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Ambush Chess Open

By: Alex Chu

The Ambush Chess Open is a tournament in Burlington. Before competing in this tournament, I was rated 1670. I arrived at the hotel in Burlington at 9 in the morning. I was scared to go into the hotel room and so I didn’t enter it in until 9:27 am so that I didn’t miss my name getting called when they were shouting missing players’ names.

The first round was supposed to start at 9:30 am but it was delayed to 10:00 am because of pairing complications and the name check. In my first round, I was very upset when I realized that I was the highest-rated player in my section and they used my old rating, 1571. I like playing higher-rated players and if they used my newer rating of 1670, I would have played in the +1600 section.

I was playing Isabella Yan (rating: 1399) in the first round with black and I was super nervous because it was an equal game and we had traded lots of pieces. I was starting to get worried, but soon enough she blundered, and I got the win. After that, I went to lunch with my friends Vihaan Purohit and Celine Atassi. Celine (rating: 1507) came late to lunch because her game took longer to finished. She also won against a 1297-rated player. My other friend, Vihaan (rating: 1521) won his game a against 1307-rated player at the same time I won my game. And another friend of mine, Shravan Dash (rating: 1699) got to play in the +1600 section and won his game at the very end against an 1800-rated player; he didn’t make it to the restaurant where we had lunch because he took a wrong turn.

The next round was switched to 1:10 pm when it was originally supposed to start at 12:40 but because of the last round’s delay, everything got pushed back. I got paired up with Celine with white and I was scared because she beat me once before, but I beat her most recently.

During the game, each move I made got increasingly nervous because she played an opening that I hate to play against. Celine was trading every single piece I missed. This required her to trade queens and I wasn’t in the mindset to trade. However, in the end, when we got to a position with a queen and 2 rooks for both sides, I found a winning idea but that was not the end of the twist.

When I was adjusting Celine’s piece, she didn’t hear me say adjust. In tournaments, if you don’t say the word “adjust” out loud you can be automatically dismissed. Because she didn’t hear me clearly, she called the tournament director and he said that I said “adjust” and I won. Phew!

The third round was delayed 40 minutes from the originally planned time. In the final round, I was playing Aditya (rating: 1470) with the black pieces. I was tied for first with 3 other people including Vihaan. In the opening, I was forced to trade queens and I was getting nervous, then I was losing the game, but I was lucky, and he blundered but it was still a draw. I proceeded to blunder again and then he blundered at the end. Both of us made a new queen but he blundered a trade of queens to win me the game.

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