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2022 Irwin National Tournament of State Senior Champions - Ariel Levi, Michigan Representative (08/14/2022)
For the second consecutive year, I was the Michigan representative at the John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions, which was held in Palm Springs, CA, July 30 - August 2, 2022. Palm Springs has the reputation of being a great place for a vacation, but not in summer. Outside temperatures were between 102 and 107 during the tournament.

I ended up with a score of 3/6, the same as last year. However, whereas two of my losses last year were against IMs, this year two of my losses were against GMs—Enrico Sevillano and Sergei Kudrin. When the tournament ended, IM Douglas Root and GM Sevillano were tied at the top with 5/6 points. Root took first place on tiebreaks.

View 2 games from the event annotated by Ariel Levi:

For me, both these games reinforced the importance of relying on concrete calculation rather than general principles or prior assumptions about what “should be done” in chess positions. In the Kudrin game, if I had calculated the queen sacrifice line to a greater depth and evaluated the resulting position more fully, rather than relying on the generalization that two pieces and a pawn or two are insufficient compensation for a queen, I likely would have chosen the correct line. In the Truelson game, if I had fully examined the pawn sacrifice both with and without the prior trade of rooks, instead of relying on the general principle that one should not yield control of a central file by trading rooks, I likely would have correctly inserted the trade of rooks. Of course, everything seems obvious in hindsight. But emphasizing concrete calculation and the evaluation of positions on the basis of their particulars, rather than relying on general principles, has come to characterize chess in the digital age.
USCF Invitational Events (07/28/2022)
The US Open begins this weekend in California. Michigan has players representing us in each of the sections:
  • Irwin (Age 50+): Ariel Levi
  • Denker (HS): Adhvaith Rajanish
  • Barber (MS): Kalman Vanderhoek
  • Rockefeller (Elem): Marcus Zheng
  • Haring (Girls): Miah Guo
Follow along at the USCF website for the US Open:

Don't forget that the 2023 US Open will be in Grand Rapids, MI next summer!
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