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By Elizabeth Vicary   
July 17, 2007
Betsy Dynako

by Elizabeth Vicary

"The ponies run; the girls are young; the odds are there to beat. You risk it all, and then it's done: your little winning streak" -- Leonard Cohen

You know how you can feel really tense and really exhausted at the same time? That's me right now. Unfortunately, my normal solution, the jacuzzi, has no water inside and yellow tape around it. So instead I guess I'm writing my first blog entry. Shall we start with the games? OK, so Jenn wrote that the first round against Battsetseg was drawish, which I think is just wrong.


Aren't I basically totally winning?! I thought she could hardly do anything, then when I played Rc7 I realized Nxg5 was coming... oh god, activity. But really, she's not better there is she? I haven't looked at the game yet, so maybe I'll discover I misunderstood everything, but I doubt it. Point is that I really suck to have lost that.

Then Airapetian... probably my worst played game, I couldnt sit still at all.


Luckily she got in massive time pressure and started making mistakes. Going over the game afterwards was ridiculous. First of all, she's an exceptionally, outrageously nice person (She noticed I was missing my necklace and offered to stop the clock so I could go to my room and get it.) Second, she clearly understood the game better than I did. The analysis consisted of her patiently explaining the ideas of the Ruy Lopez to me. Ok, but always its nice to win a game.

Then this Nimzo with Irina.


I know you all thought I was lost out of the opening. I didn't, but that might be because I'm almost always stupidly optimistic about my positions. After the game she asked me where I thought I went wrong and I said "Oh, well, I didn't think ...b5 was totally correct, but I thought it needed to be played." Ready for my big let down? Turns out she thought ...f4 in the opening was the real problem, and after that I'm lost. My coach, Dave Vigorito, just called and said I totally misunderstood the position and needed to play Bg4 instead of ...Ne8.

A quick word about Dave-- if anyone is looking for lessons, let me say he is a phenomenally great teacher. I had been 1900/2000 for maybe ten years when I started working with him. Basically I'd given up any hope of getting better. And then in 8 months of lessons I was 2150. So anyway, he's "fluffy" on icc (I know, dorky handle, but I think it's his old cat's name.)

What else? Today there is a weight watchers convention going on next door to the tournament room. I guess nowhere is safe from the insistent voice of culture. Speaking of which I'm reading an awesome book, IV by Chuck Klosterman. It's both entertaining and I keep thinking "yeah, that's true, I wouldnt have thought of it." Great essay on culture, which is why I thought of it, in which he points out "Most people don't merely want to *hold* their values; they want their values *to win*" Maybe that seems trite and nonhilarious out of context, but it's a great essay. I have a lot more to say, but somehow there is no time here, and I should go over my preparation for Rohanyan.

I feel like this is going to be the longest tournament of my life; I can't believe only three games are done. But I'm pretty cheerful today, much better then yesterday when I felt like a zombie. Other things I'm enjoying: a great new Interpol album called Our Love to Admire, the tournament staff, who are a lot of fun, the Subway in the gas station next door, which is my main source of food. Things I'm not enjoying: the ever-present flies. It feels like a sinister bad movie in which someone will kill me in my sleep and then the flies will descend.