Many of my readers have wondered what happened to this blog. Five weeks have passed since my last post. Did I give up blogging? Did I quit chess? Is something else seriously wrong?
Fortunately, I can assure everyone that rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Yes, I was sick for a while with nagging cold/flu symptoms. I also felt sad and burned out and wanted a little time simply to "chill" and recharge my mental batteries.
As the recent photo by Richard Shorman of ChessDryad at left proves, my enthusiasm for chess has not waned. I maintain a busy weekly teaching schedule with only occasional interruptions. Despite heavy rain on President's Day weekend, I joined 11 students and about 90 other chess enthusiasts at the People's Tournament in Berkeley. IM David Pruess beat me and won the Open section ahead of five other masters. Kudos to National 5th Grade Champion Kyle Shin for winning the U2200 section and to Saratoga High School senior Jeff Young for finally earning the rank of Expert! During February and March, I also participate in the annual Sacramento Chess Club Team Championship; unfortunately, neither my team (Elk Grove) nor I have played terribly well so far.
In other CalChess news, Samyukta Bhat (see photo at right) scored an undefeated 4.0/5 to take clear first for K-12 at the CalChess Girl's Championship, thereby earning our state's qualifying spot in this year's Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls in Lubbock, Texas on July 26-31. Rebekah Liu plans to attend the same invitational after winning the high school section of the Susan Polgar National Open in Glendale, AZ. Goooo girls!
I will try to catch up with some stories over the next week. Please check back soon!