Sunday, October 23, 2011

GM Christiansen Simul in South Station a Success

On October 20th, the Boylston Chess Club sponsored the Simul in South Station with GM Christiansen. Drawing 21 players, another 15 or so Boylston Chess Club spectators, and dozens and dozens of curious South Station spectators, this event was a big hit. Despite facing 21 players that included a master and several experts, Larry won 18 games, drew 0 games, and lost 3 games, for a winning percentage of 86%.

The atmosphere was like a chess "flash mob"-- suddenly, tables with chess boards appeared under the big train schedule board and a GM was taking on 21 players at the same time. Club players, including Masters Eric Godin and Farzad Abdi, started clustering around a demo board and analyzing the game GM Christiansen vs. NM Andrew Wang. The normally boisterous South Station crowd actually drew hushed and clamored to see the action unfold. They whispered in hushed tones asking, "Who is the guy in the middle?" or quietly exclaiming, "GM Christiansen-- I know him! He's a former US Champion." "Three time US-Champion!" someone else corrected.

In the end, three players, all seated in a row, where able to win their games. The first to finish was Boylston's own expert, Jesse Nicholas, who earned the GM scalp with the following game.

GM Christiansen--Jesse Nicholas
The Simul in South Station
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. Bb3 O-O 7. Nd2 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. Nf1 Bb6 10. Ng3 Bg6 11. O-O Nh5 12. Nf5 BxN 13. PxB Ng3 14. Bg5 Qd7 15. f6 NxR 16. fxg7 Kxg7 17. fxe3 f5 18. Kh1 e4 19. Nd4 Rae8 20. NxN bxN 21. d4 d5 22. Qe1 c5 23. Qg3 Kh8 24. Bf4 Qg7 25. Qh7 c4 26. Ba4 Re6 27. b3 c6 28. bxc4 Bd8 29. Bb3?? Jesse has a promising position, up the exchange, but Larry hangs his queen BxQ White resigns.

Two boards away, newcomer Noah Kulick earned a great victory with the following effort.

GM Christiansen-- Noah Kulick
The Simul in South Station
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Bb4 13. c3 Be7 14. c4 Qc7 15.O-O-O this seems like a dangerous place for the king Ngf6 16. Kb1 O-O 17. Ne4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 Nf6 19. Qe2 b5 20.c5 a5 21. Ne5 Rfd8 22. Bc1 Rd5 23.g4 Rad8 24.Be3 Bxc5 25.Nxf7 Qxf7 26. dxc5 Ne4 27. f3 Ng3 28. Rxd5 exd5 29. Qg2 Nxh1 30. Qxh1 d4 31. Bc1 Qd5 32. g5 d3 33. Bd2 Qxc5 34.Qe1 hxg5 35. Qe6+ Kh8 36. Qe1 Rf8 37. Bc3 b4 38. Bd2 Qf5 39. Qe7 Qxf3 White resigns.

Finally, NM Andrew Wang, the strongest player in the field, secured a late victory after another blunder from the GM. Curiously, Andrew was seated right between Jesse and Noah, and some wondered if such a strong master-level player such as Andrew might have created a challenging nexus of players for GM Christiansen at that end of the table.

Thanks to all for making this a great event! Thanks especially to GM Christiansen, who was gracious and put on a great show in a bustling train station. Also thanks to South Station for allowing us to stage such an event in the middle of the crowd. We hope that the Boylston Chess Club and South Station can continue our partnership to provide chess spectacles in the future.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

Larry and BCC,

Thanks for hosting a great event. It was fun to see some familiar faces and meet some new BCC members -- and, of course, to play chess.

"1 of the 18"