|Hello from Curacao; Emory Tate, CLO's new columnist!|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|July 29, 2006|
In the past week, I've been working on www.uschess.org from Curacao. It's the ultimate hedonistic chess tournament. A 3 pm start time leaves room for everything: mornings at the beach, afternoons at the tournament hall, and evenings dancing, swimming,etc. In my first year here, I had my first "lucid" dream (yes, I was flying!) and tried the advanced French, momentarily solving what feels like a lifetime of frustration against 1...e6. Despite having decent results against the French, thinking about playing and preparing against it makes me cringe. My favorite chess board was even burnt with a cigarette on the e6 square (no, I don't smoke), and I always thought that it might not have been just a coincidence.
Me in Curacao- photo JO
After seven rounds, GM Jaan Ehvlest is leading, half a point ahead of our U.S. Women's champion Anna Zatonskih. Zatonskih is having a great tournament so far. She lost to Ehlvest, but won all her other games, including a victory over the Dutch GM Jaan Werle. Check the official website for more details.
I'm thrilled to announce Chess Life Online's newest columnist, IM elect Emory Tate. "I'm finally going public", says Emory. Those who travel the tournament circuit know about Emory's colorful and sometimes explicit analysis, energetic personality and astonishing routs of top U.S. Grandmasters. In the World Open, Emory earned his final IM norm with a last round win against Zapata. Not satisfied with the IM title, Emory wanted to show he could play like a GM in Curacao: "Being an IM is like being a middle child", he said.
Emory certainly showed his GM colors in Curucao, where he defeated GM Alexander Shabalov in a complicated Dragon game. That game, along with a loss against GM Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (1963-2006) just a week before Aleks' death form the contents of Emory's first column. Watch for it in August! Unfortunately, we don't have audio capabilities, so you'll only be able to imagine Emory's voice for now.
Emory Tate, recording his first segment for Chess Life Online
This year I skipped the actual competition in Curacao, and focused on coverage and updating the site instead.At every tournament I've been covering, from the U.S. Championship to right here in Curacao, I get the same question "Why aren't you playing?"
The short answer is that the summer has been a monumentally busy time for the USCF and me in particular. The web launch came at the best and worst possible time. As we're ironing out the kinks in the design and programming and expanding our site, I'm also covering the busiest chess season of the year- World Open, U.S. Junior and Cadet, and finally, the U.S. Open, where I'll be next week. (and not playing!)
Chess Life Online will feature daily reportage from the U.S. Open with updates on the Denker and the Polgar as well. Be sure to check it every day!