(Top boards for round 2 of 3-day schedule: IM Mark Ginsburg vs FM Eugene Yanayt in back and NM Andy Lee vs FM Daniel Naroditsky in front.)
I am currently in between rounds at the Western Chess Congress in Concord. My score is 0.5/2 against a pair of International Masters, which would normally be respectable except that the quality of my play has been rather poor. Last night, I somehow drew a losing endgame versus World U18 Champion IM Sam Shankland. This morning's game was more pathetic; I hung a pawn to IM Dmitry Zilberstein out of the opening--as white. Sigh!
The tournament has approximately 200 players, of which about 90% come from Northern California. I hoped to see more participants from Los Angeles, Nevada or the Pacific Northwest; maybe they will come next year. In many ways, this weekend feels like another Labor Day tournament, except held in the spring. The titled players in the 3-day schedule include IM Shankland and IM Zilberstein (yes, my first two opponents) plus IM Mark Ginsburg (from Arizona) while the 2-day schedule has FM Vladimir Strugatsky, IM John Donaldson, IM Vladimir Mezentsev, IM Ricardo DeGuzman and the enigmatic IM Emory Tate (from Indiana). Surprisingly, there are no Grandmasters present, perhaps because the El Cerrito gang traveled to France for Cappelle la Grande.
The two schedules merge tonight at 6pm for round 3. Click on this link for photos on Flickr.