Baruch Chess Team Hits the Parks
On the windy Saturday morning of October 11, the Baruch Chess team arrived at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park for the third annual Rapid Chess Open. This yearly tournament brought over 500 chess players from the tri-state area to compete for prizes. It was six rounds of rapid chess, divided into only 10 minutes per round.
Baruch had players in the Open, Reserve, and Unrated sections. Ariel Krinshpun, Michael Layevskiy, and Sergey Shulgin played in the Open Section. Bobby Moy played in the Reserve section. Colleen Harris and Konstantinos Konstantinidis played in the Unrated section. Baruch scored 19 points out of a possible 35. This was a great performance. The team welcomed two new players, freshmen Harris and Shulgin.
In the first round, Baruch scored four out of five matches. Krinshpun’s opponent failed to show up. Layevskiy won his game as fast as it had started. Shulgin obtained a winning position, but failed to capitalize. Moy had a shaky start, where the game came down to the final seconds. Luckily, his opponent blundered his queen and resigned. Konstantinidis, the defending champion of the unrated section, won his game with a surprise attack that won a piece. Colleen arrived late for the tournament, thus received a bye.
In round two, Baruch struggled to find wins with only one and a half out of six. Krinshpun was paired with Marc Arnold, the number one ten-year-old in the nation. Krinshpun launched an attack, which he failed to materialize in time. Layevskiy played into a bad position and lost. His opponent was the eventual winner. Shulgin lost because he was outmatched. Moy was in trouble early again, but he stayed in the game and eventually pulled through. Harris, in her first ever tournament game, was not comfortable yet. She played a veteran chess player who played some poor moves. Unfortunately, she was still unable to get the win. Konstantinidis was winning from the start, but he lost focus and only got a draw.
In round three, Baruch got three out of six. Krinshpun lost two pieces and the game after he obtained a favorable position. Layevskiy won another game while Shulgin got his first win in this round. Moy, who was paired with the top seed, obtained a winning position, but ran out of time. Colleen got to play an amateur like herself and won gracefully. Konstantinidis was in an unclear position then blundered into a loss.
In round four, the breezy winds picked up and so did Baruch, a perfect six out of six. Layevskiy and Shulgin would each pick up their second win in a row. Harris’s opponent did not show up so she got the forfeit win.
During round five, the sun was shining, but Baruch was left in the shade. The Baruch contingent only got 1.5 out of six. Krinshpun was paired to play against his own teammate, Shulgin. Krinshpun won the game. Moy was up two pieces with a clear win. However, he managed to lose three pieces in a row and eventually had to settle for a draw because both players had used the allocated time for the match. All of the other games ended in a loss for Baruch.
In round six, Baruch got three out of six. Krinshpun’s pairings just got more bizarre. After playing the youngest player in the open, he played Mika Dekhtyar, the oldest at 78- years. Krinsphun was out-played by the more experienced Dekhtyar. Layevskiy ended with a win. Shulgin tried hard, but was unable to save a losing position. Moy was in control from the very beginning, and eventually just closed out the game. Harris lost her last game after a valiant effort. Konstantinidis won his game in less than 30 moves.
Overall, Krinsphun finished with 3/6, Layevskiy with 4/6, tied for sixth-16th place, Shulgin with 2/6, Moy with 4.5/6, tied for sixth-seventh place, Harris with 2/6, and Konstantinidis with 3.5/6, took thirteenth place.
“The event turned out to be very successful. Players of all ages converged in the battle of the minds. The event, because it was free, encouraged true sportsmanship,” said Chess Club President Ariel Krinsphun.
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