|White to play.|
Balakrishnan - Phelps, World Amateur Team 2013
|Black to play.|
Levina - Balakrishnan, World Amateur Team 2013
I have annotated three recent games of NM Praveen Balakrishnan, who is playing board two on FM Steve Stoyko's "Knightmare 3" team this weekend at the 2013 World Amateur Teams in Parsippany, New Jersey. I was hoping to play board four on the team, but it was discovered that my recent rating gain would have sent us over the 2200 average by one point! So Expert Ian Mangion is playing bottom board while NM Scott Massey is playing board three. I fully expect them to win the championship this year (they are 4-0 going into Round 5), which makes it a shame that I couldn't make the team. But I got to enjoy a relaxed day visiting the tournament on Saturday to check out the games, chat with friends, and browse books. And I will not have to stress about a last round game for all the marbles.
Praveen has had a rapid rise over the past year, going from a Class-A player to Master in what seems like the blink of an eye. It did not surprise anyone that he won the Kenilworth Chess Club Championship earlier this month (I have included his exciting win over NM Mark Kernighan in the final round). I have already taken an interest in his career -- see "Praveen at the World Youth" for example -- and look forward to his continued success.