Sunday, June 29, 2008

Greg Buys Pot

In San Diego, everyone stayed in student apartments on campus. They were very nice, big, 4-person apartments with a kitchen and living room. The kitchen, however, didn't come with pots or pans or utensils*, so the Krishnans very kindly lent Greg cooking supplies for the 5 days we were there. But of course we had to return them the last night.
Now Greg makes a habit of over-buying groceries (don't get me started on the history of this) and so on the last night we still have a box of pasta, a jar and a half of pasta sauce, 4 large cans of soup, a large block of chedder cheese, an unopened package of grated cheese, 10 string cheese sticks, a box of Cheez-its, 4 King Cones, 2 individual apple sauces, half a box of Lucky Charms, some milk, lemonade, orange juice, and most of a large package of raw cookie dough. (again, long story)
For some reason, ok, I can't resist telling you, for the reason that the pizza at the after party had vegetables on it, Greg really wanted to make soup for dinner when we got home Saturday night. But now we don't have a pot to make it in, because we returned them. I suggest that it should be possible to heat up the soup in the can itself on the (electric) stove. Mike Casella, who happens to be at this after-party, agrees, but Greg sees it as "too risky." So he gets Elliott Liu, who is giving us a ride home, to stop at the grocery store so he can buy a pot.

Greg enters store

Greg does not want to be photographed (Elliott behind him, laughing).

Greg looks at pots.

Greg selects pots.

Greg feels pots are unreasonably expensive ($12).

Greg considers buying the cheaper cake pan.

Greg settles on a small pot. Notice the straight line of his body that continues upward past his head and becomes the placard announcing the goods in the aisle.

Greg asks cashier if there is an aisle where they keep other pots.

* Although they did come with a shopping cart, which we kept in the living room for four days before replacing it with an orange traffic cone.

The Photos From the US Chess School Never End

US Chess School Participants, June 2008
top row: Kevin Wang, Jarod Pamatmat, (Ryan) Joseph Moon
bottom row: David Adelberg, Varun Krishnan, Alexander (Sasha) Velikanov, Luke Harmon, Alex Ostrovskiy

US Chess School participants with Trainer GM Gregory Kaidanov

On the last day, students played a consultation game. When one side got under five minutes, each team elected a representative to finish the game. Alex Ostrovskiy represented his teammates Kevin, Jarod and Sasha, while Luke Harmon played for Joseph, David and Varun. Luke's team won the game when Luke checkmated by under promoting to a knight. The game, an exciting Najdorf, will appear with annotations in an article on CLO soon.
Luke concentrates in the consultation game.
Alex Ostrovskiy defends.
Sasha Velikanov

David Adelberg, positional master
Jarod Pamatmat
Joseph Moon, winner of the blitz tournament and playoff game.
Kevin Wang, tied for first in the blitz tournament but lost the playoff game.
Fun and Games at the After Party

Sasha shoots.
David slides.

Basketball game
Kevin, Carl (Luke's brother), Varun (background), Luke
David swings.
Joseph with basketball.
Luke lies on the ground, laughing. This kid is going to be a very, very strong player some day. He reads Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual without a board on long car trips, and he remembers every position perfectly. It's unreal. Check out his website:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Pictures from US Chess School

Most of the day is serious endgame study, but there are blitz breaks every couple of hours. Unfortunately, there are only two sets. What do the kids do?
They play blindfold. Above: Luke Harmon and David Adelberg.

Luke keeps his eyes closed in the opening.
Alex Ostrovskiy and Kevin Wang also try.

They get in an argument about the position.
"No, YOU forfeit"
Alexander (Sasha) Velikanov

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Pictures from the US Chess School

This is a really fantastic chess camp.

Mornings are spent looking at looking at the kids' own games. Each kid brings one heavily annotated loss to camp; maybe 2-3 present each day. Kaidanov is a big genius at recognizing general problems each player is having-- some examples from this group: not thinking enough about the opponent's counterplay, being overly optimistic, missing in-between moves, and making premature exchanges (current running count for everyone in the first 3 days of camp: 39 premature exchanges). He's very good at keeping all of these issues in mind and pointing out when the same types of mistakes come up in other ways, like during problem-solving or guess-the-moves activities.

Other topics so far: positional exchange sacrifices, material vs. initiative, sicilian for black: najdorf/scheveningen, prophylaxis. Lots of guessing the moves and problem solving.

Upcoming topics tomorrow and Saturday:
Sicilian for Black: how to handle anti-Sicilian systems.
How to play complex technical endgames.
How to play complex sharp endgames.

The group works on a laptop projected on a screen.

A blitz break
David Adelberg watches Joseph Moon play.
Luke Harmon
Jarod Pamatmat, Luke Harmon, Kevin Wang

Basketball before lunch.

David Adelberg
Sasha Velikanov
Joseph Moon