. GM Jesse Kraai (2528)
Average Rating: 2639.83
is only tied for 50th - 88th, because it's all about the children.
In other news, I was called into my principal's office after returning from Elementary Nationals and told I was one of the 6400 teachers slated to be laid off as part of NYC's Department of Education budget cuts. That would be a sad ending to the story, don't you think? I'm not worrying about it because I'm in denial.
Are you looking for a chess coach for your child or school? Let me recommend Matan Prilleltensky, an expert who just moved to NYC from Florida and is studying to be a teacher. He's analyzed with many of my students and is great: very strong at chess, patient, friendly, and clear. You will really like him. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look, here's a NY Times article about my building. Also, Steve Goldberg wrote about Rochelle in his Chesscafe scholastic column.
a couple puzzle positions from elementary nationals:
Alex Bradford was black against Jonathan Spinnell. How could black have won material?
A nice article in the economist about optimism and human progress:
THIRTY years ago, Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich entered into a famous bet. Mr Simon, a libertarian, was sceptical of the gloomy claims made by Mr Ehrlich, an ecologist best known for his predictions of environmental chaos and human suffering that would result from the supposed “population bomb”. Thumbing his nose at such notions as resource scarcity, Mr Simon wagered that the price of any five commodities chosen by Mr Ehrlich would go down over the following decade. The population bomb was defused, and Mr Simon handily won the bet.
In general, things are going nicely for me. Jonathan declared last night Crepe Night and made me dinner. I've been doing a lot of bicycling. My mom bought us a gas grill and Jonathan's parents bought us two superfancy reclining deck chairs:
I discovered I was being underpaid by the board of ed and submitted my master's degree documentation three years late, so I get a nice raise. I broke my laptop, but it's only 3 months old and so Dell or whomever will fix it. I decided not to play in the World Open, on the grounds that it's in King of Prussia, but instead will play at the Marshall soon. IS 318 will have Alumni Day on June 19 (noon-5 pm) and I hope to see all my old students. I'm taking some kids on a field trip next Friday to the Whitney Museum to see the biennial.
answers to chess problems
1. Mariah could have won a piece with 1. Rd1+ Kc7 2. Rxd7+ Kxd7 3. Rb7+ *
2. Henry should have played 45... Kg6, which draws easily. Instead, he went wrong with 45... hxg4+ 46. fxg4+ Kf4 47. h5 e4 48. h6 e3 49. h7 e2 50. h8=Q e1=Q 51. Qf6+ Ke3
52. Qxg5+ Kd3 53. Qg6+ and white won.
3. Alex could win a pawn with 1... Bxf3 2. Bxf3 b6 3. Rc1 Nxd4 4. Rxc7 Nxf3 5. Qxf3 Qxc7