The annual Kenilworth Chess Club Summer Tournament began Thursday, June 1, with ten players entered so far and three games played in Round One. The most surprising game of the night (at least for me) was my near-loss to our newest member, 10-year-old Anna Matlin, rated 1565. That would have been considered prodigy level when I was a kid, though we recall that Hikaru Nakamura made master by that age. If she breaks 1900 by age twelve, though, then she will be on the same pace as Bobby Fischer! She has already demonstrated that she can beat an Expert with just a little more care at the critical moment (see diagram below).
White to play.
White to play.
I look forward to seeing Anna's games in the coming weeks. She expects to attend the Kenilworth Chess Club regularly this summer to gain more experience against higher-rated opponents. All I can say to the rest of you is, "watch out!"
It was also a pleasure to welcome Rutgers student Devin Camenares back to the club after a semester-long absence. I hope his loss to NM Mark Kernighan (and a few losses to Anna in 5-minute games!) will not discourage him.
It is still possible to join the Summer Tournament. Games are unrated and played at Game/60 time control. Entry fee is $3 for the entire summer. Prizes for first, second, and third are awarded at the end of August to those players who accumulate the most points, with only wins and draws counting. Matches each night are by mutual arrangement with the lower-rated player getting White in the first game and alternating colors in any subsequent games. Complete rules are given to all players who join. Speak to TD Greg Tomkovich for more information and to report results.