Friday, May 7

I'm a Perfect Square

(Yes, I do love strawberries!)

Thank you
to all of my friends and fans who sent birthday wishes yesterday. I really appreciate the many friends that I have, ranging from my youngest elementary age students to chess veterans who began playing during the Fischer boom of the 1960s and early 1970s. Amazingly, I personally know at least six fans of the royal game who also were born on May 6, including two of my private students plus a resident of the East Bay's famed GM House (Jesse Kraai).

There's a lot going on in the world of chess this week. Foremost is the World Championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Veselin Topalov. The score is tied at 5.0 with two games remaining on Sunday and Tuesday, starting at 5:00am Pacific time. If they are still tied, then rapid and blitz playoffs are scheduled for Thursday. Let's go Vishy!!!

Back in the USA, the Bert Lerner National Elementary Championship began in Atlanta. The crowd of 2000+ participants includes 55 enthusiastic youngsters from Northern California. Many of the elite local players flew east, including: Daniel Liu (K-6), Kesav Viswanadha (K-5), FM Tanuj Vasudeva (K-3), Allan Beilin (K-5), Cameron Wheeler (K-5) and the severely underrated Michael Wang (K-3). A pair of Fremont schools are hunting for big team trophies: 2009 national champ Mission San Jose Elementary and crosstown punching bag Weibel Elementary both have over 15 kids. Click here for updated standings and pairings from Atlanta.

Finally, I hope to play in the Powell G/45 tournament tomorrow at the Mechanics' Institute. I expect to see many of my students. Will preteen terror NM Yian Liou win for the second month in a row? Can any of my lower rated kids scalp an expert or a master? And will I perform well enough to eek my USCF rating back above my lifetime floor of 2200. Wish us all good luck!

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