ICA Scholastic Chess Camp Teaneck Week 1 Report!
Campers Destroy Coaches in Simul! Goldman Takes 1st
in Tournament (but not without drama!)!
We had a wonderful start to our camp this week though it was mostly wonderful for the campers and not the coaches per se. One of the activities for the week is a daily simul given by a different coach (i.e. one coach playing many games at the same time). The format is not really conducive to a true simul with twenty minutes per side without delay but it does make things exciting for both coaches and students. Things started going downhill on Monday as coach Sean (famous for beating GM Caruana in a simul himself) lost two games to Grant Goldman, the highest rated camper, and Joshua Khodosh who snuck in a checkmate as coach Sean was looking to stay ahead of all clocks. On Tuesday coach Justin dropped the majority of his games in the simul once again including losses to both Grant (though here Grant was about to get checkmated when without a time delay Justin’s flag dropped) and Joshua Khodosh, as well as Michael Pylypovych, and David Milstein. On Wednesday, and in order to restore some semblance of order to things coach Ivette, motivated by “godiva” cheesecake from the “factory” if she wins all games, destroyed every single camper playing. Coach Sean pointed out that Ivette was up material on every board before she got anywhere near low on time and checkmates were coming everywhere way before her flag would fall. The eventual simul winner was Grant Goldman given that he scored the most wins this week.
However, Grant’s path to victory was not so easy in the classical tournament as Michael Pylypovych who ceded around 500 points of rating to Grant prepared intensely for their individual game in round three (both Grant and Michael won the first two games) and managed to draw his much stronger opponent. Michael knowing that Grant would most likely use the Pirc defense against his e4 unleashed the Austrian attack variation (4.f4 against 1.e4 d6) and though Michael did end up losing a pawn in the opening Grant spent a good five minutes more than Michael as the game progressed from middle into end. Finally, Michael conceded a rook trade he probably shouldn’t have offered but in the resulting simplification, Grant low on time, traded a pair of pawns that allowed some complications to arise and give Michael just enough wiggle room to force Grant into taking a draw (he had less than twenty seconds on the clock at that point). Unfortunately for Michael in the fourth and final round of the tournament on Thursday he fell victim to David Milstein’s preferred “Three Knights” opening (e4 e5 Nf3 Nc6 Nc3 Bc5 Nxe5) and was not able to stave off the ensuing attack. Grant who easily dispatched Charles Jinn in his last round game thereby won the classical tournament as well. In the younger section of the tournament little five- year-old Michael Vern won all three games to claim first place.
Our best students were Michael Pylypovych in Slava’s group, Suzanna in Justin’s group, and Chris Jinn in Ivette’s group. The best in sports were Josh Khodosh, and Isak Dubrow in the oldest group, Christian Lavrinovich in the 2007 group, and YongJoo Bahn in the youngest group. Charles Jinn was the winner in Dodgeball on the strength of catching many of Yongjoo’s throws.
The best artist was Anahit Melkumov.
On Friday, in our team events the “Pink Fluffy Unicorns” made up of Grant, Christian, Michael P, and YongJoo won the relay races while in the blitz/bughouse competition William Park, and Charles and Christopher Jinn, a team that went by the name “No Cabrero” won after two extra play-off/tiebreak rounds.