Thursday, January 27, 2011

Team play, last round drama etc.

There's nothing quite like playing in a team event.  

I first played in a team event at the 2008 USAT- N : Click here

We finished 3rd and won the U1900 Prize with the following team:
  1. 2000 WILLIAM M WENZ 1.5/4.0
  2. 1905 STANLEY T GARVIN 0.5/4.0
  3. 1851 IVAN WIJETUNG 3.5/4.0
  4. 1823 NEIL J GLEASON 2.0/3.0
  5. 1643 NOLAN R HENDRICKSON 3.5/5.0

Yes, that's the same Nolan who played board 1 this time around. (3 years and 560 rating points later!)

We also won the best team name prize with "Team Name Here". Mainly because it confused long time Wisconsin TD Guy Hoffman, who said somethig like "What's going on here, this team needs to tell me what their name is before I can do the pairings".

That was such great experience that I have wanted to play in another team event ever since, but it took this long to actually do it! I talked to Ken last year about playing in the 2011 Texas Team event, so I just had to find two more members.  Once Donnie was in we just needed a board 1

My goal was to win the U1900 prize, so board 1 had to be rated 2112 or less.  I didn't even consider Nolan at first since I knew his rating was around 2165, but when I looked at his Dec. rating it was 2110!  All I had to do to convince him to come down to Texas (from Milwaukee) was that the would get the opportunity play at least 3 masters and that the Texas Team was FIDE rated.

The team was set! (Avg. rating 1899.5!)
All we needed was was to come up with a team name.  There was only one condition it had to be funny. I came up with "Ken and the Barbies".  

Going into the last round this was the situation for U1900 honors:

There were 2 other U1900 teams playing each other one on 1.0 point and the other on 2.0, if the 2.0 team won we would have to win our match against the higher rated UTD C team just to tie for first. Luckily for us the 1.0 team beat the 2.0 fairly quickly.

All we needed was a draw!

This was the match-up

1    Nolan Hendrickson (2110) vs FM Tautvydas Vedrickas (2353
2    WFM Saheli Nath (2133) vs Ivan Wijetunge (1909)   
3    Kenneth Artz (1792) vs Gerald E Roberts (1891)   
4    Rheanna English (1741) vs Donald Briggs (1787
Nolan destroyed the FM fairly quickly!

I was in trouble. 

Ken was completely outplaying his higher rated opponent.

Donnie was in trouble.

But things were looking good for the team.

Disaster strikes! Ken drops his Queen

Looks like we are going down 3-1

Donnie to the rescue!

He comes back from a huge material deficit to win his game!

We are now guaranteed 1st place 1900!
Right about then my WFM opponent drops a rook! But I only have a few min. left and she has about an hour. Maybe I should have offered a draw, but hey I have a rook! It turns out that my advantage was worth less than 2 pawns, because she has several advanced pawns and aggressively placed King and Knight.
 In desperation I played ...f5+, and she replied e x f e.p. ??  we then get this position with White to play.

Saheli Nath (2133)  - Ivan Wijetunge (1909) [A03]
Texas Team Dallas (5), 23.01.2011

1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.f4 Nf6 [4...f6 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Qh4 Bf5] 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bb5 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qb6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.d3 0-0 [11...c4 12.dxc4 dxc4] 12.Nd2 Nd7 [12...a5 13.a4 Qb4] 13.Kh1 Bf6 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.e4 Qb4 16.Qe2 g6 [16...Qc3 17.Rac1 a5] 17.c4 [17.f5 exf5 18.exf5 Rae8 19.Qf2 Nh5 20.g4] 17...Rad8 18.e5 Nh5 19.Kh2 Ng7 [19...Qc3 20.Rac1 (20.g4; 20.Rad1) 20...Qd4 21.g3 dxc4 22.Nxc4 Qxd3] 20.g4 Rd7 [20...f5 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.g5;
20...dxc4 21.Nxc4] 21.Rac1 Qa5 22.Rc2 Rfd8 23.Rf3 Rb7 24.Qf2 Rc8 25.Qh4 Qc7 26.cxd5 cxd5 27.d4 c4 [27...Qb6;
27...Qa5 28.Rfc3 Rbc7 29.dxc5] 28.bxc4 dxc4 29.Rxc4 Qd8 30.Qxd8+ Rxd8 31.Rb3 Rbd7 32.Ne4 Ne8 33.Rbb4 Kg7 34.Nc5 Rd5 35.Rb7 Kf8 36.Nb3 Ra8 37.Ra4 a5 38.Kg3 Ng7 39.Kf3 h5 40.Ke3 hxg4 41.hxg4 Ne8 42.Nc5 Rdd8 43.Ke4 Rdc8 44.Rb5 f5+ 45.exf6 Nd6+ 46.Ke5 Nxb5 47.Nxe6+ Kf7 48.Ng5+ Kf8 49.d5 Re8+ 50.Ne6+ Kf7 51.f5 gxf5 52.gxf5 Rh8 [52...Rad8] 53.Rg4 Ra7 [53...Rag8 54.Rg7+ Rxg7 55.fxg7] 54.a4 1-0

Frank Berry sent me this quote about team play:

"When you play for a team you have the unanimous support of
your teammates and the struggle is absolutely uncompromising!"  
GM Eduard Gufeld  1936-2002

The grand daddy of Team Events is the USAT East event that draws around 300 teams! Anatoly Karpov has played there.

2009 WORLD TEAM 2009 1203    

 #of players in bold.


  1. Hi there,

    I found your site via Will Taylor's blog ( It's heartening for me to see that I am not alone in trying to accomplish mastery :) Good luck!

  2. Thanks,

    How is your road accomplishing mastery going?

    I am assuming it is in chess.