Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow Abby Blogs from Turkey: Part II
Abby Blogs from Turkey: Part II Print E-mail
By Abby Marshall   
November 26, 2007
Abby Marshall. Photo Dujiu Yang.
Before starting Abby Marshall's entertaining blog, let's recap the results of the U.S. team in Antalya, Turkey after 9 rounds. Sarah Chiang drew in the Girls Under 10 and Daniel Naroditsky won in the Boys Under 12, so they are currently the top scorers for the U.S. team with 7.5 points each. Close behind is Brian Luo with 7/9 in the Boys Under 10. Overall, the ninth round was the toughest so far for the U.S. team- we only scored 13 points out of 33. Every other round except for round 5, we had a plus score overall. With only two rounds to go, it is crunch time for our medal contenders.

World Youth  (November 18-28, Antalya, Turkey)
U.S. Team member scores after 9 rounds

Girls U18   
Ettie Nikolova     6
Elina Kats     3.5
Julia Kerr     3.5
Girls U16     
WFM Alisa Melekhina     5.5
Abby Marshall     6
Courtney Jamison     4
Louiza Livschitz    4.5
Girls U14     
Dai Yang     5.5
Jennie Liu    4
Gayatri Vempati     5
Girls U12     
Alena Kuzniatsova     5
Anna Matlin     4.5
Girls U10     
Sarah Chiang    7.5
Ellen Xiang    4.5
Girls U8     
Evan Xiang    5.5
Simone Liao     6
Boys U18     
FM Elliot Liu     5
Boys U16     
Marc Tyler Arnold    5.5
Warren Harper     5.5
Samuel Shankland    4.5
Boys U14     
FM Ray Robson     6.5
Victor Shen     5
Alec Getz    5
Michael Yee    5
Christian Tanaka     5
Boys Under 12     
Daniel Naroditsky     7.5
FM Darwin Yang    5.5
Christopher Heung    5
Boys Under 10     
Brian Luo     7
Varun Krishnan    5.5
Jarod Pamatmat     4.5
Boys Under 8      
Jonathan Chiang     6
Dachey Lin     6

With no further ado, here is Abby's blog:

All right, I promised Aviv that my first sentence would be that I am only able to write this blog because he figured out the wireless in the lobby. I am honestly about to go insane here; I do not have a computer and so I have to beg even to borrow one even on the rare times that I do find a quiet time to jot down some notes. 

I am here in Turkey for the World Youth, in case from my first blog you guys thought I had forgotten . Everyone was assigned a coach, and I got Joel (lucky me). My lesson is at 10:30am, which is murder. I’ve only made it to breakfast twice this whole trip (it closes at 10) so I struggle to get dressed and ready and then go with Ettie to Joel’s room. She has her lesson, while I sleep in the “waiting room”(a coach lodged in the back of the room). Is it really so pathetic? So she wakes me up and leaves, and then Joel and I do the prep, which is mostly opening work. It’s really helpful and causes a lot less stress because I have some idea what to expect. I think it’s way harder for Joel because he can’t believe what I’m gonna play. An example:

Joel: What do you play against 1…e5?
Abby: King’s Gambit.
Joel: Hmmm well no one really plays it anymore since it’s so antiquated. I know Short was once crazy enough to play it, but it’s so out of fashion. (He takes on 2…exf4). I hope you play 3.Nf3 here.
Abby: (I move 3.Bc4 and smirk).
Joel: Oh god.

Wow, thanks Joel! I won one of my games this tournament with the King’s Gambit. He should be knocking down my door to apologize.

Yugoslavia reunites. Man bites dog. I am ranked higher than someone I promised not to mention by name but he/she has the same FIDE rating as I do which is an absolute joke because he/she is much better than me. I originally wondered whether they might decide
to rank us by better posture or something, which then I would surely lose, but whatever.

My games were interesting-four wins, four draws, and 1 loss. I’ll start at the beginning; from by first round game, I can now rest assured everyone in the tournament knows I play the Tarrasch. After I played 4…c5 my opponent spent close to an hour on the next two moves. The position was on the board long enough for everyone to take notice and make sure to prepare some killer line if they played me. This actually did end up happening…so at first I thought I had forgotten to hit the clock or something, but I was fairly certain it was her time going down, not mine. Maybe there was a problem with the transmitter. Do not worry however, I am very “cheating conscious." I've  heard about a GM making two moves in a row against Joel and how much to charge for moves that change the evaluation from 2.5 to -2.5.

My third round, the day after CLO published my first blog, convinced me that blogging is simply amazing. I was down a piece, dead lost, and managed a miracle draw. Completely ridiculous. I was gonna resign, but she had walked away from the board and I didn’t want to wait and lose on time, so I kept playing. She had about an hour, and after winning a piece she blitzed the next few moves. Ok, you guys know it was a draw because she blundered and check out Mr. X’s analysis to see how. However, in Mr.X's analysis, he says that 58.Nf3!! would have won, which is total crap (it’s not winning!!)

Position after 57...Kxg3. Is Nf3 winning here? There is a disagreement between Abby Marshall and Mr.X.

 I expect quite a few comments on the article by Mr. X.

 I think the turning point for me was the fourth game. I had saved an incredible position the night before, and now I was crushing my opponent the whole game and trying extremely hard, only to accidentally repeat the position three times. Oops. I lost my spirit after that, and the next morning I lost to a Swedish girl on suicide day (two games in one day.) 

During our preparation, Joel talked about sexism in coaching. He said that coaches usually overprepare their girls because they don’t trust the girls to play good moves when they actually have to think. My opponent definitely prepared for our game and she got a dominating position out of the opening, but she messed it up, obviously. I would be the last person to say girls can’t play chess well, but this is empirical evidence, no? Joel seems to agree because he is teaching Ettie what I call the “retarded repertoire” (alliteration!), consisting of openings in which the goal is to exchange all the pieces as quickly as possible so there is less of a chance Ettie will blunder a piece since she won’t have any left. Oh, while there are many   things I could say about Ettie, I would just like to say she has exceeded expectations by a whopping +6! What is going on here? Ettie: “Your prediction (0/11) is not funny because it’s true!” You guys can decide who is crazier, Ettie or me.

The foreign aspect is a lot of fun. I saw some American T-shirts with the most bizarre stuff on them, like “USA” and underneath “Uncle Sam”, something you would obviously never see in America. This guy from Kryzgystan  visited our room yesterday and did impressions of other countries, craziest junk I’ve seen in a long time and I feel prepared for anything now.

Marc turned 15! Happy Birthday Marc.  John hosted the surprise party and gave him a card from Barnes and Noble so Marc can read his first chess book. The party took a turn for the worse when John Fed had to use a fire extinguisher on the cake and Louiza smacked Elliot across the face in her excitement. I think Aviv also spilled some cake on Fed’s suitcase and wallet. I hope he at least gets his driver’s license back. Oh yes, and Happy Birthday Debbie (Joel’s wife). I promised Joel I would give a shout out to her, and he said she is a fan of me; I’m flattered, who knew? Elliot is also 18 now too, in case anyone forgot.
Unlike Abby Marshall, Louiza Livschitz brought her homework to Antalya. Photo Dujiu Yang.

So what’s happening beside chess? Homework of course, though I didn’t bring any because I knew I wouldn’t do it so I didn’t want to take more luggage; hanging out in the room; moaning about the food and ordering the best burger and fries I’ve ever tasted in the downstairs restaurant; going into Antalya which the most beautiful place in the world and I’ve already made a plan to live there and start a new life in Turkey. On the free day we took a tour and one of the stops was this cliff with a waterfall and you could see the mountains and the city and the sea…unbelievably pretty.

All in all, I am very impressed with the fighting spirit at this event, after witnessing a king versus king position played out another four moves just in case there was anything there.

Two games left…all good things must come to an end.