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Mate-in-One!

Hi, this is my first report about the U.S. Championship!  Unfortunately I lost yesterday, in the first round.  My opponent was grandmaster Alex Stripunsky, whom I have played many times.  {Editor's Note: click here to see Bryan's 1st round game}  Actually, he is my nemesis.  It is funny, but he is the first grandmaster I ever played in a tournament game, and that time I drew.  But since then, I have lost every time; so for some reason he is my worst possible opponent.  Yesterday's game pretty much followed the pattern of a lot of our other games: I messed up the opening and got a bad position.  But then we both missed a clear win for him, and he started to makes some bad moves, and soon I had a pretty good game.  In the end I missed a move that would give me the advantage, and ended up losing. 

My game today was quite incredible.  My opponent was one of the lowest-rated players in the tournament, and for a while it was going routinely.  I got a much better--I would say, winning--position, but suddenly made a huge blunder.  Then I was totally lost, down three pawns with no chances.  Somehow I managed to create some problems, and then she allowed  mate in one move!  Nothing like this has happened before in any of my games.

{Editor's Note: click here to see Bryan's 2nd round game}

So don't be upset if you allow mate in one move in your tournament games, even people playing in the U.S. Championship can do the same thing!  And not only that, the world champion, Vladimir Kramnik, allowed mate in one move in a match against a computer last fall.  So it shows that everyone is mortal.

In the general standings, grandmasters Alexander Shabalov, Ildar Ibragimov, and Alexander Stripunsky (yes, my first round opponent) are leading the tournament with 2 points out of 2.  So far there have been no upsets, and only a few upset-draws.  Tomorrow I play against grandmaster Dmitry Gurevich.  He is actually the first grandmaster I ever played in any form.  I had just learned how to play chess when he came to Alaska and played a simultaneous exhibition.

Bryan