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By Elizabeth Vicary   
July 20, 2007
Photo Betsy Dynako

by Elizabeth Vicary

Thank god I finally played a decent game against Camilla Baginskaite, and didn't choke like a complete moron. It's funny, I love sacking the exchange for some reason, I feel really cool and ultra-sophisticated doing it, but I can't remember winning a game with an exchange sacrifice before. This game against Camilla is probably one of my best ever, actually.


Of course then I lose to Melekhina:


It's an interesting, instructive game, at least I'm hoping when I figure out what I did wrong it will be instructive. Lots of tough choices: which pawn structure is better and which pieces to exchange and how to recapture. This tournament has definitely convinced me that I should always play in the Open section, every game is like four times more instructive than normal. It's a hard choice for me because I love to win so much and sulk like a baby when I lose, but I probably just need to deal with it.

My games from yesterday I have already almost completely forgotten, hopefully a testimony to my brain's ability to erase traumatic experiences, and not something more serious.

During my game against Chimi, I was convinced I was winning but my pawn sac is highly suspect if she plays ...c4 quickly.


People are telling me I had a draw if I played BxQe7 instead of f4, but at that point I just wasn't looking for one.

As for the Sveshnikov against Tatev...see, it happens frequently that I get really good positions out of the opening, then screw them up. I guess this means I'm not very good at middlegames and endgames.


It's Friday morning now, and I should be preparing for Anna Zatonskih. I guess by the time you read this I'll be finished, unless Jenn is super quick. Normally, Anna plays the Scandanavian with Qd6 and the French, but this tournament she's switching it up-- I've seen 2 caros and 1... e5. Maybe she's really changing her repertoire, maybe she's avoiding preparation, who knows. Against me she needs to try to win and hope Irina and Kat are both held to draws, although this is a double long shot as they are playing Tatev and the Airplane (Ed.Note- As noted below by Mark Ashland, Katerina is actually playing against Alisa Melekhina in the final round.). So I'm guessing she reverts to the Scandinavian. Amusingly, my preparation comes directly that big supporter of women's chess, Braden Bournival, the guy who's posting insane rants about how much this tournament sucks. I only met him briefly, but he's friends with my coach Dave, which is how I come to have this file. Kinda ironic, no? Anyway, THANKS BRAD!!! Way to support women's chess!!!

I would write more about all the fun I'm having here, amusing stories of late night parties etc, but I'm doing absolutely nothing except preparing and playing. My world has shrunk to a 100 square meter area of Oklahoma and a 64 square board. Hopefully tonight some fun? A wild Friday night in Stillwater, Oklahoma? I'll do my best...